Harry Shearer biography

Harry Shearer

Date of Birth: December 22, 1943

A native of Los Angeles, Harry Shearer got involved in show business at the age of seven when his piano teacher, who was also an acting agent, convinced his parents to let him go on auditions. His feature film debut was playing a little boy in Abbott and Costello go to Mars (1953), followed by another small role in the feature film The Robe (1953). He also made many television appearances on shows such as The Jack Benny Show, GE Theatre, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Leave It To Beaver.

In the early 1970s, along with Richard Beebe, David L. Lander and Michael McKean, Shearer formed a comedy troupe called The Credibility Gap, performing satirical daily newscasts on Pasadena Rock station KRLA-AM. Shearer went on to join the cast of the late night sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live for the 1974 - 75 season. In 1977, he returned to films when he, McKean and Lander wrote and acted in the feature film comedy Cracking Up (1977). In 1979, Reiner, Shearer, Guest, McKean and Billy Crystal wrote and performed on a new TV series called The T.V. Show.

However, his biggest success came when he joined with Guest, McKean and Reiner to write the screenplay and music for This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Reiner directed, while Guest, Shearer and McKean played members of a British hard rock group whose success was quickly spiralling downward. The hilarious mockumentary was a runaway hit, with Reiner playing a documentarian recording a behind-the-scenes look at the fictitious band, whose members were not too bright.

Shearer has worked steadily in feature films and on television since then, and became a regular cast member on the animated prime time series The Simpsons in 1989, voicing the characters of C. Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders and many others. Shearer made his feature film directing debut with Portrait of a White Marriage (1988) starring Martin Mull, and wrote, produced, directed and appeared in Teddy Bears' Picnic (2002). He got together with his old pals from Spinal Tap to write, compose and star in A Mighty Wind (2003), this time about three 1960s folk groups who get together for a comeback concert.

He has been married since 1993 to his second wife, Judith Owen.

Harry Shearer Filmography


Harry Shearer Photo