Mostly Credited As: Adrian Zmed
Birth Name: Adrian George Zmed
Date Of Birth: March 04, 1954 (Age 59)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois
Height: 5' 8" (1.72 m)
Adrian Zmed is unique in that most actors traditionally change unusual or ethnic names.
"When I was born, my father, only two years removed from his native Romania, changed the family name to Smith," he says. "When I graduated from the Goodman School of Drama, I changed it back to Zmed. Somehow I'm not a Smith. Besides, Adrian Zmed looks great on a marquee."
Zmed starred as officer Vince Romano in "T.J. Hooker," the hour-long contemporary action-adventure police drama series. Zmed was born March 14 in Chicago, Illinois, where his father is now a retired Romanian Orthodox priest. He learned to love singing and dancing at his father's church where they were always doing folk dances.
When he entered high school, his main ambition was a career in professional football. That ended one day when he took a handoff from the quarterback and his body went one way and his right leg went another.
"That changed my life completely because playing sports was out," Zmed remembers. "So one day at school I wandered into the auditorium where auditions were being held for 'Guys and Dolls.' The teacher in charge of the play asked me to try out and, just like in the 'B' movies, I got the part. An actor was born."
This decision did not sit well with his father who wanted his son to be an architect, a doctor or a priest.
"I could be anything I wanted as long as it was one of those," he says. "There was a lot of family fighting when I said I was going to Goodman to study acting."
After Zmed graduated from the famed dramatic school, he felt he was as well-trained and talented as anyone, but he couldn't get an Equity card.
"I tried everything, but I couldn't get that little card," he says. "So I enrolled in architecture school at the University of Illinois. I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea and I could always go back to acting." Before school started, a road company of the hit musical "Grease" came to Chicago and Zmed was encouraged to try out for it. He auditioned and won the lead in the show.
"It was insane. I couldn't get a union card but I won the lead in a show," he says.
Zmed toured with the show for a year and then left the national company to play the role on Broadway for six months. In 1978 he moved to Hollywood where he was cast in the short-lived series, "Flatbush." He then guested on "Starsky & Hutch," "Angie," and another short-lived series, "Goodtime Girls."
Zmed went back to guesting on television in "Riker," "I'm A Big Girl Now," "Bosom Buddies" and the television movie, "Love On the Run." He also starred in the feature film, "Bump In the Night."
1981 proved to be a banner year for the dark-haired, brown-eyed actor when he was cast in the pilot of "T.J. Hooker" and also won the lead in the feature film musical, "Grease II," which was released that year.
Zmed, who is married and has one son, Zachary, lives in the San Fernando Valley. His main goals for the future are to return to the stage, start a singing career, continue his film work and one day work with Lord Laurence Olivier.