Jeffrey Tambor Receives a Hollywood Star

By Sue Pascoe
Editor

Former Palisadian Jeffrey Tambor, an actor known for his roles in Arrested Development and The Larry Sanders Show, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 9.

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President Leron Gubler praised Tambor as “one of the most versatile and accomplished character actors in film and television,” and then introduced Joe Lewis, head of comedy and drama production at Amazon Studios.

Lewis said, “From the time we’ve met, Jeffrey’s been a friend and a mentor and the only thing he’s asked is I pick up the check for dinner.”

He also joked, “There’s little that I could say that Jeffrey didn’t already email me to say, but I could add that he is tall, handsome, skinny, warm, brilliant, talented and a true friend. He’s made me a better person and all it cost me is several thousand dollars in Italian food in the Palisades.”

Jeffrey Tambor received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Tambor currently stars in Amazon’s Transparent, playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgendered, divorced, Jewish parent of three. He has received his third consecutive Emmy nomination, after winning in seasons one and two. He also earned a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series—Musical or Comedy.

Also in attendance were Tambor’s co-stars Kathryn Hahn, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass, and Mitchell Hurwitz, the executive producer of Arrested Development.

Hurwitz remembered meeting with Tambor and pitching the show. Tambor asked Hurwitz why he should trust him with the next stage of his career, since he had just come off a hit, The Larry Sanders Show.

“If I were you I would not trust me. I’m going to do work here that will set back both of our careers,” Hurwitz said at the meeting.

Tambor responded, “I’m in.”

He went on to star as George Bluth, Sr., and garnered three Emmy nominations.

He had earlier received four Emmy nominations for his role as Hank Kingsley, the narcissistic sidekick on Larry Sanders.

When Tambor came to the microphone, he looked at his star on the sidewalk and said, “I’m next to Humphrey Bogart. When I was eight and nine years old, I snuck into a theater and watched Humphrey Bogart, Charles Laughton and Ernest Borgnine. I thought, you don’t have to be handsome to be a good actor, you just have to be a good actor.”

Tambor, who grew up in San Francisco, remembered when his dad took him and his brothers to Hollywood and how they put their hands in the handprints of the stars out in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. They also went to CBS and visited the Red Skelton variety show set. “I met the producer,” Tambor said. “Red Skelton was my hero.”

Tambor recalled working many years later with comedian Garry Shandling. “He told me to throw the script away and play themoment.” When Tambor won his Golden Globe (for Transparent), he got a text from Shandling, which said, “I’m standing in my kitchen crying.”

The 73-year-old Tambor graduated from San Francisco State in 1965 with a degree in drama and then received a master’s degree from Wayne State. After appearing in repertory theater, he got his Broadway break in Sly Fox, with George Scott, in 1976. He played a minor character and was also an understudy for Hector Elizondo. When Elizondo missed a performance, Tambor went on and afterwards received a standing ovation.

His first television role was on Kojak in 1973, followed by guest appearances on Taxi, Barney Miller and Three’s Company. He made his film debut in . . . And Justice for All (1979), playing Al Pacino’s half-crazed law partner.

Tambor’s memoir, Are You Anybody? was released in May this year.

At the ceremony, Tambor acknowledged his five children, Molly, Gabriel, Evie, Hugo and Eli, and his grandchild Mason. Then he said, “The true star of this event is my wife Kasia, who raises me up.”

Many in the Palisades will remember that Tambor rode as grand marshal in the town’s Fourth of July parade in 2011. He told the New York Times this spring that he no longer has much of a library at his home in New York because “I gave away most of my books to the Pacific Palisades library in California,” when he moved.

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