Where Are They? Wednesdays: Steve Guttenberg Edition

If you look back on the 1980’s you’ll find plenty of movies that star major A list stars still working today, but there is one man that was one of the biggest stars of the 80’s that truly deserves a “Where Are They?”.  That man is none other than the great Steve Guttenberg.  But before we travel down the path of “Where Are They?” it is important to first look at the man, the myth and the legend known as Steve Guttenberg.


Steven Robert Guttenberg was born in 1958 in a Jewish family of five.  His father was an electrical engineer but it became obvious that Steve wasn’t going to follow in his father’s footsteps.  He headed off to Julliard after high school and never looked back.

Guttenberg found his niche early on Broadway comedies and improv comedy before venturing into television in the late 70’s.   He found himself in a some successful TV movies like Miracle on Ice (1981), To Race the Wind (1980), Something for Joey (1977) and The Day After (1983).  Guttenberg even wound up in a Coca-Cola commercial where he was helping a lady with a stalled car and shared with her the a passionate love for Coke.  –Yes, we mean Coca-Cola here, there is no evidence that they actually shared a love for cocaine even though it is entirely possible.  (Note: We have no evidence that supports the previous statement).

Guttenberg finally got noticed for his work on the film Diner, but is probably best known for his work in 3 franchises in the 1980’s, those of course being Short Circuit, Police Academy and Three Men and  a Baby (Directed by by Leonard Nimoy).  Side Note:  I’ve always liked to think about “Spock” directing Three Men and A Baby and the thought process he put behind deciding to take on the project.  I always assumed it went something like this:  “Three men….and ….A Baby?  Highly Illogical–yet intriguing.” The point is Guttenberg became known probably best for his work on Police Academy in the 80’s as Mahoney and it catapulted the comedian into 80’s superstardom.  Oddly enough,  Police Academy was a film his agent suggested he pass on because he thought it was going to be a huge flop.

However once 1990 rolled around, The “Gutt” [pronounced G-oooo-t] was seen less and less in Hollywood.  He found himself along side Kirstie Alley and the Olsen twins in It Takes Two and a few minor TV roles but never really kept the traction going that he gained in the 80’s.  In fact, it was hard to take a look at Guttenberg in the 90’s and think he was a box office draw the decade before.  His most noteable work was a re-occuring bit part on Veronica Mars a few years back and continues to pop up on TV and indie works but generally has become a Hollywood “D List” star in the 2000 and beyond.   He even found himself on an episode of Dancing With The Stars which was probably the thing that catapaulted The Gutt back into the spotlight.  Mind you it was a very dim spot light (or perhaps maybe just a very bright incandescent light bulb) but a light none the less.

Where Are They? Now

Guttenberg’s name has popped up in a few different projects as Hollywood is looking to reboot and re-kindle anything that might have a breath of life left in it.  Guttenberg claims that Hollywood is interested in Three Men and A Bride with the returning cast of Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck.  However, I will admit this is hard to believe as none of these once A list actors really have box office bank written all over them anymore.   Guttenberg has been suggesting that they reboot the Police Academy franchise for quite sometime and it looks like Hollywood has finally taken notice.   They announced a reboot in the works, but there is no word of Guttenberg taking part in the project.  However, it would be very hard to believe that he wouldn’t at least have a cameo.   In October of last year, Guttenberg starred on Broadway in “Relatively Speaking,” one of  the trio of one-acts written by Elaine May, Ethan Coen and Woody Allen. Guttenberg appeared  in “Honeymoon Motel,” the segment written by Allen; he plays the father of a groom who falls in love with the bride.   He is quoted as saying that sometimes people mistake his kindness for weakness which is why he hasn’t been a successful in Hollywood as he would have liked and still hopes that he can get back into the big leagues of Hollywood.  Unfortunately for The Gutt, it has been 20 years since he has really seen any box office glitz and glitter.

Off screen The Gutt has been active in charitable organizations and created Guttenhouse, an apartment for graduated foster children and works with Sight For Students, a program that works to donate eye wear to kids in need.  His passion for helping others and entertaining others hasn’t left him even though the Hollywood cameras pointed in his direction are dwindling.  Behind the Hollywood scenes he has worked as an executive producer and a director on a few after school special like projects that have garnered some critical acclaim in their respective circles, once again showing his passion for child welfare.

In early November 2008, allegedly Guttenberg was filmed jogging semi-naked through Central Park, New York Guttenberg responded by appearing on The Paul O’Grady Show, where announced that he made the video for Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die website, but then decided to release it virally “as if it were real”.    In a even stranger turn of events, he then finished off the show by earning a spot in the Guinness World Records by preparing the most hot-dogs in one minute.

In May 2012, Guttenberg will release his memior, a book that called, The Guttenberg Bible.  In this honest, charming memoir, Guttenberg tells the story of how he became the star of some of the ’80s most successful blockbusters, how he spent his early days sneaking onto the Paramount lot (he pretended to be Michael Eisner’s son), meeting more celebrities and casting agents than most aspiring actors ever would and gaining a stalker or two along the way.