The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Evan Handler

24 Aug

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

Today we’re saluting Evan Handler.  Handler was born in 1961 in New York City and was raised in nearby Westchester.  He got his first couple of roles in 1981, in the films The Chosen and Taps.  He had a couple more appearances, including a guest spot in Miami Vice before he got his fist chance to start in a series, Woops! In 1992 on Fox, which failed, cancelled after 10 episodes, and apparently has a reputation as one of the worst shows ever.  Handler stars as one of a six person ensemble who gather together as survivors after world nuclear holocaust (Handler is apparently saved by having been driving a Volvo).  Handler showed up in Natural Born Killers and Ransom, and episodes of New York Undercover and Law & Order before getting his second shot in a series with the two season It’s Like, You Know.  It’s Like, You Know was an attempt at making a Seinfeld inLos Angeles, and was perhaps most notable for featuring Jennifer Grey playing herself as one of the characters.

Handler guest starred in three West Wing episodes as a political strategist, guest starred in three episodes The Guardian, appeared in Friends, and appeared in Six Feet Under as a radical artist who goes out for drinks with Claire and her professor.  He got his next big role in Sex and the City as Harry Goldenblatt,Charlotte’s jewish divorce lawyer, who eventually dates, and marries Charlotte.  He appeared in an episode of Without a Trace and an episode of 24 and got another main role opportunity in 2005’s Hot Properties on ABC.  According to wikipedia, Hot Properties was compared to Sex and the City and Designing Women.  It was about four single, professional women who love Oprah and work in a real estate office (hence the name.) SofiaVergara of Modern Family and Mad TV’s Nicole Sullivan were two of the women.   Handler played a doctor who shared office space with the women.  The show was not renewed after 13 episodes.

Handler appeared in a CSI:Miami episode and then showed up as Dave in an episode of Lost, Hurley’s friend who nobody else can see.  He showed up in four episodes of the ill-fated Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip as a writer who led the show before Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford showed up to take over.  After having several fights with Perry’s character, who mocks Handler’s style of humor, he leaves the show.  After appearing in both Sex and the City movies, Handler got his current break as Charlie Runkle in Californication, as David Duchovny’s best friend, agent, and comic relief.  Californication is still going strong, having finished four seasons, and been renewed for a fifth.

Handler is also a bit of a thesbian, creating a minor controversy when he walked off stage in the Broadway production of I Hate Hamlet in 1991 after star Nicol Williamson injured him in an on-stage sword fight.  He also appeared in Broadway productions of Brighton Beach Memoirs and Master Harold…and the Boys.  Another talent of Handler’s is writing; he wrote a book about his time fighting and recovering from leukemia during his late 20s called Time on Fire: My Comedy of Terrors.

One Response to “The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Evan Handler”

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