Star Flash
July 11, 1987

Everything You Ever Wanted to
Know About Balki and Larry!

How much are Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker like the
characters they play on ABC-TV's hit show Perfect Strangers?

Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker are two of the most in-demand bachelors on television . . . and girls everywhere are the ones who are demanding them!

In their late 20's, both would be real men-about-town except for one thing: They work long hours and don't have much time to date anyone for long periods of time.

Even so, when Bronson leaves his West Hollywood apartment, there are always groups of teenage girls following him, taking photos and asking for autographs.  He always likes this, but he can't really believe he's a star!  He rates his life in two parts: Part One -- before Beverly Hills Cop; Part Two -- After Beverly Hills Cop.  Part Two is the best part!


Everyone who's seen Beverly Hills Cop 2 really misses Bronson.  He nearly stole the first movie from Eddie Murphy with only 20 lines!  This is pretty difficult to do when you're playing opposite a star like Eddie.  But it was mainly Bronson's accent and movements that did it.  It was also his "perfect" accent that landed Bronson a role in Perfect Strangers.

"The accent," Bronson tells everyone, "was inspired by an Israeli makeup woman I knew who set out to become the most elegant, fashionable, sexiest mysterious Mata Hari who ever lived.  She had developed a speech that was so elegant and syrupy . . . and I did a deliberately imperfect re-creation of it."

The accent Bronson uses on Perfect Strangers isn't quite like this one, but there is enough similarity so that Bronson can retain his image.  The character "Balki" is a Greek shepherd who is supposedly from a Mediterranean island country called Mypos.

When the show debuted last season for only six episodes, no one believed it would become a big hit.  But it did!  And the show is now renewed for next fall on ABC.

Bronson hasn't gotten used to being a star yet, and those close to him don't think he ever will.  But he does have his moments of temperament on the set when things go wrong.  When he gets frustrated, he lets out all of his feelings and doesn't hold back anything.

Mark Linn-Baker, who play's "Balki's" American cousin, "Larry," is just the opposite.  When things bother him, he holds them all inside.  But outwardly, he's a comic.  He can break up Bronson so much that sometimes it takes 15 takes to get a scene right!

Off camera, the two are very close friends.  Bronson depends on Mark and hates it when the show is not in production and Mark goes back to New York, where he lives.  Surprisingly, both of them went to school at Yale and took theater arts, yet they never met because they had overlapping terms.

Is Bronson sexy?  Fans say "Yes!', and he's getting fan mail by the thousands.  He really can't believe that all of this is happening to him.  As a high school student in South Pasadena, California, Bronson was very studious, earning practically a straight-A average, and wasn't a very social person, but he has little time to socialize.

He's also a collector of 19th-century Scandinavian furniture.  "I guess that's weird," Bronson admits, "but I love all those things."

On the set, Bronson and Mark are loose and happy.  They play jokes on each other and have a great time just being together.  As for how much they're like their characters, both feel there's a lot of each of them in "Balki" and "Larry."  Bronson is more intelligent than "Balki," but as he says, "'Balki' may not be educated, but he has good inner instincts, and they show up in the character.  He's no dope, and it shows."

The character of "Larry" is portrayed as far more intelligent than "Balki," but it's often "Balki" who gets "Larry" out of trouble!  So, all in all, they're equal -- both on the show and off the show.

Both are single.  Both are smart.  Both are cute.  And both are waiting for the right girl to come into their lives.  She must be patient, understanding and loving!