April 15, 1986
Hot Career Proves He's Accent Prone
CULVER CITY, Calif.
(AP) - The way he talks on the screen, you'd never know Bronson Pinchot
graduated from Yale and doesn't have an accent.
And here he is, once
again mangling the English language, this time as a Mediterranean goat herder in
the new ABC series "Perfect Strangers." Mark Linn-Baker is his
Pinchot plays Balki
Bartokomous, who left the tiny island nation of Nipos (sic) to barge in on his
American cousin, Larry Appleton (Linn-Baker), and take up residence in what
Larry thought was going to be his bachelor pad.
break came in "Beverly Hills Cop." His portrayal as Serge, the
gay art clerk, created a sensation.
Pinchot modeled the
character's name -- and the accent -- on a boorish teacher who humiliated him
during a class for aspiring waiters.
"I was taking
notes and he pointed at me and said, 'Look at that boy taking notes. How
can he expect to learn to be a waiter if he doesn't look at me?' I was so
humiliated . . . "
Pinchot was born in
New York City of Russian and Italian parents. He was three when his
father, a freelance bookbinder, had a yen to see California. "He gave
away all the furniture and moved his wife and four children to South
Pasadena," Pinchot says. "As soon as we got here he
disappeared. My mother went to work cleaning houses, then worked as a
penurious condition Pinchot made it to Yale University. "I got the
best grades that anyone had ever heard of in high school," he says.
"My girlfriend and I tied for valedictorian. Isn't that tacky?"
He enrolled in a
fine arts course, but was soon into acting. The chairman of the theater
department told him he thought Pinchot had a future.
Pinchot may have had
a premonition of that. He checked out a copy of the script of "The
Three Sisters" from the Yale Library. The librarian warned him to be
careful, it was signed by Henry Winkler, who had also studied there.
"So I quickly
signed it and said it now has both our signatures," Pinchot says.