USA Today
November 3, 1986

Pinchot, Suddenly No Stranger to Success 
By Tom Green

HOLLYWOOD - Bronson Pinchot is in one of those "pinch me, is this for real?" moods that sometimes hit when you've been real lucky.

"The last time I was in New York," says half of the starring team of ABC's Perfect Strangers, "I was walking down the street and I saw Sean Penn.  He said, 'Hi, how are you?'

"I thought, 'Is he going to smash me any second?'  I tried to think of all the things I ever said about Madonna.  But he just said, 'Hi.'  That's so cool.

"Suddenly I'm in a ballpark of people who are incredibly groovy.  I wanted to say, 'I don't really belong here, but how are you?"

Two strokes of luck have combined to catapult the 27-year-old Pinchot to such lofty euphoria.  First, of course, was his two-minute breakthrough part as haughty Serge, the art gallery attendant in Beverly Hills Cop.

But second is his pairing with Mark Linn-Baker.  Playing the blind leading the blind in Perfect Strangers, they have notched one of ABC's few hits in the last year.

The twosome is using the kind of physical comedy in the tradition of Laverne & Shirley and Mork and Mindy, but Pinchot swears he never watched those shows.  He was in his room studying to get the A's that got him a scholarship to Yale, where he also never looked up from a book.

"I remember people in college talking about Mork and I had no idea who that was."

Pinchot was so goal-directed because he grew up without much money in South Pasadena, Calif.  One of four kids being raised by a divorced mother, he got grades so good that he was academically intimidating to his peers.  Instead of ordinary teen-age pursuits, he collected valuable Wizard of Oz posters.

"I didn't go to parties and dances.  I used to go to conventions of rare book collectors, which I was.  I would regale people who were twice my age.  Those were my friends.  I was like their little mascot."

He started out at Yale to study art, but was immediately caught up in theatrical productions.  "I guess I had always wanted to do it.  A lot of people were itching to get out of small towns and go to college so that they could have drugs and sex.  I secretly think I went so I could do acting and sex.  Which I did."

He also discovered that it was easy to make people laugh.  Shortly after doing a play in New York, he was cast in a small part in Risky Business -- he opened the door to the hookers.  Then came his one day of work on Beverly Hills Cop and the sensation it created.

In just two years, Pinchot's life has done a startling turn-around.  Now he collects 18th-century Swedish antiques with abandon.

"Before Beverly Hills Cop came out, my mother, who is a saint, was helping me pay my rent, was giving me money to pay my bills and go out and see a movie.  I was 25 years old, I had no clothes.  I was doing obsessive things -- overeating and not exercising.

"Now I feel great about myself.  I can go anywhere in the world that I want.  And now I pay my mother's bills."