OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Actor, writer, film director to speak at OSU

11/03/1998

CORVALLIS - Harry Shearer, a versatile entertainer whose credits include acting in the cult favorite, "This is Spinal Tap" and providing voices on "The Simpsons" television show, will lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at Oregon State University.

His free, public presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. at LaSells Stewart Center in Corvallis. It will be interpreted for the hearing impaired.

A writer, actor, radio personality and director, Shearer is appearing as part of an annual series at OSU sponsored by the university's Convocations and Lectures Committee. Shearer stars as the voice of various characters on "The Simpsons," including Smithers, Ned Flanders, and Mr. Burns. He is also host of the radio program "Le Show," a mixture of news, parody, trenchant sketches and music.

Shearer was one of the creators and stars of the movie "This is Spinal Tap," in which he portrayed heavy metal bass player Derek Smalls, a member of England's loudest rock band.

Shearer began acting as a child and made his film debut in "Abbot and Costello Go to Mars." He also had a small role in the biblical epic "The Robe." The influence of those two films on the youthful Shearer, according to some theorists, helps explain his slightly skewed view of life.

As a child he also appeared on television's "The Jack Benny Show" and played the role of Eddie Haskell in the pilot episode of "Leave It to Beaver." He spent two years as a writer and cast member of television's "Saturday Night Live."

He recently appeared in the big screen productions of "The Truman Show" and "Godzilla."

In addition to numerous television credits, Shearer has been a commentator for ABC's World News Now, a writer for the electronic magazine Slate, and a columnist for the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine. A collection of his columns was recently published as "Man Bites Town," which the New York Times described as "comic social satire of a very high order."

Shearer has branched into multi-media and has released two CDs - "O.J. on Trial: The Early Years" and "O.J. on Trial: That Endless Summer."

Shearer graduated from UCLA, attended graduate school at Harvard, and taught for two years in the public schools of Compton, Calif.

The next speaker in the Convocations and Lectures series will be Doris Kearns Goodwin, historian and presidential biographer, who will speak at OSU on March 2.