“Eugene is the most famous because of Grease, but my favorite is definitely Ringo Klaus of I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Eddie Deezen
Star of countless films, the superhero to nerds everywhere, and Beatles admirer Eddie Deezen is most celebrated for playing Eugene in the well-liked musicals Grease (1978) and Grease 2 (1982). Other movies where he has acted in include Laserblast (1978), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), Midnight Madness (1980), WarGames (1983), Dorf’s Golf Bible (1987), Dorf Goes Auto Racing (1990) and Spy Hard (1996). The American character actor also portrayed weird maintenance man Eddie Malvin in the television series “Punky Brewster” (1984).
Additionally, 5’ 11” tall Deezen has emerged as an active voice-over actor. His unique voice has handed him a number of projects, including “The Weird Al Show” (1997), “Dexter’s Laboratory” (1998), “Kim Possible” (2002-2004), The Polar Express (2004), and more recently “Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island!” (2005).
Childhood and Family:
In Cumberland, Maryland, Eddie Deezen was born on March 6, 1958, to parents Robert and Irma Deezen. The middle of three, Eddie has an older brother, Rick, and a younger sister, Barbie.
The Polar Express
Maryland native actor Eddie Deezen kicked off his film career in 1978, when he landed a small role in the Michael Rae sci-fi/ horror Laserblast (1978), which was featured in an episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” This was followed by a funny small side role as Richard ‘Ringo’ Klaus in the Robert Zemekis-helmed/ Steven Spielberg-produced I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), about the chaos that ensued when the Beatles came to America to play for Ed Sullivan. However, it was Deezen’s geek role, as Eugene, on the popular musical Grease (1978), starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, that made the actor a favorite among moviegoers.
Deezen reunited with Zemekis and Spielberg the following year for the spectacular movie 1941, in which Spielberg served as director and Zemekis co-wrote the story with Bob Gale. The same year, Deezen made his TV-movie bow in Champions: A Love Story, a great drama starring Shirley Knight and Tony Lo Bianco. He went on to appear in Midnight Madness (1980), Desperate Moves (1981) and Homeroom (1981, TV) before returning to his notable role of Eugene in Grease 2 (1982), this time starring Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer. A series of film acting followed, including in the Matthew Broderick vehicle WarGames (1983), Surf II (1984) and The Rosebud Beach Hotel (1984) and in 1984 he landed his first series regular, on the comedy series “Punky Brewster,” where he played wacky upholding man Eddie Malvin. The next year saw the actor step into voice acting realm for a role in the animated feature Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird, as Donnie Dodo.
Work on films like The Longshot (1986), Dorf’s Golf Bible (1987), Beverly Hills Vamp (1988), Assault of the Killer Bimbos (1988), Back to Hollywood Boulevard (1989), Wedding Band (1990) and Dorf Goes Auto Racing (1990) maintained Deezen’s presence on the cinematic industry until he decided to focus on voice-over career in the early 1990s. He voiced Mouth in two episodes of “Darkwing Duck” (1991), Snipes on the movie Rock-A-Doodle (1991, with Sorrell Booke and Glen Campbell), Ham in the series “Mother Goose & Grimm” (1992), Caliph in the made-for-TV film Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights (1994) and Iggy Catalpa in “Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man” (1994-1996). He also provided the voice of Charlie in 1997’s The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue, The Guy Boarded Up in the Wall on episodes of “The Weird Al Show” (1997) and Mandark on episodes of “Dexter’s Laboratory” (1998) as well as in the TV-movie Dexter’s Laboratory Ego Trip (1999). During this same period, Deezen could be seen acting in four movies, including the 1996 Rick Friedberg comedy Spy Hard.
Entering the new millennium, Deezen teamed up with John Goodman and Jamie Lee Curtis to work in the animated series “Pigs Next Door” (2000) and with Courtland Mead in the adventure/animation “Lloyd in Space” (2001). Next, his voice could be heard in episodes of “Oswald” (2001, as Andy Pumpkin), “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” (2003, as Gibby Norton) and “Kim Possible”(2002-2004, as Ned). In 2004, he undertook the role of Know-It-All in Robert Zemeckis’ cartoon film The Polar Express, opposite Tom Hanks. Deezen reprised his role of Ned on Disney’s Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama (2005) and voiced Slurpy the Bat on one episode of “Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island!,” that same year.