American actor and director John Asher, sometimes also credited as John Mallory Asher, is probably best known for his performance as Gary Wallace in the television series version of “Weird Science” (USA Network, 1994-1998) and for his recurring role as Insect Bob on the Showtime series “Going to California” (2001-2002), on which he also served as director. He has also acted in the films “Frozen Assets” (1992), “Double Dragon” (1994), “Space Cowboys” (2000) and “Fred & Vinnie” (2011).
Asher entered the world of directing in 1997 with “Kounterfeit” and won a Razzie Award for his work in the critically panned comedy “Dirty Love” (2005), written by and starring his wife Jenny McCarthy (now divorced). His other directing credits include “Diamonds” (1999), “Thank Heaven” (2006) and “Wreckage” (2010). He also directed several episodes of the television series “One Tree Hill.”
Asher is the father of a son named Evan Joseph Asher (born 2002) from his marriage to Jenny McCarthy (married from 1999 to 2006). He was previously married to Vanessa Lee (together from 1994 to 1996). Asher is currently in a relationship with actress Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Son of Actors
Childhood and Family:
Born John Mallory on January 13, 1971, in Los Angeles, California, John Asher is the son of actress Joyce Bulifant (born December 16, 1937) and her second husband, actor Edward Mallory (born June 14, 1930, died April 4, 2007). His parents divorced in 1974 after five years of marriage. In 1976, John's mother married producer/director William Asher (born August 8, 1921), who adopted him after the marriage. He is now the stepson of film and television actor Roger Perry (born May 7, 1933), who has been married to his mother since 2002.
John has been married and divorced twice. He was married to Vanessa Lee Asher from 1994 to 1996 and became engaged to actress and former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy (born November 1, 1972) in January 1999. They married on September 11 that year but divorced in 2006. John has a son named Evan Joseph Asher (born May 18, 2002) with McCarthy.
John Asher made his television acting debut with an appearance in an episode of “Beverly Hills, 90210” called “Class of Beverly Hills,” which aired on October 4, 1990. He then guest starred in episodes of “Over My Dead Body” (1990), “Married with Children” (1991), “Designing Women” (1991), “Who's the Boss” (1991), “Step by Step” (1992) and “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” (1993). His television movie debut came with “The Haunted” (Fox, 1991), a movie starring Sally Kirkland, Jeffrey DeMunn and Louise Latham. The film was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or a Special and a Best Actress Golden Globe for Kirkland's portrayal of Janet Smurl.
Asher quickly made the jump to the big screen when he landed the role of Bobby Murdock in the 1992 comedy “Frozen Assets,” directed by George Miller and starring Shelley Long, Corbin Bernsen and Larry Miller. It was followed by a supporting role in the Robert Radler directed action movie “Showdown” (1993), starring Billy Blanks, Kenn Scott and Christine Taylor, and a role in “Double Dragon” (1994).
Asher experienced his first big break when he took over the role of Gary Wallace in the series “Weird Science,” based on the 1985 film of the same title. The show premiered on the USA Network on March 1, 1994, and lasted until July 25, 1998. Costars of the series included Michael Manasseri, Vanessa Angel and Lee Tergesen. During his stint on “Weird Science,” Asher also acted in the 1996 short film “Time Well Spent” (1996, TV), provided the voice of Gary Wallace in an episode of the animated series “Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man” called “Color of Naught” (1996), and was cast in “The Spot” (1997), the first episode of the ABC anthology series “Gun.” He returned to features portraying Shane Robinson in “The New Swiss Family Robinson” (1998), which was directed by Stewart Raffill.
Asher made his directing debut with “Kounterfeit” (1997), a movie starring Bruce Payne and Hilary Swan. He then wrote and directed the 1998 comedy “Chick Flick,” starring Maxine Bahns, Michael Manasseri and Jamie Walters, and directed Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall and Dan Aykroyd in “Diamonds” (1999).
Entering the new millennium, Asher was cast in “Space Cowboys” (2000), a science fiction movie directed, produced by and starring Clint Eastwood. The film received good reviews and grossed about $130 million against a budget of $65 million. He next played the recurring role of Insect Bob in the Showtime series “Going to California” (2001-2002). He shared the directing credit with D.J. Caruso.
Asher next worked with Scott Wolf and Mary Birdsong in the television film “Rubbing Charlie” (2003), directed the short film “The Policy” (2003) and guest starred in “Fastlane” (2003) and “Las Vegas” (2004) before directing the bomb “Dirty Love” (2005), starring and written by his then-wife Jenny McCarthy. The comedy won Razzie Awards for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actress and Worst Screenplay. It was also nominated for Worst Supporting Actress (Carmen Electra) and Worst Screen Couple.
Asher again directed McCarthy in the 2006 indie comedy “Thank Heaven,” which also starred Matt Keeslar and Gia Carides. In addition, he directed several episodes of the series “One Tree Hill” during 2004 to 2008 and Craig Bonacorsi, AJ Wedding and Sam Witwer in the video short “Infamous” (2008). Meanwhile as an actor, Asher guest starred in “NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service” (2007, as Fred Rinnert), “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2007, as Zack Putrid) and “October Road” (2008, as Ronald Buckman).
In 2010, Asher directed and produced the movie “Wreckage,” written by David Frigerio and starring Aaron Paul, Justin Allen and Mike Erwin. The same year, he also portrayed Charlie Hammond in an episode of “Ghost Whisperer” called “Dead Eye.”
Recently, in 2011, Asher costarred with Fred Willard, Craig Lamar Traylor and Richard Steven Horvitz in the comedy film “Fred & Vinnie,” for director Steve Skrovan and writer Fred Stoller. He will star with Rachel Boston and John Kapelos in the upcoming comedy “Who the F Is Buddy Applebaum” (2011), which he also produced and contributed story to.
Razzie: Worst Director, “Dirty Love,” 2006