Corey John Fischer (February 28, 1945 – June 6, 2020) was an American actor.
Life and career
Fischer was born in Los Angeles and received a BA in French and Theatre Arts from UCLA. In the mid-sixties he worked in Los Angeles in improvisational theatre, notably with The Committee, and went on to work in film and television. An early film appearance was in the biker cult film Naked Angels and an early television appearance was in a 1966 episode of Daniel Boone.
Fischer appeared in Robert Altman's first three Hollywood movies: MASH, Brewster McCloud, and McCabe and Mrs. Miller and many of the best-known TV comedies of the seventies including All in the Family, Sanford and Son and Barney Miller as well as the TV version of M*A*S*H. In 1972-75 he played "Givits" a guitar-playing ex-rabbinical student in Sunshine starting with the groundbreaking TV movie that became the prototype for a number of "Disease-of-the-week" movies that followed. He continued to play Givits in the short-lived spin-off series, also titled Sunshine, (13 episodes) and, finally, a second TV movie, Sunshine Christmas.
In 1976 Fischer worked with L.A.'s ProVisional Theatre, an experimental, political ensemble. With them, he toured nationally in America Piece by Susan Yankowitz and the company-created Voice of the People. He was then invited to become part of The Winter Project by director Joseph Chaikin. Relocating to New York for two years, he participated in Chaikin's project and acted in Chaikin's production of The Dybbuk at the Public Theater.
In 1978, he returned to Los Angeles, where, with Albert Greenberg and Naomi Newman, he co-founded Traveling Jewish Theatre. In 1982 TJT moved to San Francisco where Fischer continues to act, write and direct theatre and to act in film and television. He appeared in the 2012 feature film The Five-Year Engagement with Jason Segel and Emily Blunt.
SF Chronicle drama critic Robert Hurwitt called him "One of the Bay Area's acting treasures..." His one-man show, Sometimes We Need a Story More Than Food was voted one of the ten best productions of 1993 by the Los Angeles Times and won a Marin County playwriting fellowship. In 1999, his play, "See Under: Love," an adaptation of the novel by Israeli author David Grossman was one of six winners of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award. It was produced by TJT in 2001 and is anthologized in "Nine Contemporary Jewish Plays".
In 2000, the San Francisco Bay Guardian voted him one of the year's best directors for God's Donkey, an original TJT production. In 2001, his play, See Under: Love was listed as one of the year's ten best plays by the San Francisco Chronicle and was nominated by the Association of American Drama Critics as best play of 2001.
In 2002, he guest starred in an episode of Frasier.
His most recent work was as a playwright and director of "In the Maze of Our Own Lives" a play inspired by the story of the Group Theatre which was produced in October, 2011, to launch TJT's 34th season. This was TJT's last as a producing organization.
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