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June 26, 1987 - Image 57

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-06-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Deli Unique

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25290 GREENFIELD North of 10 Mile Rd.

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Beth Jacob Synagogue but
can't remember any of his
gifts. "Checks? I think there
were checks."
It was a memorable event
in any case, held on Saturday,
February 15, 1958, the same
day of the (then) largest
snowstorm in Baltimore's
history.
"In the morning it was all
very pretty," he remembers,
"but by 5 o'clock it was a
serious storm and by 8 o'clock
only half the guests made it
to the party. The half that
came were forced to stay for
three days. Fortunately there
was enough food:'
Apocryphal Tale #2:
Catching the Acting Bug.
Opening night. The first
time on stage and playing the
lead role. Michael 'nicker star-
ring in the Baltimore Actors
Theater production of "Peter
Pan:'
Most fourteen year old
boys wouldn't relish the
thought of wearing tights in
public but the experience was
what convinced 'nicker to
become an actor.
That conviction sustained
him through four years of
training at Carnegie lbch in
Pittsburgh and six years of
regional theater before taking
on New York.
"By the time I went to New
York I knew I could act. I'd
been through it and felt like
I had my feet under me,"
'nicker explained with quiet
confidence.
It was performing in New
York that provided 'nicker
with some of his most satis-
fying experiences in the
theater.
"Doing Shakespeare in the
Park was incredible, and of
course it's exciting to open on
Broadway," he enthused.
"Then again, to close on the
same night . . ." he added,
referring to "The Good-bye
People," one of three Broad-
way plays among his credits.
Despite the success that
comes with a hit television
series, 'Ricker speaks most
fondly of performing in front
of an audience, not a camera.
"As an actor, I was brought
up in the theater," he
acknowledges. But still you
sense there is something
more.
Apocryphal Tale #3: The
Leading Lady.
The theater has been good
to 'Ricker not only profes-
sionally, but personally as
well. It was while in the com-
pany of the Arena Stage in
Washington D.C. that he met
his wife of thirteen years, ac-
tress Jill Eikenberry.
Eikenberry, who won an
Obie Award last year for her
performance in Lanford
Wilson's "Lemon Sky," is cast
opposite her husband on the
new series. She plays Ann

Kelsey, the pro bono partner
who is smart, successful,
stylish and sexy. True roman-
tics find solace in the fact
that the couple get to play
lovers both on screen and off.
Initially to viewers, the
statuesque Connecticut
Yankee and the dowdy tax at-
torney might have seemed an
unlikely pair, but the court-
ship and recent travails of
Ann and Stuart seem more
interesting and honest than
the granite-jawed angst or
yuppie reserve of the pro-
gram's other litigious love
birds.
Steven Bochco, creator of
the series and the man behind
"Hill Street Blues," is an old
friend of 'Dickers and in cre-
ating the characters tailored
the roles to the couple. The
result is an undeniable chem-

"Work is the most
relaxing part of this
celebrity thing."

istry for viewers and a rare
opportunity for the acting
spouses to work together.
Although occasionally ap-
pearing in the same produc-
tions in the past, it wasn't un-
til twelve years after they met
that the two exchanged lines
on stage. Now each week they
relive their romance in prime
time. The arrangement suits
them both perfectly.
"I enjoy working with Jill
more than I've enjoyed work-
ing with any other actor,"
'nicker claims convincingly.
"Working together is great
fun," agrees Eikenberry, add-
ing, "Working in general is
great. Actually, work is the
most relaxing part of this
celebrity thing."
There's little doubt of that.
Since the premiere of "LA
Law," Ricker and Eikenberry
have received the lion's share
of attention, suddenly mark-
ed as a Hollywood fun couple.
They have been the subjects
of numerous articles, in-
cluding a feature in People
magazine, and have sat in the
hot seat opposite Joan Rivers
on her late night talk show..
Both actors, however, are
quick to point out that they
have never considered their
careers to be linked together,
and are anxious not to be
seen as a "professional cou-
ple!'
"We have no interest in
becoming the new Steve and
Edie," insists 'Dicker.
There seems to be little
danger of that as Tucker is
soon to be seen on the large
screen teamed with actors
who are not his wife, the sub-
ject of Apocryphal Tale #4:
Let's Do Lunch.
It's been said that the for-

tunes of an actor are limited
to either feast or famine. In a
town that loves taking its
successes to lunch, 'Dicker
won't be losing any weight in
the near future.
Having already appeared in
many films, including Woody
Allen's "Purple Rose of
Cairo," and Barry Levison's
"Diner," Tucker is featured in
two more high profile pictures
due out early this year.
In "Radio Days," written
and directed by Woody Allen,
the actor gets to play his
"largest and possibly best
role to date."
The film takes place in the
early 40's during the golden
age of radio and 'nicker plays
the father of Allen's
childhood alter ego, a kid
whose life is inalterably in-
fluenced by A.M. radio. Co-
starring with him is Julie
Kavner, the gifted come-
dienne who portrayed Bren-
da, Valerie Harper's sister on
the old "Rhoda" TV series.
She, too, has had a small sup-
porting role in another Allen
film.
Allen offered Tucker the
part without an audition or
interview. Dismissing such a
supreme vote of confidence
from arguably the best film-
maker in America, 'Ricker
simply remarks, "Woody likes
using his actors over again:'
Before "LA Law" starts in-
to reruns Tucker will be
featured in another major
release. "Tin Men" from
lbuchstone is the story of
aluminum siding salesmen in
Baltimore and stars Richard
Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito.
In the film Tucker plays
Bagel, a role he originated in
"Diner."
Also set in Baltimore, that
film challenged the actor to
retrieve the local accent
forced out of him by a zealous
speech coach back in college.
"After shooting 'Diner' the
producer told me I had the
best Baltimore accent on the
set," Tucker noted with
amusement. "I didn't bother
telling him origins always pay
off."
Tucker's origins are begin-
ning to show substantial
dividends, leading one to
make Apocryphal Prediction
#1: The Fan Club.
His wife calls him "sexy,
funny and terrific." The
ratings says he's a hit. In-
dustry insiders are talking
Emmy. His mother is con-
vinced he can do no wrong.
Why not a fan club? After
all, Ticker's the guy who took
ordinary qualities, a few
foibles and quirks, and with
receding hairline, paunch and
all, showed us yet another,
unlikely way to become a star.
No wonder everyone's a
Michael 'nicker fan. Or soon
will be.

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57

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