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Paul Shenar

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Paul Shenar
Albert Paul Shenar

(1936-02-12)February 12, 1936
DiedOctober 11, 1989(1989-10-11) (aged 53)
Years active1971−1989
PartnerJeremy Brett (late 1970s)

Albert Paul Shenar (February 12, 1936 − October 11, 1989) was an American actor and theater director, known for portraying the evil rat Jenner in Don Bluth's film, The Secret of NIMH (1982) and Bolivian drug lord Alejandro Sosa[1] in Scarface (1983).

A veteran Broadway and Shakespearean actor, he was one of the twenty-seven founding members of the American Conservatory Theater.

Early life


Shenar was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the second of four boys (one older brother John, two younger brothers Michael and Marc), born from Mary Rosella (née Puhek) and Eugene Joseph Shenar. He was of Polish and Slovenian descent.[2]



Shenar became involved in theater at an early age, working in Milwaukee playhouse productions. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. Following his military career he began acting again. Shenar gained attention playing larger-than-life entertainment legends in late 1970s television films—Orson Welles in The Night That Panicked America and Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., in Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women. He portrayed the character John Carrington in Part II of the miniseries Roots.

In 1983, Shenar also portrayed Alejandro Sosa[1] in Brian De Palma's Scarface and later portrayed Paulo Rocca[3] in Raw Deal.

A founding member, actor, director and teacher of the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco, he played more than forty roles there, including Hamlet, Oedipus Rex and Brother Julian in Tiny Alice. In 1982, he portrayed Jenner[4] in Don Bluth's The Secret of NIMH; his performance in the film impressed Bluth so much that he wanted Shenar to also portray Borf in Space Ace, but was unable to do so due to budget issues and the role ultimately went to Bluth himself.[5]

Shenar continued to act during the late 1980s. He did a stage version of Macbeth in Los Angeles and appeared in films like Best Seller (1987), The Bedroom Window (1987), The Big Blue (1988), plus the TV film Rage of Angels: The Story Continues.

Personal life


Shenar was gay, and was romantically involved with the British actor Jeremy Brett during the 1970s; they were in a relationship that reportedly lasted from 1973 to 1978.[6] After the couple separated, they remained close friends until Shenar's death in 1989.[7]



In 1983, Shenar was diagnosed with AIDS. He died from the disease on October 11, 1989. He was 53 years old. His remains were cremated and given to his executor, Thomas Wiley.[8]




Year Title Role Notes
1978 Lulu Ludwig Schon
1982 The End of August Arobin
The Secret of NIMH Jenner Voice
1983 Deadly Force Joshua Adams
Scarface Alejandro Sosa
1986 Dream Lover Ben Gardner
Raw Deal Paulo Rocca
1987 The Bedroom Window Collin Wentworth
Man on Fire Ettore
Best Seller David Madlock
1988 The Big Blue Dr. Laurence


Year Title Role Notes
1973 The ABC Afternoon Playbreak Lt. Joe Moroni Episode: "Alone with Terror"
1974 Columbo Sgt. Young Episode: "Publish or Perish"
Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law Blair Episode: "House of Friends"
Mannix Johnny Sands Episode: "The Dark Hours"
Great Performances De Guiche Episode: "Cyrano de Bergerac"
The Execution of Private Slovik Crawford TV movie
1975 Kojak Arthur Harris Episode: "Night of the Piraeus"
Petrocelli Archie LaSalle Episode: "Death in Small Doses"
The Invisible Man Alexi Zartov Episode: "Barnard Wants Out"
Ellery Queen Announcer Wendell Warren Episode: "The Adventure of Miss Aggie's Farewell Performance"
The Night That Panicked America Orson Welles TV movie
1976, 1977 Hawaii Five-O Chadwick
Todd Daniels
Episodes: "A Killer Grows Wings"
"See How She Runs"
1976 The Keegans Rudi Portinari TV movie
Gemini Man Charles Edward Royce Episode: "Pilot"
The Bionic Woman Dr. Alan Cory Episode: "The Ghosthunter"
Wonder Woman Lieutenant Wertz Episodes: "The Feminum Mystique: Part 1"
"The Feminum Mystique: Part 2"
1977 Roots John Carrington Episode: "Part II"
The Hostage Heart James Cardone TV movie
Young Dan'l Boone Hammond Episode: "The Pirate"
Logan's Run David Eakins Episode: "Man Out of Time"
The Mask of Alexander Cross Alexander Cross TV movie
1978 Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women Florenz Ziegfeld
The Courage and the Passion Nick Silcox
Suddenly, Love Jack Graham
1979 Family Bob Gantry Episode: "Moment of Truth"
1980 Hart to Hart Michael Shillingford Episode: "Night Horrors"
Beulah Land Roscoe Corlay TV mini-series
1983, 1985 Dynasty Jason Dehner
Justin Dehner
Episodes: "The Search"
"The Californians"
1983 Scarecrow and Mrs. King James Delano Episode: "Service Above and Beyond"
1984 Paper Dolls Jonathan Westfield Episode: #1.1
1985 Brass Schuyler Ross TV movie
Spenser: For Hire Matthew Lowington Episode: "Discord in a Minor"
Streets of Justice J. Elliott Sloan TV movie
Best of the Football Follies Narrator
1986 Dark Mansions Phillip Drake
Rage of Angels: The Story Continues Jerry Worth
1987 Time Out for Dad Chase


  1. ^ a b "Scarface 'Counting Money' / X After Inventing Y". Know Your Meme. September 18, 2022. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  2. ^ "Paul Shenar Biography (1936-1989)". Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  3. ^ Club, Wolfman's Cult Film (May 9, 2021). "Raw Deal (1986) Arnold Schwarzenegger Takes On The Mob". Wolfmans Cult Film. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  4. ^ Central, Film Music (August 31, 2018). "Disturbing Bluth #4: Jenner in The Secret of NIMH (1982)". Film Music Central. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  5. ^ Space Ace Blu-ray, commentary by Bluth
  6. ^ Graham, David, Casting About: A Memoir (iUniverse, 2007), page 265
  7. ^ "Livres sur Jeremy Brett". jeremy-brett.forumactif.com (in French). Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  8. ^ "AIDS at 25". San Francisco Chronicle. June 8, 2006. p. E1. Retrieved October 3, 2011. Paul Shenar, died Oct. 11, 1989, at age 53. Actor. Part of the American Conservatory Theater's founding acting company, Shenar appeared in more than 40 plays with ACT in the 1970s, including appearances as Hamlet, Oedipus and in "Tiny Alice."