Tune in to the Help 2 Succeed Radio Show July 4th at 7pm EST for an interview with Multi-Talented Artist Robert F. Lyons – actor, director, acting teacher and writer. Learn how to excel and get tips to succeed. >> Interview
Robert F. Lyons (born October 17, 1938 in Albany, New York) is an American actor of film and television. He was a tap dancer at the age of six, and spent his high school years in a very strict military school. As an adult, Lyons attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Lyons made his small-screen debut in the TV series I Dream of Jeannie and his film debut in Pendulum. Since then, he appeared in films like Shoot Out, Avenging Angel, and Pray for Morning; and TV shows like Gunsmoke, Medical Center, Falcon Crest, Roswell, and Criminal Minds.
He is best known for guest starring in numerous popular television shows since the 1960s. The starring career of shaggy-haired CCNY graduate Robert F. Lyons rose and descended during the “youth trip” era of the 1960s. Lyons was praised to the rafters for his role as the ingenious draft-dodger in 1970’s Getting Straight. Since then he has appeared in such films as Shoot Out (1971) (as the main villain, opposite good guy Gregory Peck), Scarecrow (1981), Death Wish II (1982), Avenging Angel (1985), Dark Night of the Murphy’s Law (1986), Platoon Leader (1988) and Pray for Morning (2006) and such television shows as Gunsmoke, Medical Center, Falcon Crest, Roswell and Criminal Minds. In 1999 he played Dr Lester Arnold on Days of Our Lives. In 2015 he co-starred with Danny Trejo in the zombie film The Burning Dead.
Nowadays, a comparatively well-groomed Lyons can be seen in such direct-to-videos as Platoon Leader (1986). Robert F. Lyons was the star, producer and screenwriter for the 1985 Vietnam-angst drama Cease Fire.
Robert F. Lyons’ career has spanned over 35 years.
As a young actor from New York, he was personally chosen by Lee Strasberg for Lifetime membership in the famed Actors’ Studio. He also studied with Stella Adler, Arthur Storch, and Milton Katselas.
He was instrumental in starting the Genesis Theatre, where he starred in Sam Shepherd’s first play, Cowboys.
He continued working on Broadway and off-Broadway, until he came West.
Robert is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
He began teaching in Los Angeles in 1975. Among some of the actors he has instructed over the years are:
Clea Du Vall, Juliette Lewis, Geoffrey Lewis, Natalia Livingston, Heather Locklear, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, Priscilla Presley, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Stafford, Ethan Suplee, Michael Wiseman
Robert’s interest in directing has taken him through several plays, short films and a feature film.
He has sold as a writer, and currently has a number of projects in development.
He has also been on the producing line on two features for New World Pictures.
The value of an acting teacher who is a working actor, who also writes and directs, is of great value to serious actors who are learning and working professionally. It is knowing and having a complete range of technique and being willing to show it, that makes the professional.
What is taught is not academic, it is what an actor needs to know to compete and then do the job well.
“Robert F. Lyons is the hidden bonus in Columbia’s new box-office hit, Getting Straight. Audience’s walk in fully expecting Elliot Gould to swipe all the honors, but they come out with the character of a draft dodging doper named Nick firmly etched in their minds. It may be Gould’s picture but a big piece of it belongs to Lyons.”
— Show Magazine
“From what is on the screen, the real star of the film is Robert F. Lyons…”
“Showiest role of the piece, the impulsive buddy, Luke, is expressively handled by well-cast Robert F. Lyons.”
— Daily Variety
“He’s played ‘good guys, bad guys, regular guys and some very irregular guys,’ always with a perceptible subtext beneath their spoken words. … (He) has been credited with outstanding performances in Ten to Midnight and Getting Straight, as well as a dozen or so other feature films. His television appearances have included Magnum P.I., Quincy and Falcon Crest, along with an arm-long list of TV’s highest-rated programs.”
— Valley Life & Entertainment
“Robert F. Lyons is remarkably complex in his excellent portrait of the charming madman….”
— Judith Crist, New York
“Lyons is a tour de force, alternately appealing and repellent, pathetic yet hateful.”
— L. A. Times
“It took me 4 years and over a dozen acting schools before I found Robert F. Lyons. I had only booked one commercial and one feature film in that four years. Over the past year, with Bob, I have booked guest stars on television shows such as Miracles, Alias, and Navy NCIS.”
“Bobby’s insights and perceptiveness remind me again and again, every class, why we are pursuing this art form. His individual attention and personal approach to each student, and skill with coaching all levels of actors, mean that we are all learning every minute of his class. I look forward to class all week, and I am always re-energized and motivated afterwards.”
“He teaches in a way that is so creative and so safe, that an actor can truly open up and create in that way he has always wanted, but was just a little scared to. The way he handles actors blows me away. With no invalidation or evaluation, he guides the actor into better and better work.”
“Hi Bobby, I miss you and class. I am enjoying my time here in Canada. We haven’t started shooting yet, just some rehearsals and voice coaching. I am using your rehearsal techniques and moment to moment preparation and character breakdown.
(Here are some) jobs I recently booked: a pilot for The Inside (Fox), and guest-starring/recurring CBS Hallmark movie of the week, Magic of the Ordinary Days.
Thank you again Bobby for these last 5 years. I love you! Say hello to class.”