John Diehl

John Diehl

May 1, 1950
Cincinnati, Ohio
Miami Vice Role
Metro-Dade Detective Lawrence "Larry" Zito
Years active
Julie Christensen (1992-present)

John Diehl (born May 1, 1950), is an American actor. He made his acting debut in 1980, appearing in bit parts in several movies & TV shows before breaking out in 1984 on the classic show Miami Vice as the Hawaiian-shirt wearing detective Lawrence "Larry" Zito for the first two and 13 episodes of the third season.

Early lifeEdit

Diehl was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. He went on to college where he majored in visual arts, but was introduced to acting in a night class, his failure in the art class and A grade in acting led him to begin performing plays in the theater for free.

Early 1980sEdit

Diehl began his acting career with bit parts in TV movies before appearing in the movies Escape From New York (with Isaac Hayes), Stripes (with Antone Pagan), National Lampoon's Vacation (with Michael Talbott), and D.C. Cab (with Charlie Barnett) and returning to TV in the police dramas Cagney & Lacey, Hill Street Blues, and Hunter.

Miami Vice Edit

Diehl was cast in the police drama Miami Vice as Detective Lawrence "Larry" Zito in 1984, working as the partner to Stan Switek, played by Michael Talbott. Zito was known for being aloof and wearing Hawaiian shirts on duty. He & Switek worked surveillance in the "Bug Van", later to be simply a regular van. Zito's role was either as comic relief or limited, and Diehl felt he didn't have enough to do, and was bored spending nine months of the year in Miami, so he began working in boxing, compiling a 3-1 record before retiring in 1986. In the third season, Diehl's character was written out as ratings declined, killed off by a boxing gambler in the two-part "Down For The Count (Part I)".

After ViceEdit

After his Vice run ended, Diehl returned to guest appearances on TV in series such as Beauty and the Beast (with Ron Perlman), In The Heat Of The Night, L.A. Law, Nash Bridges (with Don Johnson), 18 Wheels of Justice (with G. Gordon Liddy), NYPD Blue, and a run on The Shield as Assistant Chief Gilroy (with Michael Chiklis). He also appeared in movies such as Nixon (where he played G. Gordon Liddy, meaning he starred with and played the same person in different projects), Con Air (uncredited, with Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames and Mykelti Williamson), Land of Plenty (with Burt Young, which Diehl called his favorite movie he appeared in), A Time To Kill (with Oliver Platt), Pearl Harbor (with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Jurassic Park III (with Julio Oscar Mechoso). He continues to appear as a guest star in TV shows and in movies today. In 2011 Diehl starred in the TV-Movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe. The series Burn Notice is filmed in Miami, and has a lot of Vice elements in it, so possibly Diehl's appearance could be considered an allusion to Miami Vice. Diehl also appeared in the TV series Rizzoli & Isles (with Bruce McGill), Scandal (with Sam McMurray), and his most recent TV appearance, 2014's Almost Human. Diehl's more recent movie appearances were in the 2012 movie The Obama Effect (with Charles S. Dutton), 2016's The North Star (with Lynn Whitfield), and 2017's Out of the Wild.

Personal lifeEdit

Diehl credits his sister Sarah Hope for influencing his professional career. In 1992 he married singer Julie Christensen, who has worked with Leonard Cohen. They have a son, Jackson, born in 1993.

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