A supporting actor for much of his film career, Richard Herd appeared in hits such as “All the President’s Men,” “Private Benjamin,” and “The China Syndrome.”
He has also been a frequent guest star on TV series since the early 1970s including “Seinfeld” in the reoccurring role of ‘Mr. Wilhelm.’
“‘Seinfeld’ was one of the best jobs I ever had,” he recalled from Los Angeles. “There were no ‘stars’ on that show, they were all genuinely nice people to work with. It got me a tremendous amount of recognition and still does because it plays all the time.”
Away from the cameras, 86-year-old Herd is devoted to artistic pursuits.
A primitive abstract impressionist who works with oil and acrylic, he also crafts jewelry, writes, sings and currently has a special interest transforming scrap metal into musical sculpture lamps and Harley-Davidson assemblages (see www.richardherd.com).
“All my lamps and jewelry are made from scratch – they’re one of a kind,” explained Herd. “I work with chrome, brass, bone, copper, steel, aluminum, tin, old wood and most anything rusted. I find it in junkyards, on the streets, motorcycle shops, old school band rooms, and people also give me stuff. I create it for myself and if others like it, bravo!”
But Herd hasn’t abandoned acting. Recent films include “Get Out,” “The Oath,” “The Mule,” and later this year, “The Silent Natural,” a bio-feature about the first deaf Major League baseball player.
“I have been blessed with many opportunities throughout my career,” he says. “You have to seek your individuality and find what works for you, whatever your career goal.”
Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 750 magazines and newspapers. See www.getnickt.org