Highabove¬†the neon glow of Sunset Boulevard sits Ed Marinaro'smultimillion-dollar spread. It's a sweet perch in an √ºber-exclusive zip code,but Marinaro sees little of neighbors Leonardo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves. Whilethey're off making block-busters, Marinaro, once one of TV's heartthrobs, isworking to break into Hollywood all over again.
The man who madeit look so easy--from running the ball at Cornell, where he finished second inthe '71 Heisman race, to becoming an actor after his NFL career ended in'77--has been mostly out of the spotlight since he played hot-blooded officerJoe Coffey from 1981 to '86 on Hill Street Blues. Marinaro, now 57, realized ahard truth: Good parts for older actors are scarce. "Television is lookingfor viewers in the 18-to-39 audience, and they use actors who fall into thatgroup," says Marinaro, who has a four-year-old son, Eddie, with his wife,fitness expert Tracy York. "The irony is, when you are capable of doingyour best work, it's hardest to get work."
So he andcolleague Tony Masucci are forming M&M Productions, which will make moviesappealing to audiences--and using talent--closer to Marinaro's demographic. Thetwo are now raising money and reading scripts. They hope to begin shootinglater this year. Says Marinaro, "This is a great opportunity to see some ofthe most talented actors and writers in the country plying their trade."Including himself? "Oh," he says, "I'm not done¬†yet."
The Cornell running back became a Hollywood fixture in the '80s.