Ken Howard is perhaps best known for his performance as a street-savvy teacher in the classic drama “The White Shadow” a role he “re-created” in real life as a master class teacher at the American Repertory Theatre Institute and as an instructor at Harvard University and Harvard Law School. His teaching experience helped form the basis of his book, ACT NATURAL How to Speak to Any Audience, published by Random House in 2003.
His television credits include co-starring roles on “It’s Not Easy,” “The Colbys,” “Dynasty,” “Adam’s Rib” and “The Manhunter.” Among Howard’s other series, miniseries and TV movie credits are “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (recurring), “The Practice,” “Arli$$,” “The West Wing,” “Perfect Murder, Perfect Town” and “The Thorn Birds.” His most recent guest roles have been in “Conviction,” “The Ghost Whisperer,” “The George Lopez Show,” “Huff” and his role as Jordan Cavanaugh’s (Jill Hennessey) father, the world-wise retired Detective Lieutenant ‘Max Cavanaugh’ on NBC’s “Crossing Jordan.”
In 1968, two years into the three-year program at the Yale School of Drama, he accepted a small role on Broadway in Neil Simon’s Promises, Promises. He then originated the role of Thomas Jefferson in the Tony-winning musical 1776, directed by Peter Hunt, receiving a Theatre World award. Howard later earned a Tony for his work as a young gym coach at a Catholic boy’s school in Child’s Play and has starred on Broadway in Seesaw, The Norman Conquests, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the national tour of Equus.
His feature-film debut was in “Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon” opposite Liza Minnelli. Film credits include “1776,” “Such Good Friends,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “The Net” and “At First Sight.” He delighted movie audiences in 2005 with his work in FOX 2000’s “In Her Shoes,” with Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine and “Dreamer” co-starring Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning. He was also in the feature film “Michael Clayton” for Warner Bros. starring George Clooney.
He became firmly established in the public’s mind as ‘Coach Reeves’ on the prestigious “The White Shadow,” series which he co-created, based on his own experiences as the only white player on his high school basketball team. Howard won an Emmy for the on-camera narration of “Facts for Boys: The Body Human.” His voice can be heard on more than 30 best-selling books on tape. A kidney transplant success (the gift of longtime friend and stuntwoman Jeannie Epper), Howard was appointed Chancellor of the National Kidney Foundation, and works with their efforts to encourage people to donate their organs.