Murder at 1600: About The Cast

Buy this video from
WESLEY SNIPES (Detective Harlan Regis) most recently starred opposite Robert De Niro in "The Fan," directed by Tony Scott. Through a succession of memorable performances in widely varied roles, Snipes has built a career as one of the most versatile and interesting actors in Hollywood.

Snipes' film career began in 1985 with "Wildcats," followed by a role in the Michael Jackson music video for "Bad," which was directed by Martin Scorsese.

Snipes next appeared in "Streets of Gold," then starred as Willie Mays Hays in "Major League," which brought him widespread public notice. Spike Lee, who had noticed Snipes in the "Bad" video, next cast him as jazz saxophonist Shadow Henderson in "Mo' Better Blues" and, later, as the lead in the interracial drama "Jungle Fever."

Snipes' next role, as brilliant drug lord Nino Brown in "New Jack City," was written specifically for him by Barry Michael Cooper, who recalled Snipes' work in the "Bad" video.

Snipes continued to showcase his range as a dramatic and comedic actor with roles in "The Waterdance," and "White Men Can't Jump," while his performance in the action/adventure "Passenger 57" showcased his martial arts expertise. He portrayed an LAPD special detective opposite Sean Connery in "Rising Sun," the diabolical Simon Phoenix in "Demolition Man" opposite Sylvester Stallone, and re-teamed with "New Jack City" writer Barry Michael Cooper for "Sugar Hill."

In 1994 Snipes completed the skydiving action picture "Drop Zone," directed by John Badham, and showed a totally different side in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar," in which he portrayed one of a trio of drag queens stranded in a small midwestern town, for director Beeban Kidron. In 1995, he teamed again with his "White Men Can't Jump" co-star, Woody Harrelson, for the action movie "Money Train."

Born in Florida, Snipes moved to the South Bronx as an infant and later attended the High School for the Performing Arts. He completed high school in Orlando, Florida, and teamed up with friends to form a travelling puppet troupe that performed in public parks and schools. In 1980, Snipes returned to New York to attend college at SUNY/Purchase. He subsequently landed roles on Broadway in such productions as "Boys of Winter," "Executive of Justice," and in Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka's "Death and the King's Horsemen" before venturing into film.

In 1991, Snipes formed an independent production company, Amen Ra Films, to develop projects for film and television. Amen Ra productions include the upcoming "Blade," in which Snipes also stars, and a series of documentaries, financed and narrated by Snipes, entitled "African Scholars." The first in the series is "John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk."

Wesley Snipes is a trained martial artist and a student of Capoeria, an African/Brazilian martial art.

DIANE LANE (Nina Chance) made her film debut opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in 1979 in George Roy Hill's "A Little Romance," and landed on the cover of Time Magazine in the process. She went on to make a name for herself starring in several Francis Ford Coppola films, including "The Outsiders," "Rumble Fish," and "The Cotton Club." Other features include "Cattle Annie and Little Britches," "Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains," "Streets of Fire," "Lady Beware," and "The Big Town."

More recently, she appeared in the critically acclaimed "My New Gun," as Paulette Goddard in Richard Attenborough's "Chaplin," and in "Indian Summer," directed by Mike Binder. In 1995, she earned rave reviews for her performance opposite Sylvester Stallone in "Judge Dredd" and starred opposite Jeff Bridges in Walter Hill's "Wild Bill."

Lane's most recent pictures include Coppola's "Jack," in which she starred opposite Robin Williams, and "Mad Dog Time," an ensemble piece also starring Richard Dreyfuss and Ellen Barkin.

On television, she starred opposite Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange in the role of Stella in the 1995 production of "A Streetcar Named Desire." She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role opposite Robert Duvall in the CBS miniseries "Lonesome Dove," and also starred in the epic miniseries "The Oldest Living Confiderate Widow Tells All," portraying a character who ages from her teens into her nineties.

Lane began her professional acting career at age six, in an array of stage productions. Her first role was at La MaMa Experimental Theater in Andrei Serban's "Medea"; she went on to appear in his subsequent production of "Electra," as well as "The Trojan Woman," "The Good Woman of Szechwan" and "As You Like It," both in New York and at theater festivals around the world. After starring in Joseph Papp's productions of "The Cherry Orchard" and "Agamemnon" at Lincoln Center in 1976-1977, she starred in "Runaways," leading director George Roy Hill to cast her in her first feature film ("A Little Romance").

ALAN ALDA (Alvin Jordan) is internationally renowned as an actor, writer and film director. His many motion picture roles include Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You," "Manhattan Murder Mystery" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (for which he received the D.W. Griffith Award, New York Film Critics Award, and a nomination for a British Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor), as well as "And the Band Played On," "California Suite," "Paper Lion" and "Same Time, Next Year."

He also starred in "The Seduction of Joe Tynan," which he wrote, as well as in several features which he wrote and directed: "The Four Seasons," "Sweet Liberty," "A New Life" and "Betsy's Wedding." Alda will soon be seen in "Mad City," directed by Costa-Gavras and starring John Travolta and Dustin Hoffman.

For 11 years, Alda played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic TV series "M*A*S*H," and also wrote and directed many of the episodes. During the series' run, Alda won the Emmy Award five times; he is the only person to have been honored by the TV Academy as a performer, writer and director. In addition, he won the Writer's Guild Award twice, the Director's Guild Award three times, six Golden Globes and seven People's Choice Awards.

Alda's many Broadway credits include his breakthrough role in "The Owl and the Pussycat," as well as "Purlie Victorious," "Fair Game for Lovers," "The Apple Tree" (which earned him his first Tony nomination) and "Jake's Women" (for which he also garnered a Tony nomination).

Born in New York City, the son of distinguished actor Robert Alda, Alan Alda's introduction to theater came at the age of 16 in summer stock at Barnesville, Pennsylvania. During his junior year at Fordham University, he studied in Europe and performed on the stage in Rome and on TV in Amsterdam with his father. Following college, he acted at the Cleveland Playhouse on a Ford Foundation grant. Upon returning to New York, he was seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway and on television.

DANIEL BENZALI (Nick Spikings) is best known for his portrayal of defense attorney Ted Hoffman in the first season of the critically acclaimed ABC series "Murder One." He was chosen to head the "Murder One" cast following his guest performances on the "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue" series, and in the Hallmark Hall of Fame telefilm "Pack of Lies."

Benzali's credits include the feature films "A View to a Kill" and "The Distinguished Gentleman" as well as the telefilms "Last Days of Patton," with George C. Scott, and HBO's award-winning "Citizen Cohn."

One of the few American actors to star in productions of England's Royal Shakespeare Company, Benzali has enjoyed a noted career on the London stage. There, he starred as Juan Peron in Hal Prince's production of "Evita," opposite Patti LuPone in Trevor Nunn's "Sunset Boulevard" and opposite Mary Steenbergen and Malcolm McDowell in Lindsey Anderson's production of "Holiday" at the Old Vic.

Daniel Benzali was born in Rio de Janeiro, where his father was a noted actor. Following his father's death, his family moved to Brooklyn, New York. After a few years of performing in regional theatre throughout the U.S., Benzali went to England, where he performed with The Half Moon Theatre company and came to the attention of Trevor Nunn, who invited him to become a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In addition to pursuing his acting career, Benzali recently sang a program of Gershwin's music at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

DENNIS MILLER (Detective Stengel), one of America's leading comic talents, is host of his own multi-Emmy and Cable ACE Award-winning live HBO talk show, "Dennis Miller Live."

His recent motion picture credits include "Tales From the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood"; "Never Talk to Strangers," with Rebecca DeMornay; "The Net," with Sandra Bullock; and "Disclosure" with Michael Douglas and Demi Moore.

On television, Miller soared to stardom as the "Weekend Update" anchor for six years on "Saturday Night Live." After SNL, he went on to star in a series of HBO specials including the ACE Award-winning "Citizen Arcane," "Dennis Miller, Live From Washington (They Shoot HBO Specials, Don't They?)," "Dennis Miller: Black & White" and "Mr. Miller Goes to Washington."

Miller hosted the 1995 and 1996 MTV Music Awards as well as the ESPY Awards. He co-hosted the 1994 Billboard Music Awards, the 1993 MTV Movie Awards, and twice co-hosted the Emmy Awards.

A Pittsburgh native, Miller majored in journalism and honed his comedy skills in local clubs before relocating to New York, where he took the stage at such famed venues as Catch a Rising Star and the Comic Strip. He then returned to Pittsburgh, where he wrote, produced and appeared in more than 100 humorous "video essays" for the syndicated show "PM Magazine," in addition to hosting his own Saturday morning TV show for teenage audiences. By 1982, Miller was one of the most popular comics touring the country, and was spotted by SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels.

RONNY COX (President Jack Neil) won instant acclaim for his motion picture debut in "Deliverance." He has since starred in "Bound for Glory," "The Onion Field," "Vision Quest," "Beverly Hills Cop" and its sequel, "Total Recall," "RoboCop" and "Taps," among others.

Cox's first television role was as the star of his own series, "Apple's Way." Other series which followed include "St. Elsewhere," "Cop Rock" and "Sweet Justice." Cox's movies for television include "A Case of Rape," "The Connection," "The Girl Called Hatter Fox," "Lovey (A Circle of Children)," the Peabody Award-winning "Our Town," with Hal Holbrook, "The Pueblo Incident," "Transplant" and "The Chicago Seven Trial," a BBC special which won a British Television Award as best show of the year.

Cox made his Broadway debut in "Indians" with Stacy Keach, then spent a year in repertory with Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park. He won raves for his performance in Papp's Off-Broadway production, "The Happiness Cage," which he repeated in the film version "The Mind Snatchers." Cox won the Straw Hat Award for his performance in "Summer and Smoke," with Eva Marie Saint.

An accomplished singer and songwriter, Cox's concerts have received critical priase, as has his country music album, "Ronny Cox."

He was born in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, studied drama at Eastern New Mexico University and made his professional debut at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

Back to "Murder at 1600"

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.