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Local actor edges closer to touching dream of stardom

By Staff | May 1, 2009

Many people dream of being a star and making a name for themselves among the Hollywood glitterati.

Marcus Kiehl, a regular actor with the Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater on Sanibel, made it past the dreaming stage and onto the real stage.

Six months ago Kiehl and his wife Mindy Montavon, a former actress and marketing director at the Herb Strauss School Theater, left their comfy digs in Southwest Florida and headed to pursue acting careers in Los Angeles.

Since then both former Schoolhouse stars have found work in popular TV sitcoms including “Grey’s Anatomy and “Desperate Housewives.”

“It’s not like huge parts but I get to be on the set,” Kiehl, 38, said.

The easy-going Kiehl laughs about getting to play a brain-dead patient on the “Grey’s Anatomy” TV series and a cop who arrests “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman’s son.

This is not Kiehl’s first foray into the Hollywood world. He worked out there while he was in his 20’s. But his family in Southwest Florida brought him back. At the time life in the star world seemed hectic and overwhelming. But now it appears to be manageable and smooth. He and his wife Mindy Montavon live in Valencia, a community outside of LA. There they work on having a calm and balanced life together.

“We want to make sure we have normal lives,” he said.

Both hope to rise in their starry careers. In the mean time both are working hard and trying to get as many good parts in shows as they can.

For the past six weeks Kiehl has been performing at the Schoolhouse on Sanibel. He played in the comedies “Out of Order” and the still running “Murder at the Howard Johnsons”.

For Kiehl going back to the Schoolhouse is like going home. He considers the staff and director Victor Leggareta family. And he loves the community’s response to his acting.

“I will always be willing to come back,” he said. “The audience has always been great.”

Kiehl’s work in Los Angeles is well received among the Schoolhouse staff.

“It’s very exciting to see someone whose worked with us in the past and see him come back so successful,” said Herb Strauss Schoolhouse marketing director Madison Mitchell.

Kiehl will be leaving to go back to LA and his wife will be coming back to the area for awhile.

Once back Kiehl said he is going to try and get some commercial work. His eventual goal is to write, produce and act in comedies.

He considers his TV idols to be Bill Murray and Steve Martin.

In the meantime Kiehl will continue to do everything he can to make what he calls his high school goal to be a successful actor come true.

“The people who make it are the people who keep trying,” Kiehl said.