“Be practical!” said my mother, so I changed my major from theatre to art history. Mother was fooled, but my show business career was seriously delayed. Instead, I came to New York to save SoHo, then a seedy area of warehouses and winos, which was slated to be replaced by an expressway. My research on SoHo’s cast iron architecture helped save the neighborhood, and both SoHo and I had a new direction,

Richard James PorterI got a Ph.D. and worked as a museum curator and professor, serving on the National Council of the American Association of Museums. When circumstances dictated a change, I finally heeded Mother’s advice and founded a real estate business in Pennsylvania, developing it into one of the top companies in the state. I fed my passion for acting by performing in community and regional theatre in parts ranging from Billy Crocker in Anything Goes to the Major General in The Pirates of Penzance.

Combining business and the arts, I returned to New York as an art dealer in 2005, but the lure of show business was too strong! I brushed up my early training with a member of The Royal Shakespeare Company, took acting classes, and performed for private clubs. After I shared the stage with theatre legend Marian Seldes, reading poetry by Yeats, I knew there was no going back.

Now full-time, my acting career has encompassed theatre (especially character roles in Shakespeare and other classics), film, voice over and television, including roles on Boardwalk Empire, The Daily Show, and had a recurring role as a Monsignor in both seasons of Stephen Soderbergh’s The Knick. I’m married to the New Yorker I fell in love with, living in the city I fell in love with, and doing what I love to do.

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