Paul Shenar (Albert Paul Shenar)

Paul Shenar

Paul Shenar was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Mary Rosella (née Puhek) and Eugene Joseph Shenar. Paul Shenar became involved in theatre at an early age, working in Milwaukee playhouse productions. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. Following his military career he began acting again. Shenar gained attention playing larger-than-life entertainment legends in 1970s television films—Orson Welles in The Night That Panicked America (1975) and Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., in Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women (1978). He portrayed the character John Carrington in Part III of the miniseries Roots (1977). Shenar also portrayed the ruthless Bolivian drug lord Alejandro Sosa in Brian De Palma’s 1983 feature film, Scarface. He portrayed crime boss Luigi Patrovita’s (Sam Wanamaker) second in command, Paulo Rocca in Raw Deal (1986). A founding member, actor, director and teacher of the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco, he played more than forty roles there, including Hamlet, Oedipus Rex and Brother Julian in Tiny Alice. He voiced the evil rat Jenner in the animated feature The Secret of NIMH (1982). Shenar’s performance in The Secret of NIMH so impressed producer Don Bluth he had wanted to hire Shenar to also voice the villain Borf in the game Space Ace, but was unable to do so due to budget issues (a role that ultimately went to Bluth himself).  Paul Shenar continued to act during the late 1980s. He did a stage version of Macbeth in Los Angeles and appeared in films like Best Seller (1987), The Bedroom Window (1987), The Big Blue (1988), plus the TV film Rage of Angels: The Story Continues. He died from complications of AIDS on October 11, 1989. Shenar and British actor Jeremy Brett were in a relationship in the 1970s; it reportedly lasted five years.


  • February, 12, 1936
  • USA
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin


  • October, 11, 1989
  • USA
  • West Hollywood, California

Cause of Death

  • complications of AIDS


  • Non-Cemetery Burial

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