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Hear an interview with Cliff from our July 3, 2004 "First Saturdays" broadcast [10 min. interview, 4.2MB file]
Cliff Bemis grew up on a dairy farm outside of Cleveland, in rural Elyria, Ohio. However, when he was in the fourth grade, the family moved back to Lorain, Ohio, where the Bemis family had been in the florist and greenhouse business (Bemis Florist) for many years. Cliff was a 1966 graduate of Clearview High School. His grandfather Clifford A. Bemis was one of the founders of Clearview H. S.
Cliff first started working professionally in theatre while still in college at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, (where he was the recipient of the 1998 Alumni Merit Award). He built an extensive and varied career in Cleveland performing musical theatre, opera, as well as the related fields of commercial acting which included jingle singing, voice-overs, on-camera and industrial films. He was one of the original cast members of the musical "Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living in Paris", which played for over two years on Playhouse Square in Cleveland. That show is widely recognized as the show which helped save this historic theatre district. For seven seasons, he was a regular guest artist at The Cleveland Play House. He was also a regular singer of the National Anthem for the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Browns, as well as the National Air Show.
In 1987, while performing on stage together, Cliff met and became friends with actor Robby Benson (star of "One on One", and the voice of the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast") and his wife actress/singer Karla DeVito. They encouraged Cliff to move to LA, which he did, where he has continued to build upon his career.
Over the past 18 years, Cliff has appeared on over 70 different TV shows including "Arliss", " "Married With Children", "Dallas", "Newhart", "Beverly Hills 90210", "Cheers", "Coach", and "Murder She Wrote" to name a few, and was featured in the films "Pink Cadillac" with Clint Eastwood, "Distinguished Gentlemen" with Eddie Murphy, and "Naked Gun 2 1/2". He costarred in a UPN sitcom called "Reunited" starring Julie Hagerty of "Airplane" fame, starred with Lucie Arnaz in the Pre-Broadway tour of "Wonderful Town", and costarred opposite Gregory Harrison (Trapper John, MD.) and June Lockhart of "Lassie" fame in the TV movie, "Au Pair II", shot on location in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic.
On August 1, 2004,
Cliff will be making his Hollywood Bowl debut, performing in a concert
version of the musical "Mame", starring Michelle Lee, John Schneider,
Jean Smart, Fred Willard, and Alan Thicke.
Cliff balances out his professional life with involvement in several different charity organizations which he feels passionately about. A long time supporter of law enforcement, in particular the California Highway Patrol, he is a Lifetime Member in the CHP 11-99 Foundation, and an Honorary Member of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors, and is an Honorary Deputy Sheriff in the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
For ten years, Cliff was also a volunteer during the Christmas holidays at The White House, serving on a team which prepares this historic home for the holidays, and met both Presidents and First Ladies Bush and Clinton on several different occasions.
Cliff's musical interests
have resulted in three recordings, including a Christmas CD titled "Christmas
Eve", featuring his vocal talents on the traditional music of
the season, a portion of which is donated to the CAHP Widows and Orphans
Fund, and the Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors.
To find out more about Cliff and his family, adventures, and to purchase his CDs, visit his Web site at www.cliffbemis.com.
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