(written from a Production point of view)
|Date of birth:||21 May 1933|
|Place of birth:||Cambridge, Massachusetts|
Libertini was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduated from Emerson College in Boston. From 1963 through 1978, he was married to Academy Award-nominated actress Melinda Dillon, with whom he has a son.
Libertini moved to New York, where, in 1960, he developed an off-Broadway revue called Stewed Prunes, along with two former college classmates. During the early 1960s, he was part of a stand-up comedy act consisting of himself and Paul Dooley known as "Paul Dooley and Dick Liberti". Although the act split up after a short time, Libertini and Dooley later worked on several films and stage productions together. Dooley himself also became a guest star on Deep Space Nine.
In 1966, Libertini made his Broadway stage debut playing Father Drobney in Woody Allen's Don't Drink the Water. He reprised the role in the 1969 film adaptation of the same name, having made his film debut the year before in the comedy The Night They Raided Minksy's. Andrew Laszlo was the Director of Photography on this latter film.
In 1970, Libertini and Paul Dooley performed together in the off-Broadway play, The White House Murder Case. That same year, they had small roles as baggage handlers in Arthur Hiller's comedy film The Out-of-Towners (in which Graham Jarvis played a mugger). Libertini also had a supporting role in Paramount Pictures' 1970 war comedy Catch-22. He returned to Broadway later that year, acting opposite fellow DS9 guest actor Hamilton Camp in Paul Sills' Story Theatre. The following year, he continued working with Camp in another Paul Sills production, Ovid's Metamorphoses. In 1974, Libertini was an understudy on the Broadway production Bad Habits, which starred F. Murray Abraham.
In 1975, Libertini appeared in the film I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now?, along with Harvey Jason and Jay Robinson. Libertini's subsequent film credits during the 1970s included small roles in Alan Arkin's 1977 comedy Fire Sale (with Don Keefer) and Terrence Malick's 1978 romantic drama Days of Heaven (from Paramount Pictures). These were followed by the principal role of General Garcia, an insane Latin American dictator, in Arthur Hiller's 1979 action comedy, The In-Laws. This film also featured a young Ed Begley, Jr. and Rosanna DeSoto.
During the late 1970s, the majority of Libertini's credits were guest appearances on television. Some of the shows on which he appeared were Quincy, M.E. (with Robert Ito and Garry Walberg), Charlie's Angels (with Alfred Ryder), Baretta (with Elisha Cook), The Bionic Woman (also with Elisha Cook), The Bob Newhart Show (two episodes, including one with Craig Wasson), Alice (with Vic Tayback), and Laverne & Shirley (with David L. Lander and Michael McKean). He also played the recurring role The Godfather during the first season of the daytime soap opera spoof Soap and appeared in three episodes of Barney Miller, on which Ron Glass was a regular. One of Libertini's Marney Miller episodes also featured James Gregory and Nehemiah Persoff.
Libertini's other TV credits during the 1970s included a role in a segment of Hallmark Hall of Fame titled Fame, on which he was directed by Marc Daniels. Libertini also had a role in the 1978 TV movie Three on a Date, as did Branscombe Richmond.
Libertini and former stand-up partner Paul Dooley acted together in Robert Altman's 1980 film Popeye. Libertini played George W. Geezil, the greengrocer who constantly argued with Dooley's character, the hamburger-loving Wimpy. This film starred Robin Williams in the title role, and also featured Ray Walston as Popeye's "Pappy." After Popeye, Libertini and Dooley worked on two more comedy films together: Going Berserk in 1983 (which also featured Kurtwood Smith) and Big Trouble in 1986 (with Warren Munson and Barbara Tarbuck).
Perhaps Libertini's most notable film role during the 1980s was that of Frank Walker (not to be confused with Frank Welker) in the hit 1985 comedy Fletch. Libertini's fellow DS9 guest actor Kenneth Mars had a role in this film, as well, while James Avery and Bruce French made brief appearances. Libertini reprised his role as Frank in the 1989 sequel, Fletch Lives with Jordan Lund and Tom McCleister.
Libertini landed supporting roles in several other comedy films throughout the 1980s, including Soup for One (acting alongside Gerrit Graham, Andrea Martin, and Saul Rubinek), Best Friends (with Joan Pringle), Deal of the Century (with Richard Herd, Graham Jarvis, and Wallace Shawn), and All of Me (with Michael Ensign). He also appeared in the 1981 action thriller Sharky's Machine, along with Bernie Casey, John Fiedler, and Brian Keith, and in the 1988 action thriller Betrayed, with David Clennon and Albert Hall.
On television, Libertini was directed by Leo Penn on a two-part episode of Bret Maverick in 1981 and an episode of Trapper John, M.D. (with Anthony De Longis and Madge Sinclair) in 1984. He also played King Murrray opposite Rene Auberjonois' King Boris and Sally Kellerman's Queen Natasha and Queen Farrah in the Faerie Tale Theatre production of Sleeping Beauty. Later, he guest-starred on an episode of Moonlighting with Charles Rocket and made an appearance on Jeannetta Arnette, which starred Jeannetta Arnette. In addition, Libertini had roles in the late 1980s TV movies The Trial of Bernhard Goetz (with Jordan Lund and Andrew Robinson) and Fair Game (with Clancy Brown).
Libertini was the voice of Dijon in the animated 1990 Disney film DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp. His character was the lackey of the film's main villain, the evil magician Morlock, who was voiced by Christopher Lloyd. Libertini had previously voiced Dijon in several episodes of the DuckTales TV series on which the movie was based.
Libertini had a supporting role in the acclaimed, Academy Award-winning 1990 film Awakenings, starring Robert De Niro and the aforementioned Robin Williams. Libertini was also seen in Brian De Palma's The Bonfire of the Vanities, which was released one day after Awakenings. The cast of The Bonfire of the Vanities also included fellow Star Trek alumni F. Murray Abraham, Kim Cattrall, Kirsten Dunst, Louis Giambalvo, John Hancock, Norman Parker, and the aforementioned Saul Rubinek.
During the 1990-1991 television season, Libertini was a regular on the short-lived NBC series The Fanelli Boys. He then became a regular on another NBC sitcom, Pacific Station, but this series also did not last long. Megan Gallagher and the aforementioned John Hancock were also regulars on Pacific Station.
In the 1994 film Nell, Libertini played the supporting role of psychologist Alexander Paleyworked. That same year, he worked with David Huddleston and Vincent Schiavelli on a little known comedy film called Cultivating Charlie. Libertini later made an uncredited appearance as a rabbi in Lethal Weapon 4, which also featured Jack Kehler and Richard Riehle.
Throughout the 1990s, Libertini made guest appearances on television shows such as L.A. Law (starring Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake, in an episode with Joanna Cassidy, John Fiedler, and Matt McCoy), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (directed by James A. Contner and acting with K Callan, Teri Hatcher, and Tracy Scoggins), and Chicago Hope (with Jim Metzler). He was also a frequent guest star on CBS' Murder, She Wrote (working with Sam Anderson, Kim Darby, Meg Foster, Molly Hagan, Kerrie Keane, Wallace Langham, Tracy Middendorf, Jeffrey Nordling, and Gregory Sierra) and NBC's Law & Order. In addition, he took on voice-over roles on such cartoons as Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and Duckman (the latter of which featured the voice of Jason Alexander in the title role).
Libertini was directed from Nicholas Meyer in the 1999 TV movie Vendetta, which also featured Clancy Brown and Bruce Davison. Libertini's other TV movie credits during the 1990s included Extreme Close-Up (with Bibi Besch, Jefrey Alan Chandler, Kerrie Keane, and Cristine Rose), House of Frankenstein (with Karen Austin, Steve Rankin, and Jennifer Savidge), A Bright Shining Lie (with Ed Lauter, Harve Presnell, and Kurtwood Smith), and Columbo: Ashes to Ashes (with Spencer Garrett, Sally Kellerman, and Richard Riehle).
In 2000, Libertini appeared on four different television shows: NYPD Blue (starring Gordon Clapp), Once and Again (working with Billy Campbell, Ellen Geer, and Jeffrey Nordling), Nash Bridges (in an episode with Melinda Clarke, Caroline Lagerfelt, Kenneth Mars, and Marc Worden), and The District. The following year, he was seen on Cursed, a short-lived NBC show which starred fellow DS9 guest actor Steven Weber.
Libertini subsequently appeared on The Drew Carey Show (on which Diedrich Bader and John Carroll Lynch were regulars), Monk (in an episode with Daniel Roebuck), and Numb3rs. He has also lent his voice to episodes of the animated shows Static Shock and The Zeta Project. His most recent guest appearance was on the CW series Supernatural, along with John Rubinstein.
Libertini's latest film credits have included the 2002 Rodney Dangerfield comedy The 4th Tenor (again working with both Hamilton Camp and Vincent Schiavelli), the 2006 comedy Grilled (with Jack Kehler), and, most recently, the 2007 comedy Everybody Wants to Be Italian. He was also seen in the 2007 TV movie Jane Doe: How to Fire Your Boss, along with Stanley Kamel and Steve Vinovich.
In 2004, Libertini appeared on the Broadway stage for the first time in thirty years when he briefly performed in a revival of Larry Gelbart's play Sly Fox. For this production, Libertini took over the role of Jethro Crouch from his DS9 (and Sleeping Beauty) co-star, Rene Auberjonois. Libertini played the role during the last two weeks of the show's performances; it had already been playing for over four months.