Corbin Bernsen

Corbin Bernsen

Corbin Bernsen, 2013
Born Corbin Dean Bernsen
(1954-09-07) September 7, 1954
North Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 1967present
Known for LA Law
LA Law: The Movie
Spouse(s) Amanda Pays (1988present; 4 children)

Corbin Dean Bernsen (born September 7, 1954) is an American actor and director, known for his work on television. He is known for his roles as divorce attorney Arnold Becker on the NBC drama series L.A. Law,[1] as Dr. Alan Feinstone in The Dentist, as retired police detective Henry Spencer on the USA Network comedy-drama series Psych, and as Roger Dorn in the films Major League, Major League II, and Major League: Back to the Minors. He has also appeared regularly on other shows, including General Hospital and Cuts.

Early life

Bernsen was born in North Hollywood, California, the son of Harry Bernsen, Jr., a Hollywood producer, and veteran soap actress Jeanne Cooper, who appeared on The Young and the Restless.[1][2] He graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1972. Bernsen is also a "double Bruin," having received both a BA in Theatre Arts in 1977 and an MFA in Playwriting in 1979 from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[3][4]



After a two-year appearance on the soap opera, Ryan's Hope,[1] Bernsen was cast as lawyer Arnold Becker on the Steven Bochco television series, L.A. Law in 1986. The series became a hit, and the role earned him Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, appearances on magazine covers, and guest-starring roles on Seinfeld and The Larry Sanders Show.[1] He remained on L.A. Law for the entire run of the show, until it ended in 1994.

Bernsen appeared with the British actor Bruce Payne in the films Kounterfeit and Aurora: Operation Intercept. He starred as the title character, Dr. Alan Feinstone, in the horror film The Dentist and its sequel. Bernsen was also cast as prima donna third baseman, Roger Dorn, in the sports comedy Major League and appeared in both of the film's sequels. Bernsen portrayed John Durant on General Hospital from September 2004 until the character was murdered in May 2006.

Bernsen played Jack Sherwood on Cuts, appeared twice on Celebrity Mole, and played a lawyer on Boston Legal. He appeared as Q2 on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also had a recurring role as Captain Owen Sebring on the military drama JAG and played a Republican senator on two episodes of The West Wing. He directed, produced and appeared in the horror film Dead Air. Bernsen also co-starred in USA's Psych, playing the role of Henry Spencer, the father of the main character, Shawn Spencer (James Roday). In the film Rust, Bernsen played a former minister who returns to his hometown.

Bernsen at the 39th Emmy Awards in 1987

Bernsen appeared in 25 Hill, a film he produced, directed and wrote, which is centered around the All-American Soap Box Derby, and is planning a baseball movie about zombies, called "Three Strikes, You’re Dead."[5]

He also appeared as a guest star in Switched at Birth, the ABC Family television series in season 1, episode 22 (2012), "Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time".


Bernsen was president and co-owner of Public Media Works, a new media company that develops entertainment for targeted fan bases.[6] He directed and starred in Carpool Guy, the company's first film; it was targeted at soap opera fans[7] and released on DVD in 2005.

Bernsen then went on to form Team Cherokee Productions with Kyle MacDonald, the blogger behind one red paperclip. According to the book One Red Paperclip, in June 2006, Bernsen traded a role in the film Donna on Demand to MacDonald for a snow globe of the band KISS. It was for this role that MacDonald eventually traded for a two-story farm house.[8]

In recent years, Bernsen has focused on making Christian-themed films. His first such film was Rust, released in 2010 by Sony Pictures. Bernsen, along with producing partner Chris Aronoff, formed Home Theater Films, an independent production company that, develops, produces, and markets films and television shows for the Christian market. 25 Hill, the company's first title, was released in July 2012. This was followed by 3 Day Test (2012), Beyond the Heavens (2013), and Christian Mingle (2014).


In October 2015 Bernsen's debut novel was released by Pelican Book Group. The book, Rust: the Novel, is an adaptation of Bernsen's 2010 feature film, Rust, in which he played the main character as well as served as writer and director.[9]

Personal life

Bernsen has been married to British actress Amanda Pays since 1988.[10] They have four sons: Oliver, Angus, Henry and Finley.[11][12]

In 2008, Bernsen and his family appeared on the NBC show Celebrity Family Feud, defeating the Margaret Cho family before losing to the crew from American Chopper.

Bernsen has one of the largest snow globe collections in the world, with 8000 globes.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1967 Clambake Roy Uncredited
1974 Three the Hard Way Boy
1976 Eat My Dust Roy Puire
1987 Dead Aim Webster
1987 Hello Again Jason Chadman
1989 Bert Rigby, You're a Fool Jim Shirley
1989 Major League Roger Dorn
1989 Disorganized Crime Frank Salazar
1991 Shattered Jeb Scott
1992 Frozen Assets Zach Shepard
1993 Fatal Inheritance Woodward Dawes
1993 Ghost Brigade Col. Nehemiah Strayn
1994 The Soft Kill Martin Lewis
1994 Bud Bowl V Coach of Team Bud Light
1994 A Brilliant Disguise Dr. Martin
1994 Trigger Fast Brent Mallick
1994 Final Mission General Morgan Breslaw
1994 Major League II Roger Dorn
1994 Savage Land Quint
1994 The New Age Kevin Bulasky
1994 Radioland Murders Dexter Morris
1995 Someone to Die For Jack Davis
1995 Cover Me Andre Solloway
1995 Dangerous Intentions Tom Williamson
1995 Aurora: Operation Intercept Flight Engineer Murphy
1995 Tales from the Hood Duke Metger
1995 Temptress Nick
1996 Baja John Stone
1996 The Dentist Dr. Alan Feinstone
1996 The Great White Hype Peter Prince
1997 An American Affair Dist. Atty. Sam Brady/Sen. John Crawford
1997 Menno's Mind Felix Medina
1997 Kounterfeit Marty Hopkins
1997 Spacejacked Barnes
1998 The Fairy King of Ar Rob Preston
1998 Major League: Back to the Minors Roger Dorn
1998 The Dentist 2 Dr. Alan Feinstone
1998 The Misadventures of Margaret Art Turner
1999 Kiss of a Stranger Mason
2000 Borderline Normal Benjiman Walling
2000 Rangers The Senator
2001 Apocalypse IV: Judgment Mitch Kendrick
2001 Fangs Carl Hart
2001 The Tomorrow Man Larry
2001 Final Payback Mayor Richardson
2001 Killer Instinct Jennings Wilhite
2001 Raptor Dr. Hyde
2002 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus David Carver
2002 Dead Above Ground Mark Mallory
2003 The Commission Rep. Gerald R. Ford
2004 Nightmare Boulevard Jerry Martin
2005 Raging Sharks Capt. Riley
2005 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Harlan Dexter Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
2005 Carpool Guy Michael
2006 Submission Max
2006 The Naked Ape Mr. Feldman
2006 Paid William Montague
2006 Last Sunset John Wayne
2008 House of Fallen Rowland
2009 Donna on Demand Ben Corbin Also director
2009 Dead Air Dr. F Also director
2010 Rust James Moore Also director, writer, and producer
2010 25 Hill Roy Gibbs Also director, writer, and producer
2011 Bad Actress Himself
2012 3 Day Test Tom Also director and writer
2014 Christian Mingle Director


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Flying High Dan Ellison Episode: "It Was Just One of Those Days"
1980 The Waltons Casey Episode: "The Medal"
1984–1985 Ryan's Hope Ken Graham 5 episodes
1986–1994 L.A. Law Arnie Becker 171 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (1989–90)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1987–88)
1987 Matlock Himself Episode: "The Network"
1988 Mickey's 60th Birthday Arnie Becker TV Special
1989 Breaking Point Pike Television movie
1990 Saturday Night Live Himself Episode: "Corbin Bernsen/The Smithereens"
1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation Q (uncredited) Episode: "Déjà Q"
1990 Dear John Blake McCarron Episode: "Hole in One"
1991 Out of This World Chad Episode: "Evie Nightinggale"
1991 Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story Morris Dees Television movie
1991 Dead on the Money Carter Matthews Television movie
1992 Grass Roots Will Lee Television movie
1992 Seinfeld Himself Episode: "The Trip: Part 1"
1992 Ring of the Musketeers Harry Television movie
1992 Love Can Be Murder Nick Peyton Television movie
1993 The Larry Sanders Show Himself Episode: "The Stalker"
1993 Roc Jim Larson Episode: "The Millionaire Brother"
1993 Beyond Suspicion Stan Television movie
1994 Guns of Honor Brent Mallick Television movie
1994 The Nanny Glen Mitchell Episode: "Stock Tip"
1994 The Extraordinary Himself (Host)
1994 I Know My Son Is Alive Dr. Mark Elshant Television movie
1994 Where Are My Children? Tom Scott Television movie
1995 A Whole New Ballgame Brett Sooner 7 episodes
1995 In the Heat of the Night Frank Cole Episode: "By Duty Bound"
1995 Tails You Live, Heads You're Dead Neil Jones/Roy Francis Netter Television movie
1995 Murderous Intent Brice Television movie
1996 Bloodhounds Harrison Coyle Television movie
1996 Murder on the Iditarod Trail Alex Jensen Television movie
1996 Inhumanoid Foster Carver Television movie
1996 Bloodhounds II Harrison Coyle Television movie
1996 Full Circle Harrison Winslow Television movie
1996–1997 The Cape USAF Col. Henry 'Bull' Eckert 17 episodes
1997 Touched by an Angel Eric Weiss Episode: "Angel of Death"
1997 Tidal Wave: No Escape John Wahl Television movie
1998 Loyal Opposition: Terror in the White House Secret Service Agent John Gray Television movie
1998 Riddler's Moon George Television movie
1998 Recipe for Revenge Dr. Chester Winnifield Television movie
1998 Young Hearts Unlimited Brian Television movie
1999 Tracey Takes On... Jack Dayton Episode: "Dating"
1999 7th Heaven Ted Grant Episode: "Sometime's That's Just the Way It Is"
1999 Twice in a Lifetime Roger Stovall/Bill Water Episode: "Death and Taxes"
1999 Nash Bridges Edward Jansen Episode: "Trade Off"
1999 Two of Hearts Bruce Saunders Television movie
1999–2004 JAG Captain Owen Sebring 8 episodes
2000 Battery Park Michael Episode: "Rabbit Punch"
2000 The Outer Limits Virgil Nygard Episode: "Abaddon"
2000 Son of the Beach Big Red Johnson Episode: "Miso Honei"
2000 Beggars and Choosers Sandy Peretz Episode: "Killer Sushi"
2000 Yes, Dear Gary Walden Episode: "Jimmy Gets a Job"
2000 Baywatch Barry Poe Episode: "Ties That Bind"
2001 The West Wing Henry Shallick 2 episodes
2001 V.I.P. Zack Henley Episode: "Val in Carnation"
2001 Jack & Jill Paul Barrett 2 episodes
2001 Citizen Baines Nicholas Tassler Episode: "Three Days in November"
2002 The Weakest Link Himself Episode: "L.A. Law Edition"
2002 Gentle Ben Fog Benson Television movie
2002 L.A. Law: The Movie Arnie Becker Television movie
2002 Atomic Twister Sheriff C. B. Bishop Television movie
2002 The Santa Trap Chief Tom Spivak Television movie
2003 Gentle Ben 2 Fog Benson Television movie
2003 Love Comes Softly Ben Graham Television movie
2003 Miss Match Stu 'Dr. Love' Scott Episode: "Divorce Happens"
2003 L.A. Dragnet Richard Atkins Episode: "All That Glitters"
2003 Celebrity Mole: Hawaii Himself 3 episodes
2004 Third Watch Carter Savage Episode: "Rat Bastard"
2004 NYPD Blue Bob Cavanaugh Episode: "I Love My Wives, But Oh You Kid"
2004 Celebrity Mole: Yucatan Himself 2 episodes
2004 Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss Steve Television movie
2004 They Are Among Us Norbert Television movie
2004–2013 The Young and the Restless Father Todd Williams 12 episodes
2004–2006 General Hospital John Durant 5 episodes
2005 Palmetto Pointe Old Ballplayer Episode: "All That You Can't Leave Behind"
2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent William Hendry Episode: "Prisoner"
2005 Ordinary Miracles David Woodbury Television movie
2005–2006 Cuts Jack Sherwood 12 episodes
2006 Wheel of Fortune Himself Episode: "Soap Stars 4"
2006 Boston Legal Eli Granger Episode: "...There's Fire!"
2006–2014 Psych Henry Spencer 111 episodes
2007 Masters of Horror Ira Episode: "Right to Die"
2008 Depth Charge Captain Richards Television movie
2008 Vipers Burton Television movie
2008 Confessions of a Go-Go Girl Nick Harvey Television movie
2008 For the Love of Grace Captain Washington Television movie
2009 The New Adventures of Old Christine Howard Episode: "For Love or Money"
2011 Castle Lance Hastings Episode: "One Life to Lose"
2011 Criminal Minds Jerry Grandin Episode: "Today I Do"
2012 Switched at Birth James Wilkes Jr. Episode: "Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time"
2013 The Glades Michael Longworth 3 episodes
2014 Motive Dr. Matthews Episode: "Deception"
2014 The League Bruce Episode: "Man Land"
2014 Anger Management Roger Episode: "Charlie & The 100th Episode"
2015 Grace and Frankie Dr. Paul Mason Episode: "The Fall"


  1. 1 2 3 4 Biography from a USA Network website for Psych
  3. "MSN Bio". 1954-09-07. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  4. "NOTABLE ALUMNI ACTORS". UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  5. Corbin Bernsen planning zombie baseball movie Archived October 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Summary of Public Media Works from the OTC Bulletin Board website
  7. Interview with Bernsen from Soap Opera Digest
  8. Podcast featuring in its second-half an interview with Bernsen (in MP3 format) by a "new marketing" podcaster
  9. "Emmy Award Nominee, Corbin Bernsen to release debut novel based on his film".
  10. Ryan, Ruth (16 May 2004). "Corbin Bernsen, wife list renovated home". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  11. Nicki Gostin (21 October 2010). "Corbin Bernsen Talks Religion, Fatherhood". Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  12. David Hiltbrand (18 July 2008). "Bernsen is loving every role, as Mom advised". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  13. Bernsen cited this number in an interview on Marie by Marie Osmond on January 21, 2013

External links

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