'Spin City,' 'Ferris Bueller' actor to speak

Alan Ruck featured in CLU series on the acting craft

Alan Ruck will speak before students and community members at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Jan. 23, 2014) Actor Alan Ruck, who played the best friend in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and a mayor’s staff member in “Spin City,” will give a talk at California Lutheran University at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.

Ruck will speak before students and community members in the Preus-Brandt Forum as part of the free “Conversations With …” series. Actor and director Markus Flanagan, who teaches at CLU, will moderate an informal one-hour discussion on the craft of acting. A question-and-answer session with the audience will follow.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Ruck earned a bachelor’s degree in drama from the University of Illinois. He then moved to Chicago for a few years, performing small parts in movies and acting at off-Loop theaters.

His first film role was playing a friend of Sean Penn’s character in the 1983 drama “Bad Boys.” He also appeared in “Class” with Andrew McCarthy and John Cusack the same year. He made his Broadway debut in Neil Simon's “Biloxi Blues” in 1984.

One of his best-known roles was in the 1986 John Hughes classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Later, he played smaller roles in films including “Young Guns II,” “Speed” and “Twister.”

Ruck’s big break on the small screen was landing the part of Stuart on the popular sitcom “Spin City” with Michael J. Fox in 1996. He played the sexist ladies’ man through the end of the series in 2002. Since then he has appeared in guest roles on TV shows including “Scrubs,” “Cougar Town” and “Hot in Cleveland,” and in supporting roles in films including “Extreme Measures,” “The Happening” and “I Love You, Beth Cooper.”

The “Conversations With …” talks provide theater arts students and aspiring actors with advice from professionals. They take the approach laid out in Flanagan’s book, “One Less Bitter Actor: The Actor’s Survival Guide,” which explains how to make it in the business of acting while staying sane and focused.

Farm Fresh Clothing Co. is sponsoring the free 2013-2014 series.

Preus-Brandt Forum is located at 135 Chapel Lane on the Thousand Oaks campus. Free parking is available in lots on Mountclef Boulevard north and south of Olsen Road. For more information, call 805-493-3415 or email info@westlakeactingstudio.com.