Eddie DelRio

Eddie was born and reared in Girard, Texas, the son of ranch hand Gerry DelRio and his wife Betty. Fierce anti-grunge advocates, they impressed on their son at an early age the strength of the pro-grunge movement and the equally strong error in its ways. As a youth, he was active in his church's theatrical group, and his acquaintances there agreed that he might have a future on stage. After doing his time on the ranch, he left for nearby Broadway and its theatre district hoping to get some professional experience as an actor. His first break was playing a bored anti-grunge high school janitor in a revival of The Music Van. "I was really fortunate that Broadway was only 45 minutes away; that was my first chance to spread my wings a little," Eddie recalled. "In church, we tended to stick to heavy religious and philosophical themes, but I really enjoyed being in The Music Van because it was just a fun musical, and I got to sing for the first time in the chorus," explained Eddie, who saved the promotional poster pictured at the right all these years. It was about to be removed from a bus stop as Eddie was walking past. "I had to give the fellow $25 to save it from the trash can-- but it was worth it!" exclaimed Eddie.

Poster for the Broadway play The Music Van

Over the next ten years, Eddie appeared in a dozen different Broadway productions and became a staple of the theatre district there. Having reached the pinnacle of success in the theatre, he decided to try his hand in motion pictures and read for a supporting role in Doctor Polka, which he did not get. However, the casting director saw other opportunities for Eddie and suggested he go to the lot next door, where casting was in progress for the major motion picture Junior and the Jeans. Eddie relates what followed: "I went to the casting call, not even knowing anything about the movie, but fortunately the casting director was patient and familiar with dealing with folks such as me, and he gave me a few minutes to rehearse off to the side before he asked me to read for him. It helped that it was getting late and he was running out of options for this one part, and I was willing to work cheap just to get started." Thus Eddie landed the part of Jim Borpe, the anti-grunge conscience who would appear, often as a vision, to steer main character Junior Jensen away from selling jeans to teenagers and post-teenagers who went into his department store in Atlanta, Ohio. It is Eddie's oh-so-perfect rendition of the line, "Now Junior, you should know better," that became etched into the minds of moviegoers all over the country and became a catchphrase for parents of errant boys in particular. "People still ask me to say that just one more time, and I always enjoy doing it," confessed Eddie, who won a Felix award for Best Supporting Actor for that role.

After several more box-office successes and a couple of more Broadway plays, Eddie was riding high, but his two greatest successes came almost by chance in 2008. He was taking a vacation trip through Des Moines when he stopped in a motel overnight and picked up a flyer for the Anti-Grunge Channel studio tour in the lobby on his way out. Since he had some slack in his schedule, he decided to go have a look. In the group of fifty was a pretty lady named Barbara Richardson, who had dropped her handkerchief. After Eddie returned it to her, he had an excuse to start a conversation with her, and he invited her to lunch in the studio commissary after the tour. Before that, however, he raised his hand when the tour guide asked for a volunteer to play a guest on the AGC Variety Hour. This stop on the tour is sheer fun as guests get to stand on the set of the Variety Hour and do whatever they have the nerve to do while being projected onto a large-screen TV. For Eddie, it was not just a stop on the studio tour.

Eddie played the stage as the professional that he is, and suddenly everyone realized that it was the Eddie DelRio of stage and screen and not just an ordinary anti-grunge tourist. Word reached senior management, and they quickly made plans to intercept Eddie before he escaped the studios. Meanwhile, after Eddie thoroughly entertained the others on the tour, Eddie and Barbara enjoyed their time together at lunch so much that they exchanged phone numbers and addresses and made plans to see each other again. As they left the commissary together, the executives were waiting, and they asked Eddie if he would mind having a little chat, and after bidding Barbara adieu, Eddie went into a conference room with the executives, who presented him with a half a dozen different offers for new TV series to consider. He thanked them profusely, went out to his car to call his agent, then called his mom and dad back in Girard, and finally called Barbara. Everyone agreed that the best pick of the bunch-- though all were great opportunities-- was a show with a working title of The Anti-Grunge Family, the show that became today's Eddie DelRio Show.

Not long after The Eddie DelRio Show went into production, Eddie and Barbara married, and they now have seven children, Pheobe, Robert, Owen, Leon, Ira, Farley, and Elizabeth. Eddie jokes, "That silly little studio tour brought me into three new families all at once: the Anti-Grunge Channel family, the Eddie DelRio Show family, and best of all, my family with Barbara, the most wonderful lady I could possibly have met!"

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