Tony Handley, born on July 17th in Buffalo, Arkansas.

Tony Handley, born on July 17th in Buffalo, Arkansas.

Growing up in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains and Ventura County, California, I discovered a passion for horses and Harleys, which led to many adventures in barrooms – and maybe even a court room or two.

I got my first taste of show business as a young kid, hanging around the small-town movie theater my family owned. I didn’t catch the acting bug until the 1970s, however, while working as a music promoter for some of the country’s biggest acts, including Ronnie Milsap, Wynn Stewart, and Hank Williams Jr. I had the good fortune to study with icons Carrie Snodgress and Jeff Corey while continuing my music industry career. Now, after retiring from the ‘other side’ of show biz and enjoying a stint as a horse farmer back in Arkansas, I’m back in LA, giving acting my all.

Since returning, I’ve played a helpful hardware store clerk in the feature film Awful Nice (directed by Todd Sklar), which screened at SXSW and The AFI Fest; the title role of an eccentric germaphobe in the short film The New Neighbor (directed by Alexander Zapien); and a concerned Chief of Police in the short film Anodyne (directed by Chloe Lester).

I created and star in The Collector, a web series about a good-hearted biker/ex-Vietnam sniper forced to collect dirty money for the mob. I’m in preproduction as the host of Big City Bluegrass, a new TV variety show (think a whip-smart Hee Haw for the 21st century). I’m also back in the classroom, now with Larry Moss and Margie Haber, and completed the 5-level improv training program at IO West.

2013ws18I still find time to take my Harley out. But I don’t see a lot of horses near my new home in Studio City, so weekends you might find me heading up to a ranch in Santa Clarita, or settling in to watch The Outlaw Josey Wales for the 100th time in my Airstream by the beach.

I keep busy finding things to fix and tinker with (crafting was the only class I ever got straight As in) and especially like making inventions that make life easier for the disabled. No matter what, I’m always looking to lend a hand – Lord knows I’ve needed one!