Actor Steve Guttenberg, who rose to fame in such movies as Police Academy, Diner and Short Circuit, has been hard at work promoting his new play, called “Tales from the Guttenberg Bible,” which runs at the George Street Playhouse in the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center thru May 21st. He appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to promote the autobiographical play, which features him and four actors playing a total of 90 characters.
“It’s a story about leaving Flushing when I was 17 and coming out to California to become an actor, and about my family, about my career, about all the people I’ve met, about some of the movies I’ve done,” Guttenberg told Berman and Larry Mendte, who was filling in for Riedel. “It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s about ambition, it’s about innocence, and we get a standing ovation every night. People love it.”
But Guttenberg took a moment to recount a much more important role he recently took on: caregiver for his father. “My dad, about five, six years ago, he had kidney failure, and moved from Massapequa to Peoria, Arizona… and my wife and I moved out west, and I took care of my dad for the last five years. He was on dialysis, and he was vey uncomfortable, in pain most of the time. I looked after him, and it was really challenging for all of us. It’s very hard to be a caretaker, and to take care of someone you love, to see them debilitate.”
Guttenberg put his career on hold to take care of his father, with the help of his sister. “My sister and I went and we trained to become dialysis technicians… we made the den into a little mini-hospital setting, sterile and everything… so we could clean his blood for over three to four hours… He went from a 190 pound, very strong guy to 140 pounds and it’s tough to see someone you love go through that.”
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