As a child growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Donny Most wanted to be just like the entertainers in his favorite film, The Jolson Story. While in junior high school, Donny committed to the professional study of acting, singing, and dancing. At fifteen, Donny got his first big break as part of a teenage musical theatre group that played the famous BORSCHT-BELT circuit of New York’s Catskill Mountains.
At age twenty, Donny catapulted into the American zeitgeist when he won the role of Ralph Malph on the television pilot HAPPY DAYS. The role was originally a stock jock character. Director Garry Marshall was so charmed by Donny’s charisma and natural comedic timing he rewrote the part and transformed Ralph Malph into the beloved class comedian that won the hearts of America.
In the two decades following the success of HAPPY DAYS, Donny continued to entertain and inspire audiences and earned critical acclaim in a long list of television and film roles. His film credits include EDTV, directed by Ron Howard, THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD, starring John Malkovich, FOLLOW, THE YANKLES, and most recently, MBF and CULT CARTEL. Donny’s television roles include a recurring role IN GLEE, MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE, STAR TREK: VOYAGER, THE CROW, SLIDERS, BAYWATCH, THE LOVE BOAT, DIAGNOSIS: MURDER, CENTURY CITY, YES, DEAR, CHIPS, SABRINA, SLIDERS, DARK SKIES, and THE FAMILY GUY. After years of working in front of the camera, Donny realized his life-long ambition to direct with his first feature, THE LAST BEST SUNDAY, in 1999. The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and won Best Feature at the Telluride Indie Fest. Donny’s second film, MOOLA, starring William Mapother and Shailene Woodley, earned the Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award at The Newport Beach Film Festival in 2007. In 2011 Donny directed his first family film, HARLEY'S HILL, which premiered on Showtime, Starz and Encore.
On stage, Donny has appeared in many musical productions, including HELLO DOLLY, DAMN YANKEES, with Dick Van Dyke; the Broadway tour of GREASE; the West Coast Premier of STRIKE UP THE BAND, and I LOVE MY WIFE at Theater West. Other plays he has starred in include, THE SUNSHINE BOYS, with Robert Wuhl, DOUBLES at The Westport Playhouse, the world premiers of DROP DEAD and I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE in L.A., BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, with Maureen O’Sullivan; WAIT UNTIL DARK, THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT, and the US premier of ABEL’S SISTER in NYC.
Throughout his storied career Donny’s dream of returning to his musical theatre days never wavered. Inspired by his love of swing and big band music, he created the musical revue DONNY MOST SINGS AND SWINGS. The show debuted in Los Angeles at Catalina's Jazz Club in Hollywood and Vitello's Jazz Club in Studio City to great acclaim. The show showcases Donny’s love of jazz and covers the likes of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and his favorite, Bobby Darin. His CD D MOST: MOSTLY SWINGING was released last year.
Donny married actress Morgan Hart in 1982 after meeting on the set of HAPPY DAYS. They have two daughters, Madison and Mackenzie, and live in Los Angeles, California.
For more information visit www.donnymost.com.