Ron McLarty is an award-winning actor and playwright. He came to New York thirty years ago to become a writer. While pursuing this goal, he has become one of television's and film's most recognized faces for his character actor roles. He was a regular on the popular series Spenser: For Hire and has appeared more recently on The Practice, Law & Order, and Sex and the City. He has also appeared in many films and on the stage, where he has directed many of his own plays. He lives in New York City with his actress wife, Kate Skinner.
This biography was last updated on 12/11/2010.
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A Q&A with Ron McLarty
How much did your own life experience influence the creation of your
characters and drive the plot of The Memory of Running?
My parents had a car accident while visiting me at a vacation spot in Maine. I stayed at a motel between my mother's trauma center and my father's neurological hospital. Between visits, I wrote The Memory of Running as a play. After their deaths, I expanded it into novel form. Like in all of my work, I try to explain the world and its affect on me. I have always felt that writing is a deeply personal thing and not a road to wealth and happiness. In terms of my characters, although I start from my own experience, I seem to let my characters go from my control. They wrote their own stories from their own points of view.
Although Stephen King calls Smithy Ide, "a smokes-too-much, drinks-too-much, eats-too-much heart attack waiting to happen," he also posits that your protagonist Smithson Ide, "is an American original, worthy of a place on the shelf just below your Hucks, your Holdens, and your Yossarians." What do you think of his impressions?
I appreciate his impressions although I must say that I don't think Smithy Ide is a ...
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