May. 21st, 1948
Amherst, Ohio, USA
Cliff Bemis' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2007 - Nancy Drew
2006 - World Trade Center
1998 - The Odd Couple II
1993 - Jack the Bear
1992 - The Distinguished Gentleman
1989 - Pink Cadillac
1988 - Hell Comes to Frogtown
1988 - The Great Outdoors
Guest TV Roles
Mr. Huffnagel (Voiced)
Cliff Bemis grew up on a family dairy farm in rural Elyria, Ohio, located about 35 miles west of Cleveland. At an early age he learned how to milk cows, bale hay, and grow crops. When he was in the fourth grade his father's health prevented them from staying on the farm, so the family moved to Lorain, Ohio, into the home his father had grown up in, and back to greenhouse/florist business, known to local residents as Bemis Florist.
He completed his education in the Clearview school system, with which the Bemis family has long and extensive ties, as Cliff's grandfather, Clifford A. Bemis, was one of the founding board members of Clearview High School. In total, 15 Bemis family members have graduated from Clearview, with more currently in the school system. In 1966, Cliff graduated from Clearview High School, and in 2003, Cliff was honored as an inductee into the Clearview High School Distinguished Alumni Group.
Music and acting was always a part of his life. He studied piano beginning at age 6, and began his theatre career at Amherst Workshop Players, under the direction of Valerie Jenkins Gerstenberger. That experience was what truly "sparked" his interest in becoming a professional actor.
Cliff first started working professionally in theatre while still in college at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, where he was the recipient of the 1998 Alumni Merit Award. He built an extensive and varied career in Cleveland performing musical theatre, opera, as well as the related fields of commercial acting which included jingle singing, voice-overs, on-camera and industrial films. He was one of the original cast members of Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living in Paris, which played for over two years on Playhouse Square in Cleveland. That show is widely recognized as the show that helped save this historic theatre district. For seven seasons, he was a regular guest artist at The Cleveland Play House, sang with the Cleveland Opera Co., and narrated with The Cleveland Orchestra. He was also a regular singer of the National Anthem for the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Browns, as well as the National Air Show.
In 1987, while performing on stage together for the Kenley Players in Akron, Cliff met and became friends with actor Robby Benson (star of "One On One," and the voice of the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast,") and his wife actress/singer Karla DeVito. They encouraged Cliff to move to LA, which he did, and where he has continued to build upon his career.
In 1992, Cliff auditioned for and got the part as the national spokesperson for the International House of Pancakes, or IHOP restaurants are they are commonly known. Starring in over 30 commercials for the company, his personal appearances for IHOP took him all over the USA and Canada, where he autographed over 75,000 "Cliff at IHOP" pictures. New Year's Day, 1999, Cliff could be seen waving from high atop the IHOP float to the millions of people around the world who watch the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Over the past 22 years, Cliff has appeared in over 70 different TV shows including "Arliss," "Married With Children", "Dallas", "Newhart", "Beverly Hills 90210", "Cheers", "Coach", and "Murder She Wrote" to name a few, and was featured in the films "World Trade Center," directed by Oliver Stone, "Nancy Drew," "Billy: The Early Years," "Pink Cadillac" with Clint Eastwood, "Distinguished Gentlemen" with Eddie Murphy, and "Naked Gun 2 1/2." In the fall of 1999, he costarred in a new sitcom on UPN titled "Reunited" starring Julie Hagerty of "Airplane" fame. He has appeared with Jason Alexander in several stage productions, including "Promises, Promises," as well as starring opposite Lucie Arnaz in the musical "Wonderful Town." Film work
Cliff originated the role of Ezekiel Foster in Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" which had its World Premier at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco in 2004. He recently played the role of Mr. Feldzieg in the First National Tour of "The Drowsy Chaperone," which toured over 30 cities in the US and Canada.
Cliff balances out his professional life with involvement in several different charity organizations that he feels passionately about. A long time supporter of law enforcement, in particular, the California Highway Patrol, he is a Lifetime Member in the CHP 11-99 Foundation. For his song "The Badge of the CHP" Cliff was bestowed the honor of Honorary Member in the California Association of Highway Patrolmen. Cliff wrote, produced, and performed the song in honor of his friend CHP Officer Bruce T. Hinman, killed in the line of duty in 1995. The Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors is also supported by Cliff, and he is an Honorary Deputy Sheriff in the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
For ten years, Cliff did a week of volunteer work at The White House, preparing it for the Christmas holidays. He was honored to have met both Presidents and First Ladies Bush and Clinton on several different occasions.
In 1999, Cliff released a Christmas CD titled "Christmas Eve," featuring his vocal talents on the traditional music of the season.
- Although he spends much time adorning the stage, Cliff is probably best known from his stint as the IHOP spokesman and his famous line "Hi, Cliff here for IHOP".
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