Allan Rich, one of Hollywood’s busiest and most recognizable character actors, is also one of its most generous donors. The Teenage Drama Workshop at CSUN is just one of many youth-focused organizations supported by Rich and his nonprofit foundation, We Care About Kids.
This summer, Rich and We Care About Kids cofounder Peter Antico provided generous funding for TADW scholarships through their nonprofit filmmaking company. Rich and his wife Elaine also donated to TADW’s ticket-gifting program, allowing low-income children to attend performances of “The Wiz” and “Pinocchio.”
“Sharing what I have learned about theater and film with young people is the most important work I do,” Rich said. “That’s why having this small involvement with TADW and Doug Kaback’s students is so fulfilling to me personally.”
Known for his roles in feature films like “Amistad,” “Disclosure” and “Quiz Show”, and for his many television appearances in shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “NYPD Blue” and “CSI,” Rich is a long-time friend and mentor to Professor Doug Kaback, director of CSUN’s Teenage Drama Workshop.
“Allan inspires a real appreciation for teaching the art of acting to young people, and most importantly to making a commitment to actually helping young people through his nonprofit organization,” Kaback said. “This was a great opportunity for us to invite him to take part in the workshop, and we are so thrilled to have him helping with scholarships and financial assistance this year.“
Blacklisted in the 1940s, Rich left the entertainment industry for a time to pursue a career as a stockbroker and a highly successful contemporary art dealer. He returned to acting in the early 1970s and hasn’t stopped since.
Rich established We Care About Kids to produce short films that address societal ills such as racism, drugs and smoking. The films are shown to schoolchildren who are then invited to engage in a dialogue about what they viewed.
Rich is also the author of “A Leap from the Method: An Organic Approach to Acting.” He enjoys sending signed copies to acting students.
Rich will be one of several TADW donors honored July 25 at a special reception hosted by Robert Bucker, Dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication at CSUN. Cast members from TADW’s production of “The Wiz” will perform at the reception. Afterward, the VIP guests will then attend the evening performance of “Pinocchio”.