The Sound of Music
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Raymond "Ray" Jarvis hails from Lafayette, Louisiana. Jarvis studied Public Policy at Georgetown University. Armed with his degree and silver tongue, he returned home to try his hand in business and politics.
Shortly thereafter, Jarvis was elected to the Louisiana State House of Representatives and served two terms. Later he became a respected U.S. Senator, followed by the prestigious post of Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
In 2006, Jarvis lost his party’s presidential nomination, but miraculously, a wealthy campaign contributor named James Dempsey stepped in with a proposition – join a bipartisan Presidential ticket with a popular Florida Senator, Elias Martinez.
It was an offer that Jarvis could not refuse. Little did he know that decision would influence many more moments in his life.
Jarvis is married to Erika, his wife of 42 years.
Bill Smitrovich stars as Vice President Raymond Jarvis, the steely but tactful right hand to President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood), in NBC's new high-octane thriller The Event.
Born in Connecticut, Smitrovich began his professional acting career with Arthur Miller in the world premiere of Miller's "The American Clock" at the Spoleto Festival. After obtaining a Master of Fine Arts degree from Smith College in 1976, the former University of Massachusetts acting teacher earned his first big break in a "baptism of fire" appearance as understudy for the lead role (and all male roles) in the world premiere of "The American Clock" at Spoleto. Subsequently, Smitrovich and the production went on to Broadway, where it ran a record 13 performances.
Stage parts followed off-Broadway and in the Hong Kong (International Arts Festival) Actors Theatre of Louisville's production of "Of Mice and Men." Other stage credits include "Food from Trash," "Requiem for a Heavyweight," "Far East," and "Frankie & Johnny at the Claire de Lune." Smitrovich was a founding member of the No Theatre Company of Northampton, Massachusetts, now in association with the Wooster Group, whose members included Willem Dafoe and the late Spalding Gray. Most recently Smitrovich was in Caryl Churchill's "A Number" at the ACT in San Francisco, where it won Best Play of 2007.
Smitrovich gained recognition for his portrayal of Drew Thacher, a family man and father of a Down syndrome son in the critically acclaimed and award-winning dramatic series "Life Goes On." In addition, Smitrovich was a proud member of the all-star cast of the live television version of George Clooney's production of "Fail Safe."
Smitrovich has appeared in over 30 feature films, including "Independence Day," "Ghosts of Mississippi," "Iron Man," "Nick of Time" with Johnny Depp, "Air Force One," "Thirteen Days," "Seven Pounds," and most recently his second film with Johnny Depp, an homage to Hunter S. Thompson's novel, "The Rum Diary," due for a September 2010 release.
Smitrovich's many supporting and starring television roles include cigar-chomping Inspector Cramer in "Nero Wolfe Mysteries," D.A. Kenneth Walsh in "The Practice," Agent Olcyk in "Without a Trace," Lt. Bob Bletcher in "Millennium," "Fat Actress" as Cry-Baby McGuire, and with Annette Bening in HBO's "Mrs. Harris."
Smitrovich remains an active SAG Hollywood Board Member, a National Chair of the Senior Performers Committee, and is presently on the SAG Foundation Golf Committee for the SAG Foundation Inaugural Golf Classic to be held at Lakeside Golf Course in Toluca Lake, California on August 16, 2010. The event will benefit catastrophic health care for needy members of the Screen Actors Guild. He is extremely proud of his relationship with the U.S. military, especially Air Space Command, and all the courageous men and women who protect and serve the U.S.
Smitrovich is currently working on depicting Teddy Roosevelt in a one-man show for "Meeting of the Minds." Smitrovich now resides in Woodland Hills, California, with his wife Shaw Purnell. They have two children, son A.J. and daughter Maya.