5 Character Actors Facing Legal Troubles

I would imagine that the biggest problem with being a character actor is that you’ll probably be known for one role for the rest of your life, but you’re not famous enough to get out of your legal woes. Jeffrey Jones, who played Principal Rooney in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” spent his 64th birthday in court after failing to update his sex offender registration. In 2003, he was charged after paying a 14-year-old boy to pose in a sexually explicit photo shoot and he will have to register as a sex offender every year now. Since he failed to register last year, Jones was sentenced to three years probation and 250 hours of roadside cleanup community service. Yeah, it sucks to be him right now. [NY Daily News]

We’ve rounded up a few other character actors with recent legal woes.

  • Shelley Malil was best known for his role as one of the electronics store clerks in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” But last Thursday, he was found guilty of attempted premeditated murder after stabbing his ex-girlfriend Kendra Beebe some 23 times. Malil faces 21 years to life in prison after stabbing Beebe in 2008, after finding out that she was “socializing with another man.” Of the night of the attack, Malil said, “I don’t know what it was, but someone was hitting me with something and all I had was this knife and I just went bananas with the thing.” Apparently, he didn’t realize that the person he was stabbing was his former girlfriend. [Pop Eater]
  • I can’t see Randy Quaid and not think about the “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” but he’s also got a string of legal woes. The actor and his wife are facing burglary charges this month after being accused of illegally squatting in the guest house of their former residence. Randy and Evi told the police that they’d owned the property since the 1990s, but the owner of the property had documents stating that they had bought the property from a man who’d bought the property from the Quaids several years ago. Oh, those kooky Quaids. [Hollywood Reporter]
  • Actor James Farentino who played Dr. Nick Toscanni in “Dynasty,” was arrested in June for misdemeanor battery charges after allegedly grabbing his wife’s friend’s arm during an argument. The 72-year-old actor was released from jail the next day after posting $20,000 in bail. Farentino has had legal troubles in the past, having been charged with stalking his ex, Tina Sinatra (Frank’s daughter), in 1993 and he was also charged with cocaine possession in 1991 after having a package of it sent to his hotel room in Canada. I was going to say that arm-grabbing sounds mild, but with his history, who knows what went down. [Right Celebrity]
  • Raymond Franza played Donny K in “The Sopranos,” and you might remember him as the guy who got beaten up outside a bar and peed on by Johnny Sack, the mob boss. He is facing felony charges this month for a disability insurance scam. The actor claimed $13,000 in Social Security disability benefits after a 2008 car wreck, but failed to mention that he was getting $4,000 a month in private insurance payments. He was originally charged with “third-degree grand larceny, third degree criminal possession of stolen property and making a punishable false written statement,” which might have put him in prison for seven years, but Franza took a plea deal instead and will have to pay $9,000 restitution. [SI Live]