Successful Actor Got His Start at Vanier College
Stephen Mendel followed drama courses at Vanier in the early 1970s under pioneering teachers such as Errol Sitahal, Bill Webb and Laszo Barna. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Bishop’s University followed by postgraduate studies at Concordia University. He then embarked on an active career in theatre, voice, film and television.
Perhaps Stephen’s best-known role was that of Detective Freddie Carson in the TV series “Night Heat” which played on from 1985-1989. This character was one of the lead roles in the series and Stephen played him in no fewer than 95 episodes. “Night Heat” was the number one Canadian show on TV at the time and was picked up by the CBS network.
He also performed in many other notable television shows such as “Las Vegas”, “24”, “CSI: Miami”, “JAG”, “The Practice”, “Judging Amy”, “The X-Files”, “Murder She Wrote” and “L.A. Law”.
Stephen Mendel also has a busy career doing voice overs for many radio and television commercials as well as doing documentary narration. He is the voice of Splinter the ninja master rat on the FOX live-action series “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.”
In 1999 he decided to complete his Master’s Degree in Theatre and received an MFA from California State University, Long Beach in June of 2001. While there he taught acting, theatre history and audition techniques and studied voice, movement, theatre analysis and criticism and continued to perform frequently on stage.
In 2003 he became an accredited scuba diving instructor taking the grueling 14-week L.A. County Underwater Instructor’s program.
Stephen recently completed filming on “CEO”, a major feature directed by Wu Tian Ming (most noted for his films, The King of Masks and The Old Well), which took him to China (twice), Paris, New York and South Carolina. Stephen has a chameleon like ability to completely change his appearance and is often virtually unrecognizable from one role to the next.
Off-stage – camera, Stephen plays the guitar and sings with a group of folk musicians at fundraisers, charitable events and just for fun. He skies, teaches scuba diving, runs, backpacks, bicycles and practices the obscure martial art of aiki-jutsu*.
*From Wikipedia: Aiki-jūjutsu is a form of jujutsu which emphasizes “an early neutralization of an attack.” Like other forms of jujutsu, it emphasizes throwing techniques and joint manipulations to effectively control, subdue or injure an attacker.