|Date of Birth
||2 October 1952
|Place of Birth
||New York, USA
Being discovered at a Hollywood lunch counter is the myth usually associated with Lana Turner, however it is actually true in the case of Robin Riker, although Robin was behind the counter at the time, serving hamburgers.
Two months after her arrival in Hollywood, a television producer, who was a regular patron of the hamburger stand, decided to produce a story on the aspiring actress for his weekly magazine show. A few weeks later, Robin had 15 minutes of the most coveted tool an aspiring film actress can have in her arsenal: actual, professionally produced and shot FILM on herself! She hasn't stopped working since. Being able to say you have an agent and film on yourself only two short months after arriving in town was an amazing gift. "I certainly can’t call it an accomplishment," says Robin. "It was as though my immediate good luck was God’s way of saying ‘Okay here are a couple of signs that you made the right choice. Now… learn patience."
Robin had been acting on stage since the age of two. She was 'born in a trunk'. (Actually she was almost born in a taxi on the Brooklyn Bridge, but that's another story.) The 'trunk' part refers to her parents, professional actors, who owned and ran theatres. Robin grew up on stage, back stage, in the box office and selling cookies in the lobby. Even after starring in many TV series, films and countless episodics, the stage remains Robin's favorite version of soul food.
The family business took Robin all around the US. From the day she was born until she moved to Los Angeles, she never spent more than two and a half years in one place. The gypsy style of life has served her well as an artist whose calling requires an understanding of human nature, its frailties and of the many ways people try to connect with each other. As a child, Robin performed for two seasons with the prestigious Colorado Shakespeare Festival. As a teenager, she played in several theatres in upstate New York. She interrupted her schooling to travel in Europe (there’s that gypsy again!) and after finishing a production of "The Cherry Orchard" in Northern California, Robin packed her bags, drove to Mexico for 2 weeks and then on to Hollywood. Arriving with only a couple of head shots, an old convertible and $45.00 in cash. She had her mind set for a career in film and television and the time was now!
Within a few weeks of her arrival, Robin had an agent, the job at the hamburger stand and a great boss, Larry, who allowed her the flexibility needed for auditions. The tiny stand at the corner of Sunset and Vine was frequented by record and television producers, musicians and directors. Larry, cook and owner, kept telling the customers, "She's an actress. She's fabulous!" which is a tribute to Larry's psychic powers since he’d never seen Robin perform anything other than the act of making change. When Larry sold the stand he went to work at the commissary at Warner Brothers Studios where he handed out Robin's pictures to producers and directors whom he knew. Within two weeks, Robin had her first job on national television.
She appeared throughout the episode but the speaking part of the role was so small that Robin had to audition by reading ANOTHER CHARACTER’S LINES! In her first national appearance Robin played the illustrious role of "Girl Robber." Never the less, she saw this as another amazing blessing and further proof that her choice to come to Hollywood had been a good one.
Not long after, she landed a starring role in a film that became a cult classic, Alliqator, written by John Sayles. Robin is constantly receiving calls from family and friends about that movie. "It seems that at all hours of the day, somewhere in the world, Alligator is on television!"
Other films in which she starred include the title role in the comedy. "Stepmonster", Disney's "Brink" and "Don't Look Under the Bed" and "Body Chemistry II: Voice of a Stranger" with Gregory Harrison. Films had to be squeezed in between her work as a series regular which, when it finally started coming, kept coming.
One series, of which she is particularly proud, is the ground breaking Showtime comedy "Brothers" which ran for five years and for which she was nominated twice for ACE AWARDS as 'Best Actress in a Comedy Series." She starred as Ed Asner's daughter in "Thunder Alley", Chris Elliott's nemesis in the cult classic "Get a Life" (an episode of which in which Chris and Robin are rival stars in a community theatre production, was named by T.V. Guide as "One of the fifty funniest T.V. moments of all time"). She starred as Matt Frewer's beleagured wife in "Shaky Ground" and as the late Gregory Hines’ best friend in The Gregory Hines Show"
Her guest roles are too numerous to list, but they include work with Danny DeVito, Malcolm McDowell, Annie Potts, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddy Munoz, Haley Joel Osment, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Angela Lansbury to name a few. This year alone you might have seen her on Cold Case and Crossing Jordan. A mini series Robin recently shot (with Brooke Shields, Scott Glenn and Lou Diamond Phillips) will be coming out later this year.
Robin actively seeks time to return to her first love: the theatre. Most recently in Los Angeles, Robin has starred in The Kiss at City Hall at the Pasadena Playhouse, performed for two seasons in the Blank Theatre Company’s YOUNG PLAYWRIGHT’S FESTIVAL. Also in LA, she won a Best Actress Award for her portrayal of Diana' in Mario Fratti's Victim, ran for 6 months in the hit comedy LADIES ROOM a play she also opened in San Francisco for a summer run.
Recently Robin has resumed using yet another of her talents, writing. "I have been fascinated with words and language as long as I can remember. I was forever trying to spell something since I was about 2. My first success at putting letters together was the word z-o-o. I was SO excited! I was 30 at the time. Just kidding, I was 3 but I WAS excited." She and a writing partner are working on a television series right now. The subject is currently under wraps but interest in it seems to be growing among those who decide the fate of these things. More later.
A long time student of the spiritual and metaphysical, Robin does her best to maintain a daily practice of meditation and thanks giving. She says it keeps her grounded in what is often a hectic business which bases little on the spirit.