Excellent, prolific and dependable character actor Terry Kiser was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Terry attended the University of Kansas on both football and dramatic scholarships. He graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for three years in this profession in his hometown of Omaha. Kiser also acted in some 50 plays around this same time. Terry then moved to New York and studied his craft at the Actors Studio, where he was mentored by legendary Method acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Following several gigs in television commercials, he made his film debut as a preacher in the film Rachel, Rachel (1968). Although often cast as sleazy and unlikable scoundrels, Terry has shown on occasion that he can portray more sympathetic parts with equal skill and conviction.
Kiser gave an especially strong and engaging performance in a rare substantial starring role in the little seen drama Lapin 360 (1972). Best known as the deceased, but still active Bernie Lomax in the hilarious "Weekend at Bernie's" films, Terry's other memorable roles include Chuck Norris' ill-fated cop partner Dave Pierce in the exciting An Eye for an Eye (1981), shady businessman Freddy Barrett in the entertaining science fiction disaster film Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land (1983), petty worthless hoodlum Jesse Hardwick in the superior horror anthology opus From a Whisper to a Scream (1987), sneaky psychiatrist Dr. Crews in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), and the evil Count Gunther Spretzle in Mannequin: On the Move (1991). Kiser had a recurring part on the daytime soap opera The Doctors (1963).