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TV, Movie Star Richard Masur Now Leads Croton Democrats

Actor Richard Masur currently serves as chair of the Croton Democrats.
Actor Richard Masur currently serves as chair of the Croton Democrats. Photo Credit: Contributed

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Chances are you've seen Croton resident Richard Masur before.

It could be from his role as Rutherford in "Risky Business," Phil Sultenfass in the "My Girl" movies or from his guest starring roles on shows like "The Good Wife," "The Practice," and "All In the Family."

Or it could be you just attend a lot of Croton board meetings.

Since moving to the village, Masur has found himself active in local politics. He now serves as chairman of the Croton Democratic Party.

Masur grew up in Yonkers and went to camp at Croton Point Park. After going out to Los Angeles to act, he moved back to New York City, but soon realized he wanted to live in the Hudson Valley.

"I grew up on the Hudson," Masur said. "It's much prettier."

After initially looking at homes in Garrison and Cold Spring, Masur found a home in Croton and moved there in 2004. Masur and his wife soon got tired of going back and forth between his New York City apartment and his Croton home and moved to the village full-time.

"It was a little bit of an adjustment," Masur said of adjusting to life in the suburbs.

Thanks to various tax incentives, more films and TV shows are being shot in New York, making it easier for Masur to leave LA behind.

Masur got more involved with the Croton Democrats and is now passionate about issues going on in the village, though he says he would not run for office.

"I've done my time," Masur said. "I'm looking to expand the Croton Democrats and expand our base."

Masur's first role was on "All In The Family," where he played a mentally challenged man who befriends Gloria.

"It was frightening," Masur said. "I was spending a week with the most famous people on TV. It was very intimidating."

The cast was very supportive and he said he worked with a psychologist to make sure the script was accurately portraying the mentally handicapped.

"The lesson of the episode was that if you do things differently, it doesn't make you stupid, it makes you different," Masur said.

The guest spot started his relationship with Norman Lear, who produced "All In The Family and who later cast him in "Hot L In Baltimore," and "One Day At A Time." Masur recently attended a screening of a new documentary about Lear in Pleasantville, giving him a chance to reunite with the producer.

Masur said he loved working on the "My Girl" films, which also starred Anna Chlumsky and Dan Aykroyd.

"I'm so proud of Anna," Masur said. "On Veep, she is amazing. She's a wonderful person."

Masur said there was something melancholic about Chlumsky, which he said was perfect for the character. On the sequel, Masur said Chlumsky wasn't thrilled to be reprising her role.

"I think she didn't like that she was missing out on a summer with her friends," Masur said.

A could have been role was the time Masur was cast as the dad on "Blossom." After the pilot, the show was rewritten and Masur was recast. He said he enjoyed working Mayim Bialik, who played Blossom.

"She was a real freak of nature," Masur said. "I thought she was brilliant."

Today, Masur can be seen on various recurring roles, including on "Orange In The New Black," "Transparent," and "Red Oaks," and in the editorial pages of "The Croton Gazette," as he continues to advocate for the Croton Democrats.

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