Billy Van Zandt
Van Zandt in 2006
William Van Zandt

(1957-12-13) December 13, 1957 (age 63)
  • Actor
  • director
  • playwright
Years active1975-present
(m. 1992; div. 2018)

(m. 2021)

William Van Zandt (born December 13, 1957) is an American playwright and actor, and the author of the best-selling TV memoir Get in the Car, Jane (Adventures in the TV Wasteland).

Early life

Van Zandt was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, to Mary H. Lento and William Brewster Van Zandt.[1] He is of Italian and Dutch descent[2] He grew up in Middletown Township, New Jersey.[3]


Van Zandt is the co-author and star of the Off-Broadway plays You've Got Hate Mail, Silent Laughter, Drop Dead!, The Boomer Boys Musical, and 21 other theatrical plays written with Jane Milmore, including A Night at the Nutcracker, Wrong Window, and summer stock perennial Love, Sex, and the I.R.S. Billy also wrote The Property Known as Garland for Adrienne Barbeau, which ran Off-Broadway at the Actor's Playhouse in 2006.

Van Zandt was nominated for an Emmy Award for his television special I Love Lucy: The Very First Show, and won People's Choice and NAACP Image Awards for his work on the Martin Lawrence comedy Martin and a Prism Multi-Cultural Award for his work on TV's The Hughleys.

Along with partner Jane Milmore, he created and/or developed television's The Wayans Bros. for Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans, Suddenly Susan for Brooke Shields, Bless This House for Andrew Dice Clay, and Daddy Dearest for Don Rickles and Richard Lewis.

In addition to starring in his own plays, he has had roles as Bob, one of the sailing teenagers, in Jaws 2 (1978), an alien Starfleet ensign in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), a military school cadet in the 1981 film Taps, and a mobster wannabe in the 1999 film A Wake in Providence, which he also co-wrote.

On television, he was a regular cast member on the second season of ABC's Anything but Love. He was writer and guest star in the 1990 Valerie Bertinelli series Sydney.

He toured in the Off-Broadway hit You've Got Hate Mail which ran at the Triad Theater from 2010 to 2015 [4] and currently tours in his newest play The Boomer Boys Musical.[5]

Personal life

Van Zandt is the half-brother of musician-actor Steven Van Zandt and brother-in-law of his wife, actress Maureen Van Zandt.

Billy married actress Adrienne Barbeau on December 31, 1992. The couple met in 1991 during the West Coast premiere of Billy's play Drop Dead!. They separated in 2012 and divorced in 2018. They have twin sons, William and Walker (born March 17, 1997). [6]

Two years after his marriage ended, Billy and actress Teresa Ganzel met during his Off-Broadway play You've Got Hate Mail and have been together ever since. They announced their engagement over Christmas 2020 and married September 12, 2021. [7]

Full-length plays

The plays are published with Samuel French, Inc. and performed worldwide.




  1. ^ Archived February 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-01-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Strauss, Robert. "IN PERSON; These Two People Are a Riot", The New York Times, April 14, 2002. Accessed June 13, 2011. "ABSTRACT - Article on Hollywood actors and television writers Billy Van Zandt, native of Middletown, and Jane Milmore, who grew up in nearby Keansburg; duo has been returning to Jersey Shore each spring for two decades for spring comedy productions."
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2010-08-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^
  7. ^