Bentley: Actor Antonio Gomez was inspired by Selma teacher

The Fresno BeeOctober 22, 2013 

Actor Antonio Gomez


In the sixth grade at Selma's Washington Elementary School, Antonio Gomez's teacher told him he should go to Hollywood and become an actor.

The words meant a lot to him because he always wanted to be on TV.

Gomez has fulfilled his dream, despite never participating in a single school play or receiving any acting training.

Gomez is a TV actor with a long list of credits. He plays a character known only as "Pizza Chef" on the new CBS comedy "Mom." He's working on the comedy series between seasons of the FX series "The Bridge," where he plays a detective. And he had a role on a recent episode of "Parenthood."

"I will be working on my ninth episode of 'Mom' this week. I did eight episodes of 'The Bridge' and when the show returns, they have promised me they are going to do more with my character," Gomez, 50, says.

His past work includes the TV shows "Undercover," "Power Rangers," "ER," "Wings," "America's Most Wanted," "First and Ten," "Highway to Heaven," "The A-Team," "Moonlighting" and "The Mentalist." He either worked as an actor or a production assistant on all of the programs.

Those credits almost didn't happen. He planned to return to Selma after a failed attempt at becoming an actor in 1985.

"I was headed home and saw a bunch of trucks. I followed them to Selma where they were shooting a movie. I asked for a job and they made me a production manager. I did such a good job they asked me to go back to Los Angeles with them," Gomez says.

His love of acting has earned him enough work to become a member of the Screen Actors Guild. But he still bounces between being in front of and behind the camera. For the next two weeks he will go from his acting role on "Mom" to being a production assistant on a Kevin Costner film shooting in McFarland.

The film, called "McFarland," is based on a true story of a coach living in the predominantly Hispanic town who puts together a championship high school track team

Radio news

A couple of changes are being made to the lineup at KFCF (FM 88.1).

"Feature Story News" replaces "Free Speech Radio News" at 3:30 p.m. weekdays. Production of "Free Speech" has been discontinued.

Also, KFCF will air "From The Vault" at 11 a.m. Saturdays. It's a series of programs that dig into the Pacifica Radio archives to feature a tribute to jazz pianist Marian McPartland, poet Seamus Heaney, a look at the Christiana slave revolt riot, an homage to Albert Einstein and a look at the JFK assassination on its 50th anniversary.

In addition, the local radio station's annual banquet will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Wedgewood Banquet Hall. Tickets are $45 ($60 after Nov. 7). You can buy tickets through or by calling (559) 233-2221. Brian Edwards-Tiekert, host of the "Up Front Morning" show, is the special guest.

And finally, the Fresno Free College Foundation that owns and operates KFCF has completed the nomination period for seats on the board. There were four nominations for four seats, which means the nominees will be submitted to the board for approval at the November meeting and seated at the end of the December meeting.

The four board nominees are Vic Bedoian and incumbents Gerry Bill, Sue Kern and Leni Reeves.

Just looking

The New York Post is reporting that Walt Disney Co. is looking to hire an investment bank to explore selling its eight owned and operated TV stations, which includes Fresno's ABC30. Such a move could be worth billions.

Dan Adams, KFSN (Channel 30.1) general manager, had no comment on the report.

Similar reports have surfaced in the past and resulted in Disney holding on to the stations.


TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at

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