Happy Birthday Judge Reinhold: Celebrating the ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ Actor

by Jon D. B.

Edward Ernest Reinhold Jr., better known to audiences as icon Judge Reinhold, was born on this day in May 21, 1957. For his birthday, Outsider is celebrating his remarkable career, spanning over 75 films and a quarter of a century.

On may 21, 1957, Edward Ernest Reinhold Jr. would enter the world. Born in Wilmington, Delaware right here in the USA, Reinhold would grow into the towering Hollywood icon fans know simply as “The Judge.”

Across 80+ projects put to film and the better part of three decades, Judge Reinhold is beloved the world over. Among his most notable films are Stripes, Gremlins, Ruthless People, Disney’s The Santa Clause franchise (as fan-favorite stepdad Neal), and of course: Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Perhaps his best known role, however, comes courtesy of the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Within, Reinhold gives life to Detective William “Billy” Rosewood. One of the most beloved characters in any comedy franchise, Det. Rosewood’s bumbling, kind-hearted nature sat him up perfectly opposite Eddie Murphy’s legendary Axel Foley. The franchise continues to find international success, making Judge Reinhold, now 64, as beloved today as he ever was.

In fact, two of his comedies were voted by the American Film Institute as part of the “Top 100 American Comedies,” IMDb cites. Beverly Hills Cop, of course, sits on this list, alongside Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

In the latter, his work as Brad Hamilton put Reinhold on the map. His, well, that scene is iconic to this day.

Judge Reinhold: Big & Small Screen Wonder

The Judge isn’t known solely for his movie roles, however. Seinfeld fans know and love Reinhold as “The Close Talker,” a role that would land him an Emmy nomination. A similar guest appearance on Arrested Development garnered high-praise for the icon.

His small screen roster is heavy, with Reinhold leading the likes of As Good As Dead (1995) and Dead in a Heartbeat (2002). He also featured in Tom Clancy’s Netforce (1999), and Into the West (2005).

More recently, Judge starred in The Detour from 2016 on with Jason Jones of The Daily Show. Around the same time, he co-starred in indie hit comedy Highly Functional with Bruce Campbell.

Through it all, Judge Reinhold has been an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, cites IMDb’s Kim Miller, since 1987.

His latest work came in 2017 courtesy of TV movie Four Christmases and a Wedding. Before that, audiences saw Reinhold’s brilliant comedic chops at work in Bad Grandmas as Harry.

Happy Birthday to The Judge!