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Omahan has found success as actor

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Actor and guest

Longtime Hollywood actor Randy Goodwin, a Digg Site Productions board member, talks with Molly Knoell of Fremont on Saturday in front of the Empress Theatre on Main Street. The Digg Site was hosting an open house at the theater, which the nonprofit organization plans to renovate.

If you didn’t know Randy Goodwin was an actor, his resume might seem a bit strange.

He’s been a restaurant owner, sportscaster and a boxer.

Oh, and did we mention he’s been a warlock?

Actually, these are roles the Omaha-born actor has portrayed throughout a 25-year career that’s included parts in film and television.

He also wrote, directed and is starring in a faith-based feature film called, “the Job,” set to stream on Pureflix this summer.

On Saturday, Goodwin had another role — this time, as a real-life board member of The Digg Site Productions.

The nonprofit organization is raising funds to renovate the Empress Theatre at 419 N. Main St., in downtown Fremont. The estimated $2.2 million project includes the building’s purchase, renovation/restoration and equipment.

Once restored, the Empress building will be the setting for a variety of educational and artistic opportunities.

An estimated 400 people came to the open house, where they could learn about fundraising plans and the theater’s lengthy history.

Goodwin, who grew up in Omaha, said he wanted to be an actor since he was 8 years old.

“I was able to do church plays and school plays, but when it came to doing stuff for real, my mom was not having it — very strict church family,” he said. “So I had to wait until I got older and then I started sneaking out and doing plays in high school, musicals and talent shows.”

Goodwin went to Los Angeles in July 1994 and by the end of 1996, he had a smaller role in the film “American History X.”

He played Kennedy Winslow in the action/drama “Fast Track,” which aired for a season on Showtime.

Goodwin had other roles including the reoccurring character of Dante Harrison on the comedy-drama “Linc’s,” based on a Washington, D.C. bar.

He played restaurant owner Davis Hamilton in the TV sitcom, “Girlfriends,” which premiered on the United Paramount Network (UPN) and then aired on the CW network.

In that show, Goodwin portrayed the romantic interest of lawyer Joan Carol Clayton played by Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of singing legend Diana Ross.

Ross came to the set.

“She was really cool,” Goodwin said. “Just another mother there supporting her daughter. Not the glamorous singer that we all know her to be.”

Goodwin portrayed sportscaster Max Ellis on the sitcom, “Abby,” which revolved around TV producer Abby Walker, played by Sydney Tamiia Poitier. She is the daughter of Sidney Poitier, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964.

Throughout his career, Goodwin has had roles in episodes of several shows, including NCIS and CSI: Miami.

More recently, he had the recurring role of the warlock, Dr. Jonas Martin, on the teen TV drama, “The Vampire Dairies,” on the CW television network.

Goodwin said he taught the first film camp for the Digg Site.

These days, he’s looking ahead to “the Job,” which he stars in as Lance “The Dance” Foster, a former light-heavyweight champ. Foster’s life spirals downward after he kills a man in the boxing ring. The faith-based story involves redemption and forgiveness.

During the open house, the actor good-naturedly talked with guests and answered their questions at the Empress Theatre. Goodwin said his integrity in Hollywood is important and has turned down roles because of it.

“I’m more concerned with what I do that can touch lives than I am money,” he said.


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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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