2008-12-29 05:39:44 UTC
By Robert D. Davila
Posted: 12/26/2008 10:00:29 PM PST
Tony Guzman, a native Sacramento actor who played leading roles on stage and
acted in Hollywood films and TV shows, has died at age 48.
He died Dec. 15 when a car he was driving north on Interstate 5 veered off
the highway near Hood Franklin Road about 11:45 p.m. and crashed into
several trees, the California Highway Patrol said. The cause was under
investigation, CHP officer Michael Bradley said Wednesday.
Handsome and charismatic, Mr. Guzman had a stage presence and talent in
comedy and drama that won favorable reviews. He received Elly Awards as best
actor for "P.S. Your Cat is Dead" in 1988 and "Strange Snow" in 1991.
He was a familiar cast member in productions statewide, including "Grease,"
"Dracula" and "The Three Musketeers." He learned fencing to play a
swashbuckling Sir Walter Raleigh at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato
and Agoura from 1990 to 1996.
"He was very sensual," said his mother, Sandra Fowler. "Everything he did,
he did with great passion, and he was able to express that in theater."
He also made his name in Hollywood as Tony Keyes and Tony Keyes Guzman. He
played an undercover cop in the 1998 film "Lethal Weapon 4" and crooks in
"Nash Bridges" TV episodes.
Other acting credits include "Cutting Room," "Dies Irae," and "Making
Something Up." He was executive producer and acted in two independent films,
"The Right Gift" and "Salome's Kiss." He also made TV commercials in
Robert Anthony Guzman was born in 1960 and raised in Carmichael and Del Paso
Heights. He graduated from Grant Union High School in 1978 and began acting
as a theater student at Sacramento City College.
He had a son during a 15-year marriage to another SCC theater student, Julie
Decker, that ended in divorce. The couple remained close, and he kept a home
in Sacramento to be near his son.
Mr. Guzman also owned and operated Parallel Lines, a distributor of licensed
clothes, posters and novelties in California and Nevada. He was driving home
from a business trip when he fatally crashed his 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser,
family and friends said.
He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He also performed with the
Society of Albion, a group of swordsmen who demonstrate medieval weaponry in
schools and encourage children to stay away from gangs and violence.
Mr. Guzman enjoyed fishing and gardening. He shunned Hollywood life to be
close to family and friends in Sacramento, who cheered his film and TV
appearances. He turned down many offers, including character roles as "bad
guys" that he often received because of his dark good looks, friend Richard
"He liked those roles, but he didn't want to be typecast," Cable said. "He
wanted to be a leading man."