At 14, Staten Island-born Glenn Scarpelli achieved official teen hearthrob status as Alex on the long-running sitcom One Day at a Time. He had already performed on Broadway; had an Archie comic strip character named after him; starred in an independent horror flick; and been a part of the Bloodhound Gang on PBS’s educational show 3-2-1 Contact by the time posters bearing his likeness began to adorn the bedroom walls of enthusiastic female fans.
Burning under the surface of that heatwave, though, were the embers of another fire waiting to be unleashed. Knowing he was gay, but stuck in the politically stifling confines of '80s showbiz, Glenn had to find a way to come to terms with his personal priorities — even if it meant giving up the lofty rewards of being a successful actor.
He disappeared from the public eye, went to college, and forged a new path as an entrepreneur. Along with his longtime partner, Jude, he now runs a TV station in Sedona, Arizona and an organic personal lubricant company. Justin Kantor caught up with Glenn recently to learn about his many entertainment and business exploits — past and present.
How’s your day going?
Crazy-busy, like usual; but all is good in the world.
That’s good to hear. You always seem to have a positive outlook, which certainly helps things.
For the most part [laughs].
True, you can’t control everything.
Sometimes our emotions get the best of us!
That’s what makes it life, I guess. Well, I’m real happy that you had the time to call and chat. Let’s start from the beginning. You’re from Staten Island, right?
Yes, born and raised.
From what I understand, you went to Catholic school most of your childhood?
Yes, I went to St. Joseph Hill Academy through grammar school. I guess I got my first professional acting job when I was eight. I was in a Celeste frozen pizza commercial. I ate 27 pieces of pizza, and I puked all night!
That would do you in!
Exactly! But I was a kid and having so much fun, I thought it was cool. And then I realized, “Oh, damn—that’s a lot of fucking pizza!”
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