press00=The Vancouver Sun October 10, 2001 &press01=Maybe the name Taylor Negron doesn't exactly ring bells, but the Hollywood character actor/stand-up comic can't walk down Robinson Street without being accosted by fans. And at a Cypress street deli where we stop for coffee, guys at the nest table ask, "Weren't you in Easy Money?" Yes, he was in that wacky Rodney Dangerfield movie. And that was 19 years ago. "I married Jennifer Jason Leigh, Joe Pesci sang at our wedding, and I thought I would never work again," he laughs. &press02="It seemed like such an insane movie - nobody was famous thenand everybody seemed so over the top. And it turned out to be a platinum seller for Orion. If Orion hadn't gone bankrupt I'd probably have more money," he jokes. Perhaps you way Negron as the evil doer, Milo, in Bruce Willis' The Last Boy Scout, a role that still shocks him. "I was such a nerd in high school - I always used to come into the classroom pushing a projector - and the next thing I know I'm playing a serious bad guy in a movie." Although he's not a fan of arch violence, at the time he thought the role was pretty cool. &press03="It was really cathartic for me to play that. I'm really glad because I became an extreme pacifist from it." He also played the pizza delivery guy in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, was the liquor store clerk/disco dude in The Stoned Age, a painter in Spy Hard, a salesman in Stuart Little, and appeared in Nothing But Trouble and Punchline. Last week, Negron came to town for a role on the UPN series, Special Assignment 2, a TV series recently moved here from Los Angeles to shoot its second season. The special unit is a secret division of the Chicago police department whose mission is to track down and rid the city of "links" - creatures between man and beast. &press04=Negron, in a scene shot at Victory Square, plays a speaking-in-riddles Sphinx - a part for which he endured 21/2 hours of prosthetic makeup and wears white contact lenses. No big deal, says Negron, whose role as Gazaam in The Flinstones in Viva Rock Vegas required six hours of prosthetics. "I'm getting off easy on this one," he says. Since he was a kid, people have told Negron that he looks like an Egyptian cave painting. Actually, he says he's a "Spanish Jew mongrel." &press05="I'm like a real New York mutt - Puerto Rican, Italian, my name is French, I have a little bit of everything in me," he wisecracks, "I call myself Lou Diamond Streisand." At 18, Negron was a guest on the classic 1970s game show, The Dating Game a total of 17 times. "It was my first real job," he admits, "where I became a stand-up comic, in a way. I used it as a workshop to see what I looked like and how to modulate myself. At the time I thought it was beneath the radar, but people my age remember it very clearly. I really went out of the box," he recalls. &press06="When they asked me 'If you were a car, what kind of car would you be?' I said, 'Used.' I won enough Rice-A-Roni to clog the San Francisco Bay." &press07=He continued doing standup throughout the 1980s, traveling the U.S., appearing on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, in a HBO special, and writing comedy for radio. "The spine of everything that I do is based in stand-up. You get to know the audience very well. It made me fearless on sets and at auditions." Negron now lives in an English cottage in a historic Los Angeles neighborhood, the Beverly Hills flats, on the street where both Dorothy Parker and Judy Garland once had homes. "It's both very, very fabulous and extraordinarily ordinary," he says of the area. &press08=At the grovery store checkout recently, he forgot to put the little plastic barrier down, "and my groceries got sucked into Faye Dunaway's, "he jokes. "All of a sudden I was in Mommy Dearest." Negron also owns a stone house in an ancient walled village in France, near Toulouse, where he retreats when he has time off. He compares living in Los Angeles to living in the future - and maybe not such a good one. &press09="That's what's been so sweet about coming here," he says, "to witness the civility in Vancouver and the genuine kind spirit that the people embody here. Not to mention how clean it is. It's very, very noticeable. Where I live, I'm sad to report that it is a pigsty, the way people throw stuff on the floor and the way people act. They're very, very dissatisfied - a lot of stars are so pissed off and dissatisfied, and I always think to myself - 'you're a millionaire. Can't you just be thankful for one minute and face a smile?'" &press10=Of his eclectic career, says Negron, "I'm lucky - I've been able to play all parts. I've never really duplicated anything. Here I am, a Sphinx, and I go home and I'm a nanny-maid for the Olsen Twins," he says, referring to his new TV role on the Fox Family series, So Little Time, co-staring with the now 15-year-old former Full House stars, Mary-Kate and Ashley. "They're adorable and sweet and they work hard, and have perfect manners," he says of the multi-millionaire twins. And speaking of eclectic, Negron next appears as the photographer in The Fluffer (a story of the making of porn movies) and for the holidays will be seen in Call Me Claus, as the Angel of Christmas Elf, who is training Whoopi Goldberg to be the new Santa Claus.