Bochner found success and more varied roles on the small screen, making his TV-movie debut in "Haywire" (CBS, 1979) as Bill Hayward, the troubled son (and the picture's grown-up producer) of theatrical agent-producer Leland Hayward and his wife Margaret Sullavan. He also grew a beard for his role as the younger husband of a female bigamist (Dyan Cannon) in the hilarious "Having It All" (ABC, 1982), a great vehicle for Cannon's talent and charm. However, his most notable TV appearances came opposite Jane Seymour in three miniseries outings. He first played her adult son in ABC's "John Steinbeck's 'East of Eden'" (1981), but in "Ernest Hemingway's 'The Sun Also Rises'" (NBC, 1984) they appeared as the star-crossed lovers Lady Brett Ashley and Jake Barnes, who had been left impotent by a war wound. The pair later teamed as a husband and wife separated by WWII in the epic miniseries "War and Remembrance" (ABC, 1988-89). Back on the big screen, Bochner acted in "Making Mr. Right" (1987), then delivered a brief, yet memorable turn as an unethical, opportunistic businessman who flirts with the wife of Bruce Willis' character and pays the ultimate price for his treachery in "Die Hard" (1988). Teaming with Argentinean writer-director Martin Donovan, he tackled his first leading role in a feature, offering an arresting turn as a sexually ambiguous roommate of a Buenos Aires movie theater owner (Colin Firth) in "Apartment Zero" (also 1988). His role as an assassin-turned-serial killer, considered by many to be his best, courted controversy in an Argentina still reeling from the political turmoil that saw thousands of people disappear. 1990's "Fellow Traveller" (released theatrically in Europe and shown on HBO in the USA) proved a worthy follow-up, casting him as a dashing movie star who runs afoul of the blacklist during the McCarthy era, but he returned to playing the bad guy as a sleazy executive in that year's "Mr. Destiny," which teamed him for the first time with Jon Lovitz. For his second film with Donovan, he managed to get by on unshaven-hunk appeal in the little seen "Mad at the Moon" (1992). Although he continued to appear in such TV fare as "Children of the Dust" (CBS, 1995), Bochner began to move toward a career behind the camera. In 1992, he wrote, produced and directed the short "The Buzz," starring Lovitz. Two years later, he tackled his first feature, "PCU," a boisterous though flawed look at "political correctness" on college campuses that featured Jeremy Piven, David Spade and Megan Ward. His sophomore effort, "High School High" (1996), penned by David Zucker, Robert N LoCash and Pat Proft, reunited him with Lovitz who played an idealistic teacher working in a run-down, urban bastion of education. While there were some funny gags, the script veered between realism and farce and proved ultimately unsatisfying. With no directing projects forthcoming, Bochner stepped before the camera as Bridget Fonda's abusive husband in "Break Up" (Cinemax, 1999) and was back in his best beefcake mode as Susan Sarandon's younger lover in "Anywhere But Here" (also 1999). He followed with a turn as Professor Solomon in John Ottman's directing debut, "Urban Legends: The Final Cut" (2000).
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