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Fame & Fortune
John O'Hurley
'Seinfeld' role masked real-life investment wisdom
Celebrity interview

Fame & Fortune: John O'Hurley

Millions of people know actor John O'Hurley as the man with the stentorian voice who entertained us as Elaine Benes' boss on "Seinfeld." His witty and wry portrayal of J. Peterman led to many successful print and TV ads for major companies.

Or maybe you remember him for mesmerizing us with his fancy footwork as the runner-up celebrity dancer in the first season of "Dancing With The Stars," where he ended up in a dance-off with soap star Kelly Monaco. In winning the September 2005 rematch against Monaco, he earned $126,000 for the charity Golfers Against Cancer.

His recent hosting duties on "Family Feud" have brought him a new legion of fans. To add to his achievements, O'Hurley has also written two books, most recently, "Before Your Dog Can Eat Your Homework, First You Have To Do It," and also released a two-album CD called "Peace of Our Minds," a project the self-taught pianist and classically trained vocalist took great pride in completing.

But few know that this Maine native and Providence College graduate is a successful businessman who actually owns a piece of the real J. Peterman Co. The award-winning actor is not only a success on-screen, but off-screen as well, with his competent flair for business.

Aside from his partnership in the J. Peterman Co., O'Hurley is the principal partner in two venture capital companies, Round One Investments in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Heritage Capital Investments in Atlanta.

At 53 years old, O'Hurley has found success not only professionally, but personally, with his marriage and the arrival of son William Dylan in December 2006.

Bankrate: People think of you more as an entertainer than a successful businessman, yet you are a quite successful one with the J. Peterman Co. and two venture capital companies. What have you learned about investing money?

John O'Hurley: Well, I like to invest with my heart. I like to buy into things that I really care about. Now, that's not saying that I do that all the time. I have a lot of business investments that are just investments, but I enjoy investing in things that I have an emotional feeling for, such as real estate, especially. I have a strong feeling for the J. Peterman Co. and several other investments I've made. Other people always say to look at business as business and never have an emotion in it, but I don't enjoy it that way. It completes me more to feel strongly about a business.

Bankrate: Something more tangible?

John O'Hurley: Not necessarily tangible, but something that I care about.

Bankrate: Have you invested for your own retirement and also for a college fund for little Will?

John O'Hurley: Oh yes. The college fund is already taken are of and he's only a year old. That was the first check I wrote for him. And for retirement, I'm all set, too. I have many, many pensions.

Next: "The number seems to be more fluid than beer."
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