Charles Fleischer is as unique an individual as the characters he has portrayed over the years – Doctors, students, weasels and a very famous Rabbit. Fleischer, however, isn’t defined by the roles he has played, but rather by how he is shaping the world with his other passions.
“The things I am passionate about began from having my soul touched by an artist from a similar genre,” Fleischer said. “For instance, I saw Salvador Dali or Picasso and said ‘Wow, I want to do that!’ or I heard Jimi Hendrix and said, ‘Oh I want to play guitar,’ I saw Jonathan Winters or Groucho Marx and said, ‘I want to be a comedian’ – or I read about Einstein, Newton or Curie and knew I wanted to be a scientist. I want to create something that a kid who isn’t born yet can say, ‘Wow I want to do that too!’ It’s all about connecting the past to the future.”
Making those connections began at an early age for Fleischer – who credits Winters and Marx with inspiring him to begin comedic performances at the age of 9 at a summer camp. “I think it’s a genetic predisposition when one has proclivity to perform, paint, draw, or anything that is artistic and has cultural rewards,” he explained.
Comedy is where Fleischer made a name for himself early on in his career and the veteran comedian is not shy about his feelings for the genre. “There is nothing like standup performance,” he said. “It’s unique and wondrous. I love it.” That love leads Fleischer to many different venues around the country – where he has mastered his craft for audiences of all kinds. “It’s more about who is there, not where I am,” Fleischer admitted. “You could be in the most beautiful showroom in the world surrounded by people who aren’t into you, but you can be in some hole-in-the-wall where people really appreciate your work.”
Fleischer’s work is what led to his success, from his television appearances on “Welcome Back, Kotter”, to his first film roles. But that success didn’t determine the outcomes of his career – it only led to Fleischer taking another step forward. “You learn something new from every job and it enables you to be better for the next one,” he explained. “I feel privileged to do what I love.”
That love became mutually exclusive from fans when Fleischer appeared as Dr. King in the 1984 horror classic, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, a movie that would redefine the horror genre. “Wes Craven is a genius,” Fleischer exclaimed. “He tapped into an archetype that is valid and vivid.” Fleischer also recalled a young face during filming – Johnny Depp. “It was Depp’s first film,” he recalled. “I remember being in makeup with him a few chairs down – who knew at the time he would become what he has – but I worked with Johnny again recently with Rango – so it was a nice bookend kind of deal.”
Next up for Fleischer was the role most people recognize him for – the titular character Roger Rabbit’s voice from the 1988 blockbuster “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” – an experience he cherishes. “It was extraordinary in every sense of the word,” he said. “To be filming in England, to be part of the collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney Studios, being directed by Bob Zemeckis, being the title character – I mean it was just an amazing time.”
Fleischer would be cast in many TV shows and movies following the success of Roger Rabbit and much like he did with Depp in 1984, he found another new actor on set while filming “Gridlock’d” – an actor with whom he shared a bond. “Tupac Shakur and I enjoyed working together,” Fleischer explained. “We talked about working together again – he was such a great guy with the soul of a poet and we recognized in each other that we were both artists and became friends because of that.”
When it comes to recognition, Fleischer has started to make a name for himself in another field – scientific research.
“I have a patent on a device that measures the golden ratio,” he said. “I also have a scientific paper I wrote endorsed by an astrophysicist on the Cornell University website. I made a discovery concerning Gamma Ray bursts and if my hypothesis is correct it will be a pivotal point in the history of science on Earth. The hypothesis is that Gamma Ray bursts are a method of communication from an ancient, highly advanced civilization. It’s incredible to have made this discovery over the years and even more so that I was able to have it endorsed by an established member of my field. My theory is as provable, if not more, than any of the 100 different theories scientists have developed to explain the origin of Gamma Ray bursts. Even more amazing is that this is all from the voice of a cartoon rabbit,” he joked.
Another passion of Fleischer’s is something he has been working on for the past 30 years – Moleeds. “It’s all about symmetry and exercise of the mind without human interference; there’s no agenda at all – it just tunes your brain to a natural resonance.” Fleischer presented his thoughts on Moleeds at a TED Talk that was informative, funny and educational. (WATCH NOW)
Next up for Fleischer is bringing his art to the masses when a piece of his will be shown at the VioletHour Art Studio in Fullerton, CA on July 5. The studio, owned by Michael Magoski, will have a show of photography and paintings all inspired by the quotes of Alan Watts. He will join girlfriend, and fellow artist, Amy Ambrose – as well as others, for what he describes as a “pretty cool event.”
Charles Fleischer has left his imprint on a lot of different things – acting, music, art, comedy and science – but his biggest mark is on anyone that has the opportunity to hear him speak about his passions. Much like the lovable Roger Rabbit, Fleischer is multi-dimensional and energetic – something that has served him well as he looks to better the world – one Moleed at a time.