Ian Petrella from “A Christmas Story”
Ian Petrella started his acting career at the age of three, a suggestion by an Aunt who worked at the Herb Tannen Talent Agency. Ian was presented a contract and a S.A.G. card after his very first audition. Through the years he appeared in numerous television commercials and T.V. shows. In 1983 Ian landed the part of Randy Parker in the now classic holiday film “A Christmas Story”. It wouldn’t be till later in his career when Ian would receive any kind of recognition for the role, but it was this film that put him into the hearts of millions.
Through his teen years Ian continued acting, and later began to study comedy improv. He trained at L.A’s famous Groundlings Comedy Theater. At age 17 he was the youngest person ever to audition, and be accepted to attend classes. Performing for small audiences around L.A. Ian earned his comedy chops. Acting wasn’t enough for Ian’s creative juices; he wanted to explore more avenues of the entertainment business. He got a small gig as a P.A. on a new puppet show. Ian discovered that he was pretty good with puppets and that begin his career as a puppeteer. This landed him a few gigs on Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and a great opportunity to work on a Jim Henson project.
After the millennium the work seemed to slow down and Ian quit acting and show business altogether. He turned in his S.A.G. card for a passport and left for Europe. During his six-month escape, Ian got a chance to study and learn the art of marionette puppetry in the Czech Republic.
Ian decided it was time to come home, not to L.A., but to San Francisco, where he studied film and performed puppetry independently for film and stage. While in school Ian discovered animation. This was good discovery since Ian was running out of money to perform and make puppets. Ian still continues his passion with cartooning to this day.
As destiny would have it, Ian received a call from a gentleman inviting him to the 20th anniversary of “A Christmas Story”. Rekindling with cast member and friends from his past, prompted Ian to give Hollywood another shot. With a new spark of inspiration to get his name back in the spot light, Ian could once again re-light a fire that he thought died out a long time ago.
Settling back in Los Angeles CA., Ian co-founded a production company creating web content and producing various animated shorts. Today Ian continues to tour and make appearances during the holiday season along with the rest of the cast of “A Christmas Story”, bringing back fond memories to thousands of fans old and new.
Ian has also appeared in tons of television programs including Diff’rent Strokes, Who’s the Boss?, Highway to Heaven (in the classic I Was a Teenage Werewolf spoof), Once a Hero, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Mr. President. Ian was among the celebrity guests at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention and signed autographs for fans of A Christmas Story all weekend long.