Engaging comic actor, tall and freckle-faced with a neighborly air, whose strong suit has been enacting a naif's befuddlement and a slapstick-style physical elasticity. After starting out in regional theater, he made his mark as the blundering senior in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982). Reinhold is best known as the ineffectual detective Billy Rosewood, opposite Eddie Murphy in the blockbuster "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984) and its sequels.
After playing in two 80s smash films, "Ruthless People" (1986) and "Beverly Hills Cop II" (1987), Reinhold's profile receded a bit. He worked as an actor on cable TV-movies including "Black Magic" (1992) and, on one occasion, as a producer of the Cinemax special "Judge Reinhold and Demi Moore in The New Homeowner's Guide to Happiness" (1987). Most of his feature acting work of the same period could be charitably described by the title of a 1991 film, "Near Misses", in which he starred. In 1994, he came to the fore once again with "Beverly Hills Cop III", an Emmy-nominated guest appearance on the NBC sitcom "Seinfeld" and a supporting role in "The Santa Clause".
Reinhold worked steadily in B-movies and telepics for over a decade, but rarely did he find the kind of prominent exposure he experienced in the 1980s. He also experimented with roles in various TV series, but none of them found solid footing in the Neilson ratings. He appeared in the TV version of writer-director Kevin Smith's "Clerks" as The Honorable Judge Reinhold, and took over the Charles Grodin role in a pair of straight-to-video sequels to the St. Bernard comedy "Beethoven" before reprising his most recent high-profile part in the "The Santa Claus 2" (2002).