More than a face in the crowd
Local broker moonlights as an actor
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Feb 27, 2013 | 4723 views | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEHIND THE SCENES – A local real estate broker and construction supervisor, Louis Sabbers does what he loves best when he can – acting.
BEHIND THE SCENES – A local real estate broker and construction supervisor, Louis Sabbers does what he loves best when he can – acting.

Although not a household name, Louis Sabbers’ face may seem familiar; as someone who has been on TV and in movies, often in minor roles for commercials and independent films, his is a face often seen in the crowd of a beer commercial or as the male member of a senior couple strolling through a scene.

Born in Jersey City and a Bayonne resident for the last 10 years, Sabbers lived most of his married life in West New York. Back then a construction worker whose job took him all over Hudson County, he never thought he would ever live to see his dream come true of becoming an actor.

“I lived in West New York for about 18 years,” he said. “I owned my own construction company in Jersey City. I did a lot of work in Bayonne and all over West New York and Hudson County.”

All that happened years later after his wife passed away, and he decided to take a chance on acting. He wasn’t looking to become as superstar like Daniel Craig, but instead just to get his feet wet, and so he took a six-month course at Weist Baron for acting for commercials and got a number of parts for such prestigious companies as Guinness, Red Lobster, Warner Music, Nickelodeon, YouTube, and more.

Hobby turned into labor of love

“My wife passed away about 25 years ago,” he said. “Acting is something I always wanted to do, so I decided to give it a try.”

Apparently, someone suggested that he take acting lessons, and this prompted him to get even more training. He began attending HBO Studio in New York City where he studied technical mechanics and scene, as well as improve with season professionals like Bill Hickey, Sandy Dennis, Steven Strimpell, Uta Hagan and Earl Hyman.

“Strimpell is a great director,” he recalled.

After this, Sabbers took these talents to a variety of place as local as the Union City Theater where he played Mr. Weatherspoon in Arsenic and Old Lace, to roles in nearly a dozen independent films companies that included a deli owner, a senior citizen, and even a senator, in films such as The Candidate, House of Love, Returning, The Golden Girls Parody, Bomb Fetish, Goomba (in which he played a don), and Like Chalk and Cheese.

“It’s a labor of love,” he said.

“I love acting and I’ll do any role.” – Louis Sabbers

A real estate broker with Wiechert in Bayonne, Sabbers still acts, and is scheduled to play the role of a deceased grandfather in Ghost Stories, scheduled to air on Biography channel.

“I see myself as an unemployed actor who happens to sell real estate,” he said, recalling an audition he did in Queens at the old Silvercup bread factory for HBO’s The Sopranos. He didn’t get the role but he got a glimpse of a few of the big wigs there.

Sabbers, a graduate of Seton Hall University, has a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing. He owned his own construction company in Jersey City from about 1964 to 1988, at which time he became an inspector Hudson County’s Department of Engineering, after which he became a supervisor for security for the Hudson County facilities in Secaucus. He still does supervision, plan estimating, contract and other labor negotiations for JFC Construction.

While he makes his living now as a real estate broker, he continues his acting career whenever he can, traveling to locations to play a part – usually something small, although he is up for something more challenging.

“I love acting,” he said. “And I’ll do any role, although I tend to be better at comedy.”

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