(written from a Production point of view)
Van Zandt had made his film debut in Jaws 2 one year before the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). Between scenes, he was often watching Robert Wise direct, or he was writing plays. In 1981, he had a supporting role as Bug (a military cadet who, coincidentally, loves Star Trek) in the drama Taps with Ronny Cox, and the telemovie Skag, after which he began to turn his attention to writing for television. He began by becoming a story editor and writer on the hit series Newhart from 1988 through 1989.
He briefly returned to television acting in 1989 to play the role of Harold on the sitcom Anything But Love, opposite his longtime writing partner, Jane Milmore. Having co-written numerous episodes for this series, they left the show abruptly during its second season, both on- and off-screen. Throughout the '80s to the present, Van Zandt and Milmore continued to write stage plays, at least one comedy annually, for a theater season in Van Zandt's hometown of Monmouth, New Jersey. Van Zandt was lead actor and director of his troupe of regulars, and each play was sold to Samuel French. Four of the plays have played Off-Broadway: Drop Dead; Silent Laughter; The Property Known as Garland; and their newest play You've Got Hate Mail which opened Off-Broadway in 2010 and is still running today.
In 1991, Van Zandt became a writer and supervising producer on the series Nurses. The following year he became a writer and co-executive producer for the hit series Martin, and in 1993, he created the short-lived Daddy Dearest, and developed the long-running shows The Wayans Bros. and Suddenly Susan. He went on to write and executive produce for the show Bless This House and to become writer and consulting producer for Yes, Dear (2000-01), The Hughleys (1998-2002), and Center of the Universe (2004-05). A longtime fan of Lucille Ball, Van Zandt had a cameo in an episode of Life With Lucy and later produced the TV special, I Love Lucy: The First Episode.
Van Zandt is currently married to actress Adrienne Barbeau, herself a Star Trek alum, having appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The two married in 1992 after meeting in the west coast premiere of Van Zandt's play Drop Dead. The union would produce twin boys, Walker and William, born 17 March 1997. Van Zandt and Barbeau later co-starred together in the 1999 film A Wake in Providence (which Van Zandt co-wrote). In 2006, Barbeau starred as Judy Garland in an Off-Broadway play written by Van Zandt called The Property Known as Garland.
He is the brother of actor/musician Little Steven Van Zandt.
His costume from the movie was added to the ScienceFictionArchives.com collection.