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THE COUNTRY BEARS

ELI MARIENTHAL (Dex Barrington) was most recently seen in the hit feature film "American Pie" and provided the voice of Hogarth Hughes in the charming animated film "The Iron Giant." Other recent features include "Jack Frost" with Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston and "Slums of Beverly Hills" starring Alan Arkin and Marisa Tomei.

The young actor is a native of the Bay Area of California, where he studied at the East Bay French American School (Ecoile Bilingue) and at the prestigious American Conservatory Theater's Young Conservatory. Marienthal made his film debut in the independent feature "First Love, Last Rites" and his television debut in the CBS telefilm "Unlikely Angel," opposite Dolly Parton. He went on to star in the title role of NBC's Fall 2000 series "Tucker."

He has appeared in various theatrical productions in the San Francisco area (the Magic Theatre's "Cryptogram" and Berkeley Repertory Theatre's "Missing Persons" and "The Life of Galileo") including several produced by the American Conservatory Theater ("A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Every 17 Minutes the Crowd Goes Crazy" and "Hecuba").

Marienthal is also a "slam poet" who performs his original work nationwide. Slam poetry is a hip-hop infused, socially conscious form of R&B poetry that young people write and perform. This wide-ranging, peaceful youth movement was recently spotlighted on PBS with the special entitled "Poetic License." Marienthal is active in an organization called "Youth Speaks" which promotes and organizes slam poetry events where young poets can perform their work. The creative outlet gives teenagers, including at risk youth, a positive venue in which to express themselves.

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