Jack Kandel was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 15, 1952. His parents were Holocaust survivors, arriving in New York 1951 from Lodz, Poland. His father Leon (a house painter) and his mother Guta, raised Jack in Judaic European traditions. After graduating Niles East HS in Skokie, Ill he tried numerous professions including sales, motivational speaking, dog training, cab driver, and bar-tending. Jack spent numerous years in the bar business (including owning a popular bar, "Smilin' Jack's) while he studied acting at Second City with Josephine Forsberg, and with his mentor Angelo Karas. Moved to LA in 1989 to pursue his career He has appeared in over 95 plays, including Shakespeare. Directing plays, teaching and coaching are other talents Jack continues to explore.