September 14, 2009 / 5:27 AM / in 9 years

Eric McCormack to play conman in Lifetime movie

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Eric McCormack has lined up two TV projects.

Eric McCormack, who stars in the film "Alien Trespass", poses for a portrait in Los Angeles March 30, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

At Lifetime, the “Will & Grace” Emmy winner will star in an original movie about the con artist known as Clark Rockefeller. Additionally, McCormack is attached to star in a comedy expected to be taken out to the networks shortly.

The Rockefeller tale begins with German con artist Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (McCormack) coming to the U.S. in 1979 as a foreign exchange student. He used a series of aliases, impersonating a talk show host and a Pentagon adviser, among others. Gerhartsreiter soon became a fixture in Boston high society for more than a decade after he claimed to be Clark Rockefeller, an heir to the famous dynasty. The deception was described as “the longest con in FBI history.”

He eventually married Sandra Boss, a millionaire with a Harvard MBA and a partner at the prestigious business consulting firm McKinsey & Co. After losing custody of their daughter during the divorce, Rockefeller kidnapped the girl during a supervised visit in July 2008. The abduction and Rockefeller’s apprehension after the safe retrieval of his daughter drew nationwide attention and led to the discovery of his real identity.

At a trial this spring, Gerhartsreiter was sentenced to four to five years in prison for the kidnapping. The film is slated to begin production in October for a March 2010 premiere.

The untitled comedy project has McCormack playing Kris Jacobs, a recent widower surrounded by an eccentric cast of family and friends who tries to put his life back together. It was written on spec by Alex Barnow and Marc Firek (“‘Till Death”).

Editing by DGoodman at Reuters

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