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Peter MacNicol

Peter MacNicol

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Also Known As: Peter C Macnicol Died:
Born: April 10, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Dallas, Texas, USA Profession: actor, voice actor, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Veteran character actor Peter MacNicol made a name for himself with a lengthy résumé populated by roles that while outwardly submissive, often displayed unexpected flashes of inner fire. Trained on the stages of the revered Guthrie Theater and proven on Broadway, the actor's screen debut came with a starring role in the fondly remembered fantasy film "Dragonslayer" (1981). However, he truly came to the attention of both audiences and critics as the odd-man-out in the doomed triangle of the heart-wrenching drama "Sophie's Choice" (1982), opposite Kevin Kline and Oscar-winner Meryl Streep. MacNicol later gave his comic instincts free reign as the manic Dr. Janosz Poha alongside Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver in "Ghostbusters II" (1989). A brief run as a recurring character on the medical drama "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000) paved the way for a career-making role on David E. Kelley's quirky legal comedy "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002). For the six-season-run of the provocative series, MacNicol played law firm partner John Cage with equal parts eccentricity and humanity, endearing himself to fans of the show possibly more than any other character in the wacky series. Always in demand, he soon joined...

Veteran character actor Peter MacNicol made a name for himself with a lengthy résumé populated by roles that while outwardly submissive, often displayed unexpected flashes of inner fire. Trained on the stages of the revered Guthrie Theater and proven on Broadway, the actor's screen debut came with a starring role in the fondly remembered fantasy film "Dragonslayer" (1981). However, he truly came to the attention of both audiences and critics as the odd-man-out in the doomed triangle of the heart-wrenching drama "Sophie's Choice" (1982), opposite Kevin Kline and Oscar-winner Meryl Streep. MacNicol later gave his comic instincts free reign as the manic Dr. Janosz Poha alongside Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver in "Ghostbusters II" (1989). A brief run as a recurring character on the medical drama "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000) paved the way for a career-making role on David E. Kelley's quirky legal comedy "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002). For the six-season-run of the provocative series, MacNicol played law firm partner John Cage with equal parts eccentricity and humanity, endearing himself to fans of the show possibly more than any other character in the wacky series. Always in demand, he soon joined the successful crime drama "Numb3rs" (CBS, 2005-2010), as a theoretician assisting the FBI in solving impregnable cases. Adept at comedy and high drama, MacNicol's innumerable contributions to film and television ensured his ongoing screen presence for years to come.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Battleship (2012)
2.
 Game Change (2012)
3.
 Breakin' All the Rules (2004) Philip Gascon
4.
 Recess: School's Out (2001) Voice Of Fenwick
5.
 Pooch and the Pauper, The (2000) Voice Of Liberty
6.
 Olive the Other Reindeer (1999) Voice Of Fido
7.
 Baby Geniuses (1999) Dan
9.
 Silencing Mary (1998) Lawrence Dixon
10.
 Bean (1997) David Langley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Dallas, TX
1963:
Acted for the first time at age nine; played a statue of St. Peter in a play (date approximate)
:
Worked two seasons at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN
:
Worked in regional theater including "Another Country" at the Long Wharf, "Tartuffe" at Alaska Rep, and "All the King's Men" at the Dallas Theater Center
1980:
Moved to New York City
1980:
Made NYC stage debut in the off-Broadway production of Beth Henley's "Crimes of the Heart"; recreated role on Broadway
:
Performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival, playing the title role in "Richard II"; also appeared in "Romeo and Juliet" and "Twelfth Night"
1981:
Feature film debut as the star of the fantasy adventure "Dragonslayer"
1982:
Landed breakthrough movie role as Stingo, a playwright enamored of the title character (Meryl Streep) in "Sophie's Choice"
1986:
TV-movie debut, "Johnny Bull" (ABC), starring Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst, and directed by Claudia Weill; developed at the National Playwrights Conference of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
1989:
Played a major supporting role as an art restorer with an impenetrable accent in the popular genre sequel "Ghostbusters II"
1992:
Made TV series debut as a regular, playing a U.S. Senator's press aide on the Norman Lear-produced sitcom "The Powers That Be" (NBC)
1993:
Offered an hilarious turn as a peppy camp counselor (teamed on screen with Christine Baranski) in "Addams Family Values"
1993:
Guest starred on "Cheers" (NBC)
1994:
Returned to regular series work as hospital attorney Alan Birch on the David E. Kelley-produced medical drama "Chicago Hope" (CBS); asked to leave show after only one season; Kelley had character murdered in a surprise twist
1995:
Played Renfield to Leslie Nielsen's Transylvanian bloodsucker in Mel Brooks' spoof "Dracula: Dead and Loving It"
1997:
Co-starred as a harried museum curator who mistakens a bumbling security guard (Rowan Atkinson) for an art expert in the boisterous comedy "Bean"
1997:
Joined cast of the hit Fox series "Ally McBeal" as law firm head John 'Biscuit' Cage; earned Emmy nominations in 1999, 2000 and 2001
1998:
Made TV directorial debut with an episode of "Ally McBeal" (Fox)
1999:
Voiced the title snowman in "Snowden's Christmas" (CBS) and Fido in "Olive the Other Reindeer" (Fox)
2001:
Appeared in the PBS production "The Ponder Heart"
2003:
Voiced X, the Eliminator on the animated series "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law"
2005:
Cast as Dr. Larry Fleinhardt on "Numb3rs" (CBS)
2007:
Joined the cast of Fox's "24" as a high-ranking government official
2010:
Landed recurring role on ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy"
2012:
Portrayed John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis in HBO's "Game Change"
2012:
Cast in featured role in the sci-fi action feature "Battleship"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Minnesota at Minneapolis-St Paul: Minneapolis-St Paul , Minnesota -

Notes

"Acting is about covering up traces of who you are and just being the character. I think it's easier to accept people in roles if you don't know a lot about them." --Peter MacNicol, Entertainment Weekly, June 30, 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Marsue Cumming. Theater administrator, producer. Born c. 1949; married on October 11, 1986; was executive director of the 52nd Street Project, a theater program for homeless children in NYC.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John MacNicol. Episcopal priest, former businessman.
mother:
Barbara MacNicol.

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