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Dan Butler

Dan Butler

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Also Known As: Dan E Butler Died:
Born: December 2, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Huntington, Indiana, USA Profession: actor, associate artistic director, Road Theatre Company, playwright, director, waiter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Known to fans of the TV series "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-) as Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe, the womanizing, blue-collar, loud-mouthed sports radio host and nemesis to stuffy Dr. Frasier Crane, Dan Butler is one of the few openly gay stars on primetime TV. His sexual orientation has had no impact on his career on "Frasier" nor has there been any negative audience fallout since Butler disclosed it on "Entertainment Tonight" in 1994. The talented, compact Butler won parts--most of them heterosexual--in a host of TV and movie projects. Butler had been involved with the theatre since his youth in Fort Wayne, IN. He made his performing debut as a lad in a local production of "The Music Man" and eventually joined the Indiana-Purdue theatre group while in high school. Although he received a scholarship from the Irene Ryan Foundation to study acting, Butler left both Purdue University and San Jose State College without degrees and migrated to San Francisco where he worked in regional theatre. Relocating to New York in 1980, Butler won a role in Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues" on Broadway and small parts in such TV-movies as "Country Gold" (CBS, 1982) and "The Last Days of Frank & Jesse James (ABC, 1986). A starring role in...

Known to fans of the TV series "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-) as Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe, the womanizing, blue-collar, loud-mouthed sports radio host and nemesis to stuffy Dr. Frasier Crane, Dan Butler is one of the few openly gay stars on primetime TV. His sexual orientation has had no impact on his career on "Frasier" nor has there been any negative audience fallout since Butler disclosed it on "Entertainment Tonight" in 1994.

The talented, compact Butler won parts--most of them heterosexual--in a host of TV and movie projects. Butler had been involved with the theatre since his youth in Fort Wayne, IN. He made his performing debut as a lad in a local production of "The Music Man" and eventually joined the Indiana-Purdue theatre group while in high school. Although he received a scholarship from the Irene Ryan Foundation to study acting, Butler left both Purdue University and San Jose State College without degrees and migrated to San Francisco where he worked in regional theatre. Relocating to New York in 1980, Butler won a role in Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues" on Broadway and small parts in such TV-movies as "Country Gold" (CBS, 1982) and "The Last Days of Frank & Jesse James (ABC, 1986). A starring role in the New York company of "The Lisbon Traviata" brought him to the Mark Taper Forum for the Los Angeles production in 1991. Butler decided to stay in L.A. and won guest shots on "Quantam Leap" and a small recurring role on "Roseanne" as a motorcycle pal of Dan's (John Goodman). His "Roseanne" bosses, Carsey-Werner Productions, put him in the pilot of "Sex & Saints" (1992), but CBS failed the pick up the project. Guest appearances in ABC's "Life Goes On" and CBS' "Picket Fences" kept Butler busy, but "Bulldog" on "Frasier" had kept him steadily working. As the role is not featured in every episode, Butler has had time to occasionally do guest spots in other series, such as "The X-Files" (Fox) and "Caroline in the City" (NBC).

Billed as Dan E. Butler, he made his film debut in Michael Mann's "Manhunter" (1986) as a fingerprint expert and also appeared in "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991); both films featured the serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lechter (played by Brian Cox and Anthony Hopkins respectively). He was the pushy casting agent who refuses to hire an actor because of rumors the actor has AIDS in "Longtime Companion" (1989) and played small character roles in the comedies "Captain Ron" (1992) "Dave" (1993) and "I Love Trouble" (1994). Butler also launched "The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me," his partly autobiographical one-man show in which he portrayed a host of gay characters. The play has had lengthy runs in both Los Angeles and New York where it received much praise and audience support.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
3.
 Chronic Town (2008)
5.
 Fixing Frank (2001) Dr Arthur Apsey
6.
 Enemy of the State (1998) Shaffer
8.
 Fan, The (1996) Garrity
9.
 I Love Trouble (1994) Wilson Chess
10.
 Dave (1993) Reporter
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1972:
Joined Indiana-Purdue, Fort Wayne, IN, theatre group while in high school (date approximate)
1973:
Received an Irene Ryan scholarship to study acting
1976:
Performed in regional theatre in San Francisco
1980:
Relocated to NYC; won role in "Biloxi Blues" on Broadway
1982:
Primetime TV debut, small role in "Country Gold", a CBS TV-movie
1986:
Film debut, "Manhunter", based on Thomas Harris' novel that concerns Dr Hannibal Lechter (billed as Dan E Butler)
1989:
Starred in off-Broadway production of Terrence McNally's "The Lisbon Traviata"
1990:
Travelled to L.A. for West Coast production of "The Lisbon Traviata"
1991:
Played recurring role on "Roseanne" (ABC)
1991:
Appeared in "The Silence of the Lambs", based on Thomas Harris novel that concerns Dr Hannibal Lechter
1992:
Co-starred in unsold pilot, "Sex and Saints" for CBS
1993:
Joined cast of "Frasier" as Bob 'Bulldog' Briscoe
1994:
Starred in one-man show, "The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me" in L.A.
1995:
Appeared off-Broadway in one-man show "The Only Thing Worse ..."; later toured in show
2000:
Had featured role in the Off-Broadway production of Wendy Wasserstein's play "Old Money"
2001:
Starred as a psychologist who trafficks in reparative therapy in the indie "Fixing Frank"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Purdue University: West Lafayette , Indiana - 1973
San Jose State College: San Jose , California - 1974 - 1975

Notes

"We type people. A jock couldn't like musical scores, a gay man won't do sports. It's foolish. That's what I love about Bulldog. He reminds me to be a kid and play. We can waste years being stuck in a point of view." --Dan Butler in PEOPLE, April 24, 1995

"Bulldog would consider himself erudite, too. Once he looked up the word." --Dan Butler, THE NEW YORK POST, June 24, 1994

Family close complete family listing

father:
Andrew Butler. Pharmacist.
mother:
Shirley Butler. Homemaker.
sister:
Pam Conrad. Registered nurse. Born c. 1958.

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