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Gary Cole

Gary Cole

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Also Known As: Gary Michael Cole Died:
Born: September 20, 1956 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Park Ridge, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, bartender, house painter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This handsome stage-trained actor of the Chicago stage first gained celebrity on TV in the mid-1980s with a series of accomplished performances in high-profile TV-movies and miniseries. Though youthful, Cole has brought strength and credibility to his portrayals of often flawed figures of authority. He won national attention with his breakthrough TV performance as charismatic accused killer Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald in the acclaimed miniseries "Fatal Vision" (NBC, 1984). As a former Green Beret officer accused (and convicted) of murdering his family, Cole displayed an impressive range that both encompassed and challenged the various points of view expressed about the true nature of his character. A frequent presence on TV since the mid-1980s, Cole's substantial telefilm work includes a pairing with TV veteran Ed Asner in "Vital Signs" (CBS, 1986) playing father-and-son doctors cum substance abusers--alcohol for the elder and pharmaceuticals for the younger; portraying a newly widowed reluctant father in "Those She Left Behind" (NBC, 1989); and a memorable interpretation of General George Armstrong Custer in the miniseries "Son of the Morning Star" (ABC, 1991). He segued to series TV as the star of...

This handsome stage-trained actor of the Chicago stage first gained celebrity on TV in the mid-1980s with a series of accomplished performances in high-profile TV-movies and miniseries. Though youthful, Cole has brought strength and credibility to his portrayals of often flawed figures of authority. He won national attention with his breakthrough TV performance as charismatic accused killer Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald in the acclaimed miniseries "Fatal Vision" (NBC, 1984). As a former Green Beret officer accused (and convicted) of murdering his family, Cole displayed an impressive range that both encompassed and challenged the various points of view expressed about the true nature of his character.

A frequent presence on TV since the mid-1980s, Cole's substantial telefilm work includes a pairing with TV veteran Ed Asner in "Vital Signs" (CBS, 1986) playing father-and-son doctors cum substance abusers--alcohol for the elder and pharmaceuticals for the younger; portraying a newly widowed reluctant father in "Those She Left Behind" (NBC, 1989); and a memorable interpretation of General George Armstrong Custer in the miniseries "Son of the Morning Star" (ABC, 1991). He segued to series TV as the star of "Midnight Caller" (NBC, 1988-91). Here Cole was Jack Killian, a sensitive former San Francisco cop who leaves the force after accidentally killing his partner, drowns his guilt in the bottle for a time and finds redemption as "The Nighthawk," the host of an all-night, call-in radio show.

Despite a busy TV career, Cole continued to stomp the boards on the Chicago stage. After dropping out during his third year at Illinois State University, he helped form the Remains Theater. Cole left the Remains to become an ensemble member of the celebrated Steppenwolf Theatre Company where he appeared in such productions as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Philadelphia Here I Come" and "Balm in Gilead." During a hiatus from "Midnight Caller," he returned to the Windy City to star in David Mamet's "Speed the Plow." Cole has only dabbled in features in the 90s beginning with a supporting role as young Secret Service agent who needles Clint Eastwood in "In the Line of Fire" (1993). He won surprisingly appreciative notices for his uncanny recreation of Mr. Mike Brady, Robert Reed's beloved TV sitcom Dad, for "The Brady Bunch Movie" (1995), its sequel, "A Very Brady Movie" (1996) and a TV-movie follow-up "Bradys in the White House" (2002). .

Cole returned to series TV playing a far more ominous paternal figure in "American Gothic" (CBS, 1995-96). As Sheriff Lucas Buck, he cut a coolly menacing figure as a man with unusual--and perhaps supernatural--powers and influence in a sleepy North Carolina town. The critically-hailed drama failed to catch on, sending Cole in search of further film and TV _ roles, playing a wide ranging assortment of characters--from conventional dads (1998's "I'll Be Home for Christmas") to a hilarious empty-dialoguing boss (1999's "Office Space") to a sleazy attorney (2000's "The Gift"). Slipping adeptly between comedy and drama, Cole had a banner year in 2002 with a small but compelling turn as the store manager to Robin Williams' creepy, obessive photo developer in "One Hour Photo," a role he followed up with a highly comedic turn as Owen Wilsom's can-do-no-wrong superspy rival in "I Spy." He was also cast in the Uncle Bill role (originally played by Brian Kieth) in the WB's short-lived 2002 update of the saccharine family sit-com "Family Affair" and employed his considerable vocal talents for a pair of popular animated series, "Kim Possible" and "Harvey Bridman, Attorney at Law."

Cole continued his comedic sneak attack on audiences with a turn in the retro-cool "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" (2004) as Kate Bosworth's Hollywood-impressed father, and in a pitch perfect turn as an onsequious sports broadcaster in "Dodgeball" (2004).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bronze, The (2015)
2.
 Christmas Eve (2015)
3.
 Divine Access (2015)
4.
 Tammy (2014)
5.
 Gay Dude (2014)
8.
 Ricochet (2011)
9.
 Hop (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1979:
Co-founded the Remains Theater in Chicago, IL
1983:
Made his TV acting debut in the ABC TV-movie "Heart of Steel"
1984:
Starred as Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, a former Green Beret accused and convicted of murdering his family, in the fact-based NBC miniseries "Fatal Vision"
1985:
Joined the ensemble of the famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago; acted in various Steppenwolf productions, including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Philadelphia Here I Come"
1988:
Made TV series debut on the NBC drama "Midnight Caller"
1989:
Returned to Chicago to star in David Mamet's "Speed the Plow" during a hiatus from "Midnight Caller"
1991:
Starred as General George Armstrong Custer in the ABC miniseries "Son of the Morning Star"
1993:
Made feature film debut in "In the Line of Fire"
1995:
First feature lead, playing 1970s TV dad Mike Brady in "The Brady Bunch Movie"
1995:
Returned to series TV as the star of CBS' "American Gothic"
1996:
Reprised role of Mike Brady in "A Very Brady Sequel"
1998:
Played astronaut Edgar Mitchell in producer Tom Hanks' HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon"
1998:
Cast as Jonathan Taylor Thomas' father in the hit teen comedy "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
1999:
Played the jazzman father in the Steppenwolf production of "Side Man"
1999:
Played the obnoxious, demanding supervisor Bill Lumbergh in Mike Judge's "Office Space"
2000:
Cast in director Sam Raimi's "The Gift"
2000:
Provided the voive of the titular superhero on the Adult Swim series "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law"
2000:
Voiced various characters on the Fox animated series "Family Guy"
2002:
Reprised the role of Mike Brady for the Fox telepic "The Brady Bunch in the White House"
2002:
Played Robin Williams' department store manager in the psychological drama "One Hour Photo"
2002:
Provided the voice of Dr. Possible on Disney Channel's animated series "Kim Possible"
2002:
Cast as Uncle Bill Davis on The WB's updated take on the TV classic "Family Affair"
2003:
Played the recurring role of Vice President Bob Russell on the NBC political drama "West Wing"
2004:
Appeared in the romantic comedy "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton"
2004:
Cast with Ben Stiller in the comedy "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story"
2005:
Appeared in the horror film "The Ring Two"
2006:
Cast as Will Ferrell's estranged father in the comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"
2008:
Played a drug lord in the Judd Apatow produced comedy "Pineapple Express"
2008:
Landed recurring role on the fifth season of HBO's "Entourage," playing agent Ari Gold's old pal Andrew Klein; joined the regular cast in the sixth season
2008:
Guest starred as Katherine Mayfair's (Dana Delany) ex-husband Wayne Davis on ABC's "Desperate Housewives"
2009:
Co-starred with David Duchovny and Demi Moore in the independent comedy "The Joneses"
2011:
Acted in the family adventure "Hop"
2010:
Made recurring guest appearance on CBS drama "The Good Wife"
2012:
Starred as an Air Force colonel and Peeping Tom in Lifetime's fact-based movie "An Officer and a Murderer"
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Education

Illinois State University: Normal , Illinois -
Rolling Meadows High School: Rolling Meadows , Illinois -

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