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|Also Known As:||Gerritt Graham||Died:|
|Born:||November 27, 1949||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||New York City, New York, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor screenwriter journalist songwriter critic|
A hawk-nosed, light-haired character player with large hooded eyes, Gerrit Graham started his film acting career as a teenager in the early experimental anti-Establishment comedies of Brian De Palma (1968's "Greetings" and its sequel "Hi, Mom!" 1969) co-starring with the then unknown Robert De Niro. The NYC-born actor snared the role of a countercultural figure even more thoroughly obsessed with the assassination of JFK than with the pleasures of Free Love while a sophomore at Columbia University where he served as general manager of the Columbia Players--a post previously held by De Palma. Graham dropped out of college to act with Chicago's Second City comedy troupe before collaborating with De Palma again on "Hi, Mom!." He went on to amass of number of stage credits including several productions with Paul Sills' original Story Theater, a lead in the L.A. production of Sam Shepard's "Chicago" and some off-off-Broadway shows.
Graham delivered a memorably outlandish performance in De Palma's "Phantom of the Paradise" (1974) as Beef, a knowing lampoon of several rock legends of the day, who gets fried on stage. In 1974 he moved to L.A. and began alternating assignments between theater, films and TV. His somewhat stylized features worked well in cultish genre assignments like playing an earnest young scientist who tries to protect Julie Christie from a lusty computer in "Demon Seed" (1977), a wild-eyed and arrogant health nut in De Palma's somewhat nostalgic "Home Movies" (1979), an enthusiastic seller of "pre-owned vehicles" in Robert Zemeckis' "Used Cars" (1980) and the maniacally mugging title character in the straight-to-video horror-comedy sequel "Chud II: Bud the Chud" (1989). He has also proven effective in more mainstream works such as "This Boy's Life" (1993), playing a prep school recruiter and "One True Thing" (1999) as a well-known writer and former mentor to William Hurt.
On the small screen, Graham has proved effective in zany characterizations like his strange neighbor in "Stockard Channing in Just Friends" (CBS, 1979) and the anal retentive school principal in "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" (Fox, 1990-91). Additionally, he has found a secondary careers as both a voice actor (e.g., "The Critic") and as a screenwriter for TV episodics (the 80s revival of "The Twilight Zone") and animated features (Disney's "The Prince and the Pauper" 1990). Graham returned to series work in the fall of 1999 co-starring in the sci-fi themed "Now and Again" (CBS), playing the co-worker of a man who has been given a new body--one 20 years younger--in a secret government experiment.
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