With his red hair and aquiline nose, Perlich has carved a career as a quirky character player. After dropping out of high school, he landed a bit part in John Hughes's ode to suburban youth, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (1986). Perlich has worked steadily (an average of three films per year), portraying an assortment of wayward youths. His nervous demeanor and unlikely matinee-idol looks (in contrast to "Barbie-doll" co-stars Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch and Heather Graham) in Gus Van Sant's disturbing "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989) added gravity to his portrayal of a young drug hustler. He went on to give another fine, tragic performance as Walker, a young junkie forced into becoming a snitch in Lili Zanuck's "Rush" (1991).
Perlich has remained busy as a supporting player in films ranging from the unsuccessful remake of "Born Yesterday" (1993) to "Maverick" (1994). He had a meaty role as Axel, the sweet grocery clerk who is hopelessly in love with Jennifer Jason Leigh's self-destructive Sadie in Ulu Grosbard's "Georgia" (1995). He was also featured in the ensemble films "Beautiful Girls" and "The Grave" (both 1996).
Perlich has had a sporadic career on TV. He first appeared in the miniseries "Home Fires" (Showtime, 1987), which depicted the life of a family coping with modern pressures. He played a recurring role as a graffiti artist in the short-lived drama "TV 101" (CBS, 1988-89). Perlich also co-starred in Ralph Bashki's short film "This Ain't Bebop" that aired in 1989 on PBS as part of an anthology entitled "Imagining America." He made appearances in two other 1994 Showtime cable movies, "Girls in Prison" and "Shake, Rattle and Rock." From the fall of 1995 through the 1996-97 season, Perlich appeared on the acclaimed NBC police drama "Homicide: Life on the Streets" in the role of Brodie, a videographer who documented crime scenes for the police.
Cast (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Moved with family to Southern California
Feature acting debut, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
TV acting debut, "Home Fires"
Played a recurring character on the series, "TV 101"
Breakthrough film role, "Drugstore Cowboy"
Joined cast of "Homicide: Life on the Street" in recurring role of Brodie; made a series regular during the 1996-1997 season