Best known as brash next-door-neighbor Bob Pinciotti on the hit TV series "That '70s Show" (Fox 1998-2006), Don Stark was a Hollywood fixture who appeared in numerous TV series and films as a character actor. Stark had a prolific career that featured work in comedy, drama, science fiction and animation.
Donald Stark was born in New York City on August 20, 1954. While attending Cleveland High School, Stark was literally dared into acting when his friend challenged him to join the school's drama club. Surprisingly, Stark landed the lead in the school's production of Howard Richardson's dramatic play "Dark of the Moon" and soon added acting to a list of hobbies that included bodybuilding and martial arts. The effects of his acting stint in high school did not fully manifest itself until he attended California State University, where he switched majors from business to theater.
Stark officially began his professional acting career with a small role as a thug who fought Robert Culp in a TV movie-of-the-week called "Outrage" (1973). Two years later, Stark appeared in his first feature film, the classic exploitation film "Switchblade Sisters" (1975), about a teenaged female gang in hot pants. Stark worked regularly in small roles in film and television before being cast in the recurring role of Ripley on the TV soap opera "General Hospital" (ABC 1963-). In 1991, he played Cha Cha, the best friend of Ray Sharkey's main character on the short-lived series "Man in the Family" (ABC 1991).
While maintaining a steady career in TV guest roles, Stark provided voice work for the animated series "Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man" (USA 1994-97) and an animated adaptation of Marvel's comic character "Spider-Man" (Fox 1994-98) as the supervillain Rhino. However, Stark's pursuit of a hit TV series continued to elude him as he played the bumbling buddy of Andrew Dice Clay's cantankerous postal worker in "Bless This House" (CBS 1995), another sitcom that was quickly cancelled.
Around the same time, Stark's film career hit an all time low when he was cast in the notoriously panned holiday movie "Santa with Muscles" (1996), starring pro wrestler Hulk Hogan. The movie was poorly received by both critics and audiences alike, and has been consistently ranked as one of the worst Christmas movies of all time. Coincidentally, one of Stark's co-stars on the film was a young Mila Kunis, who would go on to work with him on "That '70s Show."
After the short-lived TV adaptation of Jean-Claude Van Damme's sci-fi movie "Timecop" (ABC 1997-98), where he played the protagonist's commanding officer, it seemed like Stark's luck with TV continued to sour. However, Stark finally struck gold when he was cast in "That '70s Show" as dim-witted but loveable neighbor Bob Pinciotti, who represented a lot of the excesses of the 1970s. Bob, whose teenage daughter Donna (Laura Prepon) was the love interest of main character Eric Forman (Topher Grace), quickly became one of the show's breakout characters. Despite the early departure of actress Tanya Roberts, who played Bob's wife Midge, Stark remained a part of the show's main cast for its entire eight-season run.
With his newfound success, Stark landed juicier guest and recurring roles, including playing Larry David's friend Stu Braudy on the improvised cult favorite "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO 2000-). After "That '70s Show" ended its run, Stark appeared in two productions geared towards a younger audience, the Nickelodeon TV movie "iCarly: iGo to Japan" (1998) and a recurring role as Stan in the web series "Corey & Lucas for the Win" (2011), a spinoff of the popular Disney series "Corey in the House." On the big screen, Stark had a brief appearance in the box office bomb "John Carter" (2012) as Dix the Storekeeper.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Acting debut in the TV movie "Outrage".
First feature film was Maggie's Switchblade Sisters.
Took on the role of Bob Pinciotti in "That '70s Show".
First directorial effort on the TV series "Luke 11:17".