Dirk is an American actor, best known for playing ‘Detective Michael Hitchcock’ in the series 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine.' The actor began his journey in the industry while he was still in high school. Dirk was offered a contract by 'Universal Studios,' where he first developed his interest in acting. This was also a learning experience for him, as he got the opportunity work with some of the leading actors of his time. Dirk eventually started receiving walk-on roles and later entered the mainstream industry with guest appearances in a number of TV series. However, the industry was not new to him. Dirk’s father, Dan Blocker, was an actor who is still remembered for his iconic role in the 'Bonanza' franchise. Dirk appeared in a sizable number of films and TV series. One of his most notable projects was 'Baa Baa Black Sheep.’ However, Dirk got his breakthrough quite late in his career. Of all the roles he has played in his career to date, the one that catapulted him to stardom was that of the ‘Michael Hitchcock,’ which he continues to play to date. However, by no means were his other performances any less. Even though he appeared in supporting or guest roles, the actor has an impressive number of successful films and TV productions under his belt. Dirk has now ventured into writing, too, and has released his first book, which is meant exclusively for children and youngsters.
Childhood & Early Life
Dirk was born Dennis Dirk Blocker, on July 31, 1957, to legendary actor Dan Blocker and Dolphia Lee Blocker. He was the youngest of the four children of his parents. He grew up with his twin sisters, Debra Lee and Danna Lynn, and his brother, David Blocker. David is a producer. Dirk lost his father when he was in his early teens. Dirk and David grew up in California, where they decided to follow in their father’s footsteps and make a career in the film industry.
Dirk was named “Dennis” to honor Dennis Reed, a high-school drama teacher in San Gabriel, California, and Dan’s best friend since college. While growing up, Dirk looked up to legendary actors such as Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, Jerome “Curly” Howard, Jonathan Winters, and his father.
Before making a move to the mainstream industry, Dirk made an appearance in a TV commercial for the 1964 lineup of 'Chevrolet' cars. He was featured in the commercial along with his father and siblings. The commercial was made especially for the Dan-starrer series 'Bonanza.’
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Dirk was just 16 when he stepped into the field of acting. He was cast as ‘Benji’ in two episodes of the 'ABC' medical drama 'Marcus Welby, M.D’ in 1974. The same year, he appeared as ‘Abel Makay’ in an episode of the 'NBC' western drama 'Little House on the Prairie,' titled 'School Mom.' The drama was based on the 'Little House' book series for children and teens by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Following this, Dirk was seen as ‘Jordan Adair’ in the 'NBC' drama ‘Lucas Tanner.’
After making appearances in the TV series 'The Family Holvak' (as ‘Pete’) in 1975 and the 'CBS' sitcom 'Phyllis' (as ‘Jack’), Dirk made his career breakthrough as ‘1st Lt. Jerome "Jerry" Bragg’ in 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' (later named 'Black Sheep Squadron'). He continued playing the character in 36 episodes, from 1976 to 1978. Aired on 'NBC,' the period military drama was based on various experiences of Greg Boyington, the famed 'United States Marine Corps' aviator, and his World War II 'Black Sheep Squadron.'
In the subsequent years, Dirk worked in the 'NBC' crime drama 'CHiPs' and the comedy series 'B. J. and the Bear.' He made his big-screen debut in 1980, with the comedy 'Midnight Madness,' in which he portrayed ‘Blaylak,’ one of the main characters. His next film was the 1980 adventure 'Raise the Titanic' which was an adaptation of the book of the same name by Clive Cussler.
Dirk simultaneously continued making appearances in TV shows and played a brief role in the 'CBS' war comedy–drama ''M*A*S*H.' In 1982, Dirk, worked in a horror movie for the first time. He was cast as ‘Jeff Shaw’ in 'Poltergeist.' Dirk also appeared as ‘Barry’ in the TV movie 'Two of a Kind.'
In 1993, Dirk appeared in the TV movie 'Bonanza: The Return.' The film reminded people of the famed ‘Bonanza’ series that starred his father in the iconic role of ‘Hoss Cartwright.’ The film featured Dirk as a reporter named ‘Walter Fenster.’ He reprised the role in the 1995 sequel, 'Bonanza: Under Attack.'
Dirk appeared in several TV movies, series, and films in the subsequent years. However, the most prominent role of his career came in 2013, when he was cast as ‘Detective Michael Hitchcock’ in the 'Fox' sitcom 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine.' He joined the show as a recurring character. He became a regular from the second season. The chemistry between Dirk and his on-screen partner, ‘Detective Scully,’ played by Joel McKinnon Miller, has been entertaining audiences for years now.
Inspired by his father’s engaging storytelling skills, Dirk became an author and published his first book, 'Master and the Little Monk,' in 2017. The book is basically a fable for youngsters and narrates the tale of a young boy and his friends. Eric Skotnes, a muralist and one of Dirk’s dear friends, whom he met on the set of 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' worked as the illustrator of the book.
Before authoring the book, Dirk spent time at a writer’s workshop, where he polished his creative-writing skills. Earlier, he had penned an article titled 'Why Walter?’ It was published in 'The Odyssey,' the 'Antioch University' quarterly literary journal, and had won the first prize.
Family & Personal Life
Dirk got married to his 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' co-star Danielle Aubuchon on November 3, 1990, and the couple has been going strong to date. The two have crossed several decades together as a married couple, which is quite a feat in the entertainment industry. Dirk and Danielle do not have any children.
Dirk owns a dog named Chester.