Childhood & Early Life
Gary Michael Cole was born on September 20, 1956 in Park Ridge, Illinois, USA, to Robert Cole, a school administrative assistant, and Lois Cole, a director of finance. He grew up in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. He has an elder sister, Nancy Cole.
He went to Rolling Meadows High School, where he appeared as a silent character Snoopy in the high school production of ‘You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown’. After that, he was cast in every play produced in his high school.
He attended John Malkovich College. After deciding to pursue a career in acting, he went to study theater in the Illinois State University.
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After graduating, Gary Cole moved to Chicago and began his professional career as a stage actor in 1983. He became a member of the ensemble of the Steppenwolf Theatre in 1985. In Chicago, he also co-founded The Remains Theatre Ensemble.
In his stage career, he has acted in several award-winning productions in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego. In 1984, he played the role of an Army Captain Jeffrey MacDonald, who was accused of triple-murder, in the mini-series ‘Fatal Vision’. His performance was recognized and he gained prominence in the industry.
In 1985, he was almost cast in the popular television show ‘Miami Vice’, but at the last moment, he lost the role of Detective Sonny Crocket to Don Johnson. However, in 1986, he appeared briefly on the show.
He has lent his voice on several animated series including ‘Family Guy’, ‘Kim Possible’, and for the lead character in ‘Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law’.
From 1988 to 1991, he earned much popularity as a TV star for playing the role of Jack ‘Nighthawk’ Killian in the series ‘Midnight Caller’.
He made his feature film debut in ‘To Live and Die in L.A’ in 1985, for which he was not given a credit. After appearing in a number of small roles in television movies, he landed his breakthrough role in ‘In the Line of Fire’ in 1993.
Since then he has been featured in several films including ‘Gang Related’ in 1997, ‘A Simple Plan’ in 1998, ‘One Hour Photo’ in 2002, ‘Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!' in 2004, ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’ in 2004, and ‘Breach’ in 2007 among others.
He played Mike Brady in the 1995 film ‘The Brady Bunch Movie’, a role he reprised in the 1996 sequel ‘A Very Brady Sequel’ and again in the 2002 television film ‘The Brady Bunch in the White House’.
In 2005, Gary Cole performed in three films—‘The Ring Two’, ‘Mozart and the Whale’, and ‘Cry Wolf. He also appeared in ‘Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama’, a 2D-animated adventure spy comedy television film created by Walt Disney Pictures. He also starred in ‘King of the Hill’, an animated sitcom. He starred in ‘Wanted’, a 2005 primetime police drama television series broadcast on the TNT network as well.
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He featured in ‘Entourage’ from 2008 to 2010; it was a comedy drama that was aired on HBO. In 2008, Gary starred as Sarah's father in ‘Chuck’, a role he reprised in 2011 in ‘Chuck Versus the Wedding Planner’.
In 2013, he played the recurring role of Cameron Dennis on ‘Suits’, one of the main characters of the show. That year, he also started doing another recurring role as Kent Davison in the comedy series ‘Veep’ aired on HBO, where he continued throughout the second, third, fourth, and fifth seasons.
In 2015, he starred in films like ‘Divine Access’, ‘The Bronze,’ and the comedy film ‘Christmas Eve’, where he played the role of Dr. Roberts. The same year, he also appeared in the television series ‘Mr. Robinson’, ‘Rick and Morty’, and ‘F Is for Family’.
In 2016, he was featured in the film ‘Hot Air’ as Aviator. In the same year, he was seen in a number of television series including ‘Angie Tribeca’, ‘Mercy Street’, ‘Unforgettable, Angel from Hell’, ‘We Bare Bears’, and ‘Justice League Action’.
He played the role of Kurt McVeigh in three episodes of ‘The Good Fight’, a legal and political drama television series, in 2017. The same year, he also performed as Lieutenant Pleasant in ‘Small Crimes’ a crime-drama film directed by E. L. Katz.