Gary Cole Biography
Sun Sign: Virgo
Also Known As: Gary Michael Cole
Born in: Park Ridge, Illinois, United States
Famous as: Actor
Spouse/Ex-: Teddi Siddall (m. 1992)
mother: Lois (née Gotha)
children: Mary Cole
U.S. State: Illinois
Gary Michael Cole is an American award-winning actor who came to fame with his convincing performance in the mini-series ‘Fatal Vision’. A versatile actor, he continued to impress his fans in the television series ‘Midnight Caller’, ‘American Gothic’ and ‘The West Wing’. Driven by his determination and passion, he started acting when he was in high school by appearing in his high school production ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’. Following this, he was cast in every single show produced while he was in high school. Debuting in his professional stage career with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, he eventually co-founded the Remains Theatre Ensemble. He has played various characters—from a psychopathic serial killer to a lighthearted father in a career spanning over three decades. After a string of small roles in television movies, his breakthrough role came with the Wolfgang Peterson directed ‘In the Line of Fire’. Since then he has starred in several television movies and feature films like ‘The Brady Bunch Movie’, ‘Gang Related’, ‘A Simple Plan’, ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’, ‘Breach’, and others. He is also well known for lending his voice to the series ‘Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law’, ‘Kim Possible’ and ‘Family Guy’.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gary Cole's first love has always been the stage, where he has showcased his acting skills in numerous plays. His performances in the productions of ‘The Magnolia Club’, and ‘Bang’ have been especially appreciated.
- His acting skills in his first major TV role in the mini-series ‘Fatal Vision’ surprised the critics and led to his popularity amongst television viewers. His portrayal of the cold-blooded murderer Jeffrey Robert MacDonald was much appreciated and established him as a talented TV actor as well.
- In 1981, Gary Cole was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Cameo Performance for his role in the play ‘The Magnolia Club’. In 1982, he was again nominated for Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role for the play ‘The Tooth of Crime’.
- In 1987, he was awarded the Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role for the play ‘Bang’.
- In 2014, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance in ‘Veep.’
- Gary Cole married actress Teddi Siddall on March 8, 1992. Their daughter Mary was born in 1993. She was diagnosed with autism when she was a two-year-old. However, she responded well to treatment and is now pursuing a career in acting. After 25 years of marriage, Cole and his wife announced that they were heading for a divorce in June 2017.
- In his anthological book, ‘Love Heels: Tales from Canine Companions for Independence’, Gary Cole wrote about his experiences in coping with his daughter’s autism. He is an active supporter and celebrity spokesperson for The Help Group. He also supports Canine Companions for Independence.
- He received the honor of being a Distinguished Alumnus at Rolling Meadows High School.
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