Who is Peter Gallagher?
Peter Gallagher is an American actor, writer and musician best known for portraying the role of Sandy Cohen in the television drama series ‘The O.C.’ A handsome and brooding actor, he has experienced several highs and lows in his entire acting career. Raised in Armonk, New York, he graduated from Tufts University, Boston with a major in economics. During his time at the university, he began spending his summers working with the local theatre groups. Immediately after his graduation in 1977, he made his Broadway debut in a revival of ‘Hair,’ followed by a lead role in another top Broadway show, ‘Grease,’ in 1978. He made his film debut with the movie ‘The Idolmaker’ a few years later. Being extremely handsome, he was often typecast as a male sex symbol and struggled hard to shed this image by taking up more versatile roles. He married his longtime love Paula Harwood in 1983. The couple has two children, a son and a daughter.
In 1977, just after his graduation, Peter Gallagher made his debut in a Broadway revival of ‘Hair’. In the following year, he appeared in another top Broadway show ‘Grease’ as the lead, Danny Zuko. In 1979, he was signed to appear in an NBC television series ‘Guiding Light’ and made his film debut in the movie ‘The Idolmaker’ in 1980. The same year, he appeared in the TV series ‘Skag’, followed by a movie titled ‘Summer Lovers’ in 1982, which proved to be a miserable flop, prompting him to return to the stage. The same year, he appeared in the Broadway musical ‘A Doll's Life’ for which he won a ‘Theatre World Award’.
In 1984, he appeared on Broadway in Tom Stoppard's ‘The Real Thing’ and earned a ‘Clarence Derwent Award’. In 1985, he returned to the big screen with the Dennis Potter-scripted ‘Dreamchild’. He earned a Tony nomination for Featured Actor for his work in a controversial revival of ‘Long Day's Journey into Night’ (1986). After making appearances in several films, he first gained fame for his role in ‘Sex, Lies, and Videotape’ (1989). He returned to the stage with ‘Guys and Dolls’ in 1992 and was nominated for ‘Drama Desk Award’ for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. He went on to appear in the films ‘Bob Roberts’ (1992), ‘Short Cuts’ (1993), ‘The Underneath’ (1995), ‘Malice’ (1993), ‘While You Were Sleeping’ ( 1995), ‘To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday’ (1996), ‘American Beauty’ (2000) and ‘Mr. Deeds’ (2002) before taking up a role on Fox's highly touted nighttime soap ‘The O.C.’ (2003-07).
In 2005, he released an album named ‘7 Days in Memphis’ which included his previously recorded performance of "Don't Give Up On Me". He also made a video of his single "Still I Long For Your Kiss", starring his TV-wife Kelly Rowan along with him. From February 13 to July 15, 2015, he starred on Broadway in ‘On the Twentieth Century’ although he missed several performances in late February due to an illness. His TV credits in the 2000s and beyond include ‘The Gathering’ (2007), ‘Rescue Me’ (2010), ‘Togetherness’ (2015-16), ‘Grace and Frankie’ (2017-present), and ‘The Gifted’ (2018). In 2019, he appeared as Brian Foster in the TV show ‘The Conners’ and as Ken Scott in the film ‘After’.
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Family & Personal Life
Peter Gallagher was born on August 19, 1955, in New York City, USA to Mary Ann (née O'Shea) and Thomas Francis Gallagher, Jr. His mother was a bacteriologist, and his father was an advertising executive. He is the youngest of their three children. The family is of Irish Catholic descent. His family moved to Armonk, New York where he took part in high school plays. He graduated from Tufts University in Boston as an economics major.
He married his longtime love, Paula Harwood, on May 7, 1983. The couple had met at Tufts University. They are happily married, and Gallagher states that he derives strength and motivation from his wife. The couple has two children: a daughter named Kathryn Gallagher and a son named James Gallagher. His daughter is also a successful personality in the film and music industry.
In 2005, for his exceptional work in the field of media and entertainment, he was honored with the ‘P.T. Barnum Award’ from Tufts University, and also received the ‘Light on the Hill Award’ from the same university in 2007. The ‘Light on the Hill Award’ is given to notable alumni from Tufts who have demonstrated achievement, ambition, and active citizenship.