Craig BierkoAug 18, 1964, Rye Brook, New York, USA
Bierko came from a theatrical family: his parents operated a theater in Rye, New York, where the budding thespian made his stage debut at age ten in a production of "Gypsy." After studying broadcast journalism at Boston University, he transferred to the famed theater arts department at Northwestern University, from which he graduated. Moving to Los Angeles, Bierko was cast in a production of "The Boys From Syracuse" produced by a troupe backed by Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and Carol Channing. His early TV work included a role in "The Day My Kid Went Punk," a 1987 "ABC Afterschool Special." After landing a three-year deal with NBC, the handsome actor co-starred in the 1993 TV-movie "Danielle Steel's 'Star'" for NBC.His motion picture career has been slower in developing. Bierko landed his first screen role in "Victimless Crimes" (1991), but the movie went the direct-to-video route. By the late 90s, he was again trying to establish a foothold in movies. In "The Long Kiss Goodnight" (1996), he played off his stalwart good looks as a villainous hit man tracking Geena Davis and Samuel L Jackson. After providing the radio voice of a preacher for "johns," he was cast as the object of Jeanne Tripplehorn's crush in the romantic comedy "'Til There Was You" (both 1997). His feature film fortunes improved when he was cast in the co-starring role as Steven Weber's cousin battling over money in Larry David's "Sour Grapes" (1998) and as the lead as a man who may or may not have committed a murder in the thriller "The Thirteenth Floor" (1999).In 2000, Bierko surprised many by landing the much coveted lead in the revival of "The Music Man." Although some felt his interpretation of the role did not stray afield from Robert Preston's definitive interpretation, the actor proved a more than competent stage presence, earning, among other distinctions, a Tony nomination for his efforts. He followed up the role with a Broadway turn in Susan Stroman's "Thou Shalt Not."Bierko remained visible on film and television with an uncredited cameo in the hit romantic comedy "Kate & Leopold" (2001) and a very funny pair of appearances on the 2001-2002 season of "Sex and the City" as Sarah Jessica Parker's jazz-obsessed lover Ray. The actor joined the cast of the short-lived Supreme Court series "The Court" (ABC, 2002) starring Sally Field, and appeared in the feature "I'm With Lucy" (2002) and the telepic "Sudden Fear" (2002). Bierko was back on the big screen as George, the adoptive father of David Spade's grown kiddie actor in "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" (2003), and he made a powerful impression as boxing legend Max Baer, who hits the ring opposite Depression Era folk hero Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) in director Ron Howard's uplifting biopic "Cinderella Man" (2005)-reportedly, to keep up the tension between their characters, Bierko and Crowe indulged in a not-so-civil relationship off screen as well. In "Scary Movie 4" (2006), Bierko spoofed Tom Cruise's character from "War of the Worlds" (2005), playing a bumbling and moronic dad heroically trying to save his children from rampaging beings on giant tripods.