Prior to his small screen success, the lanky Juilliard-trained performer had worked on the NYC stage at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Gaines spent the late 80s as a frequent guest performer on TV series alternating with the occasional film role like the by-the-book Lt. Ring in "Heartbreak Ridge" (1986). Returning to NYC in the late 80s, he found renewed success as a Broadway player, accruing a number of accolades In 1989, Gaines picked up a Featured Actor in a Play Tony for his Broadway debut as gay pediatrician Peter Patrone, the best friend of Heidi Holland in Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Heidi Chronicles." He garnered a second Tony, this time as Lead Actor in a Musical for the 1994 revival of "She Loves Me." Subsequently, he was tapped to play Bobby, the central figure in the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical "Company" but vocal problems and mixed reviews kept the production to a limited run. Gaines returned to films in the supporting role of a health-conscious yuppie out to oust the super (Ossie Davis) from his job and home in Herb Gardner's "I'm Not Rappaport" (1996). More recently, he offered support to Alec Baldwin and Ben Kingsley in "The Confession" (lensed 1997).