Date of Birth : Mar 3rd 1959
Although he is best known for his role as anal-retentive psychiatrist extraordinaire Niles Crane on the celebrated sitcom Frasier, David Hyde Pierce has also done considerable work on the stage and screen. Fair, birdlike, and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Frasier co-star Kelsey Grammer, Pierce is one of the entertainment business’ finest purveyors of a certain kind of blue-blooded neuroticism, and, in the eyes of some viewers, has even gone so far as to make insecurity perversely sexy.
Born in Saratoga Springs, New York, on April 3, 1959, Pierce was raised in what he has described as a “very run-of-the-mill, middle-class” household. When he was eight, he began taking piano lessons, and he decided to pursue a career as a concert pianist. He continued to train until he got to Yale University, where he realized that he was better suited to the acting profession. Following graduation, Pierce moved to New York and did a brief stint as a tie salesman at Bloomingdale’s before being cast in a Broadway play. Although the production was a flop, Pierce continued to work on the stage in New York and Chicago for several years and was eventually cast as a suicidal congressman on the short-lived sitcom The Powers That Be in 1992. His work on the show, coupled with his resemblance to Kelsey Grammer, led to his casting on Frasier the following year.
Frasier proved to be the turning point in Pierce’s career. His portrayal of Niles, aside from winning him a slew of awards, including an Emmy, also provided a number of opportunities for the actor on the big screen. Pierce, who had been acting sporadically in films since the early ’80s, could be seen in supporting roles in such ’90s films as Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Nixon (1995), in which he played John Dean, and the animated A Bug’s Life (1998), for which he provided the voice of a stick insect.
One of Pierce’s best-received roles came in 2003, when he costarred in the tongue-in-cheek comedy Down With Love. While not much of a box-office hit, the film managed to charm many critics with its wall-to-wall homages to 1960s sex-comedies. A year later, Pierce again showed up sans-body, providing the voice of Abe Sapien in the comic-book adaptation Hellboy.