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David Rasche (1944)

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  Summary  

David Rasche is an American actor.

  Biography  

 Early life and career
Rasche was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His father was a minister and farmer. Rasche started in theatre, but also has appeared on numerous movies and television series. He became a member of the Chicago Second City, after John Belushi moved on to Saturday Night Live. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the title character in the cult TV classic, Sledge Hammer!

Rasche has a scholarly background and also worked as a teacher and writer before going into show business full-time. After Second City, he starred in the Organic Theater's 1974 production of Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," which established the playwright's characteristic blend of earthy, sometimes brutal dialogue. He later played to critical acclaim in the Broadway production of Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow," and an Off-Broadway revival of Mamet's Edmond. He was Petruchio to Frances Conroy's Kate in a production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew directed by Zoe Caldwell at the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut in the mid-1980s.

In 1974, he fronted $1,000 to help start Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. He began appearing on TV and films in 1977, making his film debut in 1978 in An Unmarried Woman, directed by Paul Mazursky. The following year, he had a small part in Woody Allen's Manhattan. Later, he appeared on the Miami Vice episode "Bushido" as a KGB agent attempting to capture a former colleague of Lt. Castillo . Ironically, during his subsequent starring role on Sledge Hammer! his character would often makes jokes about Miami Vice, the show Rasche himself had guest starred on. Rasche is married to Heather Lupton with whom he has three children and who made a guest appearance in the series Sledge Hammer as Hammer's ex-wife.

 Sledge Hammer!
He played the title role in the late 1980s series Sledge Hammer!, a spoof series about a violent and chauvinistic policeman. A few years earlier, he played a terrorist in the 1983 TV movie Special Bulletin.

 Later career
He had a minor role as a photographer in the movie Cobra alongside Brigitte Nielsen. He also starred in the early-'90s NBC sitcom Nurses.

Rasche played the role of Ted Forstmann in the 1993 made for television movie Barbarians at the Gate, about the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco. Forstmann was a critic of KKR's Henry Kravis and his investment methods. Forstmann's criticism of Kravis centred around the use of junk bond (high-yield) investments to raise large amounts of capital. When the junk bond market later fell into disfavour as a result of scandal, Forstmann's criticism was seen as prescient, as his more conventional investment strategy had been able to maintain nearly the same level of profitability as companies such as KKR and Revlon that built their strategy around high-yield debt.

In addition to his work as a screen actor, Rasche can also be heard as Captain Piett in the NPR radio adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back.

Rasche starred in an episode of Columbo in 1997 as a forensic investigator who turns out to be a murderer.

He had a cameo role in the West Wing episode "The State Dinner", playing a Democratic Party supporter who is also escorting Sam Seaborn's call-girl girlfriend.

He appeared as Stig Ludwigssen in the 2000 movie The Big Tease starring Craig Ferguson.

Rasche played the President in the short-lived 2001 television series DAG and in the 2006 film The Sentinel. He starred as a crooked police officer in the Tom Selleck movie An Innocent Man.

He has a minor appearance in Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers.

He also portrays the late Donald Greene, one of the passengers of doomed flight 93, in Paul Greengrass' controversial 9/11 film United 93. He is presently working on Garrett Bennett's The Spy & the Sparrow.

He also played the role of Robert Gardner on All My Children in 2008, and played a CIA officer in Burn After Reading in 2008.

In Fall 2008, Rasche starred in the ill-fated Broadway adaptation of To Be or Not to Be, in a reprisal of Jack Benny's role as Joseph Tura.

He had a major role in the 2009 satirical political comedy In The Loop, as a US official pushing for an invasion of an unspecified Middle Eastern country.

Rasche joined the cast of Ugly Betty as a recurring member in the show's third season in 2009 for the final five episodes of that season, and remained in the cast until mid-season four when his character's arc ended.

Recently he acted as an alcoholic immigration officer in Brazilian movie Olhos Azuis, receiving praising critics.

Most recently, he played James Wheeler on AMC's Rubicon.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "David Rasche", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.