|Date of Birth
||18 August 1964
|Place of Birth
||Rye Brook, New York, USA
Born to a theatrical family, Craig Bierko was introduced to the world of theater at a young age and made his first stage appearance as a newsboy in a production of “Gypsy” at his parents’ theater when he was 10 years old. After graduating from university, the burgeoning thespian relocated to Los Angeles and landed a role in Los Angeles production of “The Boys From Syracuse,” produced by a troupe supported by Carol Burnett, Carol Channing and Lucille Ball. His first chance to break into television came in 1987, with a guest spot in an episode of “Our House,” which was followed by guest roles in episodes of “Amen” and “Eisenhower & Lutz” in 1988 and recurring parts in “Paradise” and “Newhart” in 1989. He also starred as Greg in several episodes of the long-running drama series “The Young and the Restless” in 1989.
However, Bierko did not debut as a TV regular until he was cast as Matt Keating, an edgy attorney, on the short-lived CBS comedy “Sydney” (1990). Although the show was soon cancelled, he was on his way making a name for himself with his notable guest appearance as a clumsy eco-terrorist, Alex, in one episode of CBS’s “Murphy Brown” (1990). The same year, the actor also landed his first screen role in the thriller movie Victimless Crimes, which received a direct-to-video-release. Bierke went on to play a recurring role on NBC’s “The Powers That Be,” playing Joe Bowman, starred as Spencer Hill, a returning soldier in the made-for-television film Danielle Steel’s Star (1993), opposite Jennie Garth, and had high profile roles in TV shows “Madman of the People” (1994), portraying B.J. Cooper, the fervent journalist who falls for Dabney Coleman’s daughter, and the brief NBC sitcom “Pride & Joy” (1995), as the husband of Julie Warner.
Several years after the failure of his first movie, Bierko tried to re-launch his screen career by taking on a supporting role in the Renny Harlin-directed The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996). His portrayal of Timothy, a villainous hit man trailing Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson put the actor on the spotlight. He followed the memorable performance with a voice-over role in Johns (1996) and a feature part as a date of Jeanne Tripplehorn’s in the romantic comedy ‘Til There Was You (1997). Bierko’s film career gained additional boost with his roles in Larry David’s Sour Grapes (1998), as cousin to Steven Weber, and the special effects-laden thriller The Thirteenth Floor (1999), starring as a man who may or may not have committed a slaughter. 1998-1999 also saw him in the movies Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Suburbans.
In the new millennium, Bierko enjoyed stage success after landing the starring role of traveling salesman “Professor” Harold Hill in his Broadway musical debut, Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.” Under the guidance of Susan Stroman, the player proved a more than expert stage presence by collected such nods as a Tony, a Drama Desk, an Outer Critics Circle and a Drama League. He also won a Theater World for his brilliant effort in the Broadway play. The next year, he rejoined the director for the Broadway musical “Thou Shall Not,” adapted from Emile Zola’s novel “Therese Raquin.”
Despite his stage work, Bierko remained visible on television and film. He had an uncredited cameo role in the Meg Ryan-Hugh Jackman hit romantic comedy Kate & Leopold (2001) as well as made guest performance in episodes of the popular shows “Ally McBeal” (2000) and “Sex and the City” (2001), where he delivered a hilarious turn Sarah Jessica Parker’s jazz-obsessed boyfriend Ray. In 2002, Bierko returned to series TV as regular role reporter Harlan Brandt in the short-lived Supreme Court series “The Court” (ABC, 2002), starring Sally Field, and costarred with Monica Potter in the comedy film I’m with Lucy. From 2003-2004, he could be seen in such projects as Hench at Home (2003, TV), Sam Weisman’s Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003, as the adoptive father of David Spade’s grown kiddie actor) and the animation Hair High (2004, voice of Sarge). In 2005, Bierko offered an influential performance as boxing legend Max Baer in the Russell Crowe starring vehicle Cinderella Man, a biopic film directed by Ron Howard.
Recently, Bierko starred in Scary Movie 4 (2006), where he parodied Tom Cruise’s character from 2005’s War of the Worlds, and portrayed Marisa Tomei’s husband in the independent thriller Danika (2006) and appeared as a talk show host in director-writer Christopher Guest’s For Your Consideration (2006). On the small screen, he played lawyer Jeffrey Coho on seven episodes of the David E. Kelley-created comedy “Boston Legal” (2006).