David Rasche

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David Rasche
Born (1944-08-07) August 7, 1944 (age 69)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Heather Lupton (1980–present)
Children 3 children

David Rasche (born August 7, 1944) is an American theater, film and television actor who is best known for his portrayal of the title character in the 1980s satirical police sitcom Sledge Hammer!. Since then he has often played characters in positions of authority, in both serious and comical turns.

Early life[edit]

Rasche was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His father was a minister and farmer.[1]

Rasche received a graduate degree from the University of Chicago and also worked as a teacher and writer, including several years at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

Early career[edit]

Rasche was at one time a member of Chicago's Second City improvisation group.

After Second City, he starred in the Organic Theater's 1974 production of David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago, which established the playwright's characteristic blend of earthy, sometimes brutal dialogue.

In 1974, he invested $1,000 to help start Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.

He began appearing on television 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.

He played a terrorist in the 1983 television film Special Bulletin. He appeared on the Miami Vice episode "Bushido" (first aired November 22, 1985) as a KGB agent attempting to capture a former colleague of Lt. Castillo (Edward James Olmos). Ironically, during his subsequent starring role on Sledge Hammer! his character would often makes jokes about Miami Vice.

Rasche played 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.

Sledge Hammer![edit]

Rasche is best known for his portrayal of the title character in the satirical television sitcom Sledge Hammer!, which ran from 1986 to 1988. The show was a spoof of police dramas and concerned the character Sledge Hammer, a violent and chauvinistic policeman.

Later work[edit]

Rasche had a minor role as a photographer in the movie Cobra alongside Brigitte Nielsen.

Shortly after Sledge Hammer! ended, he played to critical acclaim in the Broadway production of Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, and he later appeared in an Off-Broadway revival of Mamet's Edmond.

Rasche played the role of Ted Forstmann in the 1993 made for television movie Barbarians at the Gate, about the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco.

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.

He portrayed the late Donald Greene, one of the passengers of doomed flight 93, in Paul Greengrass' 2006 9/11 film United 93.

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.

Other film roles include:

Television[edit]

Rasche appeared on the short-lived 2001 television series DAG as President Whitman, the President of the United States.

Rasche joined the cast of Ugly Betty in its third season in 2009 as the wealthy father of Matt Hartley, Betty's love interest. He appeared in the final five episodes of season three, and remained in the cast until mid-season four when his character's arc ended.

Other television appearances include:

  • Early-1990s NBC sitcom Nurses.
  • Columbo: A Trace of Murder, 1997, as the murderer.
  • The West Wing episode "The State Dinner", playing a Democratic Party supporter who is also escorting Sam Seaborn's call-girl girlfriend.
  • Monk in the 2003 episode "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School", as a gym teacher.
  • AMC's Rubicon in the role of James Wheeler.
  • All My Children in 2008, in the role of Robert Gardner.
  • Bored to Death, in the role of Bernard, the boyfriend of Ted Danson's character's daughter.
  • He appeared on the May 11, 2012 episode of Primetime: What Would You Do?, when he inadvertently walked into the scene the producers and actors were putting on, where an employee dropped a customer's package and broke what was in it. David chose not to tell on the employee, and played along, saying, "I didn't hear anything."

Personal life[edit]

Rasche is married to Heather Lupton, who made a guest appearance in the series Sledge Hammer as Hammer's ex-wife.[2] The couple have three children.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]