August 18, 1964 |
Rye Brook, New York, U.S.
Craig Philip Bierko (born August 18, 1964) is an American actor and singer.
Bierko was born in Rye Brook, New York, the son of Pat (Distillator) and Rex Bierko, who ran a local community theatre. Bierko's mother was a Jewish-born convert to Roman Catholicism. Bierko has said he is "very connected" to his Jewish heritage. His surname is Polish. He attended Boston University intending to study broadcast journalism at the School of Public Communications but graduated from Northwestern University in 1986 with a BS in theater arts from the School of Speech.,
Bierko got his big break in 1990 when he was cast opposite Valerie Bertinelli and Matthew Perry in the CBS sitcom Sydney; however, the production lasted just 13 episodes. He went on to make steady appearances in various television shows including Amen, The Powers That Be, Wings and Ally McBeal. Bierko may be best known for his role as Timothy in the 1996 action film The Long Kiss Goodnight, as Max Baer in the film Cinderella Man, as Tom Ryan in Scary Movie 4 (spoofing Tom Cruise throughout the film) and on the Broadway stage as Harold Hill in The Music Man. He was also the original choice for the character of Chandler Bing on the sitcom Friends but turned it down. He had a short role as a jazz musician love interest for Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in the fourth season of Sex and the City. He had another short role as attorney Jeffrey Coho during the third season of the ABC television series Boston Legal and as a lead in the short-lived Unhitched. He was also cast as Dave Lister in the pilot for the American version of Red Dwarf, which was not picked up as a series. He appeared in 2001's Kate and Leopold in an uncredited role, and in TV's Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit as Andy Eckerson, a United States Deputy Marshal who is working with the SVU (and ex-flame Det. Olivia Benson) to recapture an escaped convict.  His role as heavyweight champion Max Baer in the 2005 movie Cinderella Man, starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ron Howard, was controversial since Baer was depicted as vicious and cruel. Baer's family, especially actor son Max Baer Jr. bitterly resented it and publicly attacked the film.
Bierko was slated to appear on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of To Be or Not to Be but withdrew from the production August 29, 2008, for unspecified reasons. He starred as Sky Masterson in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls which began performances at the Nederlander Theatre on February 5, 2009, and officially opened on March 1, 2009. The production closed on June 14, 2009 after 113 performances. He performed the role of Peter in the 2011 New York Philharmonic production of Stephen Sondheim's Company with Neil Patrick Harris, Patti Lupone and Stephen Colbert.
Bierko was slated to replace Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical at the Shubert Theatre along with Jill Paice as Miss Honey on 3 September, but did not start performances until 17 September due to a "minor injury". On November 19, it was announced that Bierko will not return to the role of Miss Trunchbull due to "medical circumstances", following a shoulder injury sustained during rehearsals.
- Love Note (1987)
- The Young and the Restless (1989) as Greg
- Sydney (1990)
- Wings (1990)
- Red Dwarf (1992) (unaired television pilot)
- Danielle Steel's Star (1993)
- The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
- 'Til There Was You (1997)
- johns (1997)
- Sour Grapes (1998)
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
- The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
- The Suburbans (1999)
- Ally McBeal (2000) 1ep season 3
- Kate & Leopold (2001) (uncredited)
- I'm With Lucy (2002) as Peter
- Sex and the City: Season 4 (2002)
- Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003)
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Episode "Escape" (2003) as Deputy Marshal Andy Eckerson
- Cinderella Man (2005)
- Scary Movie 4 (2006)
- Danika (2005)
- For Your Consideration (2006)
- Boston Legal: Season Three (2006)
- Unhitched (2008)
- Superhero Movie (2008)
- Meet Bill (2008) (uncredited)
- Head Case (2009)
- Damages (2010)
- The Good Wife: Season 1 (2010)
- The Change Up (2011)
- Necessary Roughness (2011) (TV series)
- Company (2011) (New York Philharmonic production)
- The Three Stooges (2012)
- Body of Proof (2013) (TV series)
- UnREAL (2015) (TV series)
Awards and recognition
- Shorty Award for Humor (Nominee) (2014)
- 100 Most Creative People in Entertainment "It" List, 2003 Entertainment Weekly
- Sexiest Broadway Star - People (2000)
- Theatre World Award (Winner) (2000)
- Broadway.com Audience Awards (Winner) (2000)
- Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for The Music Man (Nominee) (2000)
- Drama Desk Award for Best Actor in a Musical for The Music Man (Nominee) (2000)
- Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in a Musical for The Music Man (Nominee) (2000)
- Craig Bierko Film Reference biography
- Lipton, Brian Scott (2004-12-02). "MODERN MAN". TheaterMania. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
"My mother is Jewish, though she converted to Catholicism," Bierko says, "so we ended up being Christmas tree Jews. I grew up in Westchester with a lot of Jewish friends, and I feel very connected to that part of my heritage. When I read the play, it was the first time I'd seen that part of myself addressed."
- Acting Cycle
- Craig Bierko biography
- "With Friends Like These"
- IMDb profile for Craig Bierko
- "Bierko Withdraws from To Be or Not To Be"
- "Luck Be a Lady": Guys and Dolls Returns to Broadway Feb. 5
- Adelaide's New Lament: Broadway's Guys and Dolls to Close June 14
- Hetrick, Adam. "http://www.playbill.com/news/article/181698-Injury-Delays-Craig-Bierkos-Arrival-in-Matilda-Chris-Hoch-Steps-in-as-Trunchbull-Sept-3" playbill.com, September 3, 2013
- Hetrick, Adam.  playbill.com, November 19, 2013
- Craig Bierko at the Internet Movie Database
- Craig Bierko at the Internet Broadway Database
- Craig Bierko at AllMovie