David Hyde Pierce

David Hyde Pierce
David Hyde Pierce

Pierce in New York City in 2010
Born April 3, 1959 (1959-04-03) (age 52)
Saratoga Springs, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1982–present
Spouse Brian Hargrove (2008-present)

David Hyde Pierce (born April 3, 1959) is an American actor and comedian best known for playing psychiatrist Dr. Niles Crane on the NBC sitcom Frasier, for which he received many accolades including four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.


Early life

Pierce, the youngest of four siblings, was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, the son of Laura Marie (née Hughes) and George Hyde Pierce, an insurance agent and aspiring actor. He has three older siblings: Barbara, Nancy, and Thomas.[1] He adapted his name as an adult.[2]

As a child, Pierce became very interested in the piano and frequently played organ at the local Bethesda Episcopal Church in Saratoga Springs.[3] He began acting in high school, earning recognition as best Dramatic Arts student. In 1977 he received the Yaddo Medal for character and scholarship and worked in theater while a counselor at Camp Kabeyun, in New Hampshire.[4] However, his love of music was still strong, so he decided to study classical piano at Yale University. However, Pierce soon grew bored with music history lessons and found that he wasn’t dedicated enough to practice the required number of hours to become a successful concert pianist. Instead, he graduated in 1981 with a double major in English and Theatre Arts.

While attending Yale, Pierce performed and directed student productions, appearing as Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., in the Yale Gilbert & Sullivan Society's production of H.M.S. Pinafore. He also directed the Gilbert & Sullivan Society's operetta Princess Ida and occasionally accompanied rehearsals on the piano. Among other roles he played at Yale were Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Cauchon in Saint Joan, and Nick in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.


After his graduation, Pierce moved to New York City, where during the 1980s and early 1990s he was employed in various jobs, such as selling ties at Bloomingdale's and working as a security guard, while pursuing an acting career and studying at Michael Howard Studios. During this period he played Laertes in a popular off-Broadway production of Hamlet and made his Broadway debut in Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy in 1982.[5]

Pierce at the 1994 Emmy Awards

Pierce's first big television break came in the early 1990s with Norman Lear's political comedy The Powers That Be, in which Pierce played Theodore, a Congressman.[6] Despite positive reviews from critics, the show was canceled after a brief run.

In part due to his close physical resemblance to Kelsey Grammer,[7] the producers of the Cheers spin-off Frasier created the role of Niles Crane (Frasier Crane's younger brother) for him.[6] Although, prior to Frasier going into production, Pierce had petitioned the Screen Actors Guild to change his billing to David Hyde Pierce, the name he had used on the stage, the use of his middle name in the show's credits helped reinforce the actor's and the character's "snooty" image.[7] For his work on "Frasier", Pierce was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy a record eleven consecutive years, winning in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2004.

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, Missouri Senator Kit Bond and Pierce at the Alzheimer's Press Conference to promote awareness

Pierce appeared alongside Jodie Foster in Little Man Tate, with Anthony Hopkins in Oliver Stone's Nixon, and with Ewan McGregor in Down With Love.[6] He provided the voice for Doctor Doppler in Disney's 42nd animated feature, Treasure Planet, Slim, a stick insect in Pixar's A Bug's Life and Abe Sapien in Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy. In 2001, he starred in the cult '80s summer camp comedy Wet Hot American Summer as the befuddled astrophysicist, Prof. Henry Newman. In his role in Sleepless in Seattle, Pierce played the brother of Meg Ryan's character, a professor at Johns Hopkins University. The movie was released just three months before the start of Frasier.[6]

In 2005, Pierce joined Tim Curry and others in the stage production of Spamalot.[6] In August/September 2006, he starred as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in Curtains, a new Kander and Ebb musical staged at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. In March 2007, Curtains opened on Broadway[6] and on June 10, 2007 Pierce won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical at the 61st Tony Awards for his performance.[6] In his acceptance speech, David said the first words he spoke on a Broadway stage were, "I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."[8]

On November 19, 2007, Pierce was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York. (In 1999, Pierce was awarded an Honorary Degree from Skidmore College, located in Saratoga Springs, NY.)

Pierce at the Governor's Ball dinner after the 1995 Emmy Awards on September 10, 1995

In 2010, Pierce appeared in a revival of David Hirson's play La Bête directed by Matthew Warchus. The production debuted on London's West End before moving to New York.[9]

Also in 2010, Pierce delivered an outstanding performance in his first starring film role as the memorable Warwick Wilson in the dark comedy/psychological thriller 'The Perfect Host'.

Voice acting

Pierce is known for his distinctive voice and, like his Frasier co-star Kelsey Grammer, is often called upon to provide voice work. His notable roles include the narrator of the movie "The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human" in 1999, walking stick insect Slim in A Bug's Life, Doctor Delbert Doppler in Disney's film Treasure Planet, and the amphibian Abe Sapien in Hellboy.[6] Pierce refused credit for his Hellboy role because he felt it was the performance of Doug Jones, and not his own voice, which ultimately brought the character of Abe Sapien to life.[10] He was the voice for Drix, a cold pill in the animated comedy Osmosis Jones.

In a deliberate in-joke, he voiced Cecil, the brother of Kelsey Grammer-voiced Sideshow Bob, in The Simpsons episode "Brother from Another Series", in which the two characters parallel the Frasier-Niles relationship. At one point in the episode, Cecil mistakes Bart for Maris, the unseen wife of Niles on Frasier. He returned as Cecil in the Season 19 episode "Funeral for a Fiend". In 2006, he co-starred in the animated pilot for The Amazing Screw-On Head as the Screw-On Head's arch-nemesis Emperor Zombie; however, the series was not picked up. His commercial voiceover work includes ads for the Tassimo coffee system and home furnishings retailer IKEA Canada.[11]

Personal life

After years of speculation about his sexuality, his relationship with long-time partner, television writer, director and producer, Brian Hargrove, became public in 2007. Pierce later confirmed through his publicist that he and Hargrove were indeed a couple.[12][13] When accepting his Tony Award for Curtains, Pierce thanked "my partner, Brian, because it's 24 years of listening to your damn notes — that's why I'm up here tonight."[14] They married in California on October 24, 2008, just days before Proposition 8 was adopted as law, banning same-sex marriages in the state.[15] He has twins from a previous relationship that were born in 1983.

On May 28, 2009, while a guest on The View, he publicly announced his marriage to Hargrove and expressed his anger over the approval of Proposition 8.[16][17] Pierce and Hargrove divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.

He and Frasier costar John Mahoney are godparents to former Frasier co-star Jane Leeves's son Finn.[18] Pierce is also active in the Alzheimer's Association.


Film appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1988 The Appointments of Dennis Jennings Businessman Short
1988 Bright Lights, Big City Bartender at Fashion Show
1988 Crossing Delancey Mark
1988 Rocket Gibraltar Monsieur Henri
1989 Vampire's Kiss Theater Guy
1990 Across Five Aprils Union Soldier
1991 Little Man Tate Garth Emmerick
1991 The Fisher King Lou Rosen
1993 Sleepless in Seattle Dennis Reed
1993 Addams Family Values Delivery Room Doctor
1994 Wolf Roy
1995 Ripple Peter Short
1995 Nixon John Dean Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1998 A Bug's Life Slim (voice)
1999 The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human Narrator (voice)
2000 Isn't She Great Michael Hastings
2000 Chain of Fools Mr. Kerner
2000 The Tangerine Bear Bird (voice)
2001 Wet Hot American Summer Henry Newman
2001 Happy Birthday Barney Short
2001 Osmosis Jones Drix (voice)
2001 Laud Weiner Laud Weiner Short
2002 Full Frontal Carl
2002 Treasure Planet Doctor Doppler (voice)
2003 Down with Love Peter MacMannus
2004 Hellboy Abe Sapien (voice) Uncredited
2008 Forever Plaid: The Movie Narrator (voice)
2009 Stingray Sam Narrator (voice)
2010 The Perfect Host Warwick Wilson
Television appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1987 Spenser: For Hire O'Neill 1 episode
1992 Dream On Jerry Dorfer 1 episode
1992-1993 The Powers That Be Theodore Van Horne 20 episodes
1993-2004 Frasier Niles Crane Series Regular

Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1995, 1998, 1999, 2004)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2000)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (1996)
Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy (1997, 1998)

Nominated—Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1999)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television Series (2002, 2003)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)

1995 Caroline in the City Niles Crane 1 episode
1996 Caroline in the City Jimmy Callahan 1 episode
1996 Mighty Ducks Baron von Lichtenstamp 3 episodes
1996 The Outer Limits Dr. Jack Henson 1 episode
1997 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Puss (voice) 1 episode: Puss in Boots
1997 & 2007 The Simpsons Cecil Terwilliger 2 episodes
1999 Jackie's Back Perry (The Deaf Rehearsal Pianist) TV Movie
2001 Titus Jerry October 1 episode
2001 On the Edge Barney TV Movie
2003 Gary the Rat Addison (voice) 1 episode
2006 The Amazing Screw-On Head Emperor Zombie (voice) 1 episode



  1. ^ "David Hyde Pierce Ahnentafel". Rootsweb. 2008. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~battle/celeb/pierce.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  2. ^ "I did not come out of the womb with name 'Hyde'. It was my middle name from my dad's side of the family. His mom's maiden name. So when our film union said there was already a David Pierce, I added the name 'Hyde'", interview with Cindy Adams, New York Post, June 29, 2011
  3. ^ Barbara S Wilson, Arlene Flancher, and Susan T Erdey, The Episcopal Handbook (Moorhouse [Church] Publishing 2008), pp. 106-7, ISBN 978-0819223296.
  4. ^ "The Yaddo Medal". Saratoga Springs School District. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-08-17. http://web.archive.org/web/20070817033028/http://www.saratogaschools.org/hs/yaddo/yaddo.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  5. ^ The Broadway League. "Profile at IBDb". Ibdb.com. http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=79363. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Showperson; the DHP Website". Archived from the original on 2008-06-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20080602003242/http://davidhydepierce.org/biography.html. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  7. ^ a b Newman, Bruce (1998-03-01). "All In Their Family". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1998/mar/01/entertainment/ca-24256. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  8. ^ "David Hyde Pierce Acceptance Speech Tony Award". YouTube. 2007. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO4yXtF8Tb8. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  9. ^ "Rylance, Lumley and Hyde Pierce bring La Bête to West End". London. 2010. http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/latest/view/item109640/Rylance%252C-Lumley-and-Hyde-Pierce-bring-La-B%25EAte-to-West-End-. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  10. ^ Doug Jones (May 11, 2007) (transcript). Interview with Staci Layne. Horror.com. http://www.horror.com/php/article-1596-1.html. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  11. ^ om een reactie te plaatsen! (2011-06-08). "IKEA Pax: Our Pre-Wedding Photographer Lives in Advertising". Youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9lyydAbWiY. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  12. ^ The Associated Press (May 30, 2007). "'Frasier' brother finds home on stage". CNN. Archived from the original on 2007-06-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20070629112910/http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/05/30/theater.davidhydepierce.ap/index.html. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  13. ^ "David Hyde Pierce joins list of out gay actors". AfterElton. May 30, 2007. http://www.afterelton.com/people/2007/5/davidhydepierce. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  14. ^ "Rants & Raves". The Advocate: pp. 26, issue 989. July 17, 2007. 
  15. ^ Show Person: the David Hyde Pierce website
  16. ^ AP staff report, "David Hyde Pierce says he married longtime partner," May 29, 2009. Found at yahoo news. Accessed May 29, 2009.
  17. ^ "David Hyde Pierce reveals he's been secretly married to partner of 25 years". New York Daily News. 29 May 2009. http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/05/29/2009-05-29_david_hyde_pierce_reveals_hes_been_secretly_married_to_partner_of_25_years.html. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  18. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (2011-02-13). "Jane Leeves in Hot in Cleaveland has struck sitcom gold again". Dailymail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1354896/Jane-Leeves-Hot-Cleveland-struck-sitcom-gold-again.html. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 

External links

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  • David Hyde Pierce — (2010) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • David Hyde Pierce — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda David Hyde Pierce David Hyde Pierce (Saratoga Springs, Nueva York, 3 de abril de 1959)es un actor estadounidense, principalmente conocido por interpretar a Niles Crane en Frasier …   Wikipedia Español

  • David Hyde Pierce — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Pierce. David Hyde Pierce David Hyde Pierce est un acteur américain né le 3 avril 1959 à Saratoga …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pierce — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Benjamin Pierce (1757–1839), US amerikanischer Politiker Bill Pierce (* 1948), US amerikanischer Jazz Saxophonist Charles Pierce (Musiker) (1890–??), US amerikanischer Jazz Saxophonist und Bandleader… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Hyde — ist der Name folgender Orte: Hyde (Gloucestershire), England Hyde (Greater Manchester), England Hyde (Hampshire), England Hyde (Karien), Stadt im kleinasiatischen Karien (Türkei) Hyde (Louisiana), USA Hyde (Neuseeland), Neuseeland Hyde… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pierce (surname) — Pierce is a surname, a cognate of French Pierre ( Peter ):;People *Benjamin C. Pierce, professor of computer science at the University of Pennsylvania known for two books on type theory *Billy Pierce (Walter William Pierce) (born 1927), former… …   Wikipedia

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