Gerrit Graham was born on November 27, 1949 in New York City. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, Chicago, Illinois, and Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Gerrit made his acting debut at age eight in a Detroit Art Institute stage production of “Winnie the Pooh”. Graham was the president of the dramatic association as a high school student at Groton and general manager of the Columbia Players while studying at Columbia University. He began his cinematic career acting in movies for director Brian De Palma: he’s excellent in his film debut as paranoid conspiracy nut Lloyd Clay in Greetings (1968) and gave a hilarious performance as preening flamboyant rock star Beef in Phantom of the Paradise (1974). Graham’s other memorable comic roles include no-talent aspiring country singer Perman Waters in Paul Bartel’s Cannonball! (1976), hippie commune leader Magic Ray in Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (1976) sleazy used car salesman Jeff in the uproarious Used Cars (1980), the snobby Bob Spinnaker in Class Reunion (1982), and the leering Rodzinski in The Creature Wasn’t Nice (1981). Moreover, Gerrit has demonstrated his considerable range and versatility in such occasional serious parts as computer nerd Walter Gabler in Demon Seed (1977), Susan Sarandon’s abusive boyfriend Highpockets in Pretty Baby (1978), tough Vietnam veteran Ray Stark in The Annihilators (1985), and Alex Vincent’s jerky foster father Phil Simpson in Child’s Play 2 (1990). Among the many TV shows Graham has done guest spots on are Baretta (1975), Starsky and Hutch (1975), Laverne & Shirley (1976), The A-Team (1983), Fame (1982), St. Elsewhere (1982), Miami Vice (1984), Dallas (1978), The Wonder Years (1988), Seinfeld (1989), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), Babylon 5 (1993), The Larry Sanders Show (1992), Star Trek: Voyager (1995), Law & Order (1990), and Third Watch (1999). Gerrit had a recurring role on The Critic (1994). He wrote three episodes of the 1980s The Twilight Zone (1985) revival and acted in the The Twilight Zone: Welcome to Winfield/Quarantine (1986) episode of the same show. On stage, Gerrit has performed improvisational comedy sketches with Chicago’s Second City troupe and worked with improvisational director Paul Sills in Chicago as a member of Sills’ Story Theatre ensemble. Graham has written several songs with Bob Weir (these include the lyrics for the Grateful Dead tune “Victim or the Crime”). Graham wrote additional dialogue and provided additional voices for the hit Disney animated picture The Little Mermaid (1989) and co-wrote the screenplay for the cartoon short The Prince and the Pauper (1990). He’s the father of sons Jack and Henry.
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