He’s a man who became a household name because he was on a primetime television show……..he starred on Broadway as the cowardly Sir Robin in Spamalot……..he covets his privacy and when asked in interviews, is not afraid to say it is not any ones business……he never talked about his sexuality until the press made it impossible to ignore…….he is involved in a charity that is close to his heart.
Does that sound like someone you know? Probably, but it is NOT Clay Aiken!
The words above are describing the talented David Hyde Pierce.
David Hyde Pierce was born in Saratoga Springs, New York. In high school, he received the Yaddo Medal as best dramatic arts student when he graduated in 1977. Pierce then went to Yale and graduated with a double major in English and theater arts.
In 1981, David went to New York City and quickly got a job selling ties in Bloomingdale’s while continuing his studies in acting. He landed his first professional acting job in Beyond Therapy on Broadway, followed by stints off-Broadway and in regional theater. Between 1983 and 1985, he worked in various productions at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis before returning to appear in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Hamlet.
A big break came for David when he appeared on Broadway for six months in The Heidi Chronicles, earning him the attention of the media and his peers. More feature roles followed in such films as Little Man Tate and The Fisher King.
It was after the filming of Sleepless in Seattle that Pierce got his biggest break. He received his initial interview with the creators of Frasier due to his close resemblance to Kelsey Grammar. After the interview, the part of Dr. Niles Crane was written for him.
Pierce was nominated for an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor for a record eleven consecutive years for his role of Niles Crane. He won four times in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2004. It was rumored that Pierce was paid up to 1 million dollars per episode.
In 2005, David starred as Sir Robin in Spamalot, joining a cast that was filled with some of the best British comedians around. Because David had trained for many years to be a concert pianist, he brought a bit of class to the piano scene in the musical; however, his singing voice was not as strong as his keyboard skills.
Since Spamalot, David has starred in Curtains on Broadway and won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. In 2007, David was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Niagara University. Currently, David is back on Broadway in the play, Accent On Youth.
Pierce is the co-chairman of the Alzheimer’s Association for which he works tirelessly to raise funds and awareness of the condition. Both David’s father and grandfather were stricken with the disease and died from the condition. In 1999, Pierce was honored by The Alzheimer’s Association for all his devoted work with them over the past few years with a dinner in his honor in Los Angeles. He is also a regular supporter of AIDS charities.
After years of speculation about his sexuality, his relationship with his long-time partner, Brian Hargrove was made public in 2007. Brian is a television writer, director and producer.
On May 28, 2009, David Hyde Pierce revealed that he and Brian Hargrove got married last fall.
Their wedding was held before Proposition 8 was passed by voters, banning gay marriage. The California Supreme Court upheld the ban this week, but said those who tied the knot when it was legal are still married.
There are many things that David and Clay do not have in common. Their backgrounds and schooling are very different, yet they still seem to have many of the same ideals in both their public and private lives. So much so that they might become good friends and colleagues.
Below is an interesting video highlighting Niles and his “love”, Daphne, Do you remember the tango?