|Born:||May 30, 1940|
|Birthplace:||Orange, New Jersey, U.S.|
(or involved with):
|Dallas (first series)|
|Appeared as:||Gary Ewing|
| Episodes appeared in|
|"Reunion: Part I" & "Reunion: Part II" (Season 2)|
David Ackroyd (born May 30, 1940) originated the role of Gary Ewing on the CBS-TV series Dallas, the embittered younger brother of J.R. Ewing, and big brothor of Bobby Ewing in the two-episode season opening story arc of Season 2, the episodes "Reunion: Part I" and "Reunion: Part II"; the part was later assumed by Ted Shackelford in Season 3, as he would later assume the role again in Dallas's spinoff, Knots Landing for the duration of its network TV run on CBS.
Born and raised in Orange, NJ, David studied at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1962 as an ROTC student. After his graduation, he appeared in community theater productions while serving in Arizona with the military. He then focused on the arts as a career after enrolling at the Yale Drama School, where he earned his master of fine arts degree in 1968.
Ackroyd gathered early professional credits at the Yale Repertory Theatre for three seasons and Williamstown Theatre Festival for six seasons. He also found challenging and varied stage work in Taiwan, Russia, Poland, Germany, France and the Czech Republic.
Dark-haired with a serious handsomeness to him, Ackroyd was able to extend his all-stage career into film and TV in the early 1970s, beginning with daytime leading man outings in The Secret Storm and Another World. He progressed to prime time work as Gary Ewing in Dallas (1978) until Ted Shackelford successfully took over the role when the character moved front and center with the spin-off drama Knots Landing (1979). David's prime on-camera work occurred in the late 70s with a series of strong co-star roles in the mini-series The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) with Bette Davis and The Word (1978), as well as the TV-movies And I Alone Survived (1978) and Women in White (1979). He then began to find supporting roles in such movies as The Mountain Men (1980), The Sound of Murder (1982), Wrestling with God (1990), Dark Angel (1990) and Prison Life (2000); however, film stardom eluded him.
Prone to playing upscale types or white-collar professionals (senators, doctors, lawyers, etc.), Ackroyd appeared as a guest star on such popular programs as Arthur Hailey's Hotel, Dynasty, Highway to Heaven, Murder, She Wrote and MacGyver. He also continued to prevail on the stage with potent performances in Unlikely Heroes (his 1971 Broadway debut), The Rivals, Juno and the Paycock, Hamlet (as Rosencrantz), Private Lives, Children of a Lesser God (replacing original star John Rubinstein), A Soldier's Play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Six Characters in Search of an Author and, more recently, off-Broadway in 2003 with It Just Catches. A well-seasoned narrator in documentary stories for the History Channel, he has sometimes utilized his well-modulated vocals for such animated cartoons as Jonny Quest and Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Most of his work of late comes in the form of voice work.
Ackroyd has been married since 1963 to Ruth Liming, a college admissions officer. The couple has two daughters, Jessica and Abigail. Living in Montana where he is a professor of drama at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Ackroyd is also one of the founding members of the Alpine Theatre Project, which produces plays for the Whitefish Theatre Company.
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