It was a pair of misfortunes that led darkly handsome Adrian Pasdar to become an actor. While studying literature at the University of Florida, he showed promise as a football player and might have made it a career had not an auto accident at the end of his freshman year taken him permanently off the field and sent him to his native Philadelphia. The son of a heart surgeon, Pasdar passed his recuperation time apprenticing as a set builder for the People's Light and Theatre Company until he seriously injured his thumb and again had to rethink his options. Injured enough to receive disability payments, Pasdar decided to become an actor and so enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York. Upon graduation, Pasdar successfully auditioned for a part in Top Gun (1986). In fact, director Tony Scott was impressed enough by Pasdar to write a small part, that of Chippie, just for him. Top Gun's success led Pasdar to a larger role in the youthful sci-fi/adventure Solarbabies (1986). The following year, Pasdar played a hapless Oklahoma cowboy who is seduced by a vampire and forced to join her roving band of bloodsuckers in Kathryn Bigelow's cult favorite Near Dark; Pasdar garnered acclaim for his role. He has subsequently specialized in independent films while only making the occasional major feature. In addition to his feature-film efforts, Pasdar continues working on-stage and appearing on television. He is particularly drawn to avant-garde and offbeat television pieces such as Big Time (1989). In 1996 Pasdar played a psychotic, ambitious corporate executive in the short-lived Fox Network series Profit. Since then, Pasdan finds himself in increasing demand as a supporting actor in films such as Ties to Rachel and A Brother's Kiss (both 1997).
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- His promising football career was derailed after he was injured in a car accident at age 19.
- Studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York.
- Directed his first feature film, the thriller Cement, in 1999.
- Married Dixie Chicks frontwoman Natalie Maines in a $55 Las Vegas wedding; appeared in their 2000 music video Goodbye Earl.
- Played guitar in Band From TV, a celebrity rock band that raised money for charitable causes; group members include James Denton, Hugh Laurie and Pasdar's Heroes costar Greg Grunberg.