A graduate of Elmhurst College and the University of Chicago, David Rasche's off-Broadway debut was in the 1976 production John. Rasche went on to co-star in Michael Cristofer's Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Shadow Box. In movies since 1979's Manhattan, Rasche was especially active in made-for-TV features like Special Bulletin, in which he was cast as anti-nuke activist Dr. David McKeeson. Obsessive roles of this nature led to David Rasche's most famous characterization: the merciless, gun-worshipping eponymous detective in the satirical TV sitcom Sledge Hammer (1986-88).
Biography by Hal Erickson
- A former English professor at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota who also studied at the University of Chicago Divinity School and worked in a hospital as a late-night clerk before pursuing acting.
- Began taking courses at Chicago's Second City improv group at age 26. Later officially joined the troupe after John Belushi left.
- In 1974, was an investor in Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.
- Moved to New York after his stints with Second City and Victory Gardens Theater to further his acting career.
- In 1977, co-starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play The Shadow Box.
- Was cast as the title role in the ABC sitcom Sledge Hammer! without an audition after show creator Alan Spencer saw his performance in the 1984 film Best Defense.
- A friend of playwright David Mamet, and has appeared in several of Mamet's plays.