American actor Richard Grieco has played leading and supporting roles on television and in features. TV fans will quickly remember him from the sibling '80s police series 21 Jump Street and Booker, in which Grieco played bad-boy detective Dennis Booker. Born in Watertown, NY, the darkly handsome actor's interest in performing began in high school where he was also active in sports, such as lacrosse, hockey, and football. He was so good at the latter sport that he was recruited to play for Central Connecticut University as a linebacker and fullback. Grieco left the school after two years and by the mid-'80s had established himself as a male model for the Elite Agency in New York. After modeling for such major clients as Calvin Klein, Chanel, and Armani for a while, Grieco spent two years studying acting with Alice Spieack, Warren Robertson, and Wally Strauss. He landed the role of Rick Gardner on the ABC daytime soap One Life to Live in 1985 and remained with the show through 1987, the year he moved to Los Angeles and began working as a guest star on such television shows as Who's the Boss? and The Bronx Zoo. In 1988, after a successful guest appearance, Grieco joined the cast of the Fox Network's 21 Jump Street. A year later, he starred in the spin-off, Booker, which ran until 1990. Though the series didn't last long on network television, it had success in syndication. Grieco made his feature-film debut playing Bugsy Siegel in Mobsters (1991), and in If Looks Could Kill. Since then, Grieco has built a solid career appearing in features ranging from Tomcat: Dangerous Desires (1993) to The Demolitionist (1995). In 1995, Grieco also worked in another short-lived television series, Marker. In addition to acting, Grieco has found success as a singer, a side career he launched in 1994. He started out with the Dunmore Band, and after gaining a large following among Los Angeles club hoppers, signed a record contract with a German label and released the CD Waiting for the Sky to Fall, which became a smash hit in Europe.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Went to college on a football scholarship, but multiple injuries and operations forced him to quit.
- Left college to become a model in New York City, where he worked for Chanel, Armani, Versace and Calvin Klein, among others.
- Studied acting in New York in the mid-1980s, which helped him land a part on One Life to Live.
- After he moved to Los Angeles, guest stints on TV series including Who's the Boss? and The Facts of Life led to a breakout role as Officer Dennis Booker on 21 Jump Street and its spin-off, Booker, though the latter only lasted one season.
- Also a singer and songwriter, released an album called Waiting for the Sky to Fall in 1995.
- Hobbies include car racing, painting and writing poetry.