Following an early career that mainly included small parts on Empty Nest, Murphy Brown, and other assorted sitcoms, Craig Bierko made a number of unsuccessful stabs at stardom in feature films with leading-man roles in the poorly received comedies Sour Grapes, The Suburbans, and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. He also starred opposite Gretchen Mol in 1999's sci-fi dud The Thirteenth Floor. In 2005, Bierko's career began to pick up steam when he bulked up to play boxer Max Baer in Ron Howard's Cinderella Man. Playing opposite acting heavyweights Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti, Bierko held his own and received high marks from critics. He parlayed the success of the performance into an extended arc on ABC's Boston Legal, and in 2007 was cast as the lead on Fox's The Rules for Starting Over, a romantic sitcom about a divorced man's reluctant attempts at entering the dating scene. In 2012, he played a supporting role in Peter and Bobby Farrelly's reboot of The Three Stooges.
Biography by Matthew Tobey
- Stage debut was at age 8 as a newsboy in Gypsy in a community theater run by his parents.
- Film debut was in Victimless Crimes, a 1990 direct-to-video thriller.
- Was originally cast as Chandler Bing in Friends, but turned it down in favor of another project. Instead, the role went to Matthew Perry, Bierko's costar on the short-lived CBS sitcom Syndey.
- Made his Broadway-musical debut as Harold Hill in the 2000 revival of The Music Man.
- Played Sky Masterson in the 2009 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls.