Butler in 1995
Daniel Eugene Butler
December 2, 1954
Huntington, Indiana, U.S.
Butler was born in Huntington, Indiana, and raised in Fort Wayne, the son of Shirley, a housewife, and Andrew Butler, a pharmacist. While a drama student at Indiana University in 1975, he received the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, sponsored by the Kennedy Center. From 1976–78 he trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.
Butler is best known for his role as Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe in the NBC sitcom Frasier, appearing in every season but one between 1993 and 2004. The character was a volatile, boorish, intensely macho sports presenter who hosted the show which followed Frasier's daily broadcast at the radio station KACL.
He is also one of two actors to play two different characters within the Hannibal Lecter franchise. In 1986 he played the role of Jimmy Price, a technician in the film Manhunter. Then 5 years later playing the role of Roden in 1991's The Silence of The Lambs. The other actor is Frankie Faison.
In 1998, Butler played the role of NSA Director Admiral Shaffer in Enemy of the State.
In 2006, Butler produced and starred in the faux documentary Karl Rove, I Love You (which he also co-wrote and co-directed). Other film work includes roles in Silence of the Lambs and Longtime Companion.
Butler is also an established stage actor. In 2018 he played Lenin in the Broadway revival of Tom Stoppard's Travesties. Other recent appearances include as Truman Capote in American Repertory Theatre's 2017 production of Rob Roth's Warhol/Capote and Jack in the 2013 Off-Broadway production of Conor McPherson's The Weir.
Butler lives in Vermont and is married to producer Richard Waterhouse. He came out to his family when he was in his early 20s. He wrote a one-man show, The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me, which opened in Los Angeles in 1994 and also played in San Francisco and off-Broadway in New York. It was Butler's public coming out. The play had ten characters "just processing what gay means". He was nominated for the 1995 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show.
Featured television roles
- Roseanne as Art (1991–1992)
- Frasier as Robert "Bulldog" Briscoe (1993–2004)
- Caroline in the City as Kenneth Arabian (1995, 1997)
- Hey Arnold! - Voice of Mr. Simmons/Lila's Dad (1997–2002)
- From the Earth to the Moon as NASA Flight Director Eugene Kranz (1998)
- More Tales of the City as Edward Bass Matheson (1998)
- The Mist as Father Romanov (6 episodes: season 1; 2017)
- Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie as Mr. Simmons (2017; TV movie)
- Leg Work (episode: "Blind Trust"; 1987)
- Monsters (episode: "A New Woman"; 1990)
- Quantum Leap (episode: "Southern Comforts - August 4, 1961"; 1991)
- Columbo (episode: "No Time to Die"; 1992)
- Life Goes On (episode" "Incident on Main"; 1993)
- The Powers That Be (1993)
- Quantum Leap (episode: "Mirror Image - August 8, 1953"; 1993)
- Picket Fences (episode: "Duty Free Rome"; 1993)
- The X-Files (episode: "Die Hand Die Verletzt"; 1995)
- King of the Hill (episode: "Jumpin' Crack Bass"; 1997)
- Tracey Takes On... (episode: "Religion"; 1998)
- Star Trek: Voyager (episode: "Vis à Vis"; 1998)
- Just Shoot Me! (episode: "Eve of Destruction"; 1998)
- Suddenly Susan (episode: "War Games"; 1998)
- Touched by an Angel (episode: "Anatomy Lesson"; 1999)
- Ally McBeal (episode: "Changes"; 1999)
- Crossing Jordan as Arnold Hummer (2002)
- American Dreams as Coach Ambros (2002–03; 4 episodes)
- Without a Trace (episode: "The Source"; 2003)
- Malcolm in the Middle (episode "Butterflies")
- Supernatural (episode: "Hook Man"; 2005)
- House (episode: "Distractions"; 2006)
- Monk (episode: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital")
- 'Til Death (episode: "Clay Date"; 2007)
- Cashmere Mafia (episode: "Yours, Mine, and Hers"; 2008)
- Blindspot (episode: "Sent On Tour", 2015)
- Banshee (episodes: "Truths Other Than The Ones You Tell Yourself" & "Requiem"; 2016)
- Elementary (episode: "Whatever Remains, However Improbable"; 2018)
- Tales of the City (episode: "The Price of Oil"; 2019)
- "Dan Butler profile". Filmreference.com. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "ACTF - Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship National Winners". Kennedy Center. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "Things Only Getting Better for Dan Butler". SFGATE. 15 September 1996. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- Robinson, Charlotte (July 18, 2012). "Dan Butler on LGBT Issues and His New Film 'Pearl'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- Walsh, Jeff (November 1, 1998). "On NBC's 'Frasier,' openly gay Butler plays it straight". Oasis Magazine. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- Brantley, Ben (24 April 2018). "Review: Screwball Eggheads Tear Up the Library in 'Travesties'". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
- Verini, Rob (25 September 2017). "Massachusetts Theater Review: 'WarholCapote'". Variety. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
- Jaworowski, Ken (27 May 2013). "Tales Told From a Bar Stool, Each One More Shivery Than the Other". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
- Also appeared in Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie as Mr. Simmons (voice)
Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold! movie gets title; 19 original voice actors returning Entertainment Weekly; retrieved June 13, 2016