Actor. He is best remembered for his role as 'Officer Eugene Tackleberry' in the "Police Academy" series of movies. Born in Lancaster, Ohio, he graduated from Lancaster High School in 1968 and attended Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, graduating in 1972 with a major in Theater. He made an early appearance on television as an actor on the game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid" with actress Patty Duke. In the early 1980s, he began his career with a number of small roles and guest appearances on television shows such as "M*A*S*H," "The Dukes of Hazard," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Quantum Leap," and "The A-Team." His big break came with his role of police officer 'Eugene Tackleberry' in the first of seven "Police Academy" movies. Playing an overly dominating, trigger happy, control freak type of police officer, ala "Dirty Harry" without the finesse, he won the hearts of many in the audience with his overwhelming martinet comic stereotype of a policeman. He appeared as 'Officer Tackleberry' in all seven of the "Police Academy" movies. Keeping active in television roles, he also appeared in such films as "Guarding Tess" (1994), "The Brady Bunch Movie" (1995), and "Citizen Ruth" (1996). However, his best work was in his off-camera efforts to ensure fair treatment for his fellow actors and actresses, as representative of the Screen Actors Guild, including his efforts to better working conditions for the acting community. While attending a family wedding in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Kathy and two sons, he was stricken with a fatal heart attack.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
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