Some actors and actresses establish their reputations in a single fell swoop with one career-defining role; certainly this was true for actor Gale Harold, whose multifaceted portrayal of the masculine and sexually driven yet openly gay Brian on Showtime's Queer as Folk helped shatter homosexual stereotypes on television and put Harold on the fast track to stardom. An Atlanta native raised by Pentecostal parents in an extremely devout suburban home, Harold rejected the belief system of his mother and father in his teens. During adolescence, Harold recognized his own heterosexuality, but projected a counterculture attitude and thus never quite fit in, in either the social cliques in his high school or the surrounding community. He attended Southwest DeKalb High School, then enrolled in Washington, D.C.'s American University on a soccer scholarship, but -- feeling dissatisfied -- dropped out after a year. As an alternative, Harold moved to San Francisco and enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute, while sustaining a motley series of low-paying jobs on the side. Then, in 1997, Harold responded to a friend's offer to appear in a movie by relocating to Los Angeles and enrolling in an acting workshop. That experience introduced him to a lifelong love of drama. The Queer as Folk turn marked Harold's breakthrough and put him on the Hollywood map. He subsequently appeared in a number of independently produced features, including Particles of Truth (2002), Rhinoceros Eyes (2003), and Wake (2004), before essaying a lead in director Fay Ann Lee's limited-run theatrical feature Falling for Grace (2007), as an attorney who falls into a romance with a Chinese-American immigrant, little realizing that she's hiding key information from him regarding her background. In 2007, Harold stepped behind the camera for the first time and entered the sphere of production, associate producing the music documentary Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (2007). In 2010 he was the lead in the supernatural horror film Fertile Ground. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi