Biography

A wiry, reliable character actor who first caught the attention of television audiences with his Emmy-winning role as Detective Mick Belker on Steven Bochco's gritty police drama Hill Street Blues, Bruce Weitz crafted a successful career in both low-budget features and small-screen dramas. The Norwalk, CT, native trained at both Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater and Louisville's Actors Theater after earning graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, and it wasn't long before he set his sights on Broadway. A successful debut opposite George C. Scott in a revival of Death of a Salesman was quickly followed by roles in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Norman, Is That You? Weitz also appeared in 13 New York Shakespeare festivals during the late '70s before moving on to television. Supporting roles in Quincy and Happy Days were followed by performances in such made-for-TV features as Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story and Every Stray Dog and Kid (both 1981). That same year, Weitz joined the cast of Hill Street Blues for the duration of the series and his popular character became a highlight of many episodes. The role propelled Weitz's TV career and the actor did not lack work for the rest of the decade. By the time the '80s gave way to the '90s, Weitz's small-screen feature career was still going strong, and, in 1991, he joined the cast of the popular sitcom Anything but Love for one season. He returned to work with old friend Bochco with short-lived series The Byrds of Paradise in 1994 and appeared as Robert Shapiro in 1995's made-for-TV feature The O.J. Simpson Story. Nurturing a growing feature film career in the late '90s and early 2000s, Weitz later enjoyed roles in such high-profile theatrical releases as Deep Impact (1998) and Half Past Dead (2002), enjoyed a multi-episode run on ER as Alderman John Bright, and graced the casts of features including El Cortez (2005) and The Dukes (2007). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi