David Ackroyd

Veteran stage and TV actor David Ackroyd was born on May 30, 1940 in Orange, New Jersey, the son of Arthur, an insurance adjuster, and Charlotte (nee Henderson) Ackroyd. He studied at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania where he received his BA in 1962 as an ROTC student. Following his graduation he appeared in community theater productions while serving in Arizona with the military. He then focused on the arts as a career after enrolling at the Yale Drama School where he earned his Masters of Fine Arts in 1968.

David gathered early professional credits at the Yale Repertory Theatre (for three seasons) and Williamstown Theatre Festival (for six seasons). He also found challenging and varied stage work outside the U.S. in Taiwan, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, and the Czech Republic.

Dark-haired with a serious handsomeness to him, he was able to extend his all-stage career into film and TV in the early 1970s, beginning with daytime leading man outings in "The Secret Storm" and "Another World". He progressed to prime time work as Gary Ewing in Dallas (1978) until Ted Shackelford successfully took over the role when the character moved front and center with the spin-off drama Knots Landing (1979). David's prime on-camera work occurred in the late 70s with a series of strong co-star roles in the mini-series The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) with Bette Davis and The Word (1978), as well as the TV-movies And I Alone Survived (1978) and Women in White (1979). He then began to find supporting roles in such movies as The Mountain Men (1980), The Sound of Murder (1982), Wrestling with God (1990), Dark Angel (1990) and Prison Life (2000); however, film stardom eluded him.

Prone to playing upscale types or white-collar professionals (senators, doctors, lawyers, etc.), he appeared as a guest star on such popular programs as "Hotel", "Dynasty", "Highway to Heaven", "Murder She Wrote" and "MacGyver". He also continued to prevail on the stage with potent performances in "Unlikely Heroes", his 1971 Broadway debut, "The Rivals", "Juno and the Paycock", "Hamlet" (as Rosencrantz), "Private Lives" "Children of a Lesser God" (replacing original star John Rubinstein), "A Soldier's Play", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", "Six Characters in Search of an Author", and, more recently, off-Broadway in 2003 with "It Just Catches". A well-seasoned narrator in documentary stories for the History Channel, he has sometimes utilized his well-modulated vocals for such animated cartoons as "Johnny Quest" and "Captain Planet and the Planeteers". Most of his work of late comes in the form of voice work.

Long married to wife Ruth Liming, a college admissions officer, the couple has two daughters, Jessica and Abigail. Living in Montana where he is a professor of drama at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, David is also one of the founding members of the Alpine Theatre Project which produces plays for the Whitefish Theatre Company.

Known For


Cast Credits

Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
Guest starring as Anteus
Swamp Thing (1990)
Guest starring as Ian James (2 episodes)
  • Episode 3x21: The Curse (Dec 12, 1992) [Special Guest Star]
  • Episode 2x08: Poisonous (Feb 21, 1992) [Special Guest Star]
Wildfire (1986)
Starring as John Cavanaugh
Blacke's Magic (1986)
Guest starring as Harrison
Murder, She Wrote (1984)
Guest starring as Nate Parsons
Guest starring as Prosecutor Tom Casselli
Riptide (1984)
Guest starring as James Sutherland
AfterMASH (1983)
Starring as Dr. Boyer
Dynasty (1981)
Guest starring as Detective Lieutenant Fred Merrill (3 episodes)
Knots Landing (1979)
Guest starring as Bill Medford
The Facts of Life (1979)
Guest starring as Major Dorsey
Dallas (1978)
Guest starring as Garrison Arthur "Gary" Ewing (2 episodes)