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DICK GAUTIER was drawing bizarre cartoons for his high school paper when he was sixteen, singing with a progressive jazz band when he was seventeen and doing offbeat standup comedy when he was eighteen ... his life and career have remained that eclectic, weird and unpredictable ever since.

He was born in Culver City, California at the tender age of 0. The next few years were spent mostly eating and growing taller. His father was a French-Canadian railroad man/lumberjack who migrated south to end up as a grip at MGM and his mother was a seamstress so naturally it followed that he would grow up to be a comedian/singer/actor/writer/artist. Huh? In high school his bizarre sense of humor did not find an appreciative audience in the teaching staff but he got along barely. After trying out for the football and track teams he succeeded only in repeatedly dislocating his arm. Obviously athletics were out. Undaunted he explored other areas until finally the drama club took pity on him and allowed him to appear in a few plays.

Well, that did it. The theatrical bug had bitten him and the disease spread but quickly. Before you could say Orson Welles he was writing shows, doing standup and singing with a local band. When he left high school he worked a few night clubs and appeared on local TV emceeing and plying his weird brand of humor. bio 1He joined the Navy to see the world but only saw exotic San Diego where he wrote, performed and booked shows for Special Services, and subsequently San Francisco where, to his utter delight and surprise, he received an honorable discharge. He thereupon followed MORT SAHL into the iconclastic, young and prestigious 'hungry i' where he remained for a year honing his offbeat comedic skills.
New York was his next stop and soon he was performing his weird mix of voices, sound effects, wit, pantomime and occasional odd rubbery faces at the Village Vanguard, the Blue Angel, No. 1 fifth Avenue, the Bonsoir, and other avant garde supper clubs in Chicago, Bermuda, and all over the country. Soon he was appearing on national variety and talk shows. GOWER CHAMPION spotted him at the Blue Angel, asked him to audition for the title role in 'BYE BYE BIRDIE' which he eventually won over 750 other actors. He appeared on Broadway for two years grabbing a handful of rave reviews and a Tony and Most Promising Actor nominations.

While appearing on Broadway he was booked into The Bonsoir, a popular club in Greenwich Village, where he appeared nightly after his 'Birdie' curtain came down with a young singer who was appearing in "I Can Get It for You Wholesale". The singer was BARBARA STREISAND. After this extremely successful engagement 'Birdie' closed on Broadway but he continued in the role for a brief eastern tour and then onto six months at the Riviera in Las Vegas before finally shedding the flashy Elvis persona. Returning to Los Angeles he immediately began working in TV and motion pictures. He did a few unsold pilots and several TV shows just to get his feet wet but soon he was sloshing around town and in demand.

During the next few decades he guest starred in over 800 television shows and racked up five series among them the short lived 'MR.TERRIFIC' (he wasn't Mr. Terrific, he was only swell) and the eminently unsuccessful but great fun to do "HERE WE GO AGAIN' with LARRY HAGMAN , DIANE BAKER and NITA TALBOT but then he did a guest shot on 'GET SMART' where he created the unforgettable character of Hymie, the white-collar robot , and he took a whack at being a wacky Robin Hood for MEL BROOKS in his anachronistic and outrageously funny 'WHEN THINGS WERE ROTTEN'. During this time he still managed to sandwich in appearances on dozens of popular talk and game shows like 'THE TONIGHT SHOW', MERV GRIFFIN, DINAH SHORE, 'PASSWORD', 'THE LIARS CLUB', 'MATCH GAME' and 'HOLLYWOOD SQUARES' besides hosting 'IT'S YOUR BET' for one season and appearing as a master raconteur on 'CAN YOU TOP THIS?' until the mumps sidelined him.
He liked new challenges so he split his schizophrenic talents between dramatic roles and comedy: he was a brooding cross dresser on 'MURDER SHE WROTE', a singing killer on 'MATLOCK' and a sleazy blackmailer on 'THE ROCKFORD FILES'. His multitudinous comedy appearances include 'HAPPY DAYS' where he played a Dracula like doctor, and he buckled and swashed on "ZORRO" ,

He was an amorous sportscaster on 'MARY TYLER MOORE' and a ballet loving gym owner with STOCKARD CHANNING,
two appearances with DORIS DAY , a crooked realtor on 'CHARLEY'S ANGELS' (he says it was worth it just to share a hot tub with CHERYL LADD), he cavorted with DAME DIANA RIGG on her show , and did lots and lots of "LOVE AMERICAN STYLEs' (some of which he wrote), 'LOVEBOATs' of course and FANTASY ISLANDs'.

He also appeared in several Movies Of the Week such as 'MARATHON' with BOB NEWHART , 'THIS WIFE FOR HIRE' with PAM DAWBER, ANN JILLIAN and ROBERT KLEIN, 'BENNY and BARNEY' with JANE SEYMOUR, and managed to rack up a few feature films like 'DIVORCE AMERICAN STYLE' playing DICK VAN DYKE's attorney, he was a televangelist in 'FUN WITH DICK AND JANE' with JANE FONDA and GEORGE SEGAL, he worked with WALTER MATTHAU and a young JACK NICHOLSON in 'ENSIGN PULVER' and he was the governor in 'BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON' with TOM LAUGHLIN, E.G, MARSHALL and LUCIE ARNAZ.


B
ut he's never forgotten the stage and often returns to his favorite medium; he toured as Prof. Harold Hill in 'THE MUSIC MAN'; he was Tommy in 'BRIGADOON', Cliff in 'CABARET', starred opposite CAROL LAWRENCE in 'BABY', and sang, danced and cavorted with NANCY DUSSAULT in the two-character musical comedy 'THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG' and 'I DO! I DO!'. He also had an absolute ball playing seven different characters in NEIL SIMON'S hilarious 'LITTLE ME' and appeared with RUE MC CLANAHAN and BUCK HENRY in the Pasadena Playhouse production of JOHN GUARE'S 'THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES', and he appeared in two productions of 'SOUTH PACIFIC' , first as Billis, scam artist supreme, here with RUTA LEE, and a few years later graduated to the role of the suave Frenchman Emile De Beque (vocally light years away from 'Bye Bye Birdie'). He also directed 'MASS APPEAL' with ALAN YOUNG, for which he won numerous awards, 'CACTUS FLOWER' with NANETTE FABRAY and 'CALIFORNIA SUITE' with BARBARA STUART and DAVE MADDEN.

You've heard his versatile voice in numerous animated series; as Serpentor, the Evil Warlord of cobra in 'G.I.JOE', the movie and the series, and as the heroic Rodimus Prime in 'THE TRANSFORMERS', he was Spike in 'SPIKE n' TYKE', 'FOOFUR', he was Zoolie the Irish swashbucker in 'PIRATES OF DARK WATER' and guested on 'THE SMURFS', 'THE GOBOTS', 'SKY COMMANDERS', 'GARFIELD', 'BATMAN', 'JAMES BOND JR', 'DUCK TALES' and many more. To contrast with all this he's also the smooth voiced narrator of the Discovery Channel's 'SEARCH FOR ADVENTURE ' series.

Add to these accomplishments the writing of motion pictures, six of which he's sold, two have been produced (one by him), over a dozen published and recorded songs plus he's the author/illustrator of ten published books ... 'THE ART OF CARICATURE', 'THE CREATIVE CARTOONIST', 'THE CAREER CARTOONIST', 'ACTORS AS ARTISTS' and 'DRAWING AND CARTOONING 1001 FACES', '1001 CARICATURES', '1001 FIGURES IN ACTION', '1001 FACES', 'MUSICIANS AS ARTISTS', 'CREATING COMIC CHARACTERS' and one children's book entitled (what else?) 'A CHILD'S GARDEN OF WEIRDNESS'.

His hobbies (who has the time?) are tennis (he's dedicated if only a B), closeup magic, etymology and crosswords (the harder the better). He's written articles for TV GUIDE, NATIONAL LAMPOON, MAD MAGAZINE, GENIE MAGAZINE and others. Along the way this apparently tireless maelstrom has designed greeting cards, built doll houses, demonstrated pogo sticks at Macy's, painted portraits on commission and still managed to squeeze in a couple of wives, three terrific kids (Chrissie, Randy and Denise), several charming grandchildren and three GREATgrandchildren. He's very happily married to a beautiful doctor of psychology (and does that ever come in handy) named Tess Hightower and they live peacefully and gracefully in Studio City, California with their sweet but spoiled Wheaten Terrier Rudy.

Of all of his career accomplishments he's proudest of the fact that he's never hosted his own talk show nor bared his soul regarding a dysfunctional family. In light of his eclecticism it's no wonder that he's referred to in some circles as a 'RENAISSANCE DILETTANTE'.