David Rasche (Actor) as Sledge Hammer!
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Updated: 10/20/20

Name: David Rasche

Birth Name: David Rasche

Born: August 7, 1944 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Claim To Fame: David Rasche is an American theater, film and television character actor who is best known for his portrayal of the title character in the 1980s satirical police sitcom Sledge Hammer!

Family Life: Rasche met his future wife Heather Lupton after he moved to New York City in 1976; they married in 1979. They have three children.

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Info: His name is pronounced "RAH-shee".

His father was a minister and farmer.

Rasche graduated from Elmhurst College in 1966; his grandfather was also an alumnus.

Attended the University of Chicago Divinity School for two years, then quit. He did, however, receive a graduate degree in English from University of Chicago.

He studied acting under Sanford Meisner.

He worked as a writer and teacher, including teaching English for two years at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

He performed for two years in Chicago's Second City improvisation group after studying there.

Often plays characters in positions of authority, in both serious and comical turns.

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Trivia: Helped found the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago and was one of the original artistic board members -- nicknamed the Eight Great Tomatoes -- along with Warren Casey, Cecil Oneal, Mac McGuinnes, Cordis Heard (then Cordis Fejer), Stuart Gordon, Roberta Maguire and June Pyskacek.

He played "Admiral Piett" in the NPR radio dramatization of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

Rasche is best known for his portrayal of the title character in the satirical television sitcom Sledge Hammer!, which ran from 1986 to 1988. The show was a spoof of police dramas and concerned the character Sledge Hammer, a violent and chauvinistic police inspector with a taste for large and powerful weaponry.

His wife Heather had a guest role in Sledge Hammer! (1986), as ex-Mrs. Hammer (episode Sledge Hammer!: Here's to You, Mrs. Hammer (1988)).

His close association with David Mamet led to him becoming a major interpreter of the playwright's works -- including "Sexual Perversity in Chicago", "Speed-the-Plow" and "Edmond".

He appeared on the Miami Vice as a KGB agent attempting to capture a former colleague of Lt. Castillo (Edward James Olmos). During his subsequent starring role on Sledge Hammer! his character often made jokes about Miami Vice.

Rasche played Petruchio to Frances Conroy's Kate in a production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew directed by Zoe Caldwell at the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut in the mid-1980s.

He is also an award winning actor. In 2010, he won Best Actor for Olhos Azuis (Blue Eyes) at both the Estrela do Mar Trophy at the Natal Film & Video Festival and the Jury Award at the Paris Brazilian Film Festival, respectively.

In 2017, he played George Antrobus in Theatre for a New Audience's production of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth, opposite Kecia Lewis as Maggie Antrobus.

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Where Are They Now: As of 2020, Rasche stars in two movies, both of which are currently in post-production, Americanish and The Good House.


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