What can you tell me about David Hyde Pierce, the funny actor who plays Niles Crane on Frasier?
—R. Hansen, Nebraska
David Hyde Pierce has won several awards, including three Emmys, for his portrayal of snooty Niles Crane. Pierce, 43, was born in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He graduated from Yale with a double major in English and theater arts. His first professional acting gig was in the Broadway play Beyond Therapy. And his first feature film was Bright Lights, Big City. In between, he concentrated on the theater, where he got his big break in The Heidi Chronicles. Pierce's film credits include Little Man Tate, which co-starred and was directed by fellow Yale graduate Jodie Foster, Sleepless in Seattle, Wolf, and Nixon. He currently can be seen in Full Frontal with Julia Roberts. Prior to Frasier, Pierce starred in the comedy The Powers That Be. His additional television credits include guest-starring roles on Crime Story, Spenser: For Hire, and The Simpsons. When he's not working, Pierce's hobbies are playing piano—he used to be a church organist—and skiing. He lives in Los Angeles.