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In The Mix
June 14, 2016

He's All In

Peter Gallagher seems to be everywhere, and he likes it that way.

Amy Amatangelo
  • Andrew Brucker

Turn on your TV and you're likely to find Peter Gallagher.

He's been seen sparring with Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) on CBS's The Good Wife. He's sleeping with Tina (Amanda Peet) on HBO's Togetherness. He's getting bossy with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) on NBC's Law & Order: SVU. And he's showing up as Schmidt's (Max Greenfield) absentee dad on Fox's New Girl.

"It seems to be a particularly wonderful time in television," Gallagher says, "and I've had so much fun saying a lot of great words with a lot of great people."

With the varied roles come amusing encounters with fans. "I was getting a haircut, and the lady next to me popped up out of the sink and said, 'When are you going to start being a little nicer to Sergeant Benson?'"

The logistics haven't always been easy. He shot the second season of Togetherness while starring in On the Twentieth Century on Broadway. He would fly out to LA. on Sunday night, shoot the series all day Monday, then fly back in time for curtain Tuesday night. "I didn't know how I was going to survive all of that.”

To many, Gallagher will always be Sandy Cohen, the beloved dad on Fox's The 0.C "What a privilege it was for me to be telling that story of inclusion at that time, post-9/11."

The New York native was studying economics at Tufts University when he decided to pursue acting. He attributes his eclectic career — which includes memorable roles in Sex, Lies, and Videotape and American Beauty — to a willingness to accept all kinds of parts. "What I loved is the variety."

Gallagher — who will next be seen reprising his role as a ballet company director in Lifetime's Center Stage: On Pointe (the third film in a franchise) — is always looking ahead.

"I'm very interested in what's around the next corner," he says. "Or what some kid is writing right now that's going to challenge and surprise us all."

Center Stage: On Pointe premieres Saturday, June 25 at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime.

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