||Known to fans of the TV series "Frasier (1993)" as Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe, the womanizing, blue-collar, loud-mouthed sports radio host and nemesis to stuffy Dr. Frasier Crane, Daniel E. Butler is one of the few openly gay stars on primetime TV. His sexual orientation has had no impact on his career on "Frasier" nor has there been any negative audience fallout since Butler disclosed it on "Entertainment Tonight" in 1994.
The talented, compact Butler won parts - most of them heterosexual - in a host of TV and movie projects. Butler had been involved with the theatre since his youth in Fort Wayne, IN. He made his performing debut as a lad in a local production of "The Music Man" and eventually joined the Indiana-Purdue theatre group while in high school. Although he received a scholarship from the Irene Ryan Foundation to study acting, Butler left both Purdue University and San Jose State College without degrees and migrated to San Francisco where he worked in regional theatre. Relocating to New York in 1980, Butler won a role in Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues" on Broadway and small parts in such TV-movies as "Country Gold (1982)" and "The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James (1986)". A starring role in the New York company of "The Lisbon Traviata" brought him to the Mark Taper Forum for the Los Angeles production in 1991. Butler decided to stay in L.A. and won guest shots on "Quantum Leap (1989)" and a small recurring role on "Roseanne (1988)" as a motorcycle pal of Dan's (John Goodman). His "Roseanne" bosses, Carsey-Werner Productions, put him in the pilot of "Sex & Saints", but the series failed to be picked up as a series. Guest appearances in "Life Goes On (1989)" and "Picket Fences (1992)" kept Butler busy, but "Bulldog" on "Frasier" had kept him steadily working. As the role is not featured in every episode, Butler has had time to occasionally do guest spots in other series, such as "The X Files (1993)" and "Caroline in the City (1995)".
Billed as Dan E. Butler, he made his film debut in Michael Mann's "Manhunter (1986)" as a fingerprint expert and also appeared in "The Silence of the Lambs (1991)"; both films featured the serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lechter (played by Brian Cox and Anthony Hopkins respectively). He was the pushy casting agent who refuses to hire an actor because of rumors the actor has AIDS in "Longtime Companion (1990)" and played small character roles in the comedies "Captain Ron (1992)", "Dave (1993)", and "I Love Trouble (1994)". Butler also launched "The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me", his partly autobiographical one-man show in which he portrayed a host of gay characters. The play has had lengthy runs in both Los Angeles and New York where it received much praise and audience support.