American actor Paul David McCrane was born on January 19, 1961 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He made his acting debut in 1979, when he played a bit role in Rocky II. He first gained wide popularity, however, in 1980, when he starred in the acclaimed musical film Fame. His portrayal of drama student Montgomery MacNeil, who deals with his homosexuality, earned him a nomination from that year’s Young Artist Award. He also earned a Grammy nomination, along with his fellow cast members, for the movie’s soundtrack.
Most of McCrane’s notable acting credits, however, were on television. He played a regular role on the medical drama ER, as the brash surgeon Robert Romano, whose insensitive comments somehow managed to provide comic relief to the show. He guest starred in an episode of The X Files, where he played cancer-absorbing mutant Leonard Betts. He appeared in the fifth and sixth seasons of 24, playing Graem Bauer, the brother of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) who is behind most of the terrorist plots. He also had a role in the short-lived programs Champs and Cop Rock, and the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, where he played Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad. He also played guest roles in The Practice, Chicago Hope, Wiseguy and Ugly Betty, among others.
McCrane also has a notable film career. He starred in the 1987 action flick RoboCop, where he played one of the antagonists, Emil Antanowsky. He also starred in the 1988 remake of the horror film The Blob. His other films include The Shawshank Redemption, The Last Producer and A Year and a Day. He has also worked behind the scenes, directing episodes for television shows such as Third Watch, The West Wing, Without a Trace, House and ER. He has also written the 2006 short film, Hide & Seek.
He has a older brother Jim, and three younger sisters, Maureen, Barbara, and Deirdre.