Thomas Gibson

Another in a series of postings on actors, especially on tv, whose work I’ve enjoyed. Today it’s Thomas Gibson, currently playing the central character in the tv series Criminal Minds (which I’ve posted about several times before and will post more about in a while). Gibson had a significant stage career before he broke into movies and tv. On tv, he’s had four meaty roles, playing four very different characters, and has been a dependable guest actor. His movies are all over the map; some are notable failures as movies, though Gibson soldiered on though them as an actor.

Here’s the man looking seriously FBI on Criminal Minds:

(#1)

And in a very different mood on the earlier series Dharma & Greg:

(#2)

From Wikipedia:

Thomas Ellis Gibson (born July 3, 1962) is an American actor and director. He is best known for his portrayal of Daniel Nyland in the CBS series Chicago Hope [1994-98], Greg Montgomery on the ABC series Dharma & Greg [1997-2003], and Aaron Hotchner on the CBS series Criminal Minds [2005-present].

… Gibson’s first television appearance was in 1987 in a guest role on CBS’ legal drama Leg Work, followed by stints on the daytime dramas As the World Turns (CBS) and Another World (NBC). In 1992, Gibson made his big screen debut in Ron Howard’s Far and Away, in which he portrayed Stephen Chase. Chase was the villainous rival of Joseph Donnelly (Tom Cruise) for Shannon Christie’s (Nicole Kidman) affections. His next lead role was in 1993 as David, a homosexual waiter, in Denys Arcand’s Love and Human Remains. Gibson later re-united with Arcand in Stardom (2000). Also in 1993, he played the slimy misanthrope Beauchamp Day in the Tales of the City miniseries (1993 [and 1998]).

The four meaty roles: Beauchamp Day in the the first two of the three tv miniseries based on Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City stories; Dr. Daniel Nyland in the medical drama Chicago Hope; Greg Montgomery (playing opposite Jenna Elfman’s fey character Dharma, Greg’s wife) in the delightful sitcom Dharma & Greg; and Aaron Hotchner, the head of a team of FBI profilers, in Criminal Minds. (Two cast photos for CM in a 10/8/15 posting of mine; and further discussion in a 11/10/15 posting about CM cast member Matthew Gray Gubler.)

Beauchamp Day. The narcissistic Beauchamp (pronounced like Beacham) cheats on his wife (DeDe Halcyon Day, played by Barbara Garrick) with Jon Fielding (Billy Campbell) and with Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney), both of whom end up detesting him. Here’s Beauchamp with an unhappy DeDe:

(#3)

and with Jon:

(#4)

A thorough scoundrel. He dies in a car accident after putting out a hit on DeDe’s unborn twins (no, he’s not the father).

Dr. Daniel Nyland. Chicago Hope had a large regular cast, which was jam-packed with reliable character actors. Wikipedia on Nyland:

Thomas Gibson played Dr. Daniel Nyland, a promiscuous ER doctor and trauma surgeon who was later suspended due to him having an affair with a patient’s family member and later was injured in a car crash.

Sexual promiscuity and car crashes. I sense a theme here. Though Dr. Nyland was an engaging character (despite his inability to keep it in his pants) with a sweet smile:

(#5)

At the movies. Several of the movies Gibson has acted in are justly well-regarded films, but the man has also signed on to a number of ill-conceived film projects. From these bad choices, two comedies that happen to have been released in 2000: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and  Psycho Beach Party. I haven’t seen either of them, but just reading about them gives me the giggles.

Wikipedia on Viva Rock Vegas:

The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (also known as The Flintstones 2 or The Flintstones 2: Viva Rock Vegas) is a 2000 American comedy film and prequel to 1994’s The Flintstones, based on the 1960–66 cartoon series of the same name. Produced by Amblin Entertainment and Hanna-Barbera Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures, it is set before the events of the first film and features very few of the original cast. Even though the film was a critical and commercial failure, it received slightly more positive reviews than the first film. Ann-Margret, who appeared as “Ann-Margrock” in the original series, sings the theme song, which is a slightly rewritten version of the theme song from Viva Las Vegas.

… Wilma Slaghoople (Kristen Johnston) wants a normal life and activities, like bowling, despite her controlling mother Pearl (Joan Collins) who wants her to marry smooth casino-owner Chip Rockefeller (Thomas Gibson).

Here’s Gibson as Rockefeller:

(#6)

Hot, but really cheesy.

Wikipedia on Psycho Beach Party:

Psycho Beach Party is a 2000 comedy horror film based on the off-Broadway play of the same name, directed by Robert Lee King. Charles Busch wrote both the original play and the screenplay. As the title suggests, Psycho Beach Party, set in 1962 Malibu Beach, is a parody of 1950s psychodramas, 1960s beach movies and 1980s slasher films.

A poster for the movie, featuring a shirtless Gibson and his really big surfboard:

(#7)

In the middle cameo at the top: Gibson (playing the surfing guru The Great Kanaka) and a surfer-dude character played by Nicholas Brendon, showing off their excellent shirts. In a close-up:

(#8)

Yes, Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on Buffy; for more on him, see here.

The red-haired woman in the right cameo at the top is in fact Charles Busch in drag. Busch and Gibson together, in a thumbnail:

(#9)

Of course, we’re at the beach, so there’s plenty of shirtless Gibson:

(#10)

(Attractive body, definitely fit but not gym-sculpted.)

Alas, deliberate camp is hard to pull off, and reviewers were mostly not kind.

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