Audiences, as well as reviewers, have always marveled at Bruce's versatility and the power and subtlety of his performances. When Bruce was first starting out, he received some very good advice from director Robert Aldrich. “Kid," Aldrich said, "be a character actor. Hero or villain, character actors always work.” True to that advice, Bruce has had a career rich with a variety of roles, both hero and villain, and all shades in between. The range of his projects reflects that versatility.
Bruce guest-starred in nine episodes of the highly acclaimed TV series, THE PRACTICE, which began with a season's premiere episode. The dramatic arc has Bruce portraying a friend of Bobby's (Dylan McDermott), who has been accused of murdering his wife.
He has also directed his first feature length project, the film OFF SEASON for Showtime, starring Hume Cronin, Sherilyn Fenn and Rory Culkin. It's the story of a 10-year-old boy left orphaned by an auto accident who then becomes attracted to an old cynical crook who lives down the hall.
He co-starred in the hit FOX film THE X-MEN as Senator Kelly, the avowed opponent of the mutant heroes, which re-united him with director Brian Singer. He helped launch the movie with a national 'mock political' campaign, exhorting citizens to join him in keeping America 'mutant-free'.
Premiering at the Los Angeles Film Festival is the compelling drama, THE KING IS ALIVE, a film by Kristian Levring as part of the Dogma 95 series, films that are independently produced according to a strict set of filming 'commandments'. He co-stars with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Janet McTeer and the late Brion James.
Some of his recent projects include the highly dramatic HBO movie VENDETTA, as a defense attorney who wins an acquittal for 11 Italian dock workers falsely accused of murder in turn of the century New Orleans. He also starred with Bonnie Bedilia in Showtime's LOCKED IN SILENCE, as the father of a young boy who is a witness to a murder, as well as MGM's AT FIRST SIGHT with Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino, Brian Singer's APT PUPIL with Ian McKellan and Brad Renfro, and Dreamworks first family film PAULIE. He guest-starred on the CBS hit show TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, which garnered him an Emmy nomination, and starred with Mare Winningham as an anguished husband in the CBS drama LITTLE GIRL FLY AWAY, a chilling film about a woman who insists that she is being relentlessly stalked.
Bruce also starred in the Off-Broadway sensation, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, the Pulitzer-prize winning play by Paula Vogel. It is the uniquely constructed story of an uncle, his niece and their unusual relationship, which Vogel was inspired to write after reading the novel Lolita. "This was one of the best roles in theatre today, and there was no way that I was going to let it pass me by," says Bruce, who took six months off from Hollywood to do the play.
For his work in the film LONGTIME COMPANION, Bruce was nominated for an Academy Award, won a Golden Globe, the New York and the National Film Critics Award and a Spirit Award. Other notable film classics include Arthur Miller's THE CRUCIBLE, Robert Altman's SHORT CUTS, for which the cast was honored with a special Golden Globe and by the Venice Film Festival, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, SHORT EYES, LAST SUMMER, ULZANA'S RAID, THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT, and the cult favorite WILLARD.
In theatre he won both the LA Drama Critics Award and Drama-logue Award for STREAMERS and THE NORMAL HEART, starred in Broadway productions of THE ELEPHANT MAN, KING LEAR and THE GLASS MENAGERIE, on the New York stage in A.R. Gurney's THE COCKTAIL HOUR and RICHARD III, and in Los Angeles in THE CAINE MUTINY COURT MARTIAL (directed by Henry Fonda), A LIFE IN THE THEATRE and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.
Other completed projects during the past few years include Allison Anders' GRACE OF MY HEART, Randall Kleiser's IT'S MY PARTY, FRIENDS OF FRIENDS and HOMAGE. On television, Bruce starred with Beau and Jeff Bridges in Showtime's HIDDEN IN AMERICA, about hunger and unemployment in our country, the CBS television movie, AFTER JIMMY, a moving drama about a family facing the aftermath of teens suicide, and Showtime's controversial drama about the aftermath of a tragic murder/carjacking THE COLOR OF JUSTICE, with real-life spouse Lisa Pelikan, F. Murray Abraham, Judd Hirsch and Gregory Hines. On the comedic side, he guest-starred on three episodes of SEINFELD, as the lawyer who makes George's life a living hell after the unexpected death of his fiancée.
Being an actor is all Bruce has ever wanted to do, ever since his college days at Penn State where he initially started out as an art major. But fate led him to accompany a college friend to her audition of COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA, and he was forever hooked after than.
Fame and great reviews came to him immediately, starring in films like LAST SUMMER with Barbara Hershey, Richard Thomas and Catherine Burns, and THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT with Kim Darby. After the latter, Bruce got his first taste of success when he appeared at the Cannes Film Festival and was mobbed by crowds of press and fans who had seen the film.
He learned that, although fame made for a heady environment, ultimately it was the work that counted for a long-term career. His roles have always spanned all the entertainment mediums. From the beginning, audiences have seen Bruce starring in such disparate productions as the TV series HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS, which also gave him the opportunity to direct a number of episodes, SUMMER OF MY GERMAN SOLDIER, TAMING OF THE SHREW, the mini-series POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL and the chilling PBS science-fiction drama, THE LATHE OF HEAVEN.
Though success and celebrity may be the by-products of performing, Bruce firmly believes that working with good people on great projects is the main reward of being an actor. When not performing, he works actively as a spokesperson for a myriad of AIDS related groups, is a board member of the industry AIDS organization Hollywood Supports, as well as becoming active with organizations helping abused children. "Being a father has made me acutely aware how important it is to be involved in the early development of children. Having a young child is exhausting, but infinitely rewarding."
Currently, Bruce resides in the Los Angeles area.
Go to Bruce's website