Peter Gallagher opened up exclusively to Us Weekly with 25 things you might not know about him — including the moment he realized he was famous, the celebrity who left him starstruck and his favorite hobbies. Read on to learn more facts about the Palm Springs star.
1. My first job was painting houses — and not very well. I got my first two professional acting jobs from open-call auditions in New York City: the Broadway revival of Hair and the Broadway company of Grease.
2. I was playing Danny Zuko [in Grease on Broadway] when the movie came out.
3. I’ve done 10 Broadway shows — five musicals and five plays.
4. The moment I realized I’d made it was after the packed premiere of my first movie, The Idolmaker, at Radio City Music Hall. A mob of girls grabbed my tie and nearly strangled me. I thought, “This is different … and kind of scary.”
5. I’m really shy.
6. My first car was a 1968 Cougar XR7 convertible, which I bought very used. It had a lot of electrical problems.
7. I have an economics degree from Tufts University.
8. One thing I learned from [my major] was that I wasn’t very interested in business.
10. I can do pretty good impressions of some people who are long since departed. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people can tell if the impressions are any good.
11. I can speak gibberish in any number of languages. It’s been very helpful on several occasions.
12. The best advice I’ve received is that 90 percent of life is showing up.
13. I have an Irish and a United States passport.
15. I broke my eardrum diving off a 60-foot cliff when I was 16. It healed.
16. I won $500,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for the Alzheimer’s Association.
17. Years ago, as I was leaving Dublin’s Clarence Hotel, which is owned by U2, Bono held the door for me. I really tried to say something — anything! — but I was dumbstruck, so I gave a feeble nod and kept going.
18. Jack Lemmon gave me my first set of golf clubs, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
19. I’ve made three hole in ones.
20. I met my wife [in our] freshman year of college. We’ve been married for 37 years.
21. Our son, James, and I had our appendixes out on the same date — 40 years apart.
22. Our daughter, Kathryn, made her Broadway debut in a theater I’d worked in years before. I’d brought her for Take Your Daughter to Work Day.
23. The only time I ever played hockey on an ice rink and wore the full equipment was at Madison Square Garden, with former N.Y. Rangers [in front of] 13,000 people. I didn’t have a heart attack.
24. I love tools and building stuff.
25. All this stuff about my eyebrows has been a complete surprise. I grew up being self-conscious about my lips.
Palm Springs is available to stream on Hulu now.