Caroline in the City
Tony nominated American actor Malcolm Gets has created a prolific career on stage since making his professional debut as a teenager in a local production of “Annie Get Your Gun” (1978). He acquired praise for his work in “Merrily We Roll Along” (1994, nabbed a Drama Desk nomination), “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” (1994, won an Obie Award and St. Clair Bayfield Award) and “A New Brain” (1998) before bringing home his Tony nomination for his portrayal of Dusoleil in the musical “Amour” (2002). However, Gets is probably best known as cartoonist Richard Karinsky on the Lea Thompson sitcom “Caroline in the City” (NBC, 1995-1999). On the movie front, the versatile actor, who made his debut in 1984's “A Flash of Green,” was notable as F. Scott Fitzgerald in Alan Rudolph's “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle” (1994) and co-won a Florida Film Critics Circle Award for his performance in the award winning “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” (2001). Other films in which he has acted in include “Love in the Time of Money” (2002), “Adam & Steve” (2005) and “Grey Gardens” (2008). Apart from being an actor, Gets is also a dancer, singer, classically trained pianist, composer, vocal director and choreographer.
The 6' 1” performer is openly gay. He stated, “I was always out. I was out when I was in high school so I never hid who I was. I’d always lived my life openly. I always took my partner to the big Hollywood events. Everybody knew my partner. It was not a big deal.”
Gets enjoys all kinds of music, but he cites classical as his favorite. He is a fan of composer Stephen Sondheim. In his free time, the longtime buff of the TV show “All in the Family” loves cooking and reading.
Childhood and Family:
Hugh Malcolm Gerard Gets was born on December 28, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, to British parents Lispeth Gets, a special education teacher and school administrator, and Terrence Gets, a college textbook salesman. The third of four children, he has an older brother named Eric and an older sister named Allison, and a younger sister. Hugh moved with his family to New Jersey shortly after his birth and stayed there until age 5. The family then relocated to Gainesville, Florida, where Hugh spent the rest of his formative years. A vividly earnest student, he skipped the 8th grade at Fort Clarke Middle School and the 12th grade at Buchholz High School. By age 16, he was attending college at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he won the Best Newcomer's Award in acting. After receiving a BFA in theater in 1989, he went on to pursue his MFA degree at the prestigious Yale Drama School.
In addition to his academic achievement, Hugh showed an interest in performing arts at an early age. He started to practice the piano around age 8 and started singing by age 14. As a teenager, he danced with Pofahl Studios in Gainesville, while working as an accompanist at a local theater where he also attended workshops. It was by playing the piano that Hugh could pay for his tuition in college.
An aspiring classical pianist, Malcolm Gets began his training early in life and by the time he was a teenager, was composing music for the Hippodrome, a local theater in Gainesville where he also made his stage debut in a production of “Annie Get Your Gun” (1978). The talented Gets also played piano at weddings, bar-mitzvahs and in concert halls while honing in on his acting skills in a number of plays, including “Next Stop Greenwich Village,” “Twelfth Night,” “West Side Story,” “Amadeus” and “Cloud 9.” In 1984, the former stock boy for Barney's moved on to feature film to portray Jigger in the based-on-novel drama “A Flash of Green,” which was shot in Florida. The independent movie was co-written and directed by Victor Nunez and featured Ed Harris as Jimmy Wing.
Gets returned to the stage the following year to serve as the co-director, choreographer and pianist for Hippodrome's production of “Ain't Misbehavin'.” A 1989 graduate of the University of Florida, he went on to train at Yale from 1989 to 1992, during which time he performed in such productions as “Fathers and Sons,” “Hamletmachine,” “Richard the 3rd,” “Stage Door,” “The Name of Oedipus (Jocasta),” “King Lear,” “Hamlet” and “The Colorado Catechism.” Gets made his off-Broadway debut after graduating from Yale in the Marc Blizstein musical “Juno” (1992) and the following year, he undertook the lead in Hartford Stage Company’s production of the musical “The Return of Martin Guerre.” He was then featured in the off-Broadway musical “Hello, Again” at the Lincoln Center. Also in 1993, he resumed his TV career by making guest appearances in the series “South Beach” and “Law & Order.”
In 1994, Gets received attention for his role of Frank Shepard in the off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's “Merrily We Roll Along” and Proteus in the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” in Central Park. The performances won the stage-trained actor a 1995 Drama Desk nomination for Best Actor in a Musical and an Obie Award and the honored St. Clair Bayfield Award for Outstanding Classical Performance. That same year, Gets attained additional notice on the big screen with his cameo role of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Alan Rudolph-directed biopic “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle,” which starred Jennifer Jason Leigh in the title role. He also landed a recurring role on the CBS soap opera “As the World Turns,” where he was cast as Ron Gillette.
However, Gets did not gain massive screen success until he won the regular role Richard Karinsky on the NBC sitcom “Caroline in the City,” opposite Lea Thompson as the Manhattan-based successful cartoonist Caroline Duffy. Debuting on September 21, 1995, Gets’ character developed from Caroline's employee into her lover. When the comedy series was eventually canceled in 1999, the actor returned to the New York City stage to star as Gordon Michael Schwinn, an aspiring theater composer suffering from a brain tumor, in the 1998 musical “A New Brain,” penned by William Finn and directed by James Lapine. His performance in the play earned critical plaudits.
A year after the cancellation of “Caroline in the City,” Gets could be seen in San Francisco production of “Edward II” (2000) at the American Conservatory Theatre. He then acted in the Broadway production of “Dreamgirls” (2001) and was nominated for a Tony for Best Actor (Musical) for his portrayal of Dusoleil in “Amour” (2002). During that period, he also appeared as an architect in the critically acclaimed feature “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” (2001), from which he jointly nabbed a 2003 Florida Film Critics Circle for Best Ensemble Cast, and played the supporting role of Robert Walker in the comedy “Love in the Time of Money” (2002).
After playing Colonel Ricci in the Broadway production of “Passion” (2004), Gets starred opposite Chris Kattan in the homosexual-themed “Adam & Steve” (2005), which was the feature film directorial debut of Craig Chester. He also participated in a short film by John McCrite called “Little Boy Blues” (2005).
Gets will play George 'Gould' Strong in the film “Grey Gardens.” The based-on-documentary drama stars Drew Barrymore as 'Little' Edith Bouvier Beale, Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Daniel Baldwin as Julius Krug and Jessica Lange as 'Big' Edith Bouvier Beale.
Florida Film Critics Circle: Best Ensemble Cast, “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,” 2003
St. Clair Bayfield Award, Outstanding Classical Performance, 1995