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"My father was paying for my education, so I wanted him to get his money's worth," he explained in an interview with People writer Michael A.
Lipton, adding, "I was scared to study acting because I was afraid I'd lose my passion for it." For three years, Gallagher performed with the Boston Shakespeare Company, and spent summers working at the Priscilla Beach Theatre in Whitehorse Beach, Massachusetts.
"You get there around dawn, sign up and then stand in line for about eight hours before you go in and sing a few bars of a song," he explained in the web biography.
"In both cases, there were well over a thousand people ahead of me." But success came almost immediately: he was offered a plum role in a 1977 Broadway revival of Hair, the hit hippie musical, but before it opened a casting director offered him a part in the touring version of another top Broadway show, Grease, as the lead, Danny Zuko.
Handsome to the point of distraction, he seemed the victim of his own looks, with Hollywood usually typecasting him in the role of cad or shark. C., Gallagher took the role of a do–gooder for a change.
"I generally play really ambitious people, cutthroat and conniving and all that stuff," he told Daily News writer Bob Strauss. I've scratched my way to the middle after all these years." Like Cohen, his O. character, Gallagher's roots are in the New York City borough of the Bronx.
The series was Skag, and Gallagher was cast as one of the sons of a Pittsburgh steelworker played by Karl Malden.
The series debuted in early 1980, but was not renewed for a new season.
The movie musical was loosely based on the life of Bob Marucci, who helped make Frankie Avalon and Fabian stars in the 1950s.Leaving Hair before it opened, Gallagher made his Broadway debut in Grease in 1978.Within a year he was signed to appear in an NBC television series and as the lead in a movie.She managed all three and I arrived intact." Gallagher was the last of three born to Mary, a bacteriologist, and Tom Gallagher, an outdoor–advertising executive.The family lived in Yonkers, just outside of New York City, before relocating to suburban Armonk.