Gary Michael Cole (born September 20, 1956) is an American actor. Cole is known for his supporting roles in numerous film and television productions since the 1990s.
Cole was born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois. His father was a school administrator and his mother was a director of finance. He attended Rolling Meadows High School, where his first dramatic appearance was as Snoopy in a high school production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Cole later attended Illinois State University, where he majored in theater alongside actors Laurie Metcalf and John Malkovich.
Cole began his professional career in 1983 as a stage actor in Chicago, where he joined the ensemble of the famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1985. He also appeared in several off-Broadway productions in New York City. In addition to his film and television credits listed below, he has done voice work on several animated series (Family Guy; Kim Possible; Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law) and had a recurring role on the drama The West Wing as Vice President Bob Russell. He also starred as Captain Matthew Gideon on the short-lived Babylon 5 spin-off Crusade, and had notable guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Arrested Development. He also played Joe Maxwell on DCOM Cadet Kelly and appeared as real-life astronaut Edgar Mitchell in HBO's recreation of Project Apollo, From the Earth to the Moon. One of his most notable roles in 1991 was as General Custer in the much acclaimed television film Son of the Morning Star.