David Graf

David Graf
David Graf in Stockholm.jpg
Graf in Stockholm, June 1989
Paul David Graf

(1950-04-16)April 16, 1950
Died April 7, 2001(2001-04-07) (aged 50)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1981–2001
( m. 1983)
Children 2

Paul David Graf (April 16, 1950 – April 7, 2001) was an American actor, known for his role as Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry in the Police Academy series of films.[1]

Early life and education

Graf was born in Zanesville, Ohio, and later moved to Lancaster, Ohio, and graduated from Lancaster High School. He studied theatre at Otterbein College in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, where he graduated in 1972. He attended graduate school at Ohio State University until 1975, when he dropped out to pursue his acting career.

Acting career

Graf made his first television appearance as a contestant on the game show The $20,000 Pyramid in December 1979, where he teamed with actress Patty Duke. He would later appear on subsequent versions of the show as a celebrity contestant, twice with Duke. As a struggling actor in the early 1980s, he also took small roles in popular TV shows, including M*A*S*H, The Dukes of Hazzard, Airwolf, Hardcastle and McCormick and The A-Team.

He made his film debut in 1981 when he played Gergley in the drama Four Friends. Graf later played the trigger-happy Eugene Tackleberry in the 1984 comedy Police Academy, and starred in each of the sequels. In 1986, Graf had a role as Councilman Harlan Nash on the short-lived sitcom He's the Mayor. In 1990, Graf appeared in the final two episodes of the series Beauty and the Beast. In 1992, Graf returned to play a minor role as a police officer again for the comedy series Seinfeld during its fourth-season episode "The Ticket" and also appeared on Night Court. He played Tackleberry for the final time in a guest appearance on the short-lived Police Academy: The Series. Also in November 1992, Graf appeared on Family Matters where he played Sgt. Shiska.

Graf made various guest appearances following his role in the Police Academy series, including a repeating part in The West Wing, several appearances in Star Trek: Voyager episode ("The 37s") and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In the latter series, he played a Klingon called Leskit in the fifth-season episode "Soldiers of the Empire".

Graf was Lt. Weismann in the movie Suture in 1993 and Ralph Brinker in the Disney Channel movie Brink! in 1998.

Graf made a guest appearance in an episode of the short-lived ABC sitcom Teen Angel as a camp leader for Steve Beauchamp's little sister Katie, in the 1997-1998 season. In 2000, he made an appearance on The Amanda Show as a paramedic who accidentally swapped pagers with Amanda Bynes. He also made an appearance on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman season 2 episode 20 as a reporter for the Daily Planet.

Graf had a small role in 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie, portraying Alice's boyfriend Sam Franklin, the butcher. In 1996, Graf made a guest appearance in Promised Land, which was a spinoff of Touched by an Angel. He played the role of a grieving husband whose wife died while working for a company and he went there trying to find answers to her death.

Graf guest starred in several episodes of ABC's sitcom Step By Step in the 1990s. He also starred in the second episode of the third season of ABC's Home Improvement as angler Chuck Norwood. Some of his last acting performances were two guest appearances as The Pentagon staff member Colonel Chase in the series The West Wing ("The Drop-In" and "The Portland Trip") and as Jacques Douche in the Son of the Beach TV series episode "Grand Prix". Graf's last acting role was the Nickelodeon sitcom The Amanda Show, just three months before his death.

Screen Actors Guild

Besides his acting, Graf was a respected representative of the Screen Actors Guild. As well as serving as a Hollywood union rep, he was on SAG's national board, TV-theatrical steering committee, and national disciplinary review committee. Graf sought fair treatment for his fellow actors and actresses, which included efforts for better working conditions for the acting community.[2]

Personal life

Graf married Kathryn Graf in 1983. They had two sons.


While attending his brother-in-law's wedding in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and two sons, Graf died from a sudden heart attack on April 7, 2001, nine days before his 51st birthday.[1][3] His funeral was attended by many cast members from the Police Academy films. Graf is buried at Forest Rose Cemetery in Lancaster, Ohio.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Four Friends Gergley
1982 M*A*S*H Lt. Spears Season 10, Ep. 14 "A Holy Mess"
1983 Voyagers Sgt. Mike Season 1, Ep. 14 "Sneak Attack"
1983 The A-Team Cooper Season 2, Ep. 4 "Bad Time on the Border"
1984 Police Academy Cadet Eugene Tackleberry
1984 Irreconcilable Differences Bink
1984 Airwolf Billie Season 2, Ep 1 "Sweet Britches"
1985 Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry
1986 Police Academy 3: Back in Training
1987 Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
1987 Love at Stake Nathaniel
1988 Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry
1989 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege
1991 Without a Pass White Officer - 1990
1991 Quantum Leap Sheriff Nolan Season 3, Ep 16 "Southern Comforts"
1992 Family Matters Sergeant Shishka 1 episode
1992 Seinfeld Cop #2 1 episode
1993 American Kickboxer 2 Howard
1993 Suture Lt. Weismann
1993 Home Improvement Chuck Norwood 1 episode
1994 Guarding Tess Lee Danielson
1994 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry
1994 Roseanne: An Unauthorized Biography Tom Arnold TV Movie
1995 Fist of Legend English version, Voice
1995 Dragon Kid Voice
1995 Star Trek: Voyager Fred Noonan 1 episode
1995 The Brady Bunch Movie Sam Franklin
1996 Hijacked: Flight 285 Alcoholic
1996 Citizen Ruth Judge Richter [4]
1996 Martin Officer Hayes
1997 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Leskit Season 5, Ep. 21 "Soldiers of the Empire"
1998 Brink! Ralph Brinker
2000 Rules of Engagement ARG Commander
2000 The Cactus Kid Charles


  1. ^ a b c "David Graf; Played Many Film, TV Roles". Los Angeles Times. April 11, 2001. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  2. ^ "David Graf". www.variety.com. April 10, 2001. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  3. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (April 2001). "Actor Graf Dies". People. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  4. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0333701/

External links