David Garrison is an actor best know for co-starring during the first four seasons of the FOX sitcom Married ... With Children from 1987-1990. Garrison's hubris, however, apparently got the better of him, as he left the show thinking he move move on to bigger and better things, yet his career practically plummeted off the face of the earth.
Garrison was born on June 30, 1952 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and graduated summa cum laude from Boston University's School of Fine Arts. His first acting role with in the 1980 TV movie, A Day with Conrad Green. He subsequently appeared in minor roles in the 1980 Stephen King movie, Creepshow, and appeared in a 1984 episode of Remington Steele. Garrison finally caught his first decent break in 1984 when he was cast in a role in the sitcom, It's Your Move, where he co-starred with Jason Bateman. It's Your Move was cancelled after only one season, but it lasted long enough to catch the eyes of the casting director for Married ... With Children.
Garrison played the role of Steve Rhoades, the next-door-neighbor to the Bundy family on Married ... With Children beginning in 1987 on the then-fledgling Fox Network. The Fox Network was launched in October 1986 as the "fourth network" to compete with the big-three national television networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS. The Fox Network was in desperate need of a hit to allow it to succeed on a nation-wide basis and Married ... With Children was arguably the network's first hit TV show. Married ... With Children was often a raunchy, yet genuinely funny show that offered a warped view of the American family that was not being shown on network TV at the time. The show was known for its frequent use of "toilet humor" and was particularly popular among adolescent boys.
Steve Rhoades and his wife Marcy Rhoades were successful bankers who would frequently stop by the Bundy household practically on a weekly basis. Steve Rhoades was a straight-laced character, although Al Bundy, the patriarch of the Bundy household (played by Ed O'Neill), often got Steve Rhoades to loosen up and left him mixed up in various hijinks.
Although Married ... With Children started weakly, it slowly began to gain nationwide appeal. Ironically, the show became more popular as it became the well-known target of a boycott by a viewer who was offended by a particularly raunchy show where Al Bundy and Steve Rhoades visit an adult store to purchase bras in the episode entitled, "Her Cups Runneth Over." By the end of the 4th season, the Nielson ratings for Married ... With Children had reached #50, up from #142 in its first season.
Despite the increasing popularity and success of Married ... With Children, Garrison abruptly left the show after the fourth season ended in 1990. Rumors circulated at the time that Garrison was sick of the raunchy material and thought that he could do better if he left. He reportedly asked the producers to let him out of his contract so that he could act on Broadway. The producers granted his request and allowed him to leave. However, instead of appearing on Broadway, Garrison's first role after leaving Married ... With Children was a role in another sitcom, entitled Working It Out. Working It Out was an unpopular show which appeared on NBC for only one season.
The producers of Married ... With Children must have been upset with Garrison for appearing on another sitcom right after leaving the show. However, any anger must have quickly dissipated as Married ... With Children continued to improve in popularity when Ted McGinley was added to the cast as Marcy Rhoades's new husband, Jefferson D'Arcy. Garrison certainly could not have predicted that Married ... With Children would air for another 7 seasons and must have made the series regulars millionaires many times over. Garrison's career after leaving Married ... With Children did not exactly turn out as well as Garrison could have predicted. Instead of becoming a star on another sitcom or on Broadway, Garrison's career went into a tailspin as he all but left the public eye. Garrison has had a number of Broadway roles over the last 20+ years, but he is not a star. He has appeared sporadically in productions such as Silence! The Musical, Wicked, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine, Titanic, Torch Song Trilogy, The Pirates of Penzance, and Bells are Ringing.
Garrison was willing to return to a Married ... With Children spinoff in 1995 when he appeared in the backdoor pilot for Radio Free Trumaine, in which Garrison would have reprised his role of Steve Rhoades as the dean of a fictitious college. Unfortunately for Garrison, however, the show was not picked up.
David Garrison threw away a successful career as an actor on Married ... With Children because he apparently thought he was too good for the show. However, the departure proved to be the worst decision of his professional career as Married ... With Children lasted for seven years after he left, yet his Broadway and subsequent sitcom career have essentially gone nowhere. Accordingly, there should be no doubt that David Garrison is one washed-up celebrity!