David Graf
David Graf Police Academy
David Graf, shown here in a scene from the film "Police Academy 6", guest starred as Lt. Spears, an infantry unit commander, in the Season 10 M*A*S*H TV series episode "A Holy Mess".
Personal Information
Gender: Male
Birthname David Paul Graf
Born: (1950-04-16)April 16, 1950
Birthplace Zanesville, Ohio, U.S.
Died: April 7, 2001(2001-04-07) (aged 50)
Deathplace Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Years active: 1979–2001
Character information
Appeared on/in: M*A*S*H
Episodes appeared in: "A Holy Mess" in Season 10
Character played: Lieutenant Spears

Actor David Graf (born David Paul Graf on April 16, 1950 – died April 7, 2001) was perhaps best known for his role as Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry in the Police Academy series of films.[1] David made a guest appearance as Lieutenant Spears on M*A*S*H, appearing in the episode titled "A Holy Mess" in Season 10.

Early life Edit

Born in Zanesville, Ohio, David 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 Edit

David 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 guest, twice with Duke.) As a struggling actor in the early 1980s, he also took small roles in popular sitcoms, including The Dukes of Hazzard, Airwolf 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 Cadet Eugene Tackleberry (later Sgt. Tackleberry) in the 1984 comedy Police Academy, and starred in each of six sequ . In 1986, Graf had a role as Councilman Harlan Nash on the short-lived sitcom He's the Mayor. 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 the NBC sitcom series Night Court. He played Tackleberry for the final time in a guest appearance on the short-lived Police Academy: The Series.

Graf also made notable 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".

He also appeared as 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 also had a small role in 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie, portraying Alice's boyfriend Sam Franklin, the butcher. In 1996, Graf also made a guest appearance in the CBS-TV series 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 Pentagon staff member Colonel Chase in the NBC-TV series The West Wing ("The Drop-In" and "The Portland Trip") and as Jacques Douche in the FOX TV series Son of the Beach episode titled "Grand Prix". Graf's last acting role was the Nickelodeon sitcom The Amanda Show just three months until his death.


Graf died of a heart attack on April 7, 2001, while attending a family wedding in Phoenix, Arizona.[2][3] He was subsequently buried at Forest Rose Cemetery in Lancaster, Ohio.[4]


  1. "David Graf; Played Many Film, TV Roles", The Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2001. Retrieved on 2011-01-10. 
  2. Actor Graf Dies
  3. David Graf

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