David Hyde Pierce (born April 3, 1959) is an Emmy- and Tony Award-winning American actor, best known for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Niles Crane on the NBC sitcom Frasier.
Pierce was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, the youngest child of Laura Marie (née Hughes) and George Hyde Pierce, who was an insurance agent and aspiring actor. He has two older sisters, Barbara and Nancy, and an older brother, Thomas. As a child he became very interested in the piano and frequently played organ at the local Bethesda Episcopal Church in Saratoga Springs. He began acting in high school and was recognized as best Dramatic Arts student. He also received the Yaddo Medal for character and scholarship in 1977, and worked in theater while a counselor at Camp Kabeyun, in New Hampshire. However, his love of music was still strong so he decided to study classical piano at Yale University. Unfortunately, he soon grew bored with music history lessons and found that he wasn’t dedicated enough to practice the required number of hours to become a successful concert pianist. Instead, he graduated in 1981 with a double major in English and Theatre Arts.
At Yale University, Pierce performed and directed