Like many character actors, Sullivan had to hustle for small roles in features and TV and find some artistic satisfaction on stage before aging into a viable, in-demand player--in his case, often as a gruff, authority figure who sometimes exhibits a heart of gold. Born in Chicago, IL, and raised on Cape Cod, MA, Sullivan clearly exhibits his New England roots in his accent. He attended the University of Maine and toured with a stage company before heading to New York. Sullivan landed work with the New York Shakespeare Festival and appeared on Broadway in the ensemble musical "Working" (1978), for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination. He also played Vanessa Redgrave's husband in the Peter Hall production of Tennessee Williams' "Orpheus Descending" (1989). Other stage credits include "South Pacific," Beth Henley's "The Wake of Jamie Foster" and "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial."