Like many of his fellow Londoners, Gary McDonald grew up loving soccer and in his early 20s he played professionally for a now-defunct club based in Southwest London. Although soccer was his first love, McDonald knew he wasn't good enough to make a career out of it. That wasn't the case with acting, however, which proved to be another passion of McDonald's. In his late 20s he became a member of the Royal Court Theatre, and honed his acting chops by appearing in plays like "Hard Time Pressure "and "Hero's Welcome". McDonald found that he loved the liveliness of theater acting, and appeared in plays throughout London in the 1980s, including a rousing performance in "Macbeth " at the prestigious Royal National Theatre. By the late 1980s, however, his sights began to turn to television acting. In 1987 he drew attention for his performance in the BBC soap opera, "EastEnders", and in 1986 he starred in the TV drama "London's Burning: The Movie", which preceded the popular series. McDonald continued to act primarily in television series throughout the remainder of the '90s and well into the early 2000s, including a recurring role on the British crime drama "Thief Takers". Although he appeared mostly on television shows that were based in his native Britain, in 2005 McDonald did land a small part as a Los Angeles Police Officer on the American crime procedural, "Numbers".