If you\u2019ve been watching movies or television shows in the last 40 years, you can\u2019t help but have seen Peter Gallagher at least a few times. Whether acting opposite Sandra Bullock in 1995\u2019s "While You Were Sleeping" (he was the one who was sleeping), schmearing on the cool as hippie dad Sandy Cohen in TV\u2019s "The O.C." in the mid-aughts, or co-starring with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in Netflix\u2019s "Grace and Frankie," Gallagher has been a perennial presence in movies, television and on Broadway (Tom Stoppard\u2019s "The Real Thing," "Long Day\u2019s Journey into Night," "Guys and Dolls"). Gallagher, who divides his time between New Milford and Los Angeles, has two children ascending in show business. So don\u2019t be surprised if you keep seeing a Gallagher on the screen for the next 40 years.\u00a0 Q. When did you first get the acting bug? A. It all began with Dean Martin. I used to do impressions when I was little. We always watched "The\u00a0Lawrence Welk Show," which was followed by Dean Martin. I was crazy about him and I thought my impressions were fantastic and I thought I could make a career out of that. But it didn\u2019t happen so fast. Q. Your first big break? A. Our high school drama teacher was casting "The Fantasticks" and he was looking for someone who could do a cockney accent. I can do a really good one, so I got the part and it was my first taste of being on the stage and I was hooked. But I wasn\u2019t sure I could make a career of it. Q. Is it true that you graduated from Tufts University with a degree in economics? A. True. The one thing I learned from my major was that I wasn\u2019t very interested in business. Right after graduation I headed to New York City. I knew absolutely no one, had no agent, and just started going to open calls. My first audition was for Grease. They wanted me to do a \u201950s song, so I chose \u201cPut Your Head on My Shoulder\u201d [by Paul Anka]. The casting director said it was beautiful and that\u2019s all I needed to hear. I thought I was definitely on my way.\u00a0 Q. How did you find your way to Litchfield County? A. It was accidental, but written in the cards. We were about to close on a house in Rhinebeck on top of a mountain, but the seller never showed up. So we drove from there and decided to give Connecticut another try. The first place we saw was exactly what we were dreaming of. We didn\u2019t know a soul, but it didn\u2019t matter. I have a studio where I can rehearse and work out. I love going to Lake Waramaug and having Sunday dinner on our porch. I love the animals, even the bears. I have a workshop where I fix little things and make six trips to Home Depot. I just enjoy this perfect little corner of the world. Q. You\u2019ve done television, movies and theater \u2014 do you prefer one and is your preparation for a role the same for all? A. In terms of the work I do, the breaking down of the role or the research I do or understanding what I am trying to explore, there is no difference. Instead of the camera being a couple of feet away, you might have your audience 30 rows away. It has more to do with the content. Q. Your daughter Kathryn Gallagher is an actress, singer songwriter and was nominated for a Tony for the Alanis Morissette musical 'Jagged Little Pill.' Were you pleased when she chose the same profession? A. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my daughter and my son, who is a director, doing what they love and having the world respond to them. The only thing better than succeeding yourself is seeing your children succeed. Q. What was the best advice anybody ever gave you about being an actor? A. You gotta keep showing up. I modify that to keep alive and protect what it is you love to do. Keep showing up for that dream and one more chance to get it right. Q. How has the business changed since you started out? A. I am enjoying the roles and work I\u2019ve been doing, but it has definitely changed. Because of the internet, we have the capacity to find out so much, there is little curiosity left. The New York actor used to be a highly regarded commodity. With the advent of reality television there doesn\u2019t seem to be as much regard for what we do and that it is a craft. But that hasn\u2019t dampened my love of acting. Q. What new projects are you involved in? A. I have a recurring role in Grey\u2019s Anatomy playing Dr. Alan Hamilton. "Zoey\u2019s Extraordinary Playlist" is in its second season. And we are in the final season of "Grace and Frankie, which I loved doing. In time for the holidays I completed a movie for the Hallmark Channel called\u00a0One December Night, where Bruce Campbell and I play rock star fathers. This article appears in the January 2022\u00a0issue of\u00a0Connecticut Magazine.\u00a0You can\u00a0subscribe to\u00a0Connecticut Magazine\u00a0here, or\u00a0find the current issue on sale here.\u00a0Sign up for our newsletter\u00a0to get our latest and greatest content\u00a0delivered right to your inbox.\u00a0Have a question or comment? Email\email@example.com. And follow us\u00a0on\u00a0Facebook\u00a0and\u00a0Instagram\u00a0@connecticutmagazine and\u00a0Twitter\u00a0@connecticutmag.