Best known as Steve, the boyishly charming nice-guy bartender (and the perfect complement to his onscreen romantic partner, snappish Miranda Hobbes) in HBO's blockbuster original series Sex and the City, the slightly diminutive, raven-haired American character actor David Eigenberg was born in Manhasset, NY, on May 17, 1964. As the only boy in a family of six children, Eigenberg moved with his parents and sisters at age four to Naperville, IL, a farming community just outside of the Windy City -- where he remained through the end of adolescence. Eigenberg reportedly struggled as a student, barely scraping by; a handful of run-ins with the law and minor recreational drug abuse allegedly ensued. Eigenberg did graduate from Naperville High School in 1982, however, and was promptly accepted to the University of Iowa, where he planned to study social work. For better or worse, this was not to be, for the Chicagoan ripped his dormitory apart during the first semester and was promptly booted out of the university after five weeks.
A stint in the Marines and various construction jobs followed, instilling in Eigenberg healthy amounts of much-needed self-discipline and a sharply honed work ethic. These skills paved the way for Eigenberg's true calling: acting. A love of the dramatic arts had already taken root for the thespian when -- at age 12 -- he had signed on to play a key role in a local production of Kurt Vonnegut's Happy Birthday, Wanda June, and received an outstanding review from a local critic. These fond memories doubtless came flooding back when an adult Eigenberg auditioned -- and was selected for -- a large part in the Dennis Rosa-directed Chicago stage musical One Shining Moment, opposite Megan Mullally and Alan Ruck. Dissatisfied with a mere taste of the theatrical arts and eager to extend acting into a full-time passion, Eigenberg subsequently moved to New York and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, working odd jobs on the side (construction et al.) to put himself through school.
Scattered roles followed, including a guest appearance on The Cosby Show and a bit part in the awful 1989 generation-gap comedy Rude Awakening (co-starring Cheech Marin and Eric Roberts), but Sex and the City (which Eigenberg auditioned for out of innumerable hopefuls) represented the actor's first huge break. He reportedly auditioned for a small part, and though the show's producers did not deem him right for the characterization, they felt so impressed by Eigenberg's presence that they created the character of Steve Brady especially for him, as an extension of his own personality; the plan, again, was to create a sincere, committed, down-to-earth male paramour to offset Miranda's (Cynthia Nixon) cynicism.Though initially intended as a temporary part, the popularity of the character among viewers (and Eigenberg's onscreen chemistry with Nixon) led to Eigenberg's permanent inclusion on the show, as well as subsuquent movies.
Circa 2002, Eigenberg expanded into film roles by playing the business partner of Richard Gere in Mark Pellington's underrated supernatural thriller The Mothman Prophecies. When Eigenberg's Sex and the City run ended with the wrap-up of that series (at the end of the 2003-2004 season), he continued his cinematic work, first voicing Nermal the Cat in the FX-extravaganza Garfield: The Movie, then playing Reggie, the lover of Alicia Goranson's Myra, in Adrienne Weiss' quirky indie romantic comedy Love, Ludlow. Eigenberg returned to the same genre amid a cast of unknowns with the 2007 film The Trouble with Romance, directed by Gene Rhee. He reprised his role in the Sex and the City movie in 2008 and the sequel in 2010. In 2012, he joined the cast of NBC's Chicago Fire, playing a firefighter in the Windy City. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi