Garry Chalk

Hard-working British-born Canadian actor Gary Chalk has performed in hundreds of film and television productions including many animated shows to which he has lent his voice, most notably as Optimus Primal in the "Beast Wars: Transformers" series. Born in Southampton, England, he moved to Vancouver at age five and first took to the stage in a school play at age eight, continuing to sing and perform through high school and later with community theater groups. Dissatisfying early jobs as a stockbroker and a teacher drove him back to the stage, where he performed with the Playhouse, the Arts Club, and other Canadian theaters before landing his first film and series parts, beginning in 1980. Amidst his early minor roles, he first did voice recording work in the 1983 TV movie "The Legend of Hiawatha." Further supporting parts and guest spots followed in films such as the horror sequel "The Fly II" and numerous series, including repeat stints on "21 Jump Street" and "MacGyver." Chalk found more prominent offerings in the animated realm in "The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog" and various "Transformers" shows and video games, voicing both Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal. Larger parts in live action series included a Gemini Award-winning (Canadian Emmy) regular role in the Canadian crime drama "Cold Squad" and a recurring turn in "Stargate SG-1." On the big screen, he appeared in the Christmas comedy "Deck the Halls" and the adaptation of the renowned graphic novel "Watchmen."