Born in Forest Hills, Queens, New York to an Italian-American father and an Irish-American mother, David graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School, New York. His acting career started with small parts in movies such as Richard Gere's 1982 hit An Officer and a Gentleman, as well as supporting roles in TV series such as Hill Street Blues and Crime Story.
Caruso gave a memorable performance in the 1991 movie King of New York, where he played the Irish-American NYPD cop Dennis Gilley, who vows to defeat drug lord Frank White, played by star Christopher Walken. Two years later, in 1993, Caruso played another driven cop, the violent Mike, in Robert De Niro comedy-drama movie Mad Dog and Glory. In the same year, his breakthrough role came when he was cast as Det. John Kelly in hit crime drama series NYPD Blue, teaming him with Dennis Franz. The programme was immediately successful and built up a huge following, but Caruso controversially decided to leave early in the second season, to pursue a career in movies. The move upset fans of the show and he failed to make a success of his film career. His first movie after leaving NYPD Blue was Kiss of Death, also starring Nicolas Cage, which was much-mocked and even won Caruso a Razzie nomination as "worst new star".
In 1997 Caruso returned to television as the star of drama series Michael Hayes, where he played an ex-cop working in the US attorney's office in New York City. Although this role seemed tailor-made for him, the series ran for only one season. However, he returned to the TV big time via his role as Horatio Caine in CSI spin-off CSI: Miami, a highly successful crime drama which has been running since 2002.
Caruso has been married and divorced three times. With second wife Rachel Ticotin, he is the father of daughter Greta, born in 1984. He also has a son, Marquez Anthony, born on September 15, 2005, with girlfriend Liza Marquez. Caruso is co-owner of Steam, a clothing and furniture store in Miami.
|NYPD Blue||John Kelly||1993–1995||1||2|
|Michael Hayes||Michael Hayes||1997–1998||1|
|CSI: Miami||Horatio Caine||2002–2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10|
Guest Starring Roles
|Hill Street Blues||Shamrock Leader Tommy Mann||1x01 - Presidential Fever||January 17, 1981|
|Hill Street Blues||Shamrock Leader Tommy Mann||1x02 - Politics as Usual||January 21, 1981|
|Hill Street Blues||Shamrock Leader Tommy Mann||1x03 - Can World War III Be an Attitude?||January 24, 1981|
|Palmerstown, U.S.A.||2x09 - The Suitor||June 2, 1981|
|Hill Street Blues||Shamrock Tommy Tommy Mann||2x16 - Personal Foul||March 25, 1982|
|Hill Street Blues||Shamrock Leader Tommy Mann||3x03 - Heat Rash||October 14, 1982|
|Hill Street Blues||Shamrock Leader Tommy Mann||3x09 - A Hair of the Dog||November 25, 1982|
|Hill Street Blues||Shamrock Leader Tommy Mann||4x02 - Ba-bing, Ba-bing||October 20, 1983|
|CHiPs||Charlie||6x12 - Hot Date||January 9, 1983|
|T.J. Hooker||Russ Jennings||2x19 - Requiem for a Cop||February 26, 1983|
|For Love and Honor||Pvt. Rusty Burger||1x01 - Pilot||September 23, 1983|
|Crime Story||Johnny O'Donnell||1x01 & 02 - Pilot||September 18, 1986|
|Crime Story||Johnny O'Donnell||1x12 - Crime Pays||December 5, 1986|
|Crime Story||Johnny O'Donnell||2x19 - The Hearings||April 5, 1988|
|CSI||Lt. Horatio Caine||2x22 - Cross-Jurisdictions||May 9, 2002|
|CSI: NY||Lt. Horatio Caine||2x07 - Manhattan Manhunt (2)||November 9, 2005|
|Michael Hayes||1997 –1998||Executive Producer||1|
Awards and Accolades
- Won: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama (1994)
- Nominated: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1994)
- A CSI: Miami fan paid 710 dollars in an eBay auction last year to talk to David on the phone. Proceeds went to the L.A. Golden Retriever Rescue Fund.
- Animated series South Park included a joke where Ike was told to do an impression of David Caruso's career, and promptly did a nose-dive.