Dana Ashbrook came into acting naturally; he grew up in a theatrical household in San Diego. His father is head of Palomar College's drama department, and his mother is a teacher who still acts in local theater. His two older sisters, Daphne and Taylor, are both actresses working in the film industry.
It was through Daphne that Dana got his first professional break. She urged her agent to come to San Diego to see her brother in a high school production. The agent signed Dana up, and at 18 the young actor made his television debut on an episode of "Cagney & Lacey." Soon after that, he made a guest appearance on "21 Jump Street," on an episode that explored the abortion issue. Within a year, he appeared on the "ABC Afterschool Specials" presentation, "Just a Regular Kid: An AIDS Story," playing a high school class president with a vicious temperament. His film credits include appearances in "Waxwork"; "She's Out of Control," in which he played the boyfriend of Tony Danza's daughter; and "Ghost Dad," as the would-be boyfriend of Bill Cosby's daughter.
In "Twin Peaks," Dana is something else again. He describes his character, Bobby Briggs, as "the football hero in a town where high school football is the big thing, and because of that, he gets away with whatever he wants. He can't stand hypocrisy. You want to stay on his good side."
In his free time, Dana is a nonstop basketball and tennis player. He travels as much as he can and goes off-road biking. He also likes to jam on the harmonica with friends and to sing.
Ashbrook makes his home in Los Angeles.