For the past five seasons Dale Raoul has been enticing television audiences as "Maxine Fortenberry" on HBO's "True Blood." A veteran character actress, Dale has been entertaining stage, film, and television audiences for the past three decades.
Dale began her professional acting career at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA appearing in "Hamlet" and "Taming of the Shrew." From there, she performed at such regional theatres as Indiana Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, the New Mexico Repertory Theatre, and the Montanta Repertory Theatre, the state's first and only professional acting company. A Montana native, Dale was thrilled to star in their production of "A Moon For The Misbegotten." Dale later moved to California where she continued to dazzle theatre goers at the Pasadena Playhouse, the Los Angeles Theater Center, the Odyssey Theatre, and the Cast Theatre. Amongst her many awards, Dale won A Drama-Logue Award for her work in "Steaming" at the Ivy Substation.
Dale's foray into television began in 1986 when she booked her first television appearance on "Murder She Wrote." Earning a formidable reputation as a character actress, Dale appeared in numerous television series including "The Middle," "The Office," "Six Feet Under," "Friends," "NYPD Blue," "Seinfeld," "Mister Sterling," "The Drew Carey Show," "Sabrina The Teenage Witch," "Unhappily Ever After," "Nash Bridges," "Party of Five," "Knots Landing," "Valerie," "Who's The Boss," and "LA Law."
In addition to series television, Dale has starred in such made-for-television movies as "Mending Fences," "Net Force," "A Match Made In Heaven," "Death Benefit," "Favorite Deadly Sins," and "Here To Remember."
Dale's feature film credits include "The Mexican," "Beautiful," "Seven Pounds," "Forfeit," "Save the Mavericks," "Love Stinks," "Out to Sea," amongst others.
When not performing, Dale dedicates much of her time to The Los Angeles Opera, various animal shelters and adoption charities, and Artists Confronting AIDS. Dale has also lent her time to many charitable events such as Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory," which benefited Five Acres Orphanage and Caring for Babies with AIDS.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a perfomer? My father was a lawyer and I think seeing him in the courtroom appealed to my sense of the theatrical. Also my mother took me to community theatre, and I remember being fairly dazzled by that. It seemed so exotic and romantic!
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I am a big fan of Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, and Michael Fassbender. Working with any of them would be so exciting.
3. For the past five seasons, you have been playing "Maxine Fortenberry" on HBO's "True Blood." What initially attracted you to this series? It was the prospect of working for Alan Ball, who had first created SIX FEET UNDER. I admired him enormously, and still do, of course. His brains, talent, compassion and humor are undeniable.
4. What have you enjoyed most about playing "Maxine" for the past five seasons? "Maxine's" journey on the show has been so wild! I've been possessed, bitten by a vampire, gotten drunk, and played Wii like a maniacal fiend. Anything the writers come up with is amazing and always, always surprising.
5. What do you identify most with about "Maxine" and how has your portrayal of "Maxine" grown over the years? "Maxine" is definitely a girly girl, believe it or not! She likes accessories and clothes and makeup – I like all those things too. But she is narrow-minded and selfish – at least that's how people perceive her. I think that as years have passed, we realize that she has had a difficult life and that she is very insecure and afraid. That is why she is unable to let "Hoyt" grow up.
7. In addition to "True Blood," you have appeared on numerous television shows throughout your career. What was the best part about getting to guest star/have a recurring role on so many shows? Which were some of your favorite roles? It’s great to be able to play all different kinds of roles – that’s the best part of being a character actress. And we don’t really have to worry about getting old! I particularly loved working on FRIENDS as the show was run so well – funny, funny writers, a cast that really cared about each other and a fine-tuned production team.
8. In addition to television/film, you have also appeared in several theatrical productions. What do you get from your theatrical endeavors that you do not get from your television/film work? Working in front of a live audience is an experience like no other. It is incredibly energizing – scary too, but when things go well, it’s delicious. And the experience of going through the rehearsal process and then the performances provides enough time for people to really bond with each other and to create the feeling of a family.
9. When not performing, you also dedicate much of your time to various charity work. How did you decide which charities you wanted to give your time to? How does this work fulfill you? I am obviously a big supporter of the arts and try to encourage people to go in that direction. Also, my husband and I support the Alzheimers’ Association as my mother had the disease. It makes me feel better about what she went through.
10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That I can act braver than I feel!
11. What's the best advice you've ever received? Be patient and be prepared.
12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Going to a movie, reading a book, being at the ocean!
13. Favorite skin care product? Crème de la Mer.
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Flying, without question.