A performer best known for his tenure as the frontman of rock group Twisted Sister (a post he held from 1976 to 1987), Dee Snider almost single-handedly evolved that outfit from a glam rock act into a goth-tinged heavy metal act with an incomparably harsh sound, and a tremendous amount of on-the-sleeve influence by such forerunners as Alice Cooper. Like Cooper, Snider carefully cultivated dual images -- a public persona, marked in his Sister days by outrageous costumes that incorporated fishnet stockings, mutilated dresses, and messy lipstick -- and a comparatively quiet offscreen life that found Snider raising a family on Long Island with his wife since 1981, Twisted costume designer Suzette Gargiulo.
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After Sister broke up in 1987, Snider reportedly experienced a difficult period of clinical depression and debt, but rebounded professionally, both in the music arena (by temporarily forming the bands Desperado and Widowmaker with colleagues) and on a cinematic level, by writing and starring in his first movie -- the 1998 StrangeLand. The picture, which co-starred Robert Englund and Linda Cardellini, tells of a psychopath named "Captain Howdy" (Snider) who spends most of his waking hours on the Internet, luring unwitting teenage girls into an S & M torture chamber; it received scathing reviews and reportedly grossed just over 700,000 dollars domestically. After the release of this film, Snider made a guest appearance as himself in an episode of The Drew Carey Show (2001), participated as an interviewee in the heavy metal-themed documentaries KISS Loves You (2004) and Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005), and landed a bit part as a bartender in the melodrama Deepwater (2005).
Snider also gained some publicity from repeat appearances on his friend Howard Stern's daily radio broadcasts, and -- in a most unusual turn of events -- participated in the CMT network's reality series Gone Country, wherein music mogul John Rich plunges entertainers of all stripes into a "country" environment in order to produce the next country and western superstar. Snider's fellow participants on that program included rapper Bobby Brown and Maureen McCormick of The Brady Bunch. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi