Born December 15th, 1964; Brett spent the first five years of his life growing up on a dairy farm outside of Center City, MN. His parents split when he was ten, and by the time he graduated high school they had lived in sixteen different homes within the county.
A good student, his interest for performing grew as he took on the role of class clown. In 8th grade he won his Jr. High talent contest doing impressions of Charlie Pride, Richard Nixon, and Donny and Marie Osmond. Upon graduating high school, he chose to pursue acting as a profession over wrestling or football “because it was the most practical”.
In the fall of 1983, he attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where he was not cast in a single production his freshman year. Briefly, he considered quitting school to become a tree trimmer but rededicated himself and was cast in seven full-scale productions as a sophomore. By his senior year, he had performed at the Kennedy Center, won the National Irene Ryan Acting Award and was also a Kennedy Center National Acting Award winner.
With criticism that success had gone to his head, he took a job flipping burgers at Hardees until the fall of 1987, when, on scholarship, he attended New York University’s prestigious Graduate Acting Program with contemporaries Peter Krause, Rainn Wilson and Marcia Gay Harden, while there, he was awarded the Seidman Award, given to the actor in the graduating class with the most professional potential. Upon graduating, he auditioned seventy times before landing his first acting job with the New York Shakespeare Festival. From 1990-95 he performed with numerous New York and Regional Theatre companies. In the fall of 1995 he married Laurie LeBlanc, a ballet dancer, whom he met while both were waiting tables. From 1995-97 he played Jigger Craigin in the National Tour of Carousel with Patrick Wilson. During this time his wife Laurie gave birth to their daughter Kaitlyn.
At the completion of the tour, Brett and his family moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television. Here, he spent nearly a year before his first paid acting job, an NBC Promo for Frasier. Around this time his daughter Mackenzie was born. Work came slowly until 2004 when he started teaching at the David Kagen School of Film Acting and found the need to readdress his own process and work for camera. He gave up the idea of being a “chameleon” and developed a reputation for playing unsavory and disturbed characters. Since then, Rickaby has had a strong presence in dozens of films and nearly forty television series working with some of today’s best actors and directors: Sean Penn, Michael C. Hall, Forest Whittaker, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Ruffalo, David Fincher, Peter Werner, and the late Roy London to name a few.
In January of 2013, Brett opened Inside Job Acting Studio in North Hollywood where he works with a select group of actors passing along what he has learned. He lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles with his family and is passionate about hiking, fishing, and writing.