Bradley Whitford

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This article is about the actor. For the musician, see Brad Whitford.
Bradley Whitford
Bradley Whitford, 2006
Born (1959-10-10) October 10, 1959 (age 55)
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Alma mater Wesleyan University (1981),
Juilliard School (1985)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Jane Kaczmarek (m. 1992; div. 2009)
Children 3

Bradley Whitford (born October 10, 1959) is an American film and television actor. He has played White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on the NBC television drama The West Wing, Danny Tripp on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Dan Stark in the Fox police buddy-comedy The Good Guys, Timothy Carter, a character who was believed to be Red John in the CBS series The Mentalist, and antagonist Eric Gordon in the film Billy Madison.

Whitford was nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards from 2001–2003 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on The West Wing, winning the award in 2001. This role has also garnered him three consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

He was an occasional columnist for The Huffington Post, until November 2009.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Whitford was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Genevieve Louie (née Smith) and George Van Norman Whitford.[2] He graduated from Madison East High School in 1977.[3] He majored in English and Theater at Wesleyan University (B.A. 1981),[3] where his roommate was the younger brother of future castmate Richard Schiff. Whitford then attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division as a member of Group 14 (1981–1985),[4] which also included actor Thomas Gibson.[5]


Whitford first appeared on television in 1985 in an episode of The Equalizer. His film debut was in the 1986 film Doorman. He made his Broadway theatre debut in 1990[6] playing Lt. Jack Ross (followed a few months later in the lead role of Lt. Daniel Kaffee), in the Aaron Sorkin written play A Few Good Men. This was the beginning of a recurring working relationship between Whitford and Sorkin. Whitford also made a guest appearance on ER in the Emmy award-winning March 1995 episode "Love's Labor Lost".

Whitford joined the cast of Sorkin's The West Wing as Josh Lyman with the show's premiere in 1999. For his role, he won an Emmy Award in 2001 for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Whitford also wrote two episodes of the series ("Faith Based Initiative" in the sixth season and "Internal Displacement" in the seventh). After The West Wing ended in May 2006, Whitford appeared in Aaron Sorkin's later series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip playing the role of Danny Tripp.[7] He appeared in the British drama Burn Up on the BBC in July 2008.

He starred on Broadway in Boeing-Boeing which began in previews on April 19, 2008 and opened on May 4, 2008. He left the show in September 2008, and was succeeded in the role by Greg Germann. He co-starred in the Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard horror film The Cabin in the Woods,[8] filmed in 2009 but not released until April 2012. In 2010, Whitford starred as Dan Stark in the canceled Fox TV series The Good Guys opposite Colin Hanks.

In 2011, Whitford guest starred in In Plain Sight on USA Network as a man combatting paranoia. He appeared in the season three finale of The Mentalist as a minion of and decoy for the long-sought nemesis of Patrick Jane, Red John. He also appeared on Law & Order: Los Angeles as a lawyer. On September 15, 2011, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, in partnership with Broadway Impact, announced the complete cast—including Whitford—and roles for the one-night only staged reading of 8, a new play chronicling the historic trial in the federal legal challenge to California's Proposition 8.[9] In 2013, Whitford played Pete Harrison in the ABC comedy Trophy Wife which was cancelled after one season and will guest star in ABC drama Castle in early 2015. Most recently, Whitford appeared in the Amazon series Transparent as a cross dressing businessman in a recurring role, opposite Jeffrey Tambor.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Whitford was married to fellow Wisconsin native, actress Jane Kaczmarek, best known for her role as Lois on Malcolm in the Middle. They lived in San Marino, California with their three children, Frances Genevieve (b. October 31, 1997), George Edward (b. December 23, 1999) and Mary Louisa (b. November 25, 2002). In 2007 the family appeared in magazine advertisements for the 2008 Chrysler Town and Country van. On June 19, 2009, the couple announced that they were filing for divorce after 16 years of marriage.[11] One of the last times they were seen together publicly was in September 2008, at the opening of a Los Angeles production of The House of Blue Leaves,[12] in which Kaczmarek was starring.[13]


Whitford is a political liberal and has appeared several times on Real Time with Bill Maher. He once co-hosted The Majority Report on Air America Radio alongside Janeane Garofalo, and made an appearance on the Al Franken Show Party Album.

During the run-up to the November 2004 general election, Whitford, who was then playing White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on the NBC TV drama series The West Wing, made a satirical video that purported to support then-President George W. Bush for re-election, but which actually lampooned Bush's tax cuts for the rich.[14]

On February 26, 2011, Whitford spoke at one of the many protests in Madison, Wisconsin (his birthplace) in opposition to Governor Scott Walker's controversial budget bill.[15]

During the run-up to the November 2012 general election, Whitford and Courage Campaign founder and chair, Rick Jacobs, appeared together in a video that explained "what's really going on and who's really behind California's Proposition 30 and Proposition 32."[16] The video encouraged viewers to vote "yes" on Prop 30 and "no" on Prop 32[17] Proposition 30 was approved by California voters by a margin of 54 to 46 percent. Proposition 32 was defeated by a margin of 56 to 44 percent.


In May 2007, Whitford was honored by Alliance for Justice, a nonprofit organization, as the 2007 Champion of Justice. He was the keynote speaker for Class Day at Princeton University in June 2007.[18] As of 2012, Whitford serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Wesleyan University.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Dead as a Doorman Terry Reilly
C.A.T. Squad Leon Trepper TV Movie
1987 The Betty Ford Story Jack Ford TV Movie
Adventures in Babysitting Mike Todwell
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise Roger Latimer
1990 Vital Signs Dr. Donald Ballentine
Presumed Innocent Jamie Kemp
Young Guns II Charles Phalen as Brad Whitford
Awakenings Dr. Tyler
1992 Scent of a Woman Randy Slade
1993 RoboCop 3 Fleck
My Life Paul Ivanovich
A Perfect World Bobby Lee
Philadelphia Jamey Collins
The Silent Alarm Referee Dad Short
1994 Web of Deception Larry Lake TV Movie
The Client Thomas Fink
Cobb Process Server
1995 Billy Madison Eric Gordon
Nothing But the Truth 'Mack' McCarthy TV Movie
The Desperate Trail Tommy Donnelly Video
1996 My Fellow Americans Carl Witnaur
Wildly Available Professor
1997 In the Line of Duty: Blaze of Glory Tom LaSalle TV Movie
Masterminds Miles Lawrence as Brad Whitford
Cloned Rick Weston TV Movie
Red Corner Bob Ghery
The People Michael Leary
The Spittin' Image Short
1999 Behind the Mask Brian Shushan TV Movie
as Brad Whitford
The Sky's on Fire John Morgan, KTML News TV Movie
The Muse Hal
Bicentennial Man Lloyd Charney
2001 Kate & Leopold J.J. Camden
2005 Fathers and Sons Anthony TV Movie
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Al
Little Manhattan Adam
2007 An American Crime Prosecutor Leroy K. New
2008 Bottle Shock Professor Saunders
2009 Off Duty Detective Glenn Falcon TV Movie
2011 Have a Little Faith Mitch TV Movie
2012 The Spin Room: Newt Takes South Carolina Short
The Cabin in the Woods Steve Hadley
Walk and Talk the Vote: West Wing Reunion - Bridget Mary McCormack Josh Lyman Video short
The Asset Leo Maxiell TV Movie
Man Up, Little Boy Walter Short
2013 Decoding Annie Parker Marshall Parker
Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter Agent Flynn Video short
Savannah Jack Cay
CBGB Nicky Gant
Saving Mr. Banks Don DaGradi
2014 Midnight Rider Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Equalizer Dillart Episode: "The Children's Song"
1988 Tales from the Darkside Tom Dash Episode: "The Deal"
1993 Black Tie Affair Dave Brodsky Main role (5 episodes)
1994 NYPD Blue Norman Gardner Recurrent role (4 episodes)
Ellen Doug Episode: "The Fix-Up"
The X-Files Daniel Trepkos Episode: "Firewalker"
1995 ER Sean O'Brien Episodes: "A Miracle Happens Here" and "Love's Labor Lost"
1996 Touched by an Angel Steven Thomas Bell Episode: "Out of the Darkness
1997 Tracey Takes On... Nik Episode: "Vegas"
1998 The Secret Lives of Men Phil Main role (7 episodes)
1999 Felicity Tom Anderson Episode: "Happy Birthday" (uncredited)
2002 Malcolm in the Middle Meg's Husband Episodes: "Company Picnic: Part 1" and "Company Picnic: Part 2"
Frasier Stu Episode: "Kissing Cousin"
1999–2006 The West Wing Josh Lyman Main role (154 episodes)
Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2001)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series shared with crew (2001, 2002)
Nominated–Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2002, 2003)
Nominated–Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV (2001–2003)
Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series shared with crew (2003–2006)
Nominated–Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series (2000)
Nominated–Writers Guild of America Award for Dramatic Series shared with crew (2006)
2006–2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Danny Tripp Main role (22 episodes)
Nominated-Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Series, Drama (2006)
2008 Burn Up Mack Episodes: "Episode #1.1" and "Episode #1.2"
Nominated-Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
2009 Monk Dean Berry Episode: "Mr. Monk on Wheels"
2010 The Sarah Silverman Program Toby Grossnickel Episode: "Nightmayor"
The Good Guys Detective Dan Stark Main role (20 episodes)
Glenn Martin, DDS Gonzo Gonzales (voice) Episode: "Camp"
2011 In Plain Sight Adam Wilson/Adam Roston Episode: "Crazy Like a Witness"
Law & Order: Los Angeles Attorney Miklin Episode: "Big Rock Mesa"
The Mentalist Timothy Carter / Red John claimant Episode: "Strawberries and Cream (Part 2)" and "Little Red Book"
2012 Parks and Recreation Councilman Pillner Episode: "Live Ammo"
2013 Shameless Abraham Paige Episodes: "Civil Wrongs" and "Frank the Plumber"
2013 "Go On" Huey Episode: "Ring and a Miss"
Lauren (WIGS)[20] Paul Milgram Web series: Season 2, Episode 1 (voice), Episodes 6 - 10
Drunk History William Jennings Bryan Episode: "Nashville"
2013-2014 Trophy Wife Pete Harrison Main Role (22 episodes)
2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Frank Maddox Episode: "Reasonable Doubt"
2014 Transparent Marcy Recurring Role (4 episodes)


  1. ^ Whitford, Bradley. "Bradley Whitford". Huffington Post. 
  2. ^ "'West Wing' Star Finally Took Flight At Age 40". Chicago Tribune. June 22, 2000. 
  3. ^ a b "Bradley Whitford biography". All Movie Guide (The New York Times). Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. March 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. 
  5. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. 
  6. ^ ""A Few Good Men" production replacements". IMDb. Retrieved March 22, 2011. 
  7. ^ The Hollywood Reporter[dead link]
  8. ^ Kit, Borys; Jay A. Fernandez (January 21, 2009). "Two feel Joss Whedon's 'Cabin' pressure". The Hollywood Reporter (Nielsen Business Media). Retrieved January 21, 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ AFER & Broadway Impact Announce Full Casting for the World Premiere of... – NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2011. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Bradley Whitford, Jane Kaczmarek File for Divorce After Nearly 17 Years". Retrieved June 20, 2009. 
  12. ^ The House of Blue Leaves production. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  13. ^ Kris Lorenz Kaczmarek and Whitford to divorce. June 20, 2009. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  14. ^ "Bradley Whitford 2004 Mock Presidential Ad". Video on Youtube. Youtube. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  15. ^ West Wing's Bradley Whitford Rallies Wisconsin Workers. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  16. ^ "How Wealthy Billionaires are Trying to Destroy our Schools and Silence our Voices". The Courage Campaign. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Pledge to Vote Yes on Prop 30, No on Prop 32". The Courage Campaign website. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  18. ^ Greenstein, Jennifer. (2007-06-04) Princeton University Class Day. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  19. ^ "Board of Trustees 2012/2013". Wesleyan University. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  20. ^

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