Brett Cullen

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Brett Cullen
Brett Cullen 1996.jpg
Cullen in 1996
Born Peter Brett Cullen
(1956-08-26) August 26, 1956 (age 59)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Houston
Occupation Actor
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Michele Little

Peter Brett Cullen[1] (born August 26, 1956) is an American actor who has appeared in numerous motion pictures and television programs.

Early life[edit]

Cullen was born in Houston, Texas the son of Lucien Hugh Cullen, an oil industry executive, and Catherine Cullen. Very unexpected thing happened to Brett Cullen at the age of 16, he was surfing and got pounded by tons of waves and was hit up against rocks and other things. A man pulled him out of the water by his hair, they didn't know what to do and he laid there dead for about 20 minutes [2] He graduated from Madison High School in Houston in 1974.[3] Cullen graduated from the University of Houston, giving great credit to his highly acclaimed acting mentor and University of Houston professor, Cecil Pickett, who also mentored such Houston born actors as Dennis Quaid, Randy Quaid, & Brent Spiner among others. Cullen and Dennis Quaid's close friendship to this day dates back to the 1970s and it is Cullen who introduced Dennis Quaid to his current wife, Kimberly Buffington at a dinner in Austin, Texas. Cullen was recently awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the University of Houston, in April 2012.


Cullen played Dan Fixx in the 1980s CBS drama Falcon Crest for two seasons (1986–88) and Marshal Sam Cain in the ABC western series The Young Riders for one season (1989–90). In 1980, he appeared as the second Gideon Chisholm in the last nine episodes of the CBS western miniseries The Chisholms. In the four earlier episodes, the Gideon Chisholm role was played by Brian Kerwin. Cullen was the lead actor as Ned Logan in the short-lived Legacy, which lasted for just one season (1998–99). On the series The West Wing Cullen played Ray Sullivan, a fictional former State Attorney General and governor of West Virginia and the Republican nominee for Vice President.

His guest appearances on TV include: The Incredible Hulk, Tales from the Crypt, M*A*S*H, V, Matlock, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Ally McBeal, Walker, Texas Ranger, Once and Again, Without a Trace, Cold Case, The Mountain, Monk, CSI: Miami, NCIS, Desperate Housewives, Pepper Dennis, Criminal Minds, Lost, Ghost Whisperer, Private Practice, Ugly Betty, and Friday Night Lights. In 2009, he had a recurring role in the ABC Family television series Make It or Break It.[4]

He played one of the CAPCOMs in Apollo 13 and real-life astronaut David Scott in the HBO mini-series From the Earth to the Moon.

Later work[edit]

In 1994, Cullen played a small role in Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp. Subsequent movie roles included Jamie Johnson in Something to Talk About, aspiring composer/hired escort Bryan in The Hired Heart 1997, the spoiled quarterback Eddie Martel in The Replacements (2000), Charlie Martin in the TV movie version of On Golden Pond, Nancy's father Carson Drew in the TV movie Nancy Drew, and Barton Blaze (father of Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider) in the 2007 movie Ghost Rider.

In 2011, he played stepfather to Selena Gomez's character in the romantic comedy Monte Carlo, and in 2012, appeared as a congressman in the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises. He also played Tom Eckert, father of protagonists Jed and Matt, in the remake of Red Dawn (a role played in the original 1984 film by Harry Dean Stanton).

Cullen has found steady work in numerous television roles for many years. In addition to guest-starring roles in dozens of series, in 1983 he played Bob Cleary in the mini-series The Thorn Birds. Cullen had a main character role as Dan Fixx on the prime time soap opera Falcon Crest from 1986–88, and as Marshal Sam Cain in the western series The Young Riders in 1989–90. In 1997 he was cast as Adam in a three-episode story arc on Suddenly Susan called "Love and Divorce American Style." The following year he played love interest Luke Barton in the short-lived series The Simple Life opposite Judith Light. Later in 1998 the UPN television network gave him the starring role of family patriarch Ned Logan in the post-Civil War drama Legacy, which lasted 18 episodes before cancellation.

After 2000 he played small recurring roles in ABC's Once and Again, the low-rated series The Mountain, and as a detective in two episodes of Desperate Housewives. Cullen was awarded a meatier part on The West Wing in 2005–06, when he played West Virginia Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Ray Sullivan. Later in 2006 he played a recurring role on Pepper Dennis, which was cancelled after its first season as well. He played a short-lived love interest of Vanessa Williams' Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty in early 2007, and followed that up with a story arc as dad Walt Riggins on Friday Night Lights. Although his recurring roles never lasted more than a few episodes, Cullen made the most of parts in the ongoing series Lost, Damages, and The Gates between 2007–10.

From 2011 until 2012 Cullen played the flashback character Nathan Ingram on the hit show Person of Interest, a role that may recur in future episodes. He also plays Mark Keeler, father of Olympic gymnast hopefuls Payson and Becca Keeler, on the ABC Family series Make It Or Break It.

On February 8, 2011, Cullen was named the official spokesman for Houston Works which helps Houston residents with job training and placement, scholarships, consulting, technical initiatives focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics and summer job programs along with Youth Summits.[5]

In 2013, Cullen was cast in the television series Devious Maids,[6] and in 2014 Cullen had recurring roles on the television shows Revenge, Criminal Minds, and Under the Dome. He also starred in the film, The Last Rescue.



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Stewardess School Philo Henderson
1991 By the Sword Danny Gallagher
1991 Where Sleeping Dogs Lie John Whitney
1992 Leaving Normal Kurt
1993 Prehysteria! Frank Taylor
1994 Wyatt Earp Saddle Tramp
1995 Apollo 13 CAPCOM 1
1995 Something to Talk About Jamie Johnson
1997 The Killing Jar Michael Sanford
1997 Levitation James
2000 The Replacements Eddie Martel
2003 National Security Heston
2003 Learning Curves Brad, Sr.
2006 Gridiron Gang Frank Torrance
2006 Ghost Rider Barton Blaze
2007 The Life Before Her Eyes Paul McFee
2008 Brothel Avery
2008 The Burning Plain Robert
2009 Killing Dinner Michael Dinner
2009 Reunion Jake
2010 Crooked Lane Ben
2010 The Runaways Cherie's Dad
2011 Puncture Nathaniel Price
2011 Monte Carlo Robert
2011 Beneath the Darkness Sgt. Nickerson
2012 The Dark Knight Rises Congressman
2012 Living in the Age of Surveillance Nathan Ingram Short film; related to Person of Interest
2012 Red Dawn Tom Eckert
2012 The Guilt Trip Ben Graw
2013 42 Clay Hopper
2015 The Last Rescue Captain Beckett Straight-to-DVD movie


Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Chisholms Gideon Chisholm Main role, 9 episodes
(note: replaced Brian Kerwin from the preceding miniseries)
1981 The Incredible Hulk Joe Dumming Episode: "The Phenom"
1982 M*A*S*H Pvt. Thomas Anthony McKegney Episode: "Blood and Guts"
1983 The Thorn Birds Bob Cleary Television miniseries
1984 Eureka Stockade Charles Ross Television miniseries
1984 Single Bars, Single Women Duane Television film
1985 V: The Series Robert Episode: "The Littlest Dragon"
1985 Midas Valley Brad Turner Television film
1986 Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story Billy Television film
1986–88 Falcon Crest Dan Fixx Main role (seasons 6–8), 53 episodes
1987 I'll Take Manhattan Dennis Brady Television miniseries
1988 Dead Solid Perfect Donny Smithern HBO television film
1989 Freddy's Nightmares Carl Episode: "Cabin Fever"
1989 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Cooper Episode: "Night Creatures"
1989 Tales from the Crypt Ronnie Price Episode: "Only Sin Deep"
1989–90 The Young Riders Sam Cain Main role (season 1), 24 episodes
1990 The Image Malcolm Dundee HBO television film
1991 The Sitter Jeff Harper Television film
1991 ...And Then She Was Gone Peter Harmon Television film
1992 Another Round Roy Television film
1992 Grapevine Ken Episode: "The Allison and Ken Story"
1993 Complex of Fear Ed Wylie Television film
1993 Mother of the Bride Dennis Becker Television film
1994 A Kiss Goodnight Carl Jasper Television film
1994 Keys Police Chief Sam Wasser Television film
1994 Diagnosis: Murder Tim Rutland Episode: "The Restless Remains"
1994 Matlock Kevin Gilliam Episode: "The Temptation"
1994 Gambler V: Playing for Keeps Sundance Kid Television film
1994 Family Album George Waterson (uncredited)[citation needed] Television miniseries
1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Deral Episode: "Meridian"
1995 The Omen Jack Failed TV pilot
1996 Shattered Mind Sean Television film
1997 Orleans Clade Charbonnet Main role, 8 episodes
1997 Something Borrowed, Something Blue Pete Television film
1997 Suddenly Susan Adam 3 episodes
1997 Arli$$ Ryan Mason III Episode: "Kirby Carlisle, Trouble-Shooter"
1997 Perfect Body Coach David Blair Television film
1997 Ally McBeal Professor James Dawson Episode: "The Affair"
1997 The Hired Heart Bryan Television film
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Dave Scott Television miniseries, 3 episodes
1998 The Outer Limits Dr. James Martin Episode: "Final Exam"
1998 The Simple Life Luke Barton Main role, 7 episodes
1998 Legacy Ned Logan Main role, 18 episodes
2000 The Expendables Deacon USA Network television film
2001 Walker, Texas Ranger Pete Drayton Episode: "Justice for All"
2001 Once and Again Robert 'Bob' Dimanjik Episodes: "Armageddon", "Won't Someone Please Help George Bailey Tonight"
2001 On Golden Pond Charlie Martin CBS television film
2001 Family Law Dan Fortano Episode: "Irreparable Harm"
2002 Without a Trace Greg Pritchard/Peter Raymond Episode: "Midnight Sun"
2002 Nancy Drew Carson Drew ABC television film
2003 Cold Case Rob Deamer (2003) Episode: "Gleen"
2004 Pixel Perfect Xander Disney Channel Original Movie
2004 Deceit Sam Penny Lifetime television film
2004 NTSB: The Crash of Flight 323 Hub Weber ABC television film
2004 Life on Liberty Street Dr. Jake Mitchell Television film
2004 Suburban Madness David Harris CBS television film
2004 The Mountain John 'Whit' Whitman Recurring role, 4 episodes
2004–05 Desperate Housewives Detective Burnett Episodes: "Suspicious Minds", "Children Will Listen"
2005–06 The West Wing Governor Ray Sullivan R-WV Recurring role, 5 episodes
2005 Monk James Duffy Episode: "Mr. Monk and Little Monk"
2005 CSI: Miami Michael Boland Episode: "48 Hours to Life"
2005–08 Lost Goodwin Stanhope Recurring role, 4 episodes
2006 Faceless John Robson FOX television film
2006 Pepper Dennis Jack Recurring role, 5 episodes
2006 NCIS Captain Todd Gelfand Episodes: "Hiatus: Part 1", "Hiatus: Part 2"
2006–07 Ugly Betty Ted LeBeau 3 episodes
2007 Friday Night Lights Walt Riggins 4 episodes
2007 Burn Notice Lawrence Henderson Episode: "Wanted Man"
2007 Private Practice Allan Episode: "In Which Addison Finds a Showerhead"
2008 The Mentalist Dane Kurtik Episode: "Red Tide"
2009–12 Make It or Break It Mark Keeler Recurring role, 18 episodes
2009 Damages Wayne Sutry Recurring role, 6 episodes
2009 Three Rivers Carson Episode: "Ryan's First Day"
2010 The Gates Frank Buckley Recurring role, 6 episodes
2010 Lone Star Cooper Thomas Episode: "Reverse"
2010 90210 Mr. Sullivan Episode: "Holiday Madness"
2011 Hallelujah Sheriff Bob Clement Television film
2011 Castle Christian Dahl Episode: "Poof, You're Dead"
2011 Body of Proof Captain Perkins Episode: "Shades of Blue"
2011–14 Person of Interest Nathan Ingram Recurring role, 9 episodes
2012 White Collar Agent Patterson Episodes: "Diminishing Returns", "Parting Shots"
2013–15 Devious Maids Michael Stappord Recurring role, 25 episodes
2014 Revenge Jimmy Brennan Episodes: "Hatred", "Payback"
2014 Criminal Minds Preacher Justin Mills Episodes: "Angels", "Demons"
2014–15 Under the Dome Don Barbara Recurring role, 6 episodes
2015 Point of Honor Ralston Rhodes television film
2015 Stalker Mayor Hayes Episode: "Secrets and Lies"
2015 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation John Nolan Episode: "Under My Skin"


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