Christian Dayton Clemenson
March 17, 1958
Humboldt, Iowa, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
Yale University (MFA)
Christian Dayton Clemenson (born March 17, 1958) is an American film and television actor. He is well known for his portrayal of Jerry "Hands" Espenson in the television series Boston Legal, for which he was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won the 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He has appeared in a number of highly acclaimed films, including Hannah and Her Sisters, Broadcast News, Apollo 13 and The Big Lebowski, and portrayed Tom Burnett in Paul Greengrass' United 93. He starred in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as prosecutor William Hodgman.
Clemenson was born and raised in Humboldt, Iowa, the son of drug store owners Ruth Alzora (Dayton) and Ernest Arnold Clemenson. In his early teens, he delivered the Des Moines Register, which had a long tradition of awarding scholarships to top east-coast preparatory schools to a select few "paper boys." Clemenson, a straight-A junior high school student, won a Register scholarship to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1973, while Clemenson was enrolled at Phillips, his father died at age 58. He participated in many theatrical productions at Phillips Academy.
Upon graduation from Phillips in 1976, he entered Harvard College. From his freshman year onward he received important roles in campus stage productions. When Clemenson starred in a Harvard Lampoon sketch comedy show, a Harvard Crimson theater critic described Clemenson as "hugely talented actor who can trigger hysteria with any of a dozen subtle expressions or inflections." Other Crimson critics described his performances in Shakespeare plays as "a tour de force of sheer talent and intelligence" (in The Winter's Tale) and "a very fine and subtle performance" (in Measure for Measure). He displayed early on his remarkable range when he undertook with inimitable flair and hilarious effect the hugely solemn role of Erde "the green-faced torso", goddess of the Earth, in Peter Sellars's Loeb Drama Center puppet production of Wagner's Ring cycle (1979).
During many summers he would return to Humboldt to star in, and later direct, local community theater plays at Humboldt's Castle Theatre.
After graduating from Harvard College in 1980 and the Yale School of Drama in 1984, he moved to Los Angeles.
Clemenson began his career in a number of character roles in film and television. He was a law student in the television version of The Paper Chase, Alex Keaton's English teacher in the television show Family Ties, a security salesman on The Golden Girls, a suspect in season 10, episode 14 of NYPD Blue, a bailiff in the Ivan Reitman movie Legal Eagles, a flight surgeon in the movie Apollo 13, a cop in The Big Lebowski, a killer in The Fisher King, and Dr. Dale Lawrence in the movie And the Band Played On. He had a regular role as Socrates Poole, a lawyer in the Old West, in the Fox series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
In 1999, Clemenson appeared in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Bad Girls" as a grotesquely obese demon named Balthazar. He wore a large padded suit and extensive make-up for the role, and the character's repulsive, villainous nature contradicted many of his earlier roles.
Clemenson became well-known for his role as Jerry "Hands" Espenson on the television series Boston Legal. For playing Espenson, he won an Emmy Award for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2006 and was nominated for the same award in 2007. He remained with the series through to its finale in 2008.
Clemenson starred in the film United 93 as Tom Burnett, one of the victims of the 9/11 hijacking of the flight that crashed in rural Pennsylvania after a passenger revolt. He also had a recurring role on Veronica Mars as Abel Koontz. In total, Clemenson appeared in three episodes of the show: "Like a Virgin", "Mars vs. Mars", and "Rat Saw God". Clemenson also has appeared in a season 6 episode of NCIS, "Dead Reckoning". He also appeared in two season 2 episodes of The Mentalist. He also played Jimmy Masterson on the 3rd episode of Memphis Beat, "Love Me Tender".
In 2009, Clemenson joined CSI: Miami as the new medical examiner, Dr. Tom Loman. He appeared throughout the show's eighth, ninth, and tenth seasons as a recurring character. In 2013, he appeared as a guest star in Harry's Law.
In 2016, he played Deputy District Attorney William Hodgman in American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson.
|1986||Hannah and Her Sisters||Larry|
|1987||Making Mr. Right||Bruce|
|1990||Bad Influence||Pismo Boll|
|1991||The Fisher King||Edwin|
|1993||Josh and S.A.M.||Policeman|
|1995||Apollo 13||Dr. Chuck|
|1998||The Big Lebowski||Younger Cop|
|1998||Almost Heroes||Father Girard|
|1998||Mighty Joe Young||Jack|
|1999||Lost & Found||Ray|
|2006||United 93||Thomas E. Burnett, Jr.|
|2010||Ashley's Ashes||Father Tim|
|2011||J. Edgar||Inspector Schell|
|2014||Not Safe for Work||Alan Z. Emmerich|
|2016||Live by Night||Ritz Investor|
|2021||No Man of God||James Dobson|
|2021||Malignant||Dr. Victor Fields|
|1985||Fame||Alan Stewart||Episode: "Selling Out"|
|1985||The Golden Girls||The Salesman||Episode: "Break In"|
|1985||Mary||Tim Flowers||Episode: "From Pillar to Post"|
|1986||The Paper Chase||Episode: "Graduation"|
|1986||L.A. Law||Pomerantz||Episode: "The Princess and the Wiener King"|
|1987||Head of the Class||Dave Nash||Episode: "Past Imperfect"|
|1987||Scarecrow and Mrs. King||Jack Colman||Episode: "Rumors of My Death"|
|1987||Cagney & Lacey||Dr. Weinberg||Episode: "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"|
|1987||The Slap Maxwell Story||Marty's Friend||Episode #1.1|
|1987||Beauty and the Beast||Jonathan Gould||Episode: "Nor Iron Bars a Cage"|
|1987||It's Garry Shandling's Show||The Amazing Al||2 episodes|
|1988||Family Ties||Mr. Flaherty||2 episodes|
|1988||21 Jump Street||Charles Greening||Episode: "Raising Marijuana"|
|1988||Disaster at Silo 7||Col. Brandon||Television film|
|1989||Hard Time on Planet Earth||Herb Leavitt||Episode: "Losing Control"|
|1989||The Robert Guillaume Show||David||Episode: "You Win Some, You Lose Some"|
|1989–1991||Matlock||Cyril Henning / Dr. Tim Crider||2 episodes|
|1990||Capital News||Todd Lunden||13 episodes|
|1991||Designing Women||Jack Henry||Episode: "Last Tango in Atlanta"|
|1992||Civil Wars||Leo Hood||Episode: "Dirty Pool"|
|1993||Hearts Afire||Martin Smithers||Episode: "While the Thomasons Slept in the Lincoln Bedroom"|
|1993||And the Band Played On||Dr. Dale Lawrence||Television film|
|1993–1994||The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.||Socrates Poole||27 episodes|
|1995||Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||Rollie Vale||2 episodes|
|1995||Cybill||Ed Philo||Episode: "The Odd Couples"|
|1996||Murder One||Donald Losey||Episode: "Chapter Thirteen"|
|1997||Mad About You||Jared||2 episodes; uncredited|
|1998||The Practice||Barry Wall||Episode: "Duty Bound"|
|1998||Vengeance Unlimited||Agent Stuart Brownsteen||Episode: "Victim of Circumstance"|
|1999||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Balthazar||Episode: "Bad Girls"|
|2001||Bette||Mr. McNally||Episode: "The Invisible Mom"|
|2001||Ladies Man||Dog Consultant||Episode: "A Quiet Evening at Home"|
|2001||The District||Cliff / Bob||Episode: "Night Shift"|
|2001||The West Wing||Evan Woodkirk, Smithsonian Curator||Episode: "The Women of Qumar"|
|2002||Ally McBeal||Mr. Hookland||Episode: "Homecoming"|
|2003||NYPD Blue||Timothy Bosham||Episode: "Laughlin All the Way to the Clink"|
|2003||The Division||Capt. Leo Spivey||2 episodes|
|2004||Method & Red||Donald||3 episodes|
|2004–2005||Veronica Mars||Abel Koontz||4 episodes|
|2005||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Charles Pellew||Episode: "Committed"|
|2005||Numbers||Henry Korfelt||Episode: "Assassin"|
|2005–2008||Boston Legal||Jerry Espenson||44 episodes|
|2006||Crossing Jordan||Fr. Edward Klausner||Episode: "Mysterious Ways"|
|2009||ER||Dr. Kurtag||Episode: "Old Times"|
|2009||NCIS||Perry Sterling||Episode: "Dead Reckoning"|
|2009||The Mentalist||Dr. Roy Carmen||2 episodes|
|2009||Raising the Bar||Tom||Episode: "Maybe, Baby"|
|2009–2012||CSI: Miami||Dr. Tom Loman||52 episodes|
|2010||Memphis Beat||Jimmy Masterson||Episode: "Love Her Tender"|
|2010||Grey's Anatomy||Ivan Fink||Episode: "Can't Fight Biology"|
|2011||The Glades||Ed Vickers||Episode: "Iron Pipeline"|
|2012||Harry's Law||Sam Berman||5 episodes|
|2013||Shameless||Christopher Collier||2 episodes|
|2013||Mike & Molly||Mr. O'Donnell||Episode: "Poker in the Front, Looker in the Back"|
|2014||Dallas||Howard Rieder||Episode: "Trust Me"|
|2014||Californication||Couples Counsellor||Episode: "Faith, Hope, Love"|
|2014||Manhattan||Niels Bohr||Episode: "Last Reasoning of Kings"|
|2014||Legends||Mr. Porter||3 episodes|
|2014–2017||Turn: Washington's Spies||Martin De Young||7 episodes|
|2015||Masters of Sex||Leslie Riordan||Episode: "Undue Influence"|
|2016||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||Bill Hodgman||5 episodes|
|2017||Colony||Dan Bennett||10 episodes|
|2017||Lifeline||Dugan Morris||Episode: "There's a Chip in Her Arm"|
|2019||9-1-1||Franklin Prentiss||Episode: "Ocean's 9-1-1"|
|2019||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Forreston Graham||Episode: "The Burden of Our Choices"|
|2021||The Good Doctor||Dr. Silas Chambers||Episode: "Teeny Blue Eyes"|
|2022||Julia||James Beard||Episode: "Crepes Suzette"|
- ^ a b "The Descendants of Olav Tomassen Sandness (1703-1752)". 1997.
- ^ a b c "Christian Clemenson Biography". ABC Medianet. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved April 8, 2008.
- ^ "Christian Clemenson: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- ^ Truitt, Brian (April 14, 2010). "TV's CSI secrets uncovered". USA Weekend. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013.
- ^ a b "59th Primetime Emmy Awards". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. September 16, 2007. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008.
- ^ "Letters to the Editor". Time. August 7, 1933. Archived from the original on July 21, 2009. Retrieved April 8, 2008.
- ^ "Prep School Scholarship Winners". Des Moines Register, May 14, 1972, at 11-F.
- ^ Obituary of Ernest Clemenson, Des Moines Register, September 25, 1973, at 3-S.
- ^ Paul A. Attanasio, "Dissertation on Roast Pig", The Harvard Crimson, October 15, 1979.
- ^ Esme Murphy, "The Sad Tale's Best", The Harvard Crimson, December 10, 1979.
- ^ Thomas Hines, "A Good Measure", The Harvard Crimson, July 7, 1981.
- ^ Rosenberg, Scott A. (September 29, 1979). "Wringing Pleasure From Wagner". The Harvard Crimson.