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Clark Gregg

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Clark Gregg
Gregg in 2019
Robert Clark Gregg Jr.

(1962-04-02) April 2, 1962 (age 62)
Alma materNew York University
  • Actor
  • director
  • screenwriter
Years active1988–present
(m. 2001; div. 2021)

Robert Clark Gregg Jr. (born April 2, 1962) is an American actor, director, and screenwriter. He is best known for playing the original character Phil Coulson in films and television series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2008 to 2021. Gregg also voiced Coulson in the animated television series Ultimate Spider-Man (2012–2017) and the video games Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013), Marvel Heroes (2013), and Lego Marvel's Avengers (2016).

Gregg is also known for his role as FBI Special Agent Mike Casper on the NBC political drama series The West Wing (2001–2004) and as Richard, the ex-husband of Christine Campbell, in the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006–2010).

He wrote the horror film What Lies Beneath (2000), and wrote and directed the black comedy Choke (2008) and the comedy-drama Trust Me (2013). He appeared in the films The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (1998), One Hour Photo (2002), We Were Soldiers (2002), In Good Company (2004), When a Stranger Calls (2006), 500 Days of Summer (2009), Much Ado About Nothing (2012), The To Do List (2013), Labor Day (2013), and Live by Night (2016).

Early life[edit]

Gregg was born April 2, 1962, in Boston, Massachusetts,[1] the son of Mary Layne (née Shine) and Robert Clark Gregg Sr., an Episcopal priest and Stanford University professor.[2] Because his family relocated frequently, he had lived in seven cities by the time he was 17. He attended high school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where his father was a professor at nearby Duke University.[3][4]

He attended Ohio Wesleyan University for two years before dropping out and moving to Manhattan. He worked various jobs, such as being a bar back, a security guard at the Guggenheim Museum, and a parking valet at a restaurant.[5] He later enrolled at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied drama and English, and graduated in 1986.[6]


Gregg at the 2013 WonderCon

Gregg was a founding member, and later artistic director, of the off-Broadway Atlantic Theater Company, which formed in 1983. Gregg has been featured in a number of supporting roles in films, such as Lovely & Amazing, The Human Stain, and In Good Company, and a number of guest spots on TV series, such as Will & Grace, Sports Night, Sex and the City and The West Wing. He also wrote the screenplay for the 2000 thriller What Lies Beneath.[6]

He is the director and screenwriter of the 2008 film Choke, based on the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name, starring Sam Rockwell.[7] Gregg consulted his father, a retired religion professor at Stanford, for the quotation from Saint Paul's letter to the Galatians which Gregg used in Choke.[8] Gregg's father is also the former chaplain at Stanford Memorial Church.

In 2008, Gregg appeared in the film Iron Man as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson.[9] In 2010, Gregg reprised his role as Agent Coulson for Iron Man 2. Gregg had since signed up for a multiple film deal as the character with Marvel Studios. In 2011, he returned again as Coulson for Thor.[10] Gregg noted his being a part of the expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe as being very exciting; "Agent Coulson was one of the guys who wasn't really in the comic books, and he was a very kind of small role in Iron Man," he said, "and I was just very lucky that they chose to expand that character and chose to put him more into the universe of it. It's really a blast!"[11] Following on from his appearance in Thor, he again reprised his role in The Avengers. Gregg also stars in a series of Marvel short films that center around his character and can be seen on the Blu-ray releases of the films.

In October 2010, Gregg was part of the cast of a staged reading of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart alongside Dylan Walsh, Lisa Kudrow, and Tate Donovan, presented in Los Angeles on the occasion of the play's 25th anniversary (and preceding the play's 2011 Broadway premiere, which retained elements of this staged reading); the reading was directed by his then-father-in-law, Joel Grey.[12]

From 2013 to 2020, Gregg portrayed Agent Phil Coulson in the ABC television superhero drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., set within the MCU, alongside Ming-Na Wen and Chloe Bennet.[13] He also went on to direct episodes in seasons five[14] and six.[15]

On April 20, 2013, Trust Me, a film written, produced, and directed by Gregg, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.[16] The film found limited release in the United States in June 2014.

Gregg reprised his role as Agent Coulson in the 2019 superhero film Captain Marvel and the animated series What If...?, episodes "What If... the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?" and "What If... Thor Were an Only Child?", released in 2021.[17]

In 2022, he joined the TNT series Snowpiercer for its fourth and final season.[18] However, the series was dumped by the network before it could air there.[19] The fourth season was picked up by AMC, and aired in 2024.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Gregg (left) with his then-wife, Jennifer Grey (right), at the November 30, 2010 Epic Mickey launch party in Manhattan.

Gregg married actress Jennifer Grey on July 21, 2001; the couple co-starred in the Lifetime TV movie Road to Christmas. They have a daughter Stella, born December 3, 2001.[21] Gregg and Grey were two of the demonstrators at the 2017 Women's March held on January 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.[22] On July 3, 2020, Grey and Gregg announced they had separated amicably on January 18, 2020, and were in the process of divorcing.[23] Their divorce ruling was issued in November and that became official finalized on February 16, 2021.[24]

Gregg is a sober alcoholic and describes himself as a member of a Jewish family (his former wife's faith).[25][26]

He has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.[27][28]

Gregg is a cousin of New York City government official and former mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia.[29]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Things Change Stage Manager
1989 Fat Man and Little Boy Douglas Panton
1991 Lana in Love Marty
1994 Ride Me Jake Shank
I Love Trouble Darryl Beekman, Jr.
Clear and Present Danger Staff Sergeant
1995 The Usual Suspects Dr. Walters
Above Suspicion Randy
1997 The Spanish Prisoner FBI Sniper
The Last Time I Committed Suicide Cop No. 1
Six Ways to Sunday Benjamin Taft
1998 The Adventures of Sebastian Cole Hank / Henrietta Rossi
1999 Magnolia WDKK Floor Director
2000 State and Main Doug Mackenzie
What Lies Beneath None Screenwriter
2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence Supernerd
Lovely & Amazing Bill
2002 One Hour Photo Det. Paul Outerbridge
We Were Soldiers Capt. Tom Metsker
2003 Northfork Mr. Hadfield Uncredited
11:14 Officer Hanna
The Human Stain Nelson Primus
2004 Spartan Miller
In Enemy Hands Executive Officer Teddy Goodman
In Good Company Mark Steckle
2006 When a Stranger Calls Ben Johnson
Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas Publisher
Hoot Chuck Muckle
2007 In the Land of Women Nelson Hardwicke
The Air I Breathe Henry
2008 Choke Lord High Charlie Also screenwriter and director
Iron Man Agent Phil Coulson
2009 500 Days of Summer Vance
2010 Iron Man 2 Agent Phil Coulson
2011 Thor
Mr. Popper's Penguins Nat Jones
The Consultant Agent Phil Coulson Short film
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer
2012 The Avengers
Much Ado About Nothing Leonato
Brightest Star Mr. Markovic
2013 The To Do List Judge George Klark
Labor Day Gerald Wheeler
Trust Me Howard Holloway Also screenwriter, producer, and director
2014 Very Good Girls Edward Berger
2015 Thrilling Adventure Hour Live Mason Grantz
2016 Live by Night Chief Inspector Calvin Bordurant
2018 Spinning Man Paul
2019 Captain Marvel Agent Phil Coulson
2020 Run Sweetheart Run James R. Fuller
2021 Moxie John
Being the Ricardos Howard Wenke
2022 The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 Bruce Edwards Ivins Documentary
2024 Thelma Alan
TBA G20 Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Lip Service Stage Manager Television film
1991 Law & Order Patrick Dunne Episode: "Life Choice"
Shannon's Deal Mercer 2 episodes
A Woman Named Jackie Ken O'Donnell Miniseries
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Dickinson Episode: "Princeton, February 1916"
1994 The George Carlin Show Dad Episode: "George Does A Bad Thing"
1995 Tyson Kevin Rooney Television film
The Commish Tom Cannon 2 episodes
Central Park West Manager Episode: "Behind Your Back"
1996 Touched by an Angel Don Dudley Episode: "Lost and Found"
2000 Sports Night The Stranger / Calvin Trager 2 episodes
Sex and the City Harris Bragen Episode: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
The Practice Julie McGrath's Brother Episode: "Brother's Keepers"
2001–2004 The West Wing FBI Special Agent Michael Casper 8 episodes
2002 My Sister's Keeper Harvey Television film
Live from Baghdad Eason Jordan Television film
2003 Will & Grace Cam Episode: "May Divorce Be with You"
2004 The Shield William Faulks 2 episodes
2005 CSI: NY D.A. Allen McShane Episode: "The Fall"
2006 The Road to Christmas Tom Pullman Television film
2006–2010 The New Adventures of Old Christine Richard Campbell Main role
2012–2017 Ultimate Spider-Man Phil Coulson (voice) Main role; 29 episodes
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Clark Gregg Wears a Navy Blazer & White Collared Shirt"
2013–2020 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Phil Coulson / Pachakutiq / Sarge[30] Main role; 136 episodes
Also directed episodes: "Fun & Games" & "Missing Pieces"
2015 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Double Agent Himself "The Mastermind Is Revealed"
2016 Lip Sync Battle Himself Episode: "Clark Gregg vs. Hayley Atwell"
BattleBots Episode: "The Gears Awaken"
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Academy Himself Episodes: "Recruitment", "Commencement"
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot Phil Coulson Episode: "Vendetta"
2019 SMILF Mr. Daddy Episode: "Single Mom is Losing Faith"
2020 The Conners Ron 2 episodes
2021 What If...? Phil Coulson (voice) 2 episodes: "What If... the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?", "What If... Thor Were an Only Child?"
2023 Florida Man Deputy Sheriff Ketcher 7 episodes
How I Met Your Father Nick Foster 3 episodes
Painkiller Arthur Sackler 6 episodes
2024 Criminal Minds: Evolution FBI Director Ray Madison Recurring role

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
2013 Lego Marvel Super Heroes Phil Coulson
Marvel Heroes
2016 Lego Marvel's Avengers

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2000 Film Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Male The Adventures of Sebastian Cole Nominated
National Board of Review Award Best Acting by an Ensemble State and Main Won
2001 Online Film Critics Society Award Best Ensemble Cast Performance Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award Best Ensemble Cast Won
2006 Women's Image Network Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series The New Adventures of Old Christine Won
2008 Sundance Film Festival Award Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic Choke Nominated
Special Jury Prize: Dramatic, Work by an Ensemble Cast Won
2013 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor The Avengers Won


  1. ^ "Clark Gregg". Hollywood.com; retrieved January 13, 2012.
  2. ^ "Priestly passions: Dean Robert Gregg talks about what's dear to his heart". Stanford University. November 5, 1997. Archived from the original on July 30, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  3. ^ Dickson, Robert (December 1, 2011). "CAUGHT ON FILM". Carrborocitizen.com. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Ryan, Mike (May 1, 2012). "Clark Gregg, 'Avengers' Star, On Agent Coulson And Why He Hates The Los Angeles Lakers". HuffPost. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  5. ^ "Park City '08 Interview - "Choke" Director Clark Gregg". Indie Wire. January 3, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Alfuso, Renee (Spring 2014). "No Cape? No Problem". NYU Alumni Magazine (22). New York University. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  7. ^ lovebomb (January 27, 2010). "Forums | The Cult". Chuckpalahniuk.net. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  8. ^ DVD commentary for Choke, 2008; and Robert C. Gregg Archived January 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Stanford Department of Classics bio page. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Bloom, Julie (2010). "Clark Gregg". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  10. ^ Marc Graser (January 18, 2010). "Gregg pulls double duty". Variety. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  11. ^ Edward Douglas (April 27, 2010). "Exclusive: Clark Gregg on His Marvel Universe Future". Superhero Hype!. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew (May 6, 2010). "Dylan Walsh, Tate Donovan, Jon Tenney and More Join Cast of Normal Heart Reading". Playbill. Archived from the original on May 9, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  13. ^ "NYCC: Coulson Lives In Whedon's "S.H.I.E.L.D." (Updated with Photos)". Comic Book Resources. October 13, 2012. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  14. ^ Avila, Mike (January 4, 2018). "Director Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Clark Gregg Goes Behind The Camera On Marvel's Flagship Series". Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  15. ^ Nolfi, Joey (July 21, 2018). "Clark Gregg returning to Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to direct season 6 opener". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  16. ^ "Trust Me First Clip". Filmofilia. April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  17. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (August 24, 2021). "Clark Gregg talks returning to Marvel in 'What If...?' — and Phil Coulson's new crush on Thor". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  18. ^ Mitovich, Matt (March 28, 2022). "Snowpiercer Adds Clark Gregg to Cast for Season 4, Names New Showrunner". TVLine. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 13, 2023). "'Snowpiercer' Season 4 Won't Air On TNT, Final Season Shopped By Tomorrow Studios Along With Potential Offshoots". Deadline. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  20. ^ White, Peter (March 14, 2024). "Snowpiercer: AMC Picks Up Season 4 After TNT Scrapped Sci-Fi Drama". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  21. ^ "Briefly". USA Today. December 6, 2001, p. LIFE, 5D
  22. ^ Friedman, Megan; Matthews, Lyndsey (January 21, 2017). "Celebrities Hit the Streets for Women's Marches Around the World". Elle. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  23. ^ Merrett, Robyn (July 3, 2020). "Clark Gregg and Jennifer Grey Split After 19 Years Together: 'We Remain Close'". People. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  24. ^ Fernandez, Alexia (November 18, 2020). "Jennifer Grey Retains Dirty Dancing Earnings in Divorce Settlement with Ex Clark Gregg". People. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  25. ^ Reddit AMA (June 5, 2014). "I Am Clark Gregg", reddit.com; accessed June 6, 2014.
  26. ^ "Interfaith Celebrities: Jennifer Grey Dances Again, Stuff His Dad Says". InterfaithFamily. September 14, 2010. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  27. ^ "Instagram". Archived from the original on December 26, 2021.
  28. ^ Martin, Damon (December 18, 2013). "'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' star Clark Gregg earns his brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" Archived June 11, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Fox Sports. Accessed May 9, 2022
  29. ^ Dorman, Caitlin (April 22, 2021). "Who are celebrities endorsing for New York City mayor?". City & State NY. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  30. ^ "Clark Gregg Teases New Mysterious Role For 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' Season 6". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved February 5, 2019.

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