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Dylan McDermott

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Dylan McDermott
McDermott in 2014
Mark Anthony McDermott

(1961-10-26) October 26, 1961 (age 62)[1]
Alma materFordham University
Years active1987–present
(m. 1995; div. 2009)

Dylan McDermott (born Mark Anthony McDermott; October 26, 1961)[2][3] is an American actor. He is known for his role as lawyer and law firm head Bobby Donnell on the legal drama series The Practice, which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama and a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

McDermott is also known for his roles in four seasons (first, second, eighth and ninth) of the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story, subtitled Murder House, Asylum, Apocalypse, and 1984 portraying Ben Harmon, Johnny Morgan and Bruce, respectively. He also starred as narcotics crime lord Richard Wheatley on the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit spinoff Law & Order: Organized Crime; Lt. Carter Shaw on the TNT series Dark Blue; in two short-lived CBS dramas, Hostages and Stalker; and in the 1994 remake of the film Miracle on 34th Street. In 2022, he joined FBI: Most Wanted as the new lead, replacing the departing Julian McMahon.

Early life[edit]

Mark Anthony McDermott was born on October 26, 1961, in Waterbury, Connecticut, to Diane and Richard McDermott.[2] He has a younger sister, Robin.[4][5] Diane was 15 and Richard was 17 when McDermott was born; by 1967, the couple had divorced, and Diane and her two children were living with her mother, Avis Marino.[4] On February 9, 1967, Diane died of what was believed for decades to be an accidental gunshot wound.[5][6] In 2012 it was revealed that it was not an accident but that she was murdered by her then gangster boyfriend, John Sponza, who had already died by that time.

McDermott and his sister were raised by their maternal grandmother Avis in Waterbury.[4] As a teenager, he began taking trips to visit his biological father, who owned the West Fourth Street Saloon in Greenwich Village, New York.[7] McDermott worked in his father's bar, serving drinks and breaking up fights.[8] He also fast-talked his way into the Mudd Club and Studio 54.[5]

McDermott was uncomfortable with himself as a teenager, saying he had a "Dorothy Hamill hairdo". He began imitating his acting heroes, such as Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart, adopting their demeanor.[9] In 1979, McDermott graduated from Holy Cross High School in Waterbury.[10]

McDermott's father's third wife was playwright Eve Ensler, who adopted McDermott when he was 15 and she was 23.[11] She later divorced his father. Ensler, with whom McDermott has remained close, encouraged him to pursue an acting career,[6] and began writing roles for him into her plays.[5] After Ensler suffered a miscarriage, he took the name Dylan, the name planned for her unborn child.[8] He then graduated from Jesuit-run Fordham University with a BA in 1983,[12] as well as studying under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.[13]


McDermott made his screen debut in Hamburger Hill in 1987 before starring in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias opposite Julia Roberts as her husband Jackson Latcherie. He also starred in Twister, a film about a man trying to rescue his girlfriend and daughter from a tornado storm.[14] The same year brought Neon Empire, a film about the rise and fall of one man in Las Vegas.[15] However, his first big break as an actor was in the film In the Line of Fire. Through his connection with Clint Eastwood,[16] McDermott was able to land his first major gig in The Practice. The show expanded McDermott's stardom, and he made People's list of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World 1998" with the magazine calling him "a prime-time heartthrob".[9] He got this distinction again in 2000.[17] In 1994, McDermott starred in Miracle on 34th Street as Lawyer Bryan Bedford, which has grossed $46.3 million dollars in the Worldwide Box Office.

Despite his success on The Practice, McDermott was cut from the show. Executive producer David E. Kelley cited "economic and creative realities" as a result of pressure from ABC to reduce costs. McDermott did appear in the final two episodes of the final season.[18]

McDermott at the 2012 PaleyFest

In 2004, McDermott starred alongside Julianna Margulies four-part mini-series The Grid, playing FBI Special Agent Max Canary in an anti-terrorist unit.[19] Returning to theater in 2006, the actor played a returned soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in the Ensler's play The Treatment.[20] In 2007, McDermott starred in the television series Big Shots. Due to low viewership, the show was canceled in January 2008 after 11 episodes without completing the planned 13-episode season. On October 30, 2008, TV Guide reported that McDermott was due to co-star alongside Shannen Doherty in the film Burning Palms, a satire based on Los Angeles stereotypes told through five intertwining storylines.[21]

Beginning in 2009, McDermott starred in the TNT drama Dark Blue, playing a veteran cop who heads a squad of undercover LAPD officers.[22] The show ran for two seasons, each consisting of ten episodes. In 2011, McDermott starred on American Horror Story on FX as Ben Harmon, a psychologist and cheating husband. He returned to the second season as a new character due to the series' anthology format, this time portraying Johnny Morgan.[23] In 2012, he appeared in three films: The Campaign, playing Tim Wattley, a campaign manager,[24] The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as the father of main character Charlie (Logan Lerman),[25] and Nobody Walks, as Leroy.[26] He appeared in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen as a treacherous Secret Service Agent who helps a group of terrorists seize control of the White House.[27]

In May 2013, McDermott launched his first photography exhibition in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at Avenue Art Gallery as part of a collaboration with art agent Marina Cutler. The exhibition, titled The Dylan Project, Make some Noise!, tied his support for The V-Day Organization and love of photography together as the project is a way to bring attention and funds to this organization that supports women in various ways who have suffered violent acts of aggression. McDermott and Cutler have plans to bring The Dylan Project to other locations. Also in 2013, McDermott starred in the short-lived CBS television series Hostages as FBI agent Duncan Carlisle.[28] In 2014, McDermott began starring on another short-lived CBS television series Stalker in one of the lead roles, portraying Detective Jack Larsen opposite Maggie Q.[29]

In 2018, McDermott played the serial killer Don Burnside in the film The Clovehitch Killer, and in 2019, he had a recurring role on The Politician opposite January Jones, as the father of Lucy Boynton's character.[30] In 2020, McDermott starred in Hollywood, a limited series for Netflix.[31] He then went on to be cast as narcotics crime lord Richard Wheatley on the Elliot Stabler-centric Law & Order: Special Victims Unit spin-off Law & Order: Organized Crime, which premiered in April 2021. In season 1, McDermott as Wheatley was a series regular, but moved to a recurring role for season 2.[32] Coinciding with his departure from Organized Crime, McDermott joined Dick Wolf's FBI: Most Wanted as the new lead following the departure of Julian McMahon. His first episode aired in April 2022.[33]

Personal life[edit]

McDermott married actress Shiva Rose on November 19, 1995.[4] They have two daughters, Colette and Charlotte. Colette's birth is prominently featured in Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.[5] Colette graduated from Barnard College, of which McDermott was also a trustee.[34][35][36] On September 27, 2007, People confirmed that McDermott and Rose had separated.[37] On May 16, 2008, it was reported that McDermott had filed for divorce from Rose.[38] The divorce was finalized on January 2, 2009.[39]

Having met on set in early 2014, on January 14, 2015, it was announced he was engaged to his Stalker co-star Maggie Q.[40] In 2017, they stated that they were not in any rush to have an actual wedding ceremony.[41] In February 2019, the couple split after a four-year engagement.[42]

McDermott has been featured in magazines such as Men's Health.[43] In 1999, he was a finalist in the GQ "Man of the Year" issue.[44][45]

McDermott is a recovering alcoholic. He has been sober since 1984.[46]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Hamburger Hill Staff Sergeant Adam Frantz
1988 The Blue Iguana Vince Holloway
1989 Twister Chris
Steel Magnolias Jackson Latcherie
1990 Hardware Moses "Hard Mo" Baxter
1991 Where Sleeping Dogs Lie Bruce Simmons
1992 Jersey Girl Sal Tomei
1993 In the Line of Fire Secret Service Agent Al D'Andrea
1994 The Cowboy Way John Stark
Miracle on 34th Street Bryan Bedford
1995 Destiny Turns on the Radio Julian Goddard
Home for the Holidays Leo Fish
1997 'Til There Was You Nick Dawkan
1999 Three to Tango Charles Newman
2001 Texas Rangers Captain Leander McNelly
2003 Party Monster Peter Gatien
Wonderland David Lind
Runaway Jury Jacob Wood Uncredited cameo
2005 Edison Sergeant Francis Lazerov
The Tenants Harry Lesser
The Mistress of Spices Doug
2006 Unbeatable Harold Jake Salamander
2007 The Messengers Roy
Have Dreams, Will Travel Uncle
2009 Mercy Jake
2010 Burning Palms Dennis Marx
2012 Nobody Walks Leroy
The Campaign Tim Wattley
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Mr. Kelmeckis
2013 Olympus Has Fallen Dave Forbes
Freezer Robert Saunders
2014 Behaving Badly Jimmy Leach
Autómata Sean Wallace
Mercy Jim Swann
2015 Survivor Sam Parker
The Laws of the Universe Part 0 Yoake Suguru Limited theatrical release[47][48]
2016 Blind Mark Dutchman
2018 Josie Hank
The Clovehitch Killer Don Burnside
2021 King Richard Will Hodges


Year Title Role Notes
1989 The Neon Empire Vic Television film
1991 Into the Badlands McComas
1992 Tales from the Crypt George Gatlin Episode: "This'll Kill Ya"
The Fear Inside Pete Caswell Television film
1997–2004 The Practice Bobby Donnell 147 episodes
1998 Ally McBeal Bobby Donnell 2 episodes
Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular Himself Episode: #1.5
1999 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Dylan McDermott / Foo Fighters"
2002 Music Behind Bars Host 8 episodes
2003 Will & Grace Tom Episode: "Heart Like a Wheelchair"
2004 The Grid FBI Agent Max Canary 6 episodes
2006 3 lbs Dr. Douglas Hanson Unsold television pilot
A House Divided Anderson Television film
2007–2008 Big Shots Duncan Collinsworth 11 episodes
2009–2010 Dark Blue Carter Shaw 20 episodes
2011 American Horror Story: Murder House Dr. Ben Harmon 12 episodes
Vietnam in HD James Anderson (voice) Episode: "The Beginning"
2012–2013 American Horror Story: Asylum Johnny Morgan 5 episodes
2013–2014 Hostages Duncan Carlisle 15 episodes
2014–2015 Stalker Detective Jack Larsen 20 episodes
2018 LA to Vegas Captain Dave Pratman 15 episodes
American Horror Story: Apocalypse Dr. Ben Harmon Episode: "Return to Murder House"
2019 The Politician Theo Sloan 6 episodes
American Horror Story: 1984 Bruce 3 episodes
No Activity Clint Bergman 7 episodes
2020 Hollywood Ernie West 7 episodes
2021–2022 Law & Order: Organized Crime Richard Wheatley 15 episodes
2021 American Horror Stories Ben Harmon Episode: "Game Over"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Richard Wheatley Episode: "The People v. Richard Wheatley"
2022–present FBI: Most Wanted Supervisory Special Agent Remy Scott 41 episodes
2023 FBI Episode: "Imminent Threat: Part 2"


Year Title Role
Golden Boy
1978 Believe It, See It, Survival
1985 Biloxi Blues Roy Selridge
1995 Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man
2006 The Treatment Man
2008 Three Changes Nate

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1998 Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series The Practice Nominated
1999 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series Nominated
2001 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2004 Prism Awards Best Performance in a Theatrical Feature Film Wonderland Nominated
2012 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Performance by an Ensemble The Perks of Being a Wallflower Won
Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television American Horror Story: Murder House Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actor in a New TV Series Stalker Nominated
2019 Gold Derby Awards Best Drama Guest Actor American Horror Story: Apocalypse Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Hollywood Nominated
2021 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Nominated


  1. ^ Dylan McDermott on Instagram: “59 is just a number”
  2. ^ a b "Dylan McDermott". TV Guide. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  3. ^ "MILESTONES: October 26 birthdays for Hillary Clinton, Seth MacFarlane, Jaclyn Smith". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 26, 2020.
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  5. ^ a b c d e "In Search of Dylan McDermott". Esquire. Vol. 3, no. 133. March 2000. p. 166. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Dylan McDermott is on a path of rediscovery". The Washington Post. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  7. ^ "THEATER; Today the Anatomy, Tomorrow the World". The New York Times. September 26, 1999. Archived from the original on March 15, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Rita Braver. "Dylan McDermott" (interview), CBS Sunday Morning, October 30, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Dylan McDermott". People. Vol. 49, no. 18. May 11, 1998. p. 144.
  10. ^ Leonard, Quannah (November 17, 2013). "Bringing it back home: Actor stars at Hall of Fame ceremony". Republican-American. Archived from the original on October 27, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  11. ^ "Activist Spotlights: Shiva Rose McDermott". Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2009., Interview with wife Shiva Rose McDermott
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  14. ^ Pitman, Randy (February 1, 1990). "Twister". Library Journal. Vol. 115, no. 2. p. 124.
  15. ^ Pitman, Randy (April 1, 1990). "The Neon Empire". Library Journal. Vol. 115, no. 6. p. 154.
  16. ^ "CNN - Showbuzz - November 30, 1998". CNN. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
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  18. ^ "Legal Eagles Out of Practice". People. Vol. 59, no. 21. June 2, 2003. p. 19.
  19. ^ Kelleher, Terry (July 26, 2004), "The Grid", People, vol. 62, no. 4, p. 35
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  21. ^ "Shannen Doherty, Dylan McDermott Join Burning Palms Ensemble Film". TV Guide. October 30, 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved October 31, 2008.
  22. ^ "TNT Dark Blue website". Archived from the original on June 22, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  23. ^ "'American Horror Story': Dylan McDermott talks his 'Asylum' debut and playing Bloody Face -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. December 13, 2012. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  24. ^ "'The Campaign's' Dylan McDermott Reveals How He Broke the Ice His First Day on Set". Hollywood Reporter. August 10, 2012. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
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  27. ^ "Dylan McDermott reenacts fight from 'Olympus Has Fallen'". TODAY.com. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  28. ^ "Dylan McDermott on Playing the Bad Guy on 'Hostages'". Rolling Stone. September 23, 2013. Archived from the original on November 11, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
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  30. ^ Petski, Denise (December 4, 2018). "Dylan McDermott Confirms Casting In Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician' Netflix Series, Says January Jones Will Play His Wife". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  31. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (September 27, 2019). "'Hollywood': Dylan McDermott, Samara Weaving, Jim Parsons, Maude Apatow & Joe Mantello Among Netflix Series Cast Additions". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  32. ^ Roots, Kimberly (July 29, 2021). "Law & Order's Dylan McDermott Moves From Series Regular to Recurring in Organized Crime Season 2". TVLine. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  33. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 24, 2022). "Dylan McDermott Joins 'FBI: Most Wanted' As New Lead". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  34. ^ "Barnard College Board of Trustees announces new members". Barnard College. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  35. ^ "Barnard's 2017 LA Gala". giving.barnard.edu. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  36. ^ "Morning Rituals with Colette McDermott". Herbivore Botanicals. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
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  38. ^ "Dylan McDermott files for divorce from wife Shiva Rose". Retrieved May 20, 2008.
  39. ^ "McDermott to Wife: Til January Do Us Part". TMZ. December 2, 2007. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
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  42. ^ Jordan, Julie; Stone, Natalie (February 28, 2019). "Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q Split Following 4-Year Engagement". People. Archived from the original on March 2, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  43. ^ O'Neill, Hugh (September 2004). "Icons of Style". Men's Health. Vol. 19, no. 7. p. 48.
  44. ^ Johnson, Julie A. (December 13, 1999). "Hanks rules roost on Nov. newsstands". Advertising Age. Vol. 70, no. 51. p. 62.
  45. ^ "20 Years of Sexy Lawyers". People. Vol. 64, no. 22. November 28, 2005. pp. 181–82.
  46. ^ Guglielmi, Jodi (August 20, 2019). "Dylan McDermott Celebrates 35 Years of Sobriety: It's My 'Greatest Accomplishment'". People. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  47. ^ "The Laws of the Universe Anime Film Casts Dylan McDermott, Jennifer Beals, Tom Kenny". Anime News Network. September 26, 2015. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  48. ^ HS Pictures Studio (October 15, 2015). The Laws of the Universe - Part0 [Field Making video and VOICE DIRECTOR & CAST talks the movie]. Archived from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2016 – via YouTube.

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