Erik Jensen (actor)

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Erik Jensen
ResidenceNew York City, New York
EducationCarnegie Mellon University (BFA)
OccupationActor, playwright
Years active1991–present
Jessica Blank (m. 2001)

Erik Jensen is an American actor, playwright, screenwriter and director.

Early life[edit]

Jensen was born and raised in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He graduated from Apple Valley High School.[1] He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from Carnegie Mellon University.


An actor, writer and director, Jensen has had over a hundred roles on television, film, and stage, most notably as legendary Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees in the ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning. He portrayed Dr. Stephen Edwards on The Walking Dead, plays conspiracy theorist Frank Cody on Mr. Robot, and appeared alongside Aasif Mandvi in the Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Ayad Akhtars' Disgraced at Lincoln Center. He also appeared as legendary rock critic Lester Bangs in the critically acclaimed one-man play "How to Be A Rock Critic," which he co-wrote with his wife Jessica Blank. "How to Be A Rock Critic" received a completion commission from Center Theatre Group and was produced at the Kirk Douglas Theater, ArtsEmerson, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company before being produced Off-Broadway at The Public Theater. "How to Be A Rock Critic" received critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Billboard and other publications.

In 2017 he co-directed the film Almost Home with Jessica Blank based on her novel of the same name.


Erik co-wrote the critically acclaimed play The Exonerated with his wife, Jessica Blank. It ran Off Broadway in New York City for nearly two years. The play is based on interviews they conducted with more than 40 exonerated death row inmates. In 2002, it was staged at The Actors' Gang Theater.[2] It was nominated for five Ovation Awards and three NAACP Awards, winning the Ovation for Best World Premiere Play. The New York production of The Exonerated ran for more than 600 performances off-Broadway, toured nationally, and won Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Fringe First, and Herald Angel Awards. It received awards from Amnesty International, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Death Penalty Focus. It has been translated into French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish and has been produced hundreds of times nationally and internationally, including in Thailand, China and Iran.

The Exonerated was made into a 2005 film for Court TV[3] and was produced internationally in Dublin,[4] Edinburgh,[5] London,[6] Japan, Mexico, and Italy.

Jensen and Blank wrote a second documentary play, Aftermath, based on interviews they conducted in 2008 with Iraqi civilian refugees in Jordan. Aftermath was produced Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, was nominated for two Drama League awards and toured internationally for two years. They have been commissioned for a third documentary play by The Public Theater with original music by Grammy award winning songwriter Steve Earle.

Living Justice, Blank and Jensen’s memoir on the making of The Exonerated, was published in 2005 by Simon and Schuster.[17]

Jensen wrote and co-created the graphic novel "The Reconcilers", which was published in 2010 by Viking Warrior press.

Personal life[edit]

Jensen married writer, director and actress Jessica Blank in 2001. They live in New York, New York.



  • 1991: Dead and Alive: The Race for Gus Farace as Boat Owner
  • 1992: What She Doesn't Know as Thug
  • 1993: The Dark Half as Male Student
  • 1993: Striking Distance as Kid on Steps
  • 1995: A Horse for Danny as Mooner
  • 1995: Inflammable as Roland Fantaine
  • 1996: Ripe as Dave
  • 1996: Twisted as Man Who Kills Can Man
  • 1997: Colin Fitz as Dean
  • 1997: Julian Po as Tyler
  • 1998: Anima
  • 1998: Montana as Karl
  • 1998: Above Freezing as Richie
  • 1998: Arresting Gena as Stevie
  • 1999: The Love Letter as Ray
  • 1999: Cherry as Man #3
  • 2000: Brooklyn Sonnet as Frankie the Snake
  • 2000: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 as Stoner #2
  • 2001: Black Knight as Derek
  • 2002: The Year That Trembled as Todd Franklin
  • 2002: Heartbreak Hospital as HH Producer
  • 2003: Undermind as Ian Waye
  • 2004: Messengers as David Richards
  • 2005: The Exonerated as Jeff
  • 2005: Hitler, Stalin & Walter O'Malley as Jules (short film)
  • 2005: The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie as Photographer
  • 2006: The House Is Burning as Carl
  • 2006: Sup 2down as Ewan
  • 2007: Serial as Gary Whitlock
  • 2007: Game of Life as Larry
  • 2008: Quality Time as Tucker (short film)
  • 2008: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 as Video Store Manager Phil
  • 2009: Speed Grieving as Scott (voice) (short film)
  • 2009: Stream as Marco (short film)
  • 2009: Virtuality as Dr. Jules Braun
  • 2011: The Loop as Bearded Man
  • 2011: Gun Hill as Tommy Griffin



  • The Exonerated (writer; co-wrote with Jessica Blank)
  • Y2K by Arthur Kopit (Manhattan Theater Club)
  • Corpus Christi by Terrence McNally (Manhattan Theater Club)
  • Spain (Manhattan Class Company)
  • Schmucks as Lenny Bruce (Wilma Theater, Philadelphia)
  • "Disgraced" by Ayad Akhtar (Lincoln Center) Pulitzer Prize 2014
  • "How to Be a Rock Critic" (co-writer with Jessica Blank) Center Theater Group, Kirk Douglas Theater, South Coast Rep, ArtsEmerson, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Public Theater


  1. ^ "Actor's path to silver screen started on Apple Valley stage | ECM Archives". Archived from the original on 2016-01-23. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  2. ^ The Actors Gang: The Exonerated Archived 2012-01-12 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Monterey Media: The Exonerated - DVD - Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon
  4. ^ The Exonerated at Liberty Hall Theatre - 2006 (archive) Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin
  5. ^ Gardner, Lyn (2005-08-11). "The Exonerated". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  6. ^ The British Theatre Guide: The Exonerated in London Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]