Frank Whaley

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Frank Whaley
Born Frank Joseph Whaley
(1963-07-20) July 20, 1963 (age 52)
Syracuse, New York, United States
Occupation Actor, film director, screenwriter, comedian
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Heather Bucha (m. 2001)

Frank Joseph Whaley (born July 20, 1963) is an American actor, film director, screenwriter and comedian. He is best known for his roles in independent films.

Early life[edit]

Whaley was born and raised in Syracuse, New York,[1] the son of Josephine (née Timilione) and Robert W. Whaley, Sr.[2][3] He is half Irish and half Sicilian.[citation needed] His father died in the 1990s of health problems related to alcoholism. Whaley graduated from Anthony A. Henninger High School in 1981, and later from University at Albany.


Whaley made his film debut in 1987's Ironweed, and 1989 appeared in Field of Dreams, alongside Burt Lancaster and Kevin Costner, and Born on the Fourth of July, alongside Tom Cruise. The latter film began a long collaboration with director Oliver Stone, including 1991's The Doors, in which he played Robby Krieger, and, in the same year, JFK, in which he played a conspirator in the JFK assassination. In 1991, Whaley also starred in the John Hughes production Career Opportunities alongside Jennifer Connelly.

Over the next two years, he played supporting roles in movies such as Hoffa and Swing Kids. He appeared in his second leading film role in 1994's Swimming with Sharks, in which he starred opposite Kevin Spacey. During the same year, he played a supporting role as the doomed Brett, who was memorably killed by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta's characters in Pulp Fiction.

In 1998, he started a regular role on the short-lived CBS series Buddy Faro. He has also appeared in episodes of The Dead Zone, Law & Order, and its spinoff Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He made his writing-directorial debut in his own independent film, Joe the King, in 1999, featuring his Doors costar Val Kilmer and longtime friend and colleague Ethan Hawke in starring roles. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and earned Whaley the prestigious Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. His second film as writer and director, The Jimmy Show, starred Whaley and Carla Gugino. This film also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Whaley's third film as writer and director, New York City Serenade, starring Chris Klein and Freddie Prinze, Jr., premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. He starred as the villain in Screen Gems' 2007 horror film Vacancy alongside Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale.

In 2014 he wrote and directed the film Like Sunday, Like Rain, starring Debra Messing, Leighton Meester and Billie Joe Armstrong.[4] It opened in March 2015 and The New York Times called it a "sentimental intersection of two lives ' and the Los Angeles Times called it "quite a wonderful journey"

In 2014, Whaley appeared as the audience favorite Van Miller in Season One of the Showtime series Ray Donovan, alongside Jon Voight and Liev Schreiber.

In 2015, Whaley will appear on Paramount Animation's first live-action/animation film, Monster Trucks And The Outskirts opposite Victoria Justice. Whaley's other film credits include World Trade Center, Red Dragon, Rob The Mob, School Of Rock, The Freshman, Broken Arrow, Little Monsters, A Midnight Clear, Janie Jones, IQ among numerous others.

Whaley's television credits include Gotham, The Blacklist, CSI, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Psych, Burn Notice, Ugly Betty, Mrs. Harris, When Trumpets Fade, Boston Legal, Medium, Blue Bloods, among many others.

Whaley has maintained his roots in the theater, working frequently with The New Group in NYC. Most recently he appeared in the New Group's revival of Wallace Shawn's Marie And Bruce opposite Marisa Tomei.

Personal life[edit]

In 2001, he married Heather Bucha, an actress and writer, author of Eat Your Feelings: Recipes for Self-Loathing, with whom he has two children. They collaborated on the NBC pilot Lloyd of the House, and continue to write together.



  1. ^ Frank Whaley biography, DVD extras, "Career Opportunities" DVD.
  2. ^ "Frank Whaley Biography (1963-)". Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  3. ^ Durbin, Karen (1999-10-17). "FILM; Picturing a Lost Boy, Drawing on Memory". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  4. ^ Yamato, Jen (September 19, 2013). "Leighton Meester, Billie Joe Armstrong, Debra Messing To Star In Frank Whaley’s ‘Like Sunday, Like Rain’". PMC. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 

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