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Pierson in 2006
June 16, 1949
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||Fordham University (B.A.)
Yale School of Drama (M.F.A.)
|Spouse(s)||Catherine "Kate" Daly
Carolyn "Cali" Timmins
Geoffrey Michael "Geoff" Pierson (born June 16, 1949) is an American actor known for his role as Deputy Chief Tom Matthews on the Showtime series Dexter. Before that he starred in the TV comedies Unhappily Ever After (WB) as Jack Malloy and as Jimmy Kelly in Grace Under Fire (ABC Network). He is also known for his roles as President John Keeler on 24 (FOX) and as Frank Ryan on the ABC daytime serial Ryan's Hope. He has guest-starred in dozens of other TV shows.
Early life and education
Pierson was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second of seven children born to Roy, an entrepreneur (who founded Feralloy Corporation and, later, Pierson Steel), and Helen (née Maginess) Pierson, who wed on October 29, 1946, at St. Philip Neri Church in Chicago's South Shore. The family was Roman Catholic, and the siblings attended Catholic schools in Winnetka's Sacred Heart parish. After graduating from New Trier High School, Pierson went on to earn a B.A. at Fordham University and later an M.F.A from the Yale School of Drama. After Yale, he appeared with George C. Scott on Broadway in Tricks Of The Trade, before continuing on to do several New York soap operas and many regional theatre plays. Some notable theatrical roles include Angelo in Measure For Measure at the Yale Rep, Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Penn Ctr. Stage, Bobby in Speed The Plough at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, and Ricky in Glengarry Glen Ross and Teach in American Buffalo at the Virginia Stage Company.
Pierson's first high-profile prime-time television role was as Jack Malloy, the head of a dysfunctional family, in the WB sitcom Unhappily Ever After, which was created by Ron Leavitt, one of the creators of FOX's Married... with Children. Other TV roles include a leading role as R.T. Howard on That 80's Show, and recurring roles on In Plain Sight (USA) and The Firm (NBC). He also had a recurring role as Rodney's long lost dad on the ABC comedy Rodney.
In 2005 and 2006 he appeared in two episodes of Veronica Mars as Stewart Manning, the father of Meg Manning. In 2006, he guest-starred in Criminal Minds, playing Max Ryan, a former FBI agent-turned-author and Jason Gideon's mentor who comes out of his retirement to capture a serial killer known as the Keystone Killer in the episode, "Unfinished Business". From 2006 to 2013, he portrayed Captain Tom Matthews on the Showtime series Dexter.
He appeared in the 2008 Clint Eastwood-directed film Changeling as the flamboyant defense attorney Sammy "S.S." Hahn. In 2011 he portrayed Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in Eastwood's J. Edgar. He appeared in Touched by an Angel, Season 9, Episode 16.
Beginning in 2010, he had a recurring role in Boardwalk Empire as Senator Walter Edge. In 2011, Pierson played Midas Mulligan in Atlas Shrugged, based on Ayn Rand's novel of the same name. He played Russell Dunbar's wealthy father in Rules of Engagement and he had a recurring role as the mysterious Mr. Smith on Castle. In 2014 he appeared in an episode of Suburgatory. In 2015 he co-starred as Defense Secretary Pierce Grey on HBO's The Brink. And during seasons one and two of Designated Survivor (ABC) he portrays Former President of United States and Secretary of State Cornelius Moss alongside Kiefer Sutherland.
Pierson has been married twice. His first marriage was to Catherine "Kate" Daly and lasted from 1971 to 1991. The couple had three children: Norah, Elizabeth, and Roy. Since 1998, Pierson has been married to Carolyn "Cali" Timmins, with whom he has two children, Emma and Michael.
- Geoffrey Pierson profile, filmreference.com; accessed March 4, 2016.
- "Obituary for Helen Pierson - SKOKIE, IL".
- Li, Shirley (2014-09-17). "A Definitive Ranking of Every Notable Guest Star On 'Veronica Mars'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
- Foundas, Scott (December 19, 2007). "Clint Eastwood: The Set Whisperer - Shooting quietly on the Changeling set". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- Geoff Pierson on IMDb