James Wolk

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James Wolk
James Wolk 2014 (cropped).jpg
Wolk in 2014
Born (1985-03-22) March 22, 1985 (age 37)
Other namesJimmy Wolk
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Years active2006–present
Elizabeth Jae Byrd
(m. 2015)

James Wolk (born March 22, 1985) is an American actor. He is known for his starring roles in the CBS comedy series The Crazy Ones (2013–2014), the AMC period drama series Mad Men (2013–2014), the CBS drama thriller series Zoo (2015–2017), the CBS All Access psychological thriller series Tell Me a Story (2018–2019), and the HBO superhero limited series Watchmen (2019).

Wolk also had starring roles in the films You Again (2010), For a Good Time, Call... (2012), The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015), and Mercy (2016).

Early life and education[edit]

Wolk was born in Farmington Hills, Michigan, the son of Edie, an art teacher, and Robert Wolk, a shoe store owner (Sundance Shoes West Bloomfield & Birmingham MI).[1] His family is Jewish, and Wolk was raised in Reform Judaism.[2][3][4] During his teenage years, Wolk worked as an emcee (MC) at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.[5][6] He graduated North Farmington High School in 2003 and from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in 2007.[7]


In 2008, Wolk landed his first starring television role in Hallmark Hall of Fame's drama film Front of the Class, as Brad Cohen.[8] He subsequently played the title character in the 2009 ABC pilot Solving Charlie. In 2010, Wolk was cast as the lead in the Fox drama series Lone Star, as Robert "Bob" Allen, a Texas con man married to the daughter of one of his targets while simultaneously maintaining a relationship in another town. Fox canceled the series after two episodes.[9]

In 2010, Wolk had a role as Will in the romantic comedy film You Again.[10] He played a presidential speechwriter named Andrew Pierce in Georgetown, a 2011 ABC pilot which did not go to air.[11]

In the fall of 2011, Wolk joined the second season cast of the Showtime dramedy series Shameless, in the recurring role of Adam.[12] The second season premiered January 8, 2012. Wolk played the recurring role of Grant in three episodes of the ABC comedy series Happy Endings, beginning with the first installment on February 8, 2012.[13] In 2012, Wolk starred in the USA Network miniseries Political Animals, co-starring Sigourney Weaver and Ciarán Hinds. Wolk played Douglas Hammond, the "good" son of a former President of the United States (Hinds) and the current Secretary of State (Weaver).[14]

In 2013, Wolk joined the sixth-season cast of the AMC period drama series Mad Men, playing mysterious junior account man Bob Benson.[15] As the season progressed, Benson became one of the most talked-about characters on the show, and Wolk received a Satellite Award nomination. In the 2013-14 television season, Wolk was part of the cast of the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones, starring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar.[16] He played a womanizing creative at the Chicago ad agency headed by Williams and Gellar, his second role as an ad agency worker after Mad Men.

In November 2014, Wolk was cast as the lead in the CBS drama thriller series Zoo, based on the novel by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.[17] Zoo premiered in June 2015 and aired for three seasons. Wolk also starred as Craig in the 2014 comedy film Are You Joking?, as Noah Bernstein in the 2014 comedy-drama film There's Always Woodstock, and as Mike Penny in the 2015 drama thriller film The Stanford Prison Experiment.[18] He also starred as Philip in the independent comedy film This Is Happening, which focuses on an estranged brother and sister who go on a road trip to find their runaway grandmother.[19]

In 2016, Wolk starred as Brad in the thriller film Mercy, which was written and directed by Chris Sparling.[20] In 2017, he guest-starred as Craig Heidecker, an innovative young tech billionaire, in multiple episodes of the Showtime drama series Billions.[21] In 2018, Wolk guest-starred as FBI Special Agent Jeff Clayton in the Amazon drama series Goliath.[22] He starred in the first season of the CBS All Access psychological thriller series Tell Me a Story, an anthology series adapting classic fairy tales with a modern horror spin.[23] In late 2018, Wolk was cast as Senator Joe Keene Jr. in the HBO superhero limited series Watchmen, based on the DC Comics series of the same name.[24] The series debuted on October 20, 2019, to universal acclaim.[25]

In 2021, Wolk began to play the lead role of Joe Kimbreau in the NBC drama Ordinary Joe, which is developed and executive-produced by Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner.[26][27]

Personal life[edit]

Wolk is on the Board of Directors of the Brad Cohen Tourette Foundation.[28] From 2009 to 2012, he also volunteered at Camp Twitch and Shout, which is a camp in Winder, Georgia, for children, ages 7 to 17, who have Tourette syndrome.[29]

Wolk met Elizabeth Jae Lynch, a schoolteacher, while the two of them were volunteering at Camp Twitch and Shout. In June 2015, the two were married in a ceremony that was held at Crossroads Estate, Firestone Winery in Los Olivos, California.[30] They welcomed their first child, a boy, in early 2017, and also have a daughter.[31][32]



Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Spiral Project Jordan
2008 Zack's Life Michael Jenkins
2008 Forgotten Land Roll Short film
2008 Front of the Class Brad Cohen
2009 8 Easy Steps HotnRich Short film
2010 You Again Will Olsen
2012 For a Good Time, Call... Charlie
2014 There's Always Woodstock Noah Bernstein
2014 Are You Joking? Craig
2015 The Stanford Prison Experiment Mike Penny
2015 This Is Happening Philip
2016 Mercy Brad
2019 Jake and Kyle Get Wedding Dates Eric Watson (voice) Direct-to-video
TBA Spinning Gold Not yet released Larry Harris Post-production
TBA The Boys in the Boat Not yet released Tom Bolles Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2008 As the World Turns Sailor Episode: "#1.13205"
2008 Front of the Class Brad Cohen Television film
2008 Killer in the Family Brian Pilot
2009 Solving Charlie Charlie Hudson Television film
2010 Lone Star Robert "Bob" Allen Main role; 5 episodes
2011 Georgetown Andrew Pierce Pilot
2012 Shameless Adam 3 episodes
2012 Happy Endings Grant 3 episodes
2012 Political Animals Douglas Hammond Miniseries; 6 episodes
2012 Vanessa & Jan Geyer 4 episodes
2013–2014 The Crazy Ones Zach Cropper Main role; 22 episodes
2013–2014 Mad Men Bob Benson 12 episodes
2015 Robot Chicken Del Griffith / Elf (voice) Episode: "Robot Chicken Christmas Special: X-Mas United"
2015–2017 Zoo Jackson Oz Main role; 39 episodes
2017 Billions Craig Heidecker 2 episodes
2018 Goliath Jeff Clayton 6 episodes
2018–2019 Tell Me a Story Jordan Evans Main role; 10 episodes
2019 Watchmen Joe Keene Jr. 6 episodes
2019–2020 Harley Quinn Superman (voice) 6 episodes
2021–2022 Ordinary Joe Joe Kimbreau Main role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
2013 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Mad Men Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Best Drama Guest Actor Won


  1. ^ Madden Toby, Mekeisha (2010-09-17). "'Lone Star' ups ante for Farmington Hills' James Wolk". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  2. ^ "Must-see TV: Sitcoms, sex top Fall lineup - Fall Preview". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  3. ^ Bloom, Nate (2010-09-13). "From Lonestar to Superstar?". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  4. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott (27 October 2011). "James Wolk Takes the Fall - Theater News". theatermania. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  5. ^ "'Mad Men': James Wolk on the Mystery of Bob Benson". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  6. ^ Martin, Denise (21 June 2013). "Mad Men's James Wolk on the Bob Benson Reveal". Vulture. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  7. ^ Lee, Luane (2010-09-12). "James Wolk has the charm". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  8. ^ "It's Time to Meet Jimmy Wolk, Playing Brad Cohen, in Front of the Class | Class Performance". www.classperformance.com. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  9. ^ "It's official: Fox cancels 'Lone Star'". EW.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  10. ^ "James Wolk Interview LONE STAR". 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 18, 2011). "'Lone Star' Leads Book Pilots: Jimmy Wolk To 'Georgetown', Eloise Mumford To 'River'". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  12. ^ "Showtime Casting: 'Shameless' Gets James Wolk and More". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  13. ^ "'Happy Endings' guest star James Wolk talks Max romance". Retrieved 2016-08-30.
  14. ^ "Emmy Watch: James Wolk on 'Political Animals'". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  15. ^ "'Mad Men' Actor James Wolk on the Mystery of Bob Benson". 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  16. ^ "James Wolk Stays Sane on 'The Crazy Ones'". 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  17. ^ Ng, Philiana (November 11, 2014). "James Wolk to Star in CBS' 'Zoo'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "Stanford Prison Experiment holds place in pop psyche decades on". 2015-07-19. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  19. ^ Yamato, Jen (2014-07-09). "'Jem' Star Joins 'Equals'; Comedy 'This Is Happening' Sets Cloris Leachman & More". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  20. ^ "Netflix Nabs Chris Sparling's 'Mercy,' 'Girlfriend's Day' With Bob Odenkirk (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-22.
  21. ^ Prudom, Laura (2016-08-12). "'Billions' Taps 'Zoo' Star James Wolk for Season 2 Guest Role (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  22. ^ Petski, Denise (2017-07-31). "'Goliath': James Wolk Set To Recur In Season 2 Of Amazon Drama Series". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2018-06-12). "'Tell Me A Story': James Wolk To Star In Kevin Williamson's CBS All Access Series". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  24. ^ Franklin, Garth (2018-11-06). "James Wolk Joins HBO's "Watchmen" Series". Dark Horizons. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  25. ^ "HBO News - Watchmen Arrives This Fall". HBO. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 19, 2020). "James Wolk To Headline NBC's 'Ordinary Joe' Drama Pilot From Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner & Matt Reeves". Deadline. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  27. ^ Darwish, Meaghan (September 20, 2021). "'Ordinary Joe' Creators on the Show's '3-Dimensional Love Triangle' & What's Next". TV Insider. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  28. ^ "Board of Directors". bradcohentourettefoundation. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Another Successful Camp Twitch and Shout". Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  30. ^ "James Wolk".
  31. ^ Wolk, James (2015-06-22). "My Mrs. Wolk". Instagram. Archived from the original on 2021-12-24. Retrieved 2015-06-22.
  32. ^ Gennis, Sadie (2015-07-03). "James Wolk is Married!". TV Guide. Retrieved 2015-07-09.

External links[edit]