Jeff Perry (American actor)

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Jeff Perry
Jeff Perry 2 Peabody 2014 (cropped).jpg
Perry at the Peabody Awards, May 2014
Born (1955-08-16) August 16, 1955 (age 61)
Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Illinois State University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Laurie Metcalf (m. 1983; div. 1992)
Linda Lowy
Children 2

Jeffrey Perry (born August 16, 1955) is an American actor of stage, television, and film. He currently stars in the ABC political drama Scandal.


At an early age, his elder sister Jo took him to an audition at Ravinia Festival where American Conservatory Theater was staging Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. He auditioned and got the part.

He is one of the original co-founders of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. Perry and schoolmates Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney started the company in one end of the cafeteria at Highland Park High School and later moved it to a small space in the Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park. It has since grown into a notable national theater company whose alumni include John Malkovich, John Mahoney, and Joan Allen. Perry remains an Executive Artistic Director along with co-founders Kinney and Sinise.

After spending nearly two decades with Steppenwolf, Perry made the move to Los Angeles in 1987 to pursue film and television work. Perry is perhaps best known as Inspector Harvey Leek (a diehard Grateful Dead fan) on the CBS police drama series Nash Bridges. He was a tough superior to Kevin Bacon's detective in the thriller Wild Things (1998). Many of his television and film credits include The Human Stain (2003), Hard Promises (1991) and The Grifters (1990) as well as appearances on My So-Called Life (1994), The West Wing (1999), The Practice (2003), Lost (2005), Cold Case (2006), Raines (2007), and several episodes of Grey's Anatomy (2005) as Meredith Grey's father. He replaced John Billingsley in the role of Terrence Steadman in the critically acclaimed TV show Prison Break.

Perry has also been in multiple stage productions. These include Time of your Life (in San Francisco and Seattle), Grapes of Wrath (Broadway and London), and The Caretaker (Broadway). He starred in the Tracy Letts play August: Osage County on Broadway, which originated at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.[1] In 2012, he appeared Off Broadway playing Christopher, the aggressive father in an intellectual, though dysfunctional, British family, in the U.S. premiere of the award-winning play Tribes by Nina Raine.

As of 2012, Perry starred in the ABC drama series Scandal as Cyrus Beene.[2] The series debuted on April 5, 2012 as a mid-season replacement in the 2011–12 television season.[3] The series was created by Shonda Rhimes and is currently in its sixth season.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Perry was born in Highland Park, Illinois, where his father was a teacher at Highland Park High School. He graduated from Illinois State University in 1978. In 2011, Perry received an honorary doctorate from Illinois State University in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the field of theatre.

Perry is the youngest of three siblings. Sisters Jo and Janice are both deceased. His nephew, Jai Henry serves as his social media assistant.

Perry was married to actress Laurie Metcalf from 1983 until 1992.[5] They had a child, actress Zoe Perry, together in 1984, but they subsequently divorced. He is currently married to Grey's Anatomy's casting director, Linda Lowy,[6] with whom he has a daughter named Leah.



  1. ^ "Jeff Perry". American Theatre Wing. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  2. ^ "ABC picks up 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Good Christian Belles' and ten more - Zap2it". 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 17, 2011). "ABC 2011-12 Primetime Schedule Announced". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ Schneider, Michael (July 8, 2011). "Networks Put in Short Orders for Next Season". TV Guide. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Jeff Perry: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  6. ^ Linda Lowy: Internet Movie Database - Profile Retrieved April 8, 2012.

External links[edit]