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 66)
Alma materIllinois State University
Years active1978–present
Children2, including Zoe Perry

Jeffrey Perry (born August 16, 1955) is an American actor of stage, television, and film. He is known for his role as Richard Katimski on the teen drama My So-Called Life, Thatcher Grey on the medical drama series Grey's Anatomy, Cyrus Beene on the political drama series Scandal, all for ABC, and as Inspector Harvey Leek on the CBS crime drama Nash Bridges.


Perry is an original co-founder of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. He 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 moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to pursue film and television work. Perry perhaps is best known as San Francisco Police Department 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). His many 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 (2003), The Practice (2003), Lost (2005), Cold Case (2006), Raines (2007), and several episodes of Grey's Anatomy (2005) as Meredith Grey's father, Thatcher Grey. He replaced John Billingsley in the role of Terrence Steadman in the critically acclaimed TV show Prison Break.

Perry also has 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 Tribes by Nina Raine.

From 2012 to 2018, Perry starred in the ABC drama series Scandal as Cyrus Beene.

In 2015, Perry performed alongside his daughter Zoe Perry and actor Kevin McKidd in Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Anna Christie” at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in West Los Angeles. During the production, he said "During ‘Anna Christie’ the biggest challenge I had was working with my daughter and sort of not stopping and asking an audience member for a camera to record the moment."

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 was married to actress Laurie Metcalf from 1983 until 1986.[2] They had a child, actress Zoe Perry, together in 1983, but they subsequently divorced. In 1989, he married Linda Lowy, Grey's Anatomy's casting director,[3] with whom he has a daughter, Leah Perry.



  1. ^ "Jeff Perry". American Theatre Wing. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  2. ^ "Jeff Perry: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  3. ^ Linda Lowy: Internet Movie Database - Profile Retrieved April 8, 2012.

External links[edit]