Jesse Spencer

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Jesse Spencer
Spencer in 2009
Born (1979-02-12) 12 February 1979 (age 45)
Melbourne, Australia
United States (since 2021)[1]
  • Actor
  • musician
Years active1991–present
Kali Woodruff Carr
(m. 2020)

Jesse Gordon Spencer (born 12 February 1979) is an Australian-American[1] actor and musician. He is known for his roles as Billy Kennedy on the Australian soap opera Neighbours (1994–2022), for which he was nominated for two Logie Awards, Dr. Robert Chase on the American medical drama House (2004–2012) and Captain Matthew Casey on the American drama Chicago Fire (2012–2023).

Early life[edit]

Jesse Gordon Spencer was born in Melbourne on 12 February 1979, the son of Robyn and radiologist Rodney Spencer. His parents were the founders of the far-right party Australians Against Further Immigration,[2] and would both later contest the 1998 federal election for the right-wing populist party Pauline Hanson's One Nation.[3] He is the only member of the family who opted not to work in the medical field; his older brother Tarney is an oculoplastic surgeon, his other older brother Luke is an orthopaedic surgeon, and his younger sister Polly is an anaesthetist.

Spencer attended Canterbury Primary School, Malvern Central School, and the private Scotch College. While there, he auditioned for the long-running soap opera Neighbours. He completed his VCE and had gained a place at Monash University but deferred to pursue acting.[4]



Spencer in 2008

Spencer starred as Billy Kennedy in the Australian soap opera Neighbours from 1994 to 2000. He later reprised his role in 2005, in an episode celebrating the show's 20th anniversary. His character was the son of long-term iconic Ramsay Street residents Dr. Karl Kennedy and Susan Kennedy.[5]

After his time on Neighbours, he co-starred in films such as Winning London with the Olsen Twins, Uptown Girls and Swimming Upstream.

Spencer starred as intensive care specialist and surgeon Dr. Robert Chase on the Fox medical drama House from 2004 to 2012. He played Chase for the show's entire run, becoming the second longest-serving member of the title character's team.

Spencer starred as firefighter Matthew Casey in the NBC drama Chicago Fire from 2012[6] to 2021.[7]

In 2022, it was confirmed that Spencer would return to Neighbours as part of the series finale.[8]


Spencer began his musical career with the Australian Boys Choir, performing with them from 1986 to 1992.[9] He plays the violin in Band from TV, a group that includes his former House co-star Hugh Laurie. They play at various events, giving the money they earn to charity. The band played on Idol Gives Back in April 2008.[10][11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

For Neighbours, Spencer was nominated for "Most Popular Actor" at the 1998 and 1999 Logie Awards. For House, he was nominated for "Choice TV Breakout Performance – Male" at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards and "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" at the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards. He received a "Golden Boomerang" at the 2006 Australians in Film Breakthrough Awards for his work on House.[12] In 2007, he was included in People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People issue.

Personal life[edit]

Spencer began dating American actress Jennifer Morrison, who played his character's love interest in House, in July 2004; he proposed to her at the Eiffel Tower during Christmas 2006,[13] but they called off their engagement in August 2007. He then dated English actress and singer Louise Griffiths from 2008 to 2010, and Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira from 2010 to 2013.[14]

Spencer began dating neuroscientist Kali Woodruff Carr in 2014, and they were engaged in 2019. They married on 27 June 2020.[15]

Spencer became a U.S. citizen in November 2021.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Lorna Doone Marwood de Whichehalse
2001 Curse of the Talisman Jeremy Campbell
Winning London Lord James Browning, Jr.
2002 Stranded Fritz Robinson TV film
2003 Swimming Upstream Tony Fingleton
Uptown Girls Neal Fox
2004 Action Man: Robot Atak Flynt (voice) Animated tie-in
2006 Flourish Eddie Gator
The Script Ben Short film
2010 Tell-Tale Lover Short film
2013 Skum Rocks! David Lockhart
2015 The Girl Is in Trouble Nicholas Feinstein
2021 Queer Fish in God's Waiting Room Liam Short film


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Time Trax Young Bill Episode: "A Close Encounter"
1994–2022 Neighbours Billy Kennedy 471 episodes
1998 Hercules Triten, Jr. (voice) Episode: "Hercules and the Son of Poseidon"
2002 Saishu Heiki Kanojo Shuji's Father (voice) English version; Episode: "Soshite, bokutachi wa koishiteiku"
2003 Death in Holy Orders Raphael Arbuthnot 2 episodes; TV mini-series
2004–2012 House Robert Chase 171 episodes
2006 Blue Heelers Lee Cruickshank Episodes: "Dangerous Animals"
2012–2023 Chicago Fire Captain Matthew Casey 204 episodes
2013 Phineas and Ferb Liam McCracken (voice) Episode: "Primal Perry"
2014–2019 Chicago P.D. Captain Matthew Casey 7 episodes
2017–2019 Chicago Med Captain Matthew Casey 4 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Title Role
2009 Caitlin Crosby "Still Have My Heart" Dentist
2010 Katharine McPhee "Say Goodbye" Boyfriend


Year Title Role Notes
1991 The King and I Louis State Theatre
1992 Winnie the Pooh Christopher Robin The Alexander Theatre
1993 Scrooge Older brother of Tiny Tim The Princess Theatre, Melbourne
1998–99 Peter Pan Peter Pan White Rock Theatre, Hastings
1999–2000 Jack and the Beanstalk Jack Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
2003 The Modernists Terrance The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Work Results
1999 Silver Logie Awards Most Popular TV Actor Neighbours Won
1998 Silver Logie Awards Most Popular TV Actor Neighbours Nominated
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Performance – Male House Nominated
2008 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Action Chicago Fire Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "Inside the Impressive Life and Career of Chicago Fire's Jesse Spencer". NBC Insider Official Site. 5 April 2023. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Anti-immigrants with a green tinge". 21 March 2003.
  3. ^ "Federal Elections 1998" (PDF).
  4. ^ McComas, Campbell (December 1998). "Revisions of boyhood". Great Scot. Scotch College, Melbourne.
  5. ^ "Chicago Fire's Jesse Spencer - what you might not know about him". HOLA. 26 April 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  6. ^ Porter, Rick (21 October 2021). "'Chicago Fire' Bids Farewell to an Original Castmember". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ Gelman, Vlada (20 October 2021). "Chicago Fire Star, EP Talk [Spoiler]'s Exit in 200th Episode ('It Was a Difficult Decision') — and a Possible Return". TVLine.
  8. ^ @neighbours (23 July 2022). "We've got a few more familiar faces making an appearance in the finale [...] Don't miss the #Neighbours finale on 10 and 10Peach on Thursday, July 28 at 7.30pm and a one-hour primetime finale episode on Friday, July 29 at 9.00pm on Channel 5" (Tweet). Retrieved 24 July 2022 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ "Australian Boys Choir". Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Grunberg a Nervous Hero as Band from TV Joins "Idol Gives Back"". 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  11. ^ ""Before He Cheats" (Teri Hatcher) – 4/9/2008, 'American Idol Gives Back'". Band From Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Australians In Film Announces Honorees for 2007 Breakthrough Awards". Australians in Film. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  13. ^ Jordan, Julie (5 January 2007). "House Costars Engaged". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Maya Gabeira: 35 little-known facts about the Brazilian big wave surfer".
  15. ^ Hockey, Maddison (21 October 2020). "Neighbours' Jesse Spencer gets hitched". MSN. Retrieved 17 August 2021.

External links[edit]