Jump to content

John C. McGinley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John C. McGinley
McGinley in 2022
John Christopher McGinley

(1959-08-03) August 3, 1959 (age 64)
EducationSyracuse University (BFA)
New York University (MFA)
  • Actor
  • voice actor
  • producer
  • author
  • activist
  • spokesman
  • writer
Years active1985 (1985)–present
Lauren Lambert
(m. 1997; div. 2001)
Nichole Kessler
(m. 2007)

John Christopher McGinley (born August 3, 1959) is an American actor. His best known roles include Perry Cox in Scrubs, Bob Slydell in Office Space, Captain Hendrix in The Rock, Sergeant Red O'Neill in Oliver Stone's Platoon, Marv in Stone's Wall Street, FBI agent Ben Harp in Point Break, and the serial killer Edgler Foreman Vess in the TV miniseries of Intensity, based on the novel by Dean Koontz.

Early life[edit]

McGinley, who is one of five children, was born in the Greenwich Village section of New York City, the son of a schoolteacher and a stockbroker.[1] His paternal great-grandfather was from Donegal, Ireland.[2] McGinley was raised in Millburn, New Jersey, and attended Millburn High School, where he played wide receiver for the school's football team. He studied acting at Syracuse University, and later at New York University's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 1984.[3] Upon completing his education, McGinley did a variety of different work, including off-Broadway and Broadway productions, and a two-year stint on the soap opera Another World.


McGinley has had a prolific career, primarily as a supporting character actor. He was noticed by a casting scout while working as John Turturro's understudy in John Patrick Shanley's 1984 production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, which led to a successful audition for the role of Sergeant Red O'Neill in the Oscar-winning Platoon (1986). McGinley had been cast in his first film role in Alan Alda's Sweet Liberty earlier in 1986. That was followed the next year with Wall Street (1987), and again the next with Talk Radio (1988). He was featured in a 1980s Subaru commercial.[4] He appeared in the "Celebrity Challenge" version of American Gladiators, losing to Dean Cain. McGinley wrote the script for, and co-starred in, the 1990 film Suffering Bastards.[5]

He worked continually throughout the 1990s, appearing in films such as Point Break (1991), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), Article 99 (1992), Wagons East (1994), Seven (1995), The Rock (1996), Set It Off (1996), Nothing to Lose (1997) and Office Space (1999) (McGinley improvised several takes about his character's fondness for Michael Bolton). In 2007, he had a role as Chuck in the film Are We Done Yet? He had a small role as a gay highway patrolman in the film Wild Hogs which co-stars his Article 99 co-star Ray Liotta, although they don't share any screen credit.

McGinley in 2008

McGinley has done voice-over work on animated television series, including the superhero The Atom on several episodes of Justice League Unlimited, a guest appearance as "The White Shadow", the secret government agent overseeing Huey Freeman on The Boondocks, voicing The Whammer on the PBS Kids Go! series WordGirl as well as the lead character in the Sony PSP video game Dead Head Fred.

McGinley received critical acclaim for his performance as a serial killer in Dean Koontz's suspense drama Intensity (1997). It became Fox Television's highest-rated miniseries. He worked with Koontz and Fox once more in Sole Survivor (2000).

In 2001, McGinley began work as a regular on the NBC television series Scrubs as the acerbic Dr. Perry Cox. Throughout the series Dr. Cox acts as an unwilling mentor to the protagonist J.D. (Zach Braff). McGinley has said that there are three things over the course of the series that he improvises: his constant usage of girls' names for JD, which he does with all his real friends; his whistle, which he describes as "a bad habit"; and his habit of touching his nose, a tribute to Robert Redford's character in The Sting, and which he says means "It's gonna be OK."[6]

Since the NFL season of 2007, McGinley has played the "Commish" of the More Taste League commercials for Miller Lite. He has done commercials for the Champions Tour, a professional golf tour for men over the age of 50.[7] In 2008, McGinley was the narrator of the documentary of the 2008 Stanley Cup Championship of the Detroit Red Wings.[8] In 2009, McGinley started narrating commercials for ESPN.com.

McGinley wrote a 2005 book titled Untalkative Bunny: How to be Heard Without Saying a Word, which featured the title character from the show Untalkative Bunny on its cover.

In 2008, McGinley was named an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin.

In 2009, he was cast in the film adaptation of the comic book Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, voicing Metallo.[9]

In 2012, it was announced that McGinley would be a recurring character on USA Network's Burn Notice as Michael Westen's original CIA trainer, Tom Card.[10] He was first introduced in the second episode of the show's sixth season. In the same year, he appeared in a State Farm insurance commercial as a father wanting his college graduate son to move out.

McGinley speaking at the Stan Against Evil panel during the 2017 Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center

He began 2013 in the Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross as Dave Moss. "It was the best couple of months of my life," he said.[11] In the same year, it was announced that TBS made a series order for the television series Ground Floor, which stars McGinley. The series was canceled in 2015 after two seasons.[12] In October 2014, McGinley hosted The E Street Radio channel on Sirius XM20 radio, discussing his appreciation of Bruce Springsteen's music, and their shared New Jersey roots.[citation needed]

From 2016 to 2018, he starred in the horror comedy television series, Stan Against Evil on IFC. McGinley played a crusty retired sheriff who reluctantly helps his perky replacement fight the demons that have taken over their small town.

Personal life[edit]

In February 1997, McGinley married Lauren Lambert. Their son, Max, who has Down syndrome, was born that year. In December 2001, Lambert and McGinley divorced. In October 2002, he was chosen as "Dad of the Month" at now-defunct iParenting.com.[13] In August 2006, McGinley became engaged to yoga instructor Nichole Kessler in Malibu, whom he had dated for two years. The couple married on April 7, 2007, in a private ceremony at their home.[14] They have two daughters.[15]

McGinley owns a stake in one of Billy Gilroy's New York SoHo bistros, along with fellow actor Willem Dafoe.[16]

McGinley serves on the board of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, based in Denver. He is a celebrity Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society. In addition, he is a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics and was an integral part in crafting its "R-word: Spread The Word, To End The Word" campaign. McGinley is a vocal supporter for the disabled community, and commented in late 2011 on the experience of raising a teenager with Down syndrome along with two young daughters:

[Billie's] biggest strength is language. She's extraordinarily verbal, and Max's biggest challenge is his lack of spoken language. He can read at a certain level and do arithmetic, but he doesn't form sentences well. So parenting Max and parenting Billie represent two polar opposites on the spoken-word spectrum. How we parent them in the same household and find a happy middle has been really interesting and continues to be.[17]

McGinley is an avid fan of the NHL Detroit Red Wings, and shows this by wearing a Red Wings jersey (usually Chris Chelios) in several Scrubs episodes. He was the narrator of the 2008 Championship DVD of the Red Wings. He maintains a home in Malibu, California, and is well known as a member of the "Malibu Mob",[18] a group of celebrity friends and neighbors including John Cusack, Tony Danza, former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios, big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, beach volleyball pro Gabrielle Reece, and tennis player John McEnroe.[19] McGinley enjoys going golfing with John Cusack in his free time, and is a member of the Sherwood Lake Club.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Sweet Liberty Floyd
1986 Platoon Sergeant O'Neill
1987 Wall Street Marvin
1988 Talk Radio Stu
1988 Shakedown Sean Phillips
1989 Lost Angels Dr. Farmer
1989 Born on the Fourth of July Official #1 – Democratic Convention, Pushing Wheelchair
1989 Fat Man and Little Boy Captain Richard Schoenfield, MD
1989 Suffering Bastards Buddy Johnson Writer
1991 Point Break FBI Director Ben Harp
1991 Highlander II: The Quickening David Blake
1992 Article 99 Dr. Rudy Bobrick
1992 Cruel Doubt Attorney Jim Vos Burgh
1992 A Midnight Clear Major Griffin
1993 Mother's Boys Mr. Fogel
1993 Hear No Evil Mickey O'Malley
1993 Watch It Rick Producer
1994 On Deadly Ground MacGruder
1994 Surviving the Game John Griffin
1994 Car 54, Where Are You? Officer Francis Muldoon
1994 Wagons East Julian Rogers
1995 Born to Be Wild Max Carr
1995 Seven SWAT Leader California
1995 Nixon Earl In Training Film
1996 The Rock Marine Captain Hendrix
1996 Set It Off Detective Strode
1996 Mother Carl
1996 Johns Danny Cohen
1997 Flypaper Joe
1997 Colin Fitz Lives! Colin Fitz
1997 Intensity Edgler Foreman Vess
1997 Truth or Consequences, N.M. Eddie Grillo
1997 Nothing to Lose Davis 'Rig' Lanlow
1998 Target Earth Agent Vincent Naples
1999 Office Space Bob Slydell
1999 Any Given Sunday Jack Rose
1999 Three to Tango Josh Strauss
1999 The Jack Bull Woody
2000 Get Carter Con McCarty
2001 Summer Catch Hugh Alexander Uncredited
2001 The Animal Sergeant Doug Sisk
2002 Stealing Harvard Detective Charles
2002 Highway Johnny 'The Fox'
2002 Crazy as Hell Parker
2002 It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Himself
2003 Identity George York
2005 Alien Planet Narrator
2006 Puff, Puff, Pass Jerry Dupree
2006 A.W.O.L. Garris
2006 Two Tickets to Paradise Mark Won - Method Fest - Festival Directors Award
2006 World Trade Center Fireman (uncredited)
2007 Wild Hogs Gay Highway Patrolman
2007 Are We Done Yet? Chuck Mitchell Jr.
2008 American Crude Jim
2009 Life's a Trip Mark Hewson
2009 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Metallo Voice, direct-to-video[21]
2012 Alex Cross Richard Brookwell
2012 Watercolor Postcards Merlin
2013 42 Red Barber
2014 Kid Cannabis John Grefard
2016 Get a Job Diller
2016 The Belko Experiment Wendell Dukes
2016 The Drowning Teddy
2017 Battle of the Sexes Herb
2017 The Good Catholic Father Ollie
2018 Benched Don


Year Title Role Notes
1985–1986 Another World Ned Barry 12 episodes
1988 Spenser: For Hire K.C. 1 episode
1993 The Last Outlaw Wills Television film
1994 Frasier Danny Kriezel Episode: "Seat of Power"
1997 The Practice Attorney Leonard Goode 2 episodes
1997 Intensity Edgler Foreman Vess Television film
1998 The Pentagon Wars Colonel J.D. Bock Television film
2000 Sole Survivor Victor Yates Television film
2001 The Nightmare Room Dr. Young Episode: "Four Eyes"
2001–2010 Scrubs Dr. Perry Cox Main role
Nominated - TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy (2002)
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2002)
2002 Clone High Creepy Trucker Voice, episode: "Sleep of Faith: La Rue D'Awakening"[21]
2003 Kim Possible Rudolph Farnsworth / White Stripe Voice, episode: "The Fearless Ferret"
2003 Justice League Executive Voice, episode: "Wild Cards"[21]
2003 Spider-Man: The New Animated Series Richard Damien Voice, 2 episodes
2003–2005 Justice League Unlimited The Atom Voice, 3 episodes
2005 Alien Planet Narrator
2005 American Dragon: Jake Long Dr. Diente Voice, episode: "The Legend of the Dragon Tooth"
2006–2010 The Boondocks The White Shadow Voice, 2 episodes
2008 Robot Chicken Mahmoud Ahmadinejad / Double Dare Host Voice, episode: "Chirlaxx"
2008–2015 WordGirl The Whammer Voice, 4 episodes
2009 Scrubs: Interns Dr. Perry Cox 1 episode
2011 Dan Vs. Imposter Dan Voice, 2 episodes
2012 Burn Notice Tom Card Recurring role (season 6), 6 episodes
2013–2015 Ground Floor Remington Stewart Mansfield Main role
2016–2018 Stan Against Evil Stanley Miller Main role
2018–2019 Chicago P.D. Brian Kelton Recurring role (season 6), 7 episodes
2019–present DreamWorks Dragons: Rescue Riders Grumblegard Voice, recurring role[21]
2021 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Frank O'Sullivan Guest role (season 8), 4 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2002 Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Comedy Scrubs Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Actor in a New Comedy Series Scrubs Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Scrubs Won
Satellite Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Scrubs Nominated
2006 Method Fest Festival Director's Award Two Tickets to Paradise Won


  1. ^ "John C. McGinley Biography (1959-)". Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  2. ^ Irish America Magazine Archived July 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "NYU Graduate Acting Alumni". 2011. Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ Suffering Bastards at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ Scrubs DVD special features
  7. ^ "Golf Magazine: News, Equipment, Instructions, Courses & Travel". Golf.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2007. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  8. ^ "McGinley narrates the Wings' Cup journey". MLive.com. July 7, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Superman: The Animated Series DVD news: Announcement for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies - TVShowsOnDVD.com". Archived from the original on October 30, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  10. ^ Gelman, Vlada (March 14, 2012). "TVLine Items: Comedy Central Nabs Community, Scrubs Vet Heads to Burn Notice and More!". TVLine.
  11. ^ "Interview: John C. McGinley Talks 'Benched', Broadway and the Secret to His Long Career". Daily Actor. August 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 14, 2015). "'Ground Floor' Cancelled By TBS After 2 Seasons". Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  13. ^ iParenting.com's Dedicated Dads: John C. McGinley Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
  14. ^ "Scrubs Star John C. McGinley Gets Married". April 9, 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  15. ^ Michaud, Sarah; Jordan, Julie (July 9, 2010). "John C. McGinley Welcomes Daughter Kate Aleena". PEOPLE. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  16. ^ John C. McGinley Interview. Retrieved October 21, 2007.
  17. ^ "John C McGinley Interview with Chet Cooper" Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  18. ^ Chris Chelios' new team: The Malibu Mob | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press [dead link]
  19. ^ MSN TV Blog: Paging Dr. Cox: 'Scrubs' Doc John C. McGinley Dishes on His Motor-Mouthed Alter Ego, His Famous Friends and His Elle MacPherson Jones Archived August 6, 2010, at the Portuguese Web Archive
  20. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Erik Anders Lang (December 28, 2018), John C McGinley (Dr Cox on Scrubs) Shows Me The Golden Bear's Best, retrieved May 29, 2019
  21. ^ a b c d "John C. McGinley (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 29, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.

External links[edit]