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Lee Tergesen

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Lee Tergesen
Tergesen at an Oz convention c. 2008
Lee Allen Tergesen

(1965-07-08) July 8, 1965 (age 58)
Years active1980–present
  • Tanya Lewis
    (m. 1994; div. 1997)
  • Leslie Howitt
    (m. 2001; div. 2004)
  • Yuko Otomo
    (m. 2011)

Lee Allen Tergesen (/ˈtɜːrɡəsən/;[1][2] born July 8, 1965) is an American actor. He is known for his roles in Weird Science, as Tobias Beecher in HBO's prison drama Oz, and as Evan Wright in Generation Kill, as well as guest starring in many other series. In film, he is known for his portrayal of Terry in Wayne's World and Wayne's World 2, as well as Vincent Corey in Monster.

Early life[edit]

Tergesen was born in Ivoryton, Connecticut[3] and graduated from Valley Regional High School in nearby Deep River. He moved to New York to try to become an actor. He graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA)'s two-year program in Manhattan, where, from 1986 to 1989, he worked at the Empire Diner.[3] "I wasn't a great waiter. I was funny, but I gave a lot of attitude", he told Rosie magazine in March 2002. He added: "The place is like a vortex for me". He met Tom Fontana, the future creator of Oz, at the diner.[3]

He did some stage work during this time. "I was doing plays all the time, but there's no money in it", Tergesen said in a 1995 Los Angeles Times article. "After graduation, I thought I'd be making a living at it."[4] He went to Los Angeles to help Fontana move into his house. While dining at a restaurant on the day after arriving in Los Angeles, a casting director and friend of Fontana's asked Tergesen if he was an actor. "He told me there was a part in this movie and at that time, I couldn't imagine what it could be," Tergesen told the L.A. Times.[4] The movie turned out to be Point Break, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.[4] "It was the beginning of me never having to do anything else but act", he told LT.com in 1990.[citation needed]


Tergesen began his career with a bit role in the 1991 prime-time aired pilot Acting Sheriff.[5] He then appeared in Wayne's World (1992)[6] and Wayne's World 2 (1993),[7] in the 1994 series Weird Science as Chester "Chett" Donnelly,[8] and had a recurring role in the first season of Homicide: Life on the Street.

He portrayed Tobias Beecher on HBO's Oz (1997),[9] a critically acclaimed role he played until the series ended in 2003. His film credits include Point Break, Shaft, Monster, The Forgotten, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Cast A Deadly Spell and Wild Iris. He has made several appearances in TV shows such as ER, Rescue Me, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Minds, The 4400, House, Law & Order and two of its spin-offs, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He played a murderous Navy SEAL, Andrew Larrick, in Season 2 of The Americans on the FX television network.

He played an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor in the second season of Desperate Housewives, becoming romantically involved with Bree Van de Kamp. He appeared in the USA Network series Royal Pains and in Seasons 4–5 of the Lifetime Network series Army Wives. He played Evan Wright in the HBO mini-series Generation Kill.[10]

He has appeared on stage in the Off-Broadway productions of Long Lost (2019) by Donald Margulies and Rapture, Blister, Burn in 2012 at Playwrights Horizons, among others.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Tergesen married Yuko Otomo in 2011. Their daughter was born December 5, 2012; their son was born in 2017.



Sources: tcm.com[12] allmovie.com[13]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Mind Benders 'Crash' Hopkins
1991 Point Break 'Rosie'
1991 Session Man Neal Short
1992 Wayne's World Terry
1993 Wayne's World 2 Terry
1997 George B. Frank
1999 Inferno Luke
2000 Shaft Detective Luger
2001 The Boys of Sunset Ridge Ben Thorpe (age 33)
2001 Mergers & Acquisitions Isaac
2002 Bark! Peter
2003 Monster Vincent Corey
2004 The Forgotten Al Petalis
2005 Extreme Dating Hack
2006 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Holden
2008 Pineapple Bruce
2010 Helena from the Wedding Alex Javal
2011 Silver Tongues Gerry
2011 2ND Take Bobby
2012 Red Tails Colonel Jack Tomlinson
2012 No One Lives Hoag
2012 The Collection Lucello
2014 Desert Cathedral Peter Collins
2015 Tooken Bryan Millers
2016 Equity Randall
2017 The Yellow Birds Jim Murphy
2017 Norman Pinski Come Home Dr. Vanderwal Short


Source: allmovie.com[14]

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Law & Order Clemens Episode: "Prescription for Death"
1991 The Killing Mind Ron Donoho TV film
1991 Acting Sheriff Robbie Unsold TV pilot
1991 Cast a Deadly Spell Larry Willis / Lilly Sirwar TV film
1993–1997 Homicide: Life on the Street Chris Thormann Recurring role (seasons 1, 3, 5)
1994 Up All Night Chett Donnelly Episode: "Zapped Again!/H.O.T.S."
1994 Philly Heat Ivan Loki TV series
1994–1998 Weird Science Chester 'Chett' Donnelly Main role
1995 JAG Gunnery Sergeant Gentry Episode: "Brig Break"
1996 Hudson Street Larry Fetchko Episode: "In the Line of Duty"
1996 Duckman Chester 'Chett' Donnelly (voice) Episode: "Color of Naught"
1997 Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show Carter Episode: "Honey, the House Is Trying to Kill Us"
1997 Cracker Dan Green Episode: "Sons and Lovers"
1997–2003 Oz Tobias Beecher Recurring role (season 1), main (seasons 2–6)
1998 Touched by an Angel Blake Chapman Episode: "Lady of the Lake"
1999 Saturday Night Live Tobias Beecher Episode: "Jerry Seinfeld/David Bowie"
2000 The Beat Steve Dorigan Recurring role
2001 Wild Iris Lud Van Eppy TV film
2001 Shot in the Heart Frank Gilmore Jr. TV film
2002 Third Watch Jared McKinley Episode: "Sex, Lies & Videotape"
2002 Hack Carl Ginley Episode: "Pilot"
2003 Queens Supreme Tommy Ryan Episode: "One Angry Man"
2003 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Keith Ramsey Episode: "Baggage"
2004 A Thief of Time Randall Elliot TV film
2004 The 4400 Oliver Knox Episode: "Becoming"
2005 The Exonerated Walter Rhodes TV film
2005 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Martin Hawkins Episode: "Compulsion"
2005 Rescue Me 'Sully' Sullivan Episodes: "Voicemail", "Harmony", "Balls"
2005 Law & Order Attorney Heller Episode: "Ghosts"
2005 Wanted Eddie Drake Main role
2006 Desperate Housewives Peter McMillan Guest role (season 2)
2006 The Unit Alex Deckard Episode: "Extreme Rendition"
2006 Southern Comfort 'Blue' TV film
2007 Masters of Horror Layne Episode: "We All Scream for Ice Cream"
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Josh Lemle Episode: "30"
2007 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Daniel Royer TV film
2007 Cane Lamont Samuels Episode: "Pilot"
2007 A.M.P.E.D. Brian Spicer TV film
2008 Generation Kill Evan 'Scribe' Wright TV miniseries
2008 Life on Mars Lee Crocker Episodes: "The Real Adventures of the Unreal Sam Tyler", "The Man Who Sold the World"
2009 Cupid Clint Episode: "The Great Right Hope"
2009 The New Adventures of Old Christine Todd Watski Episodes: "Notes on a 7th Grade Scandal", "The Old Maid of Honor"
2009 The Closer Detective Nick Carey Episode: "Products of Discovery"
2009 Royal Pains Zack Kingsley Episode: "The Honeymoon's Over"
2009 House Roy Episode: "Instant Karma"
2009 Criminal Minds Dale Shrader Episode: "Retaliation"
2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Billy Skags Episode: "Savior"
2010 Lie to Me Gordon Cook Episode: "Black and White"
2010, 2015 Castle Marcus Gates Episodes: "3XK", "Reckoning"
2010–2011 Army Wives Officer Clayton Boone Recurring role (seasons 4–5)
2011 Law & Order: LA Patrick Denton Episode: "Big Rock Mesa"
2012 A Gifted Man Paul Curtis Episode: "In Case of Letting Go"
2012 The River Russ Landry Episodes: "Peaches", "Dr. Emmet Cole"
2012 The Big C Kirby Recurring role (season 3)
2013 Red Widow Mike Tomlin Main role
2013 Drop Dead Diva Sid Penar Episode: "The Real Jane"
2013 Copper Philomen Keating Episodes: "I Defy Thee to Forget", "A Morning Song"
2013 Person of Interest Detective Peterson Episode: "The Crossing"
2013–2014 Longmire Ed Gorksi Recurring role (seasons 1–3)
2014 The Following Kurt Episode: "Sacrifice"
2014 The Americans Andrew Larrick Recurring role (season 2)
2014 Forever Hans Koehler Episode: "Pilot"
2014 The Blacklist Frank Hyland Episodes: "Lord Baltimore", "Dr. Linus Creel"
2014 Hawaii Five-0 Gordon Bristol Episode: "Ka No'eau"
2014 Alpha House Colonel Eugene Drake Episodes: "The Contest", "Shelter in Place", "The Nuptials"
2014 American Horror Story: Freak Show Vince Episodes: "Bullseye", "Test of Strength", "Blood Bath"
2015 Defiance General Rahm Tak Recurring role (season 3)
2016 NCIS: New Orleans Mike Spar Episode: "Father's Day"
2016 High Maintenance Leo Episode: "Museebat"
2016 The Strain Tardi Episodes: "First Born", "Gone But Not Forgotten", "The Battle of Central Park"
2016 Elementary Cray Fielder Episode: "Folie a Deux"
2016 Blindspot Patrick O'Malley Episode: "Condone Untidiest Thefts"
2016–2017 The Get Down Inspector Moach Episodes: "Seek Those Who Fan Your Flames", "Only from Exile Can We Come Home"
2016–2017 Outcast Blake Morrow Guest role (seasons 1–2)
2016–2017 Power Bailey Markham Episodes: "In My Best Interest", "The Kind of Man You Are", "We're in This Together"
2017 Doubt Michael Slater Episode: "Pilot"
2017–2018 Gone Mel Foster Recurring role
2018 Jack Ryan Stanley Episode: "Black 22"
2018 The Purge Joe Owens Main role
2018 Daredevil Paxton Page 2 episodes
2019 Bull Prosecutor Episode: "Into the Mystic" (season 4)
2019 Watchmen 'Mr. Shadow' Episode: "She Was Killed by Space Junk"
2021 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Erik Garrison Episode: "What Can Happen in the Dark"
2022 The Equalizer Deputy Barnes Episode: "D.W.B"
2022 A Friend of the Family Mr. Horstman Episode: "Son of Perdition"
2024 Tracker Ashton Shaw, Colter's father

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1997 Online Film & Television Association Best Drama Series Homicide: Life on the Streets Nominated
1998 Online Film & Television Association Best Ensemble in a Cable Series Oz Nominated
2002 Bordeaux International Festival of Women in Cinema Golden Wave for Best Actor Bark! Won
2007 Online Film & Television Association Best Ensemble of a Motion Picture or Miniseries Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee[15] Won
2008 Online Film & Television Association Best Ensemble of a Motion Picture or Miniseries Generation Kill[16] Won
2017 Best Shorts Competition Award of Excellence for Actor Supporting Norman Pinksi Come Home Won
2017 IndieFEST Film Awards Award of Merit for Supporting Actor Norman Pinski Come Home Won


  1. ^ ""Generation Kill" star Lee Tergesen talks about his fans". Knoxville News Sentinel. July 11, 2008. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "Star of Desert Cathedral, Lee Tergesen at the 2015 LESFF". Lower East Side Film Festival. June 20, 2015. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Alumnus Lee Tergesen To Speak at AMDA NY SUMMER 2013 Graduation" amda.edu, October 5, 2013
  4. ^ a b c Mendoza, N. F. "WITH AN EYE ON . . . : Lee Tergesen knows first-hand how 'Weird' the path is to acting" Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1995
  5. ^ Starr, Michael (August 27, 2005). "The edge of night; "Wanted" man in another gritty role". New York Post. p. 73. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  6. ^ Wayne's World tcm.com, retrieved June 2, 2019
  7. ^ Wayne's World 2 tcm.com, retrieved June 2, 2019
  8. ^ "Weird Science TV" tv.com, retrieved June 2, 2019
  9. ^ "Oz Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Lee Tergesen, Generation Kill, leetergesen.com; accessed September 28, 2016.
  11. ^ "Tergesen Off-Broadway" Internet Off-Broadway database, retrieved June 2, 2019
  12. ^ "Lee Tergesen Filmography" tcm.com, retrieved June 2, 2019
  13. ^ "Tergesen Filmography" allmovie.com, retrieved June 2, 2019
  14. ^ "Tergesen Other" allmovie.com, retrieved June 2, 2019
  15. ^ "2006-07: THE SEASON OF 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'" ofta.oscarguy.com, retrieved June 2, 2019
  16. ^ [1] www.oftaawards.com retrieved June 16, 2024

External links[edit]