Max Adler (actor)

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Max Adler
Adler in 2011
Born (1986-01-17) January 17, 1986 (age 34)
Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
EducationHorizon High School
Years active2006–present
Jennifer Bronstein
(m. 2015)

Max Adler (born January 17, 1986) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Dave Karofsky on the television series Glee (2009–2015).

Early life[edit]

Adler was born to a Jewish family in Queens, New York, the eldest son of Lisa (nėe Kobrin) and Doug Adler.[1][2] A year after Adler was born, his family relocated to Fountain Hills, Arizona, then to Scottsdale, Arizona. Adler attended Horizon High School, where he was a First Chair All-State show choir member.[3][4][5] After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.[6] Adler has a younger brother named Jake, born in 1992.[1]


After various roles in a number of productions, Adler was cast in a minor recurring role in the Fox television series Glee as school jock and bully Dave Karofsky.[4] Glee creator Ryan Murphy was impressed with his acting and wanted to write more with him.[7] In the November 2010 episode "Never Been Kissed", written to tackle the issue of LGBT youth bullying, Karofsky is revealed to be a closeted gay teen.[8][9] Adler had previously questioned his character's motivations, but was surprised by the scene in which Karofsky kisses the object of his bullying, openly gay student Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer).[4][10] He received a positive response via the social networking websites Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, and commented that he was "glad to represent such a large group of people". He expanded on this, saying, "I've gotten so many messages from people all around the world these last couple of days thanking me because either they are Karofsky, they were Karofsky or they know a Karofsky."[4] The character eventually gives up his bullying and makes his peace with Kurt, but he remains closeted. Adler has been praised for his performance in episode 3x14, "On My Way", during which, after his character is outed, he attempts suicide.

Adler is a resident artist with The Porters of Hellsgate theatre company in Los Angeles, appearing in three Shakespearean productions with them since 2008.[11]

From 2014 to 2017, Adler had a recurring role as Tank, Bay's college friend on Switched at Birth.

In 2014, Adler played the role of Baker in the religious satire Believe Me.


Following the Glee episode "Never Been Kissed", Adler was contacted by the It Gets Better Project, an internet based project founded by Dan Savage and his husband, Terry Miller,[12] which aims to prevent suicide among LGBT youth. Adler recorded a heartfelt video for the project, offering words of hope and encouragement for kids and teens facing bullying due to their sexual orientation. Through playing one of the most well-known bullies on television, Adler offers viewers insight and advice, telling viewers, "most bullies are extremely insecure, and want to knock you down a peg to feel better about themselves. So, being who you are is what's awesome. It's what makes you special, interesting, fun to talk to, [and] desirable."[13][14]

On November 15, 2010, Adler spoke at the Anti-Defamation League Concert Against Hate at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C..[15]

Adler has also worked with the FSHD Society and MDA to help raise awareness for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and other hereditary muscle diseases.[5][16] Adler's mother and grandmother suffered from relatively severe forms of FSHD. Because of the support that his mother gave him in becoming an actor, he feels that devoting time to raising money for MDA is a way for him to return the favor to her.[17]

Adler, under "Team Max" is the host of the Celebrity Charity Walk 'n' Roll for FSHD to help raise funds directly for research of FSHD, one of the most prevalent muscular dystrophies.[18] The walk is for the benefit of the FSHD Society, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind solely dedicated to finding a treatment or cure for FSHD.

Personal life[edit]

In 2012, Adler became engaged to his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Bronstein; he proposed while they were visiting Rome.[19] They were married on December 19, 2015. In January 2020, he announced that they were expecting their first child together.[20] On March 27, 2020, the couple welcomed their first child, Dylan Remington.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Curt's Brain Thompson Short film
2006 The Deported Trailor: The Spoof Trailor of the Departed Captain Qeeninz Short film
2011 Wolf Town Ben
2012 Sweet Old World Groom #3
2012 Detention of the Dead Jimmy
2013 Love and Honor Burns
2013 23 Blast Cameron Marshall
2014 Saugatuck Cures Drew Callaghan
2014 Believe Me Baker
2016 The Midnight Man Simmons
2016 Café Society Walt Uncredited
2016 The Binding David
2016 Sully Jimmy Stefanik
2017 Mope Chris
2018 Fishbowl California Billy Kobrin
2018 Snapshots Joe Muller
2019 Radioflash Police Officer
2020 The Trial of the Chicago 7 Officer Stan Wojohowski


Year Title Role Notes
2006 What About Brian Frat guy #1 Episode: "What About Denial..."
2006 Ghost Whisperer Craig Episode: "Giving Up the Ghost"
2007 Viva Laughlin Chuck Episode: "What a Whale Wants"
2009 Valley Peaks Anderson Lord Guthrie Web series; 3 episodes
2009 Cold Case Rookie (1994) Episode: "Into the Blue" (uncredited)
2009–2015 Glee Dave Karofsky 29 episodes
2010 The Defenders Robert Church Episode: "Pilot"
2011 The Glee Project Himself (guest judge/mentor) 2 episodes
2012 Last Resort Stern Episode: "Captain"
2013 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Kyle Banks Episode: "Passed Pawns"
2014–2017 Switched at Birth Miles "Tank" Conroy 21 episodes
2015 Blue Bloods Andy Fisher Episode: "Power Players"
2015 The Big Bang Theory Zombie Episode: "The Intimacy Acceleration"
2016 Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life Tommy Hench Episode: "How to Survive Your Emotional Baggage"
2016 Rizzoli & Isles Steve Browning Episode: "Ocean Frank"
2017 Bones Randy Stringer Episode: "The Final Chapter: The Brain in the Bot"
2017 The Young and the Restless Jesse Smith 7 episodes
2017 The Night Shift Corporal Steven Mason Episode: "Turbulence"
2018 Criminal Minds Assistant Chief Jimmy Mackenzie Episode: "Full-Tilt Boogie"
2018 The Flash Jaco Birch Episode: "Run, Iris, Run"
2018 Famous in Love Derek Bagotti Episode: "Reality Bites Back"
2018 Mom Officer Blankenship Episode: "Phone Confetti and a Wee Dingle"
2019 Into the Dark Officer Freer Episode: "The Body"
2019 Shameless Eric Episode: "The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Alibi"
2019 9-1-1 Sam Episode: "Ocean's 9-1-1"
2019 The Filth Jake Douglas Episode: "Filthy Bro Day"
2020 The Rookie Cisco Fane Episode: "The Hunt"


  1. ^ a b Velez, Tiana. "Glee Bully Shares a Softer Side". Quest Magazine. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  2. ^ Bloom, Nate. "Jews in the News". Let My People Grow. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Horizon High School Show Choir a Real-Life Glee". KSAZ-TV. Fox Broadcasting Company. October 18, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d Nguyen, Hanh (November 11, 2010). "'Glee' bully Max Adler kisses and tells about Kurt, Karofsky". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services. Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Keck, William (Apr 18, 2011). "Keck's Exclusives: Glee's Max Adler on Karofsky's Future". TV Guide. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  6. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Glee's Max Adler – The Kiss That Still Has Lips Flapping". RadarOnline. November 23, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  7. ^ Mead, Mike (February 11, 2011). Gay Times (389): 49. If you look back at season one we set it up in the Lady Gaga episode when Kurt is particularly attacked by one football player. I thought the actor was so good I wanted to write more.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  8. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (November 9, 2010). "Ryan Murphy Brings a Bullying Story to 'Glee'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  9. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (November 10, 2010). "Teenage Dreams and Nightmares: Talking 'Never Been Kissed' With Ryan Murphy of 'Glee'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  10. ^ Warner, Kara (November 16, 2010). "'Glee' Bully Max Adler 'As Shocked As Anyone' By Kiss Scene". MTV. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  11. ^ "Meet the Porters". The Porters of Hellsgate Official Website
  12. ^ "Authors @ Google: Dan Savage and Terry Miller on the It Gets Better Project". Archived from the original on 3 June 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  13. ^ Flandez, Raymund (November 16, 2010). "'Glee' Bully Max Adler Becomes Anti-Gay Bullying Advocate". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  14. ^ Holmes, Linda (November 16, 2010). "Remember That Bully From 'Glee'? He's Got An 'It Gets Better' Video". NPR. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  15. ^ "Popular TV Show Cast Members Take a Stand Against Bullying". WTTG. Fox Broadcasting Company. November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  16. ^ "MDA Matters Spring 2011". Quest Magazine Online. Muscular Dystrophy Association. March 31, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  17. ^ Velez, Tania (July 1, 2011). "Glee's Bully Shares a Softer Side with MDA". Quest Magazine Online. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "Newsroom". 22 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Glee's Max Adler is Engaged to Longtime Girlfriend: All the Details!". 20 September 2013.
  20. ^ "Former Glee Star Max Adler and Wife Jennifer Expecting Baby Boy: 'Can't Wait to Meet Our Son'". Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  21. ^ "It's a Boy! Former Glee Star Max Adler and Wife Jennifer Welcome Son Dylan Remington".

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