Michael O'Neill (actor)

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Michael O'Neill
Born (1951-05-29) May 29, 1951 (age 64)
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.[1]
Alma mater Auburn University (1974)
Occupation actor

Michael O'Neill (born May 29)[1] is an American actor.

Early life and education[edit]

O'Neill was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama.[1] He attended Capitol Heights Junior High and Robert E. Lee High School, graduating in 1969. In high school he played basketball and was elected class beau and a class favorite. He graduated from Auburn University in 1974.[2][3] After attending Auburn, he spent time under the tutelage of actor Will Geer[4] and one of Geer's daughters, the actress Ellen Geer, at Theatricum Botanicum in Los Angeles before moving to New York to pursue his career there.


With a career stretching through three decades, he usually portrays senior law enforcement or military officers. He played Special Agent Ron Butterfield, the head of President Josiah Bartlet's Secret Service detail, on The West Wing, and CTU Administrative Director Richard Walsh in the first two episodes of 24. He played Sgt. Maj. Ron Cheals in CBS' action drama series The Unit. He starred in the Season 6 two-part finale of Grey's Anatomy as the broken widower who holds the hospital hostage with a 9mm while pursuing the doctors responsible for unplugging his wife. His most notable film performances occur in Seabiscuit, Secondhand Lions, Transformers, Dancer, Texas Pop. 81, Traffic, Sea of Love, A Quiet Little Marriage, Nothing but the Truth, and Green Zone, "J. Edgar", directed by Clint Eastwood, and "Dallas Buyers Club".

Personal life[edit]

O'Neill splits his time between Los Angeles and Birmingham, Alabama,[1] where he lives with his wife and three daughters.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1981 Ghost Story Churchill
1989 Sea of Love Raymond Brown
1992 The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag Jergens
1992 Jennifer Eight Angelo Serato
1992 Lorenzo's Oil School Psychologist
1993 For Their Own Good Clark Thompson Television movie
1993 Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story Dick Britton Television movie
1994 Blind Justice Spencer Heyman Television movie
1994 Beyond Betrayal Ray Pasquerello Television movie
1994 On Trial Himself Television movie
1995 Awake to Danger Detective Brickman Television movie
1995 Bushwhacked Jon Jordan
1996 Norma Jean & Marilyn Mr. Kimmel Television movie
1996 The Sunchaser Agent Moreland
1998 Standoff Cult Leader (voice)
1998 Host N/A Television movie
1998 Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 Mr. Lusk
1999 The Mod Squad Det. Carl Greene
1999 A.T.F. Ben Walker Television movie, Assistant Director
1999 The Legend of Bagger Vance O.B. Keeler
2000 Traffic Lawyer Rodman
2002 The Board Room Walters
2003 Dreamcatcher Gen. Matheson
2003 Seabiscuit Mr. Pollard
2003 Secondhand Lions Ralph
2004 American Crime Sheriff Smyth Direct-to-video
2004 Around the Bend Cowboy
2007 Transformers Tom Banacheck
2007 Across the Universe Lucy and Max's uncle at dinner
2007 Crazy Ralph Christianson
2008 A Quiet Little Marriage Bruce
2010 Green Zone Colonel Bethel
2011 J. Edgar Senator McKellar
2013 Dallas Buyers Club Barkley


Year Title Role Notes
1990 H.E.L.P. Cabot Episode: "Are You There, Alpha Centauri?"
1992 L.A. Law Mr. Moran Episode: "My Friend Flicker"
1994 Picket Fences Prosecutor Larry Adler Episode: "System Down"
1995 Days of Our Lives Father Jansen 2 episodes
1995 One West Waikiki N/A Episode: "Manpower"
1996 The Cape Keith Mason Episode: "The Need to Know"
1997 The Pretender Captain Harrigan Episode: "The Better Part of Valor"
1997 Millennium County Prosecutor Calvin Smith Episode: "Covenant"
1997 Orleans N/A Episode: "Luther's Temptation"
1997 The Shining (TV mini-series) Dr. Daniel Edwards Episode: "#1.2"
1998 The X-Files The Patrol Captain Episode: "Drive"
1999 Roswell Phillip Evans Episode: "The Morning After"
1999 JAG Cmdr. Bradley Episode: "Shakedown"
1999–2006 The West Wing Secret Service Agent Ron Butterfield 15 episodes
2000 Chicago Hope Bill Wyzinski Episode: "Everybody's Special at Chicago Hope"
2001 NYPD Blue Capt. Chuck Dowling Episode: "Peeping Tommy"
2001 Diagnosis: Murder Sheriff Buck O'Hara Episode: "No Good Deed"
2001 24 Richard Walsh 2 episodes
2001–2002 Boston Public Dr. Bernard Colbert 4 episodes
2002 Ally McBeal Dr. Colbert Episode: "All of Me"
2002 Without a Trace Thomas Shannon Episode: "Silent Partner"
2003 Presidio Med N/A Episode: "Breathless"
2003 Carnivàle Sheiff Lyle Donovan Episode: "Tipton"
2004 The Practice Judge Robert Temple Episode: "Police State"
2004 Judging Amy D.A. Dave Sherman Episode: "My Little Runaway"
2004 Crossing Jordan Chris Benz Episode: "Out of Sight"
2004 LAX Alonso Mathews Episode: "Unscheduled Arrivals"
2005 Boston Legal Dr. Robert McLean Episode: "It Girls and Beyond"
2005 Cold Case Warren Cousins 2005 Episode: "Revolution"
2005 ER Col. Ken Kilner Episode: "Here and There"
2005 Commander in Chief Congressman Wilcox Episode: "First Strike, First Scandal"
2005 JAG Maj. Gen. Harold Rossing Episode: "Fair Winds and Following Seas"
2006 Close to Home Don Wheeler Episode: "The Rapist Next Door"
2006 3 lbs James Wills Episode: "Lost for Words"
2006–2007 The Unit Ron Cheals 6 episodes
2006–2007 The Nine Pete Burton 3 episodes
2007 Lincoln Heights Captain Episode: "Suspicion"
2007 K-Ville Father Dennehy Episode: "Critical Mass"
2007 Criminal Minds Det. Yarbough Episode: "About Face"
2008 Women's Murder Club FBI Agent Ted Thorne Episode: "Never Tell"
2008 The Mentalist Sheriff Nelson Episode: "Redwood"
2008 Prison Break Herb Stanton 3 episodes
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Alexander DeSantos Episode: "Love in All the Wrong Places"
2008 Leverage Judge Roy Episode: "The Bank Shot Job"
2009 FlashForward CIA Director Mr. Keller Episode: "Gimme Some Truth"
2009 Ghost Whisperer Male Ghost Episode: "Ghost Busted"
2009 Army Wives Reverent Bankerd 2 episodes
2009 Sons of Anarchy Judge Franklin Episode: "Fa Guan"
2010 Numb3rs Boyd Keene Episode: "Scratch"
2010 Fringe Sheriff Velchik Episode: "Johari Window"
2010 Miami Medical Dr. Bruce Kaye 2 episodes
2010 Grey's Anatomy Gary Clark 4 episodes
2010–2012 NCIS Former NCIS Special Agent Riley McCallister 3 episodes
2012 Vegas Mayor Ted Bennett 4 episodes
2013–2015 Rectify Senator Roland Foulkes 14 episodes
2014 Bates Motel Nick Ford 8 episodes
2014 Extant Alan Sparks 12 episodes
2015 Battle Creek Councilman Pritchett Episode: "Old Wounds"


  1. ^ a b c d "Extant Cast: Michael O'Neill". CBS.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ Watkins, Mia (September 12, 2012). "'Vegas,' 'Grey's Anatomy' star Michael O'Neill moves back to Alabama". The Birmingham News. AL.com. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ Seckinger, Kate (April 9, 2014). "Actor Michael O'Neill discusses life after Auburn". The Auburn Plainsman. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Drew (March 2, 2014). "Auburn grad worked on Oscar-nominated film ‘Dallas Buyers Club’". Opelika-Auburn News. 
  5. ^ Munn, Patrick (July 8, 2014). "Interview: Michael O’Neill Talks CBS’ ‘Extant’, Working With Halle Berry & More". TV Wise. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. 

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