Michael Zegen

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Michael Zegen
Michael Zegen TIFF 2012.jpg
BornMichael Jonathan Zegen[1]
(1979-02-20) February 20, 1979 (age 39)
Ridgewood, New Jersey, U.S.
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
Other namesMike Zegen
EducationSkidmore College
Years active2002 – present

Michael Jonathan "Mike" Zegen (born February 20, 1979) is an American actor, best known for his role as probie firefighter Damien Keefe on the FX Network television drama Rescue Me, as well as his recurring role as Dwight the Troubled Teen on over 50 episodes of the Late Show with David Letterman.

Life and career[edit]

Zegen was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, to a teacher mother and a lawyer father. He has two brothers.[1] He is Jewish, and his grandparents are Holocaust survivors.[2][3][4] Zegen is a 2001 graduate of Skidmore College.[5] He is a member of the New York City sketch comedy troupe "Hottie$ Galore".[6]

His role on Rescue Me began as a recurring character in Seasons 1-3, playing the nephew of series lead Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary). In Seasons 5-6, he was promoted to the main cast when his character began probationary firefighter school to become a firefighter.[7]

In late 2010, Zegen was cast as gangster Bugsy Siegel for the second, third and fifth season of the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire.[8] In 2011 Zegen, along with James Ransone, were cast in supporting roles in the HBO comedy series How To Make It In America. In mid-2011, Zegen was cast in a recurring guest role in the second season of the AMC series The Walking Dead.[9] In 2014 he created the role of Liam off-Broadway in the dark comedy Bad Jews.[1][3]


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Bittersweet Place Todd
2007 The Girl Next Door Eddie
2008 Assassination of a High School President Steven Lohman
2009 Adventureland Eric
Taking Woodstock Bernie (Young Man #1)
The Box Garcin
2012 Frances Ha Benji
2015 Brooklyn Maurizio
2018 Tyrel
The Seagull Mikhail
Year Title Role Notes
2004 The Sopranos Partygoer 1 episode
2004–11 Rescue Me Damien Keefe 42 episodes
2006 Love Monkey Luther 1 episode
2009 Mercy Jason Keener 1 episode
2011 How to Make It in America Andy Sussman 4 episodes (Season 2)
2011–14 Boardwalk Empire Benny "Bugsy" Siegel 11 episodes (Seasons 2–3; 5)
2012 The Walking Dead Randall Culver 4 episodes (Season 2)
2014 Girls Joe 3 episodes (Season 3)
2017–present The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Joel Maisel 7 episodes


  1. ^ a b c Blank, Matthew (October 15, 2013). "Playbill.com's Cue & A: "Boardwalk Empire" and Bad Jews Star Michael Zegen". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Allure of the Jewish Tough Guy, From 'Exodus' to 'Boardwalk Empire'". The Atlantic. June 30, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2012. Zegen, a young Jewish actor from the suburbs of Jersey,...
  3. ^ a b "Bad Jews Kvetching Over Good Soup Off-Broadway". TheaterMania.com. December 3, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2013. My grandfather (who was a Holocaust survivor) discovered years after that his brother had survived (also),...
  4. ^ Posted December 24, 2015 / Lonnie Firestone, JTA (2015-12-24). "From HBO to Arthur Miller, what a 'tough guy' actor learned from his Jewish grandma". AZ Jewish Post. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  5. ^ "2001 Graduates" (PDF). Skidmore College.
  6. ^ IMDB bio for Michael Zegen
  7. ^ "Actor Michael Zegen of 'Rescue Me' opens up about playing a brain-dead firefighter". Los Angeles Times. September 1, 2010.
  8. ^ "Catching Up With Boardwalk Empire Actor Michael Zegen". www.pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Walking Dead's Michael Zegen Eulogizes [Spoiler]". tvline.com. Retrieved 22 September 2016.

External links[edit]