Renn Hawkey

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Renn Hawkey
Born Renn McDonnell Hawkey
(1974-03-29) March 29, 1974 (age 42)
New York City, New York, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • film producer
  • actor
  • carpenter
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Vera Farmiga (m. 2008)
Children 2
Musical career
  • Synthesizer
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • cello
Associated acts

Renn McDonnell Hawkey (born March 29, 1974), also known by the stage name Dr. Nner, is an American musician, songwriter, film producer, and occasional actor. From 1996 until 2008, he played the synthesizer for the band Deadsy, performing on their self-titled debut album (1996), and the subsequent releases Commencement (2002) and Phantasmagore (2006). Following his departure from the band, his main profession is now carpentry.

Hawkey has been married to Academy Award-nominated actress Vera Farmiga since 2008. In 2011, Hawkey served as musical director and producer on Farmiga's directorial debut film Higher Ground. In 2015, he had a recurring role as Paul Koretsky on A&E's remake of The Returned.

Early life[edit]

Renn McDonnell Hawkey was born in New York City, New York on March 29, 1974,[1] to parents Penelope J. and William Stevenson Hawkey, Sr.[2][3] He has six siblings: William, Elisabeth, Adam, Robin, Timothy, and Molly Hawkey, who is an actress and photographer.[4] He was raised in Westchester County, New York. Hawkey attended Hyde School, a preparatory boarding school in Maine, where he met future bandmate Elijah Blue Allman.[5] He attended Sarah Lawrence College, but dropped out before completing his education.[5] During his childhood, Hawkey played the piano and cello.



Hawkey was the third member to join Deadsy after frontman Elijah Blue Allman sent him a Juno-106 synth and a demo tape made by Allman and drummer Alec Puro.[6] Each member of the band represented a color and "entity", with Hawkey's being yellow and science/medicine, respectively. The members also had their own unique appearance; Hawkey would dress in medical scrubs. On August 1, 1996, Deadsy released their self-titled debut album on the music label Sire Records.[7] In 1999, Deadsy received attention from labels and notable musicians, with their first gig at The Viper Room attracting members of Limp Bizkit, Orgy, Sugar Ray, and Thirty Seconds to Mars.[8]

The band's second studio album, Commencement, was released on May 14, 2002, and was their debut record released on a major music label after signing to Jonathan Davis' Elementree Records, a division of DreamWorks Records.[9][10] In addition to playing the synthesizer on Commencement, Hawkey also programmed and played guitar on a number of the tracks. The band subsequently released their first music video, for the song "The Key to Gramercy Park", with Davis providing guest vocals on the track and Fred Durst directing.[11] That same year, Deadsy was invited by Korn to join the Family Values Tour, along with Puddle of Mudd, Stone Temple Pilots, and Linkin Park.[12]

In 2002, Hawkey also worked with Thirty Seconds to Mars on their self-titled debut album, playing the synthesizer on the song "Capricorn (A Brand New Name)".[13] Deadsy left DreamWorks in 2004, citing its sale to Interscope Records as one of the reasons.[14] In 2006, Deadsy was asked to again join Korn and co-headliners Deftones on the Family Values Tour 2006.[15] The band released their third studio album, Phantasmagore, on August 22, 2006, through Immortal Records.[15] This album would ultimately mark Hawkey's final appearance as part of Deadsy. The band went on hiatus in April 2007, and a short time later, Hawkey officially left Deadsy in order to concentrate on family life.[16] He subsequently reverted to using his birth name. In 2011, Hawkey served as the musical director to his wife's directorial debut Higher Ground.[17]


Prior to being a film producer, Hawkey had a cameo role as a musician in the musical comedy film The Singing Detective (2003). As a film producer, Hawkey has worked on the drama film Higher Ground (2011), directed by his wife Vera Farmiga, in which he was also an uncredited and unnamed extra.[18] In 2015, he appeared in the first, seventh, and eighth episodes of the Carlton Cuse-produced A&E supernatural drama series The Returned in the supporting role of Paul Koretsky, a father grieving the death of his son in a fatal bus crash.[19] Hawkey will serve as an executive producer for the upcoming comedy films D.M.V. and Prima, both of which Farmiga is attached to star in.[20]

Personal life[edit]

From 2001 until 2003, Hawkey was in a relationship with Courtney Wagner, the daughter of Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood. The two lived together in Brentwood, Los Angeles.[5]

In 2004, Hawkey began dating actress Vera Farmiga after meeting on the set of her television series Touching Evil. The couple married in a private ceremony on September 13, 2008, when Farmiga was five months pregnant with their first child.[21] Their son, Fynn McDonnell Hawkey, was born on January 13, 2009 in Rhinebeck, New York.[22] It was announced in April 2010 that Hawkey and Farmiga were expecting their second child.[23] Farmiga gave birth to a daughter, Gytta Lubov Hawkey, on November 4, 2010.[24][25] The family splits their time between homes in Ulster County, New York and Vancouver, British Columbia.[26][27] Through his marriage to Farmiga, Hawkey's sister-in-law is actress Taissa Farmiga.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 The Singing Detective Dark's Bass Player Cameo
2011 Higher Ground Extra Uncredited; also producer and musical director
2015 The Returned Paul Koretsky Recurring role; 3 episodes


  1. ^ "Renn Hawkey Profile". Famous Fix. 
  2. ^ "The Feministing Five: Vera Farmiga". Feministing. August 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ Hawkey, Penny (January 23, 2002). "Greetings from the New York branch". Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Vera Farmiga: So Uniquely Vera". NUVO magazine. August 26, 2011. Her fondest memories are of summers spent in upstate New York in a 10-person tent, sitting around a campfire with her family (both she and Hawkey have six siblings)... 
  5. ^ a b c Garbarino, Steve (September 23, 2001). "Parking Strictly Prohibited". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Deadsy's Biography". February 1, 2009. 
  7. ^ Quelland, Sarah (May 2, 2002). "Dawn of the Deadsy". Metroactive Music. 
  8. ^ Johnson, Tina (December 6, 1999). "Korn, Limp Bizkit, Orgy, Sugar Ray Come Out For Deadsy". MTV. 
  9. ^ Dansby, Andrew (October 31, 2001). "Korn's Davis Exhumes Deadsy". Rolling Stone. 
  10. ^ Nichols, Natalie (August 29, 2002). "Blue Man's Group". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ Moss, Corey (April 3, 2002). "Deadsy Hold Their Breath For Durst-Directed Video". MTV. 
  12. ^ "Korn Taps Puddle Of Mudd, Deadsy For Tour". Billboard. April 18, 2002. 
  13. ^ 30 Seconds to Mars (Booklet). Thirty Seconds to Mars. Europe: Immortal Records. 2002. 7243 8 12424 0 7. 
  14. ^ "DEADSY Confirm Split With DREAMWORKS RECORDS". April 29, 2004. 
  15. ^ a b "KORN Frontman: 'I Love Giving Artists A Chance To Get Their Stuff Out There'". August 24, 2006. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Vera Farmiga: rare breed". The Daily Telegraph. August 30, 2008. Hawkey used to play keyboards for a goth band named Deadsy, but has recently given that up – 'it was too rough-and-tumble a lifestyle, I think' – to become a carpenter. 
  17. ^ a b Dodes, Rachel (August 19, 2011). "Saving It By Directing It". The Wall Street Journal. 
  18. ^ Drake, Rossiter (September 9, 2011). "'Higher Ground' is Vera Farmiga's unexpected chance at the helm". The San Francisco Examiner. 
  19. ^ "Renn Hawkey: Guest Star - The Returned". Retrieved June 10, 2015. 
  20. ^ Trumbore, Dave (February 6, 2014). "Vera Farmiga Stars in PRIMA; Clea Duvall Joins YOUR RIGHT MIND; Jeremy Sumpter in Talks for TAKE DOWN". 
  21. ^ "Vera Farmiga Expecting a Baby Boy, Shares Due Date". People. November 6, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Vera Farmiga Felt the Pressure to Bounce Back After Baby". People. July 7, 2009. 
  23. ^ Everett, Cristina (April 20, 2010). "Vera Farmiga and former Deadsy rocker Renn Hawkey expecting second child". New York Daily News. 
  24. ^ Michaud, Sarah (November 11, 2010). "Vera Farmiga Welcomes Daughter". People. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  25. ^ Jordan, Julie (November 11, 2010). "It's a Girl for Vera Farmiga". People. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Celebrities Raising Families Outside Hollywood". January 31, 2013. 
  27. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (May 23, 2014). "Drama Actress Roundtable: Watch the Full, Uncensored Conversation With Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 

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