Robert Joy

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Robert Joy
Robert Joy cropped.jpg
Born (1951-08-17) August 17, 1951 (age 71)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Years active1974–present
Mary Joy
(m. 1979, divorced)

Robert Joy (born August 17, 1951) is a Canadian actor. He is best known for his role as medical examiner Sid Hammerback on the police procedural series CSI: NY, and his appearances in the films Atlantic City (1980), Ragtime (1981), Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), and The Hills Have Eyes (2006). He is a two-time Genie Award nominee for Best Supporting Actor; for Atlantic City and Whole New Thing.

Joy has also worked extensively on the stage, particularly in Shakespearean productions, in both Canada and the United States. Earlier in his career, he was closely affiliated with Newfoundland comedy troupe CODCO.

Early life[edit]

Joy was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada[1] and grew up in St. John's, Newfoundland.[2] He is the son of Flora Louise (née Pike) and Dr. Clifton Joseph Joy, a physician and politician.[3] He attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford, on a Rhodes Scholarship and Memorial University of Newfoundland.[4]


Joy played Madonna's punk musician boyfriend Jim in 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan, and the Dutch-Israeli Hans in the 1986 Alliance/CTV production Sword of Gideon, an adaptation of George Jonas's book Vengeance.

In 1998, he appeared in Gregory Hoblit's thriller Fallen, where he fit into the all-star cast that included Denzel Washington, Donald Sutherland, James Gandolfini, and John Goodman. In 2005, he had a lead role as the simple-minded sharpshooter Charlie Houx in George A. Romero's zombie film Land of the Dead.

In the fall of 2005, Joy joined the CBS police procedural series CSI: NY during its second season as a recurring character, Dr. Sid Hammerback, the Chief Medical Examiner, and became a main cast member in season five. Joy stated, "I basically read the script and then look up everything on Wikipedia that I don't know, and try to find out how to pronounce all the long words and get my head around actually what it is that I'm conveying, because often my character has a lot of explaining to do."[5]

In 2006, Joy appeared onscreen in Alexandre Aja's remake of The Hills Have Eyes where he portrays a mutant named Lizard. He also starred as Ted Bedworth, father of Samaire Armstrong's character Nell Bedworth, in the 2006 romantic comedy It's a Boy Girl Thing. In 2007, Joy played the character of Colonel Stevens in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. He appeared as Dr. Stephen Hawking in the comedy Superhero Movie in 2008.

In addition to his acting, Joy was frequently associated with the Newfoundland-based CODCO, working with the comedy troupe on many of their pre-television stage shows and appearing as a guest performer in the series. He also co-starred in the 1986 Andy Jones film, The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood, the only film that features the entire cast of CODCO.

He appeared as himself in the 2012 documentary film That Guy... Who Was in That Thing.

Joy has had on-going stage engagements on Broadway and throughout US, most recently appearing as Charles in King Charles III at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC (February 7 - March 18, 2017).[6] and as Crito and the poet Mellitus in “Socrates” at The Public Theater, New York, NY, which ran from April through June 3, 2019.

Personal life[edit]

Joy is divorced from actress Mary Joy. They have one daughter, Ruby Joy, who is an actress. In the summer of 2011, Joy and his daughter performed together in Shakespeare's The Tempest.[7] Joy was formerly the partner of actor William Duff-Griffin, who died from prostate cancer on November 13, 1994,[8] and has been in a relationship with Broadway composer Henry Krieger since 1995.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Atlantic City Dave Matthews Nominated – Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
1981 Ticket to Heaven Patrick
Threshold David Art
Ragtime Henry "Harry" Kendall Thaw
1983 Amityville 3-D Elliot West
1985 Desperately Seeking Susan Jim
Terminal Choice Dr. Harvey Rimmer
Joshua Then and Now Colin Fraser
1986 The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood Eddie Peddle Also composer
1987 Radio Days Fred
Big Shots Dickie
1988 The Suicide Club Michael Collins
1989 She's Back Paul
Millennium Sherman the Robot
Longtime Companion Ron
1991 Shadows and Fog Spiro's Assistant
1993 The Dark Half Fred Clawson
1994 Death Wish V: The Face of Death Freddie Flakes
1995 Waterworld Ledger Guy
1995 A Modern Affair Sperm Bank Technician
1996 Harriet the Spy Ben Welsch
1997 Henry & Verlin Ferris
1998 Fallen Charles Olom
1999 Resurrection Gerald Demus
2000 Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace [de] Manfred Roeder
2001 Perfume Andrew
2001 Sweet November Raeford Dunne
2001 The Shipping News EMS Officer
2005 Land of the Dead Charlie
Whole New Thing Rog
2006 The Hills Have Eyes Lizard
Dinner For One Man
It's a Boy Girl Thing Ted Bedworth
2007 Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Col. Stevens
2008 Superhero Movie Dr. Stephen Hawking
Down to the Dirt Robert Kavanagh
2018 Crown and Anchor Doug
2019 The Goldfinch Welton "Welty" Blackwell
2021 Don't Look Up Congressman Tenant


Year Title Role Notes
1974 The National Dream: Building the Impossible Railway Carter TV miniseries
1981 Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper Mark Lijek TV movie
1985–1989 The Equalizer Jacob Stock 5 episodes
1985 Moonlighting Clark Greydon 1 episode: "My Fair David"
1986 Miracle at Moreaux Major Braun TV movie
Sword of Gideon Hans TV movie
1987 The Lawrenceville Stories Mr. Tapping TV miniseries
1989 Miami Vice Sebastian Ross 1 episode: "Miami Squeeze"
1990 Judgment Mr. Hummel TV movie
1991 Grand Larceny Henry Piggott TV movie
The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd Christopher DeWitt 1 episode: "Here's How to Break the Other Leg"
Hyde in Hollywood Julian Hyde TV movie
1992 The Ray Bradbury Theater Booth 1 episode: "Downwind from Gettysburg"
1993 Dieppe Hughes-Hallett TV movie
Gregory K Ralph Kingsley TV movie
Maniac Mansion Pony 1 episode: "Love Letters"
Woman on Trial: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story Sheldon Zenner TV movie
Tracey Ullman Takes on New York Disgruntled Ex-Employee TV movie
1995 Law & Order Leo Barnett 1 episode: "Pride"
New York Undercover Glenn Holloway 1 episode: "Tag, You're Dead"
The Marshal Thomas Borden 1 episode: "Pass the Gemelli"
Side Effects Connor Dennison 1 episode: "Paying the Price"
1996 Wings Dr. Grayson 1 episode: "One Flew Over the Cooper's Nest"
The Nerd Rick Steadman TV pilot
Dangerous Offender: The Marlene Moore Story Dr. Steve Gibson TV movie
Moonlight Becomes You Earl Bateman TV movie
1998 Law & Order Louis Dutton 1 episode: "Stalker"
The Outer Limits Dr. Greg Olander 1 episode: "Identity Crisis"
1999 Becker Tetzoff 1 episode: "P.C. World"
Seasons of Love Jim Brewster TV movie
Snoops Walter Byrd 1 episode: "Singer in the Band"
Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place Ed 1 episode: "Halloween 2: Mind Over Body"
2000 Nash Bridges Norman Craft 1 episode: "Heist"
Relic Hunter Dr. Flaubert 1 episode: "Dagger of Death"
2001 Haven Lawrence Dickson TV movie
Star Trek: Voyager Inspector Yerid 1 episode: "Workforce: Part 2"
61* Bob Fitschel TV movie
Titus Father Crawford 1 episode: "The Wedding"
Gideon's Crossing Andy Alter 1 episode: "Is There a Wise Man in the House?"
Just Ask My Children Sam Bennis TV movie
The Guardian Larry Hines 1 episode: "Loyalties"
2002 Crossing Jordan Ethan Grady 1 episode: "Blood Relatives"
MDs Frank Coones All 10 episodes
2003 The Agency Mr. Thornby 1 episode: "Absolute Bastard"
Without a Trace Josh's Father 1 episode: "Victory for Humanity"
Alias Dr. Hans Jürgens 1 episode: "Second Double"
2004 Malcolm in the Middle Danny 1 episode: "Hot Tub"
Helter Skelter Detective Morrisy TV movie
Sex Traffic Major James Brooke TV movie
Everybody Loves Raymond Mr. Putnam 1 episode: "Ally's F"
2004–2005 Boston Legal A.D.A. Preston 2 episodes: "Change of Course" and "Tortured Souls"
2005 Medium Dr. Kenneth Holloway 1 episode: "Penny for Your Thoughts"
E-Ring Mark Boskovich 1 episode: "Pilot"
2005–2013 CSI: NY Dr. Sid Hammerback 168 episodes; main character
2006 Commander in Chief Frank Devane 1 episode: "State of the Unions"
2010, 2013 Republic of Doyle Al Kavanagh 3 episodes
2014 Grey's Anatomy Marty 1 episode: "I'm Winning"
The Mentalist Alexander Lark 1 episode: "Black Hearts"
The Good Wife Wendell Keller 1 episode: "Dear God"
2015 Defiance Monguno's Father 2 episodes
Hand of God Ira Goldstein 2 episodes
2021 Prodigal Son Gerald Morris 1 episode: "Exit Strategy"


  1. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (June 28, 2011). "CSI: Barrie – Robert Joy tackles The Tempest" Archived 2011-07-04 at the Wayback Machine. Toronto Star. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  2. ^ "Robert Joy: Frank Coones on MDs". WCHS-TV. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  3. ^ "Robert Joy Biography (1951–)". Film Reference. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  4. ^ "Robert Joy Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  5. ^ Joy, Robert. "'Production: Shoot to Kill' – CSI: NY (season 5)", (@5:34). CBS Broadcasting, Inc., 2009. DVD.
  6. ^ "King Charles III 16-17".
  7. ^ Blenkhorn, Leigh (June 9, 2011). "CSI: NY coroner plays Prospero". Barrie Advance (Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada). Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  8. ^ " "William Duff-Griffin, Stage Actor, Dies". The New York Times, November 22, 1994.
  9. ^ Doolan, Susan (June 11, 2011). "Joy gets to join his daughter on stage". The Barrie Examiner (Barrie, Ontario, Canada). Retrieved June 15, 2011.

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