Stephen Kunken

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Stephen Kunken
Stephen Michael Kunken

c. 1971 (age 47–48)
ResidenceBrooklyn, New York
EducationTufts University (BA)
Juilliard School (GrDip)
Jenn Thompson (m. 2005)

Stephen Michael Kunken (born c. 1971) is an American actor. He is known for the roles of Ari Spyros on Showtime's Billions and Commander Putnam on Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale. His film work includes work with Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Ang Lee, Barry Levinson, and others. Kunken is most readily known for his Tony award nomination for playing Andy Fastow in the Broadway play Enron, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Play. Other Broadway credits include Frost/Nixon and Rock 'n' Roll'.

Early life and education[edit]

Kunken was raised on Long Island in Upper Brookville, New York. His father is a dentist and his mother is a former grade school teacher.[1] Kunken received a B.A. degree from Tufts University in 1993.[2] He is a graduate of the Juilliard School's Graduate Acting program, where as a member of the Drama Division's Group 26 (1993–1997) he was awarded both The John Houseman Prize and the Pearl and Rolands Grant. His classmates included David Denman and Alan Tudyk.[3]


Kunken has appeared on Broadway as David Halberstam in David Auburn's The Columnist (2012);[4] opposite Kathleen Turner in High (2011);[5] Tom Stoppard’s Rock 'n' Roll (2007);[6] Frost/Nixon (2007) (for which he received Outer Critics Circle Award (Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play) and Drama League Award nominations),;[7] Festen (2006);[8] and Proof (replacement, 2002).[9] For his role as CFO Andrew Fastow in Lucy Prebble's Enron, he received a 2010 Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Play.[10]

Off-Broadway, he played Tim Andrews in the award-winning Richard Nelson cycle of Apple Plays, which includes That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet and Sad, and Regular Singing in 2013 at The Public.[11][12]

He played the title role as Nikolai Nabakov in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Richard Nelson's Nikolai and the Others in 2013.[13] He has appeared as Dr. Phil in the critically acclaimed production of Kate Fodor's romantic comedy RX (2012, Primary Stages production);[14] as the Stage Manager in the 2009 David Cromer-directed revival of Thornton Wilder's Our Town (replacement as of January 5, 2010, Barrow Street Theatre);[15] Theresa Rebeck's Our House (2009, Playwrights Horizons);[16] Fabulation at Playwrights Horizons (2004);[17] A Very Common Procedure by Courtney Baron at Manhattan Class Company (2007)[18] (for which he received a Drama League Award nomination); Journals of Mihail Sebastian by David Auburn with the Keen Company in 2004[19] and Misalliance at the Roundabout Theatre Company (1997).[20][21]

He performed in The Story (2003),[22] Henry VIII (1997)[23] and A Dybbuk (1997) at the Public Theater.[24]

Regionally, Kunken has appeared in Quartermaine’s Terms (2009),[25] True West (2009),[26] Three Sisters as Solyony (2008) all at the Williamstown Theatre Festival;[27] and Mister Roberts as Doc at the Kennedy Center in 2005,[28] among many other credits.

His television credits include: Unforgettable, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Gossip Girl, The Unusuals, New Amsterdam, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, The Sopranos, Spin City, Far East (2001, TV movie), Mary and Rhoda (2000, TV movie)[29] and The Affair.[30][31]

In film, Kunken's work includes The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Still Alice (2014),[32] Café Society (2016), A Birder's Guide to Everything (2014),[33] The Bay (2012),[34] Price Check (2012),[35] Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), All Good Things (2010), Taking Woodstock (2009), The Girl in the Park (2008),[36] Wait 'til This Year, Light and the Sufferer (2014),[37] and Bamboozled (2000).[38][39][31]

Personal life[edit]

Kunken is married to stage director Jenn Thompson[40] since September 2005.[41][42] The couple reside in Brooklyn with their daughter, Naomi,[1] whom they adopted from Ethiopia.[43]


  1. ^ a b Blank, Matthew (April 19, 2011). "CUE & A: High's Stephen Kunken". Archived from the original on December 18, 2011.
  2. ^ "In The Spotlight: Stephen Kunken". E-News. Tufts University. January 9, 2004.
  3. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11.
  4. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "John Lithgow Is David Auburn's 'The Columnist', Beginning Broadway Previews April 4" Playbill, April 4, 2012
  5. ^ " 'High', Starring Kathleen Turner, Will Bow at Broadway’s Booth Theatre", January 21, 2011
  6. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Going to Prague in 1968, but Not Without His Vinyl" The New York Times, November 5, 2007
  7. ^ "Outer Critics Circle 2006-2007 nominations announced", April 23, 2007
  8. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Haunting Memories of Daddy Dearest in 'Festen' " The New York Times, April 10, 2006
  9. ^ " 'Proof' Replacement", retrieved October 29, 2017
  10. ^ "'Enron' to close following Tony noms" Variety, May 5, 2010
  11. ^ Rickwald, Bethany. "A Look at Richard Nelson's 'That Hopey Changey Thing' at The Public", October 24, 2013
  12. ^ That Hopey Changey Thing, retrieved October 29, 2017
  13. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Famous Russian House Guests, With Plenty of Baggage" The New York Times, May 6, 2013
  14. ^ Stasio, Marilyn. "Review. 'RX" " Variety, February 7, 2010
  15. ^ "David Cromer to Return to 'Our Town'; Stephen Kunken to Follow", December 15, 2009
  16. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott. "Morena Baccarin, Stephen Kunken, Jeremy Strong, Christopher Evan Welch, et al. Set for 'Our House'", April 6, 2009
  17. ^ Jones, Kenneth. " 'Fabulation', a Sold Out Phenom at Playwrights Horizons, Gets Added Shows to July 11" Playbill, June 18, 2004
  18. ^ Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review. A Very Common Procedure" CurtainUp, February 12, 2007
  19. ^ Simonson, Robert. "David Auburn Examines 'The Journals of Mihail Sebastian' at Keen Company, March 6" Playbill, March 6, 2004
  20. ^ Misalliance, retrieved October 29, 2017
  21. ^ "Kunken Off-Broadway", retrieved October 29, 2017
  22. ^ The Story, retrieved October 29, 2017
  23. ^ Henry VIII, retrieved October 29, 2017
  24. ^ A Dybbuk, retrieved October 29, 2017
  25. ^ Guiliano, Charles. " 'Quartermaine's Terms' at Williamstown Theatre Festival", August 14, 2009
  26. ^ Guiliano, Charles. " 'True West' at Williamstown Theatre Festival", July 17, 2009
  27. ^ "'Three Sisters'. July 16 - July 27. Main Stage. 2008 Season", retrieved October 29, 2017
  28. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Casting Complete for Kennedy Center 'Mister Roberts' " Playbill, February 8, 2005
  29. ^ "Mary And Rhoda" (TV)", retrieved October 30, 2017
  30. ^ "Stephen Kunken Television", retrieved October 30, 2017
  31. ^ a b "Stephen Kunken Film and TV", retrieved October 30, 2017
  32. ^ Still Alice, retrieved October 29, 2017
  33. ^ "A Birder's Guide To Everything". 21 March 2014.
  34. ^ Scott, A. O. "There’s Something Bubbling Off the Shore of a Chesapeake Hamlet" The New York Times, November 1, 2012
  35. ^ Price Check, retrieved October 30, 2017
  36. ^ The Girl in the Park, retrieved October 30, 2017
  37. ^ Light and the Sufferer, retrieved October 29, 2017
  38. ^ "Stephen Kunken". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  39. ^ "Stephen Kunken Films", retrieved October 29, 2017
  40. ^ "Jenn Thompson is the newest member of The Actors Company Theatre directorial team". June 30, 2011.
  41. ^ Stephen Kunken at the Internet Broadway Database
  42. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Jenn Thompson Named Co-Artistic Director of Off-Broadway's TACT" Playbill, June 30, 2011
  43. ^ Onofri, Adrienne (April 27, 2010). "Interview: Stephen Kunken, One of ENRON's Corporate Baddies".

External links[edit]