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Tom Cavanagh

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Tom Cavanagh
Tom Cavanagh by David Shankbone.jpg
Cavanagh at the premiere of War, Inc. at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, April 28, 2008
Born Thomas Patrick Cavanagh
(1963-10-26) October 26, 1963 (age 53)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Alma mater

Champlain College

Queen's University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Maureen Grise (m. 2004)
Children 4

Thomas Patrick "Tom" Cavanagh (born October 26, 1963) is a Canadian actor best known for a variety of roles on American television, including starring roles in Ed (2000–2004), Love Monkey (2006) and Trust Me (2009), supporting roles on Providence and Scrubs, and a prominent role on The Flash.

Early life

Cavanagh was born on October 26, 1963 in Ottawa, Ontario to a Roman Catholic family of Irish descent.[1] Cavanagh moved with his family to Winneba, a small city in Ghana when he was a child.[2]

In his teens, the family moved to Lennoxville, Quebec where he started high school. He attended the Séminaire de Sherbrooke, where he studied in French and played basketball for the Barons. He later studied at Champlain College in Lennoxville at the CEGEP level. While attending Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, he became interested in theatre and music and played ice hockey and varsity basketball. He graduated with degrees in English, biology and education.[3]


Commercial credits

Cavanagh acted in his native Canada for many years, appearing on television dramas such as Jake and the Kid in the late 1990s, and television commercials, appearing for Labatt Blue Light beer commercials[4] in the 1990s and for CIBC.

Broadway roles

In 1989, he was cast in the Broadway revival of Shenandoah. Other stage credits include productions of A Chorus Line, Cabaret, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Urinetown and Grease. He appeared in the 2008 production of Some Americans Abroad at Second Stage Theatre in New York City.[5]

American television

After gaining notice for his recurring role as Dog Boy in the NBC television program Providence, Cavanagh was cast as the title character in the NBC program Ed. Cavanagh received a Golden Globe nomination and a TV Guide Award for his work on Ed, which ran for four seasons beginning in October 2000 and concluding in February 2004.[2]

Cavanagh first guest starred on the sitcom Scrubs in 2002 ("My Big Brother") where he was cast as Dan Dorian, the brother of lead character J.D., because of his resemblance to Zach Braff. He returned for one episode in 2003 ("My Brother, Where Art Thou?"), for a two-episode arc in 2004 ("My Cake" and "My Common Enemy"), for one episode in April 2006 ("My New Suit") and then on November 8, 2007 ("My Inconvenient Truth"). He took the role for one last time in Braff's final episode as a series regular, the eighth season finale ("My Finale").

In 2005, Cavanagh filmed a pilot, Love Monkey, with Jason Priestley, Judy Greer and Larenz Tate. The show was selected by CBS as a midseason replacement and debuted on January 17, 2006. Love Monkey was given an eight-episode order, but only three aired on CBS before the show was placed on indefinite hiatus due to low ratings. VH1 bought all eight episodes and played them in their entirety in the spring of 2006.

He starred in the Lifetime Movie Network television miniseries The Capture Of The Green River Killer in which he portrayed King County sheriff David Reichert. In March 2006, Cavanagh filmed My Ex-Life, a comedy pilot for CBS about a divorced couple who remain friends. The pilot featured Lost actress Cynthia Watros as his ex-wife. CBS did not select the show for its fall 2006 schedule. Cavanagh portrayed the lead role Nick Snowden (the heir to the Santa Claus identity) in the made-for-TV movie Snow in 2005, which is shown annually on the Family Channel.[6]

In 2008, Cavanagh appeared in the short-lived ABC series Eli Stone, playing the father of the title character. From January through April 2009, Cavanagh starred in the television drama Trust Me, co-starring Eric McCormack, which aired weekly on TNT[7] until the network cancelled it due to low ratings.[8]

Cavanagh hosted Stories from the Vaults on Smithsonian Networks from 2008 to 2009. He made a guest appearance in the mid-season premiere of the USA Network show Royal Pains as former professional golfer Jack O'Malley. In 2012, he appeared in the Lifetime television movie A Killer Among Us.

Since 2014, Cavanagh has appeared on The CW's live-action television series The Flash as Dr. Harrison Wells, the scientist whose particle accelerator creates the Flash's abilities and other metahumans. The first iteration depicted in season one is revealed to be the Reverse-Flash's transmutated form that killed the real Wells.[9] Subsequent seasons feature alternate doppelgängers; season two features Earth-2 equivalent "Harry" Wells as a regular,[10] and season three shows Earth-19 equivalent "H.R." Wells as a regular along with cameos as three other doppelgängers (a steampunk-styled, British-accented doppelganger from Earth-17, a hillbilly from an unnamed Earth and a French-speaking mime from another unnamed Earth).[11] In the episode "Attack on Central City", Cavanaugh plays opposite himself in several scenes, portraying both Harry and H.R.[12]


Cavanagh as Ranger Smith in the live-action film Yogi Bear in 2010.

Cavanagh starred in the 2002 film Bang Bang You're Dead. Prior to Ed, Cavanagh's film appearances were mainly in supporting roles.[2] After that series ended, he had his first starring role as an escaped convict in the thriller Heart of the Storm. In 2005, he starred in the romantic comedy Alchemy, opposite Sarah Chalke; in 2006, he appeared in another romantic comedy, Gray Matters.[6]

In 2006, Cavanagh began filming Breakfast with Scot, in which he plays a gay retired hockey player who becomes an adoptive father to a young boy. The film, released in 2007, drew attention as the first gay-themed film ever to win approval from a major league sports franchise to use its real name and logo; Cavanagh's character formerly played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 2007 he starred in the second instalment of the direct-to-DVD Raw Feed horror film series from Warner Home Video, Sublime. He starred as Ranger Smith in the feature film Yogi Bear (2010).[6][better source needed]


Since 2010, Cavanagh has been co-host of the podcast Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, with his Ed castmate Michael Ian Black, on the Nerdist Podcast Network.

Personal life

Cavanagh has an older brother who is a Crown Attorney and three sisters. One of his sisters teaches Religious Education (RE) and is a chaplain in Ontario; another is an autism specialist in Toronto, and a third sister is a London, Ontario-based writer.[citation needed]

Cavanagh married Maureen Grise,a photo editor for Sports Illustrated, July 31, 2004, in a Catholic ceremony on Nantucket, Massachusetts.[13] The couple have two daughters and two sons.[14] Cavanagh ran the 2006 New York City Marathon.[15]

In summer 2008, he founded the Cavanagh Classic, an annual celebrity basketball tournament in Rucker Park in Harlem to raise money and awareness for Nothing But Nets. The charity's goal is to combat malaria by sending mosquito nets to families that need them. Cavanagh travelled to Rwanda on a March 2009 United Nations Foundation trip to distribute the nets and educate the recipients in their use.[16]


Year Title Role Notes
1991 White Light Ella's Secretary
1993 Sherlock Holmes Returns Rookie Cop TV film
1993 Other Women's Children Marco TV film
1995 Dangerous Intentions Ron
1995 A Vow to Kill Jacey Jeffries TV film
1995 Magic in the Water Simon
1996 Mask of Death Joey
1996 Midnight Heat Bowlan
1996 Bloodhounds II Levesh TV film
1996 Profile for Murder Tim Jonas
1997 Northern Lights Frank TV Film
1997 Honeymoon Jamie
1998 Twisteeria Live Action Man TV Film
1998 The 900 Lives of Jackie Frye Jackie Frye TV Film
1999 Something More Harry
1999 Anya's Bell Patrick Birmingham TV Film
2002 Bang Bang You're Dead Val Duncan TV Film
2004 Heart of the Storm Simpson TV Film
2004 Snow Nick Snowden TV Film
2005 Alchemy Mal Downey
2006 How to Eat Fried Worms Mitch Forrester
2006 Two Weeks Barry Bergman
2006 Gray Matters Sam Baldwin
2006 My Ex Life Nick TV Film
2007 Sublime George Grieves
2007 The Cake Eaters Lloyd
2007 Breakfast with Scot Eric McNally
2008 The Capture of the Green River Killer Dave Reichert Miniseries
2008 Snow 2: Brain Freeze Nick Snowden TV Film
2009 Christmas Dreams Eli TV Film
2010 Yogi Bear Ranger John Smith
2010 Edgar Floats Edgar Floats TV Film
2011 Trading Christmas Charles Johnson TV Film
2012 A Killer Among Us Nick Carleton TV Film
2013 The Birder Ron Spencer
2014 Lucky Duck Snap TV Film, voice role
2014 The Games Maker Mr. Drago
2015 400 Days Zell
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Secret Service Charlie 1 episode
1993 Beyond Reality 1 episode
1994 Street Legal Dr. Peter Shenfield 1 episode
1995 Madison Jesus 1 episode
1995-1999 The Outer Limits Carl Toman
Vance Ridout
2 episodes
1995 Hawkeye Corporal Charles Sykes 1 episode
1996 Jake and the Kid 1 episode
1997 The Sentinel Bill Collins 1 episode
1998 Cold Squad Spencer Taggart 1 episode
1998 Viper Charles Bennett 1 episode
1998 Eyes of a Cowboy Lonesome Cooper 1 episode
1999 Mentors Lewis Carroll 1 episode
1999–2000 Providence Doug Boyce 8 episodes
1999 Oh, Grow Up Bruce 1 episode
1999–2000 Sports Night Howard 2 episodes
2000–2004 Ed Ed Stevens Lead role, 83 episodes
2002–2009 Scrubs Dan Dorian 7 episodes
2004 Jack & Bobby Jimmy McAllister 2 episodes
2006 Love Monkey Tom Farrell Lead role, 8 episodes
2008–2009 Eli Stone Jeremy Stone 7 episodes
2009 Trust Me Conner Lead role, 13 episodes
2011–2012 Royal Pains Jack O'Malley 7 episodes
2013 Doc McStuffins Big Jack 1 episode, voice role
2013 The Goldbergs Charles Kremp 1 episode
2013 Blue Bloods Mickey 1 episode
2014 The Following Kingston Tanner 4 episodes
2014 Undateable Frank 1 episode
2014–present The Flash Harrison Wells Main role
2016 Van Helsing Micah 1 episode

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Yogi Bear: The Video Game Ranger Smith Voice


  1. ^ Rothstein, Michael (July 13, 2009). "Fame And Notre Dame: Actor Tom Cavanagh". The Journal Gazette. Fort Wayne, Indiana. Retrieved 2014-08-13. That was the start of it, so to speak, and we're Irish Catholic and Notre Dame, well, they're the Irish... 
  2. ^ a b c Blackman, Lori (November 15, 2000). "Tom Cavanagh of 'Ed'". CNN. Retrieved 2014-08-13. My parents are educators, and they were over there putting in teaching systems in Africa 
  3. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (2014-07-11). "Canadian actor known for Ed grateful for a string of "great jobs," including The Following, The Flash and animated series on Disney Junior.". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  4. ^ VideoCassettes (25 July 2008). "Labatt Blue Commercial". Retrieved 8 July 2016 – via YouTube. 
  5. ^ "Shows: Season 29 2007–2008". Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  6. ^ a b c Tom Cavanagh at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ Frankel, Daniel (February 4, 2009). "TNT's 'Trust Me' tumbles: USA's original series fare well against networks". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 12, 2009). "TNT cancels ad-agency drama "Trust Me"". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  9. ^ Abrams, Natalie (10 February 2014). "Ed's Tom Cavanagh Joins The CW's The Flash Pilot". TV Guide. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  10. ^ "'The Flash' EP on "Heartbreaking" Finale Death, Season 2 Speedsters and Villains". The Hollywood Reporter. May 19, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Flash Recap: Greetings From Earth-19". Vulture. October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Cage Nuptials Kick Off a Week of Weddings". People. August 5, 2004. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  14. ^ "".  External link in |title= (help);
  15. ^ Peterson, Erin (October 29, 2008). "I'm a Runner: Tom Cavanagh". Runner's World. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  16. ^ Cavanagh, Tom (March 25, 2009). "Trust me, Nets Save Lives". Nothing But Nets. 

External links