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June 12, 1957|
Lansing, Michigan, United States
Radha Delamarter (m. ????; div. 1986)|
Jennifer Merwin (m. 1988; div. 2007)
Melissa Gilbert (m. 2013)
Timothy Busfield (born June 12, 1957) is an American actor and director. He has played Elliot Weston on the television series thirtysomething; Mark, Kevin Costner's brother-in-law in Field of Dreams; and Danny Concannon on the television series The West Wing. In 1991 he received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for thirtysomething. He is also the founder of the 501(c)(3) non-profit children's theatre Fantasy Theatre for Children and B Street Theatre.
Early life and education
Busfield's first television series was Trapper John, M.D., in which he played the physician son of the title character. Immediately prior to being cast on the 1980s series thirtysomething, he was still often playing teenagers and young adults, and the producers of the show asked him to grow his beard so he'd look old enough for the role. He would win an Emmy Award for this role. Later he was cast in the lead of other series, although none have lasted very long. Produced by Steven Spielberg, The Byrds of Paradise with Arlo Guthrie may be the most memorable for its setting in Hawaii and its offbeat characters.
In a 1987 episode of Matlock "The Rat Pack," he played a feature role. After appearing in Sneakers (1992) starring Robert Redford and Sidney Poitier, Busfield went to London in 1993 to make the television film Wall Of Silence, in which he played Ephraim Lipshitz, a Mossad agent infiltrating a community of Hasidic Jews. Also in that year, he starred in the film The Skateboard Kid.
Recurring television roles include White House correspondent Danny Concannon on The West Wing; and the title character's incorrigible brother on the sitcom Ed, a show on which he was a co-executive producer and supervising producer.
Busfield also dabbles in directing television and has directed multiple episodes of thirtysomething, Without a Trace (on which he appeared as a divorce lawyer, in a wheelchair, for Jack Malone), and the Sorkin/Schlamme predecessor to The West Wing, Sports Night.
Beginning in September 2006, Busfield was a regular on the short lived Sorkin/Schlamme series, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, where he played Cal Shanley, the fictional show's director. He also directed 6 episodes. After Studio 60, he continued to direct episodes of Las Vegas. He has also appeared in various episodes of Entourage playing himself, directing the fictional series Five Towns.
Stage and theater
Busfield remains a stage actor and director whose Broadway credits include A Few Good Men and Brighton Beach Memoirs, where he was star Matthew Broderick's understudy. Off-Broadway, he worked with Circle Repertory Company in 1982. With elder brother Buck Busfield, he is co-founder of the B Street Theater in Sacramento, California, where he has appeared in and directed numerous contemporary works. The Busfield brothers also established Fantasy Theater, a touring troupe that plays to children. Busfield writes children's plays for the Fantasy troupe.
- Timothy Busfield Professional Theatre
- 1979- Various roles, The Green Mountain Guild Theatre for Children (actor)
- 1979- Thidwick The Big Hearted Moose, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville-ATL (act)
- 1979- A Christmas Carol, ATL, (act)
- 1979- Commencement (various roles), ATL (act)
- 1980- They’re Coming To Make It Brighter, ATL Humana Festival (act)
- 1980- The Green Mountain Guild Theatre For Children (act/director)
- 1980- Getting Out, ATL International Tour w/Susan Kingsley (act)
- 1980- Cyrano de Bergerac, ATL (act)
- 1980- Shorts (various roles), ATL (act)
- 1981- Park City Midnight, ATL Humana Festival (act)
- 1981- Propinquity, ATL Humana Festival (act)
- 1981- Spades, ATL Humana Festival (act)
- 1981- A**hole Murder Case, ATL Humana Festival (act)
- 1981- A Life, The Long Wharf Theatre (act)
- 1981- A Tale Told, The Mark Taper Forum (act)
- 1982- Richard II, Circle Repertory Company (act)
- 1982- The First Annual Young Playwright’s Festival, Circle Rep (act, various roles)
- 1982- The Holdup, Circle Rep (act)
- 1982- Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Ahmanson
- 1983- Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Curren (SF) And The Alvin (Broadway) (act)
- 1986- Theatre for Children, Inc., (Fantasy Theatre) (Producing Director 1986-2001)
- 1986- Fantasy Fables, (dir/co-writer)
- 1987- Fantasy Classics, (dir/co-Writer)
- 1987- Fantasy Americana, (dir/co-Writer)
- 1988- Fantasy of Horrors, (co-writer)
- 1988- Fantasy Festival II, (dir)
- 1988- Fantasy of Franks, (dir/co-writer)
- 1989- William Shakespeare V The Fantasy Theatre (dir/co-writer)
- 1989- By George! (co-writer)
- 1990- The Bark of Zorro the Musical (co-writer book)
- 1990- A Few Good Men, Broadway (act)
- 1992- B Street Theatre (Producing Director 1992-2001)
- 1992- Mass Appeal (act), B St. Theatre
- 1992- Hidden In This Picture w/Aaron Sorkin, (act/dir), B. St.
- 1992- Talley’s Folly (act/dir), B. St
- 1993- Fool For Love (act)
- 1993- Private Wars (act)
- 1994- A Couple of White Chicks (dir)
- 1994- The Agent (act/dir)
- 1994- The Holdup (dir)
- 1994- Criminal Hearts (dir)
- 1995- National Anthems (act/dir)
- 1996- Below The Belt (act)
- 1997- Vigil (act)
- 1998- The Motor Trade (act/dir)
- 1998- Vigil (act)
- 1999- Boomtown (act/dir)
- 2000- Escanaba in Da Moonlight (act)
- 2008- Vigil (act), Westport Country Playhouse
- 2012- Vigil (act, dir), Lansing Community College
- 2017- 24 hour plays, Minneapolis
Busfield was married to actress and director Radha Delamarter before divorcing in 1986. The couple had a son, Willy. In 1988 he married fashion designer Jennifer Merwin, with whom he had children Daisy and Samuel. They filed for divorce in 2007.
A representative for Busfield said in January 2013 that Busfield had become engaged to actress Melissa Gilbert over the holiday season. They were married April 24, 2013 in a private ceremony at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. Busfield and Gilbert now reside in Howell, Michigan.
- As actor
|1984||Family Ties||Doug||Episode: Little Man on Campus|
|1984–1986||Trapper John, M.D.||Dr. John 'J.T.' McIntyre, Jr., M.D.||39 episodes|
|1987–1991||thirtysomething||Elliot Weston||85 episodes|
|1991||Strays||Paul Jarrett||Television film|
|1993–1994||The Byrds of Paradise||Sam Byrd||12 episodes|
|1995||The Outer Limits||Dr. Jon Holland||Episode: "Under the Bed"|
|1999–2006||The West Wing||Danny Concannon||28 episodes|
|2006–2007||Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip||Cal Shanley||22 episodes|
|2011||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Daniel Carter||Episode: "Russian Brides"|
|2012||Blue Bloods||Charles Bynes||Episode: "Leap of Faith"|
|2014–2015||Sleepy Hollow||Benjamin Franklin||3 episodes|
|2015||Secrets and Lies||John Garner||4 episodes|
|2018||Designated Survivor||Dr. Adam Louden||Episode: "Grief"|
- As director
- thirtysomething (1987–1991)
- Sports Night (1998–2000)
- Ed (2000–2004)
- Without a Trace (2002–2009)
- Las Vegas (2003–2004; 2007–2008)
- Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006–2007)
- Damages (2007–2011)
- Lipstick Jungle (2008)
- Lie to Me (2009)
- White Collar (2009)
- The Deep End (2010)
- The Glades (2010)
- No Ordinary Family (2010)
- Psych (2012)
- Franklin & Bash (2012)
- Revolution (2013)
- The Fosters (2013)
- Childrens Hospital (2013)
- Secrets and Lies (2015)
- The Night Shift (2015–2016)
- Second Chance (2016)
- Aquarius (2016)
- This Is Us (2017)
- Designated Survivor (2018)
- "Today in history". ABC News. Associated Press. June 12, 2014.
- "Timothy Busfield Biography (1957 - )". FilmReference.com. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- ""Thirtysomething" Star Divorcing". TMZ.com. December 11, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Jordan, Julie; Shira, Dahvi (January 29, 2013). "Melissa Gilbert Engaged to Thirtysomething's Timothy Busfield". People. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Nudd, Tim; Jordan, Julie (April 25, 2013). "Melissa Gilbert Weds Timothy Busfield". People. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Hollywood comes to Howell: Gilbert and Busfield are the biggest stars we’ve had, but not the first | The Livingston Post
- Sleepy Hollow - Season 2 - Casting News - Timothy Busfield to recur as Benjamin Franklin | Spoilers