Zach Gilford

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Zach Gilford
Zachary Michael Gilford[1]

(1982-01-14) January 14, 1982 (age 40)
EducationNorthwestern University (BA)
Years active2003–present
(m. 2012)

Zachary Michael Gilford (born January 14, 1982) is an American actor, known for his role as Matt Saracen on the NBC sports drama series Friday Night Lights. In 2021, he starred in the Netflix horror limited series Midnight Mass. He is also set to appear in the horror series The Midnight Club in 2022.

Early life and education[edit]

Gilford was born in Evanston, Illinois, the son of Anne and Steve Gilford.[2] His mother is Lutheran, and his father is Jewish.[3] He graduated from Evanston Township High School and Northwestern University.[4][5] He worked as a trip leader for Adventures Cross-Country[6] and has led wilderness and adventure trips for teenagers to Alaska, British Columbia, California, Hawaii, and the South Pacific. Gilford also worked as a staff member for YMCA Camp Echo in Fremont, Michigan.[citation needed]

Acting career[edit]

In 2005, he appeared in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[7] In 2006, Gilford landed a regular role in Friday Night Lights, in which he played the role of Matt Saracen in the main cast, from Season 1 to Season 3.[8] In 2009, Gilford was switched to the recurring cast in Seasons 4 and 5. That year, he also made his feature film debut, co-starring in The Last Winter (2006).[9] He had a cameo in the film Rise: Blood Hunter and guest starred in an episode of Grey's Anatomy.[10]

In 2009, he co-starred as Adam Davies in the romantic comedy Post Grad opposite Alexis Bledel.[11] He also starred as Johnny Drake in the romantic drama Dare opposite Emmy Rossum.[12] In 2010, he starred as Gus in the indie drama film The River Why alongside Amber Heard.[13] He had a cameo in the movie Super.

In 2010, he joined the cast of ABC's medical drama Off The Map[14] which premiered in January 2011 but was cancelled after 13 episodes. In 2011, he appeared in Taylor Swift's music video for "Ours", in which he played her love interest.[15] He played the role of Evan in the drama film Answers to Nothing.[16] In 2012, he starred as Seth in the indie drama film In Our Nature alongside Jena Malone.[17]

In 2012, he was cast in another medical drama, The Mob Doctor, on Fox, opposite Jordana Spiro; however this was also cancelled after 13 episodes.[18] In January 2013, he appeared with Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand.[19] He played the role of Matthew Iris in the film Crazy Kind of Love.[20]

He co-starred alongside Allison Miller in the horror film Devil's Due (2014), set in New Orleans and the Dominican Republic, and released on January 17, 2014.[21] He also co-starred in the film sequel The Purge: Anarchy, released on July 18, 2014.[22] He guest starred in shows such as Drunk History, Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories and Kingdom.[23] In 2016, he starred as Danny Warren in the ABC drama series The Family.[24] In 2017, Gilford starred as Conner Hooks in the YouTube Red futuristic web series Lifeline.[25]

Since 2018, Gilford has had a recurring role as Gregg in the NBC series Good Girls.[26] In 2019, Gilford was cast as Ben Walker in the Bad Boys spinoff drama L.A.'s Finest.[27] Zach also held a leading role in Midnight Mass released in 2021.

Personal life[edit]

In the spring of 2010, Gilford began dating actress Kiele Sanchez, whom he met on the set of the television pilot for The Matadors.[28] The couple became engaged in November 2011,[29] and married on December 29, 2012.[30][31] The couple also co-starred in The Purge: Anarchy. In August 2015, Sanchez announced that she and Gilford were expecting a son in November.[32] In October 2015, they announced that Sanchez had suffered a late-term miscarriage.[33] The couple have one daughter, born in November 2017 through surrogacy.[34]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Handbook to Casual Stalking Jimmy Short film
2006 The Last Winter Maxwell McKinder Nominated – Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2007 Rise: Blood Hunter Sailor
2009 Dare Johnny Drake
2009 Post Grad Adam Davies
2010 The River Why Gus Orviston
2010 Super Jerry
2011 Answers to Nothing Evan
2012 In Our Nature Seth
2013 The Last Stand Jerry Bailey
2013 Crazy Kind of Love Matthew
2014 Devil's Due Zach McCall
2014 The Purge: Anarchy Shane Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Scared-As-Shit Performance
2019 Emmett Gordon
2022 There’s Something Wrong With The Children Ben


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Law & Order: SVU Kevin Wilcox Episode: "Contagious"
2006–2011 Friday Night Lights Matt Saracen Main role; 62 episodes
2009 Grey's Anatomy Charlie Lowell Episode: "Here's to Future Days"
2011 Off the Map Dr. Tommy Fuller 13 episodes
2012–2013 The Mob Doctor Dr. Brett Robinson
2014–2019 Drunk History Jim Abbott / Roger Sharpe / Ed Pulaski 3 episodes
2015 Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories Matt Peters Episode: "Tornado"
2016 The Family Daniel "Danny" Warren 12 episodes
2017 Kingdom Tim 2 episodes
2017 Lifeline Conner Hooks 8 episodes
2018–present This Close Danny Recurring role, 8 episodes
2018–2021 Good Girls Gregg Recurring role, 11 episodes
2019–2020 L.A.'s Finest Ben Walker Main role; 26 episodes
2019 Law & Order: SVU James Miller Episode: "The Burden of Our Choices"
2021 Midnight Mass Riley Flynn 7 episodes
2022 The Midnight Club TBA Post-production
TBA The Fall of the House of Usher Not yet released TBA Filming[35]
Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Song Notes
2011 Taylor Swift "Ours" Taylor Swift's love interest


  1. ^ A broken version of the American dream from The Daily Northwestern, May 9, 2002, retrieved 27 April 2015
  2. ^ ""Friday Night Lights": Even Peyton is a fan". 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
  3. ^ Fallon, Kevin (28 September 2021). "Zach Gilford Breaks Down the Shocking 'Midnight Mass' Twists". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on September 29, 2021.
  4. ^ "TV Tattler Interview: Zach Gilford of 'Friday Night Lights' on NBC". AOL Television. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
  5. ^ "Zach Gilford: the boy next door". SPLASH. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  6. ^ ":: Our Leaders". Retrieved 2013-05-23.
  7. ^ "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit". Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  8. ^ "Zach Gilford". Variety. 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  9. ^ "The Last Winter". PopMatters. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  10. ^ "The Biggest Stars You Forgot Were on 'Grey's Anatomy'". Entertainment Weekly. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  11. ^ Griffin, Christine (August 21, 2009). "Post Grad Movie - Interview with Alexis Bledel and Zach Gilford". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  12. ^ "Emmy Rossum, Sandra Bernhard, Zach Gilford and more at the DARE Premiere". Sundance Channel. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  13. ^ "New fields in play for star of 'Friday Night'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  14. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 8, 2011). "Scoop: 'FNL' MVP Zach Gilford scores role in Shonda Rhimes' 'Off the Map'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  15. ^ Warner, Kara (December 2, 2011). "Taylor Swift Cozies Up To Zach Gilford In 'Ours' Video". MTV. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  16. ^ "First Trailer for ANSWERS TO NOTHING Starring Dane Cook and Elizabeth Mitchell". Collider. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  17. ^ "Zach Gilford and John Slattery on Mocking Hipsters and Dating Younger Women". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  18. ^ "'Friday Night Lights' Alum Zach Gilford to Co-Star in Fox's Josh Berman/Robert Wright Medical Drama Pilot (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  19. ^ "IMDB filmography". Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  20. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (2013-05-30). "Exclusive: Clip From Rom-Com 'Crazy Kind Of Love' Starring Virginia Madsen, Zach Gilford & 'True Blood' Star Sam Trammell". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  21. ^ Luoma, Sarah (March 4, 2013). "'Friday Night Lights' actor Zach Gilford joins horror 'Devil's Due'". Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  22. ^ "IMDB filmography". Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  23. ^ "'Friday Night Lights' Star Zach Gilford Joins Final Season of Kingdom". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2015-02-14). "Zach Gilford Cast In Jenna Bans ABC Pilot, Ed Oxenbould In 'Chev & Bev'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  25. ^ Petski, Denise (2017-03-02). "'Lifeline': Zach Gilford & Sydney Park To Topline Dwayne Johnson's YouTube Series". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  26. ^ Lawson, Richard (March 2019). "Good Girls Is the Best Crime Show You're Not Watching". HWD. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  27. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2018-02-16). "Zach Gilford & Duane Martin To Co-Star In Gabrielle Union's 'Bad Boys' Offshoot NBC Pilot". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  28. ^ MacKenzie, Carina Adly (November 30, 2011). "Friday Night Lights' Zach Gilford engaged to Kiele Sanchez". zap2it. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  29. ^ Messer, Lesley (December 1, 2011). "Friday Night Lights Star Zach Gilford Engaged". People. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  30. ^ "Zach Gilford Married: 'Friday Night Lights' Star Weds Kiele Sanchez". HuffPost. December 30, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  31. ^ "Friday Night Lights' Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez Tie the Knot!". E Online. December 29, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  32. ^ Retrieved August 10, 2015
  33. ^ Green, Mary (October 9, 2015). "Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez Lose Their Baby Boy". People. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  34. ^ Green, Mary (22 December 2017). "Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez Welcome Daughter Zeppelin Adele". People. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  35. ^ Romanchick, Shane (January 31, 2022). "Mike Flanagan's 'The Fall of the House of Usher' Officially Begins Production". Collider. Retrieved February 4, 2022.

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