Zach Gilford

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Not to be confused with Zac Guildford.
Zach Gilford
Born Zachary Michael Gilford[1]
(1982-01-14) January 14, 1982 (age 35)
Evanston, Illinois, United States
Education Evanston Township High School
Alma mater Northwestern University
Occupation Actor
Years active 2003–present
Spouse(s) Kiele Sanchez (m. 2012)

Zachary Michael "Zach" Gilford (born January 14, 1982) is an American actor best known for his role as Matt Saracen on the NBC sports drama Friday Night Lights.

Early life and education[edit]

Gilford was born in Evanston, Illinois, the son of Anne and Steve Gilford.[2] He is of half Swedish and half Russian Jewish descent. He graduated from Northwestern University[3] and Evanston Township High School.[4] He served as a Trip Leader for Adventures Cross-Country[5] 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.

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. 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).

In 2009, he co-starred in Post Grad opposite Alexis Bledel[6] and in Dare opposite Emmy Rossum.[7]

In 2010, he joined the cast of ABC's medical drama Off The Map[8] 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.[9]

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. In January 2013, he appeared with Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand.[10]

He co-starred in the horror film Devil's Due (2014), set in New Orleans and the Dominican Republic, and released on January 17, 2014.[11] He also co-starred in the film sequel The Purge: Anarchy, released on July 18, 2014.[12]

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.[13] The couple became engaged in November 2011,[14] and married on December 29, 2012.[15][16] The couple also co-starred in The Purge: Anarchy. In August 2015, Sanchez announced she and Gilford were expecting their son in November.[17] In October 2015, the couple announced that their son was stillborn.[18]



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


Year Show Role Notes
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kevin Wilcox 1 episode ("Contagious")
2006–2011 Friday Night Lights Matt Saracen Series regular, 62 episodes
Main cast (Seasons 1-3)
Recurring cast (Seasons 4-5)
2009 Grey's Anatomy Charlie Lowell 1 episode ("Here's to Future Days")
2010 The Matadors Alex Galloway TV movie
2011 Off the Map Dr. Tommy Fuller Series regular, 13 episodes
2012–2013 The Mob Doctor Dr. Brett Robinson Series regular, 13 episodes
2014–2015 Drunk History Jim Abbott/Roger Sharpe 2 episodes
2016 The Family Daniel "Danny" Warren Series regular, 12 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Song Role
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. ^
  3. ^ "TV Tattler Interview: Zach Gilford of 'Friday Night Lights' on NBC - AOL Television". Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  4. ^ "Zach Gilford: the boy next door". SPLASH. Retrieved 2015-10-14. 
  5. ^ ":: Our Leaders". Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  6. ^ Griffin, Christine (August 21, 2009). "Post Grad Movie - Interview with Alexis Bledel and Zach Gilford". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Emmy Rossum, Sandra Bernhard, Zach Gilford and more at the DARE Premiere". Sundance Channel. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 8, 2011). "Scoop: 'FNL' MVP Zach Gilford scores role in Shonda Rhimes' 'Off the Map'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  9. ^ Warner, Kara (December 2, 2011). "Taylor Swift Cozies Up To Zach Gilford In 'Ours' Video". MTV. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ "IMDB filmography". Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  11. ^ Luoma, Sarah (March 4, 2013). "'Friday Night Lights' actor Zach Gilford joins horror 'Devil's Due'". Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  12. ^ "IMDB filmography". Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  13. ^ MacKenzie, Carina Adly (November 30, 2011). "Friday Night Lights' Zach Gilford engaged to Kiele Sanchez". zap2it. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ Messer, Lesley (December 1, 2011). "Friday Night Lights Star Zach Gilford Engaged". People. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Huffingtonpost : Zach Gilford Married: 'Friday Night Lights' Star Weds Kiele Sanchez". December 30, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Friday Night Lights' Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez Tie the Knot!". E Online. December 29, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 
  17. ^ Retrieved August 10, 2015
  18. ^ Green, Mary (October 9, 2015). "Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez Suffer Late-Term Miscarriage". People. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 

External links[edit]