Dylan McDermott
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Dylan McDermott

Dylan McDermott
Dylan McDermott 2014.jpg
McDermott in February 2014
Mark Anthony McDermott

(1961-10-26) October 26, 1961 (age 59)[1]
Alma materFordham University
Years active1987-present
(m. 1995; div. 2009)

Dylan McDermott (born Mark Anthony McDermott; October 26, 1961)[2] is an American actor. He is known for his role as lawyer and law firm head Bobby Donnell on the legal drama series The Practice, which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama and a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

McDermott is also known for his roles in the four seasons (first, second, eighth and ninth) of the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story, subtitled Murder House, Asylum, Apocalypse, and 1984 portraying Ben Harmon, Johnny Morgan and Bruce, respectively. He also starred as Lt. Carter Shaw on the TNT series Dark Blue; in two short-lived CBS dramas, Hostages and Stalker; and in the 1994 remake of the film Miracle on 34th Street.

Early life

McDermott was born as Mark Anthony McDermott on October 26, 1961 in Waterbury, Connecticut, the son of Diane and Richard McDermott.[2] He is of Italian (from his maternal grandfather), Irish, English, and French descent.[3][4] Diane was fifteen and Richard was seventeen when McDermott was born; by 1967, the couple had divorced, and Diane and her two children were living with her mother, Avis (Rogers) Marino.[5] On February 9, 1967, Diane was shot and killed.[3] Her death was originally ruled an accident, but police later claimed that evidence they had found would be enough to file murder charges against John Sponza, who had been living with Diane at the time.[6] Sponza told authorities that Diane shot herself (despite the fact that she was right-handed and shot in the back of the left side of her head) after picking up a gun he had been cleaning. Sponza, who police say had ties to organized crime,[7] was killed in 1972; his body was found in the trunk of a car in a Waltham, Massachusetts, grocery store parking lot.[8]

McDermott and his sister were raised by their maternal grandmother Avis in Waterbury.[5] As a teenager, he began taking trips to visit his biological father, who owned the West Fourth Street Saloon in Greenwich Village, New York.[9] The two would go to the movies and the younger McDermott would work in his father's bar, serving drinks and breaking up fights.[10] He would also fast-talk his way into the Mudd Club and Studio 54.[3] McDermott was uncomfortable with himself as a teenager, saying he had a "Dorothy Hamill hairdo." He began to imitate his acting heroes, such as Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart, to adopt their demeanor.[11] In 1979, McDermott graduated from Holy Cross High School in Waterbury.[12]

McDermott's father's third wife was playwright Eve Ensler (author of The Vagina Monologues), who legally adopted McDermott when he was 15 and she was 23.[13] She has since divorced his father. Ensler, with whom McDermott has remained close, encouraged him to pursue an acting career,[6] and began writing roles for him into her plays.[3] After Ensler suffered a miscarriage, he took on the name Dylan, the name planned for her unborn child.[10] He then graduated from the Jesuit-run Fordham University with a BA in 1983,[14] as well as studying under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, the same year as Allison Janney.[15]


McDermott made his screen debut in Hamburger Hill in 1987 before starring in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias opposite Julia Roberts as her husband Jackson Latcherie. He also starred in Twister), a film about a man trying to rescue his girlfriend and daughter from a tornado storm.[16] The same year brought Neon Empire, a film about the rise and fall of one man in Las Vegas.[17] However, his first big break as an actor was in the film In the Line of Fire. Through his connection with Clint Eastwood,[18] McDermott was able to land his first major gig in The Practice. The show expanded McDermott's stardom, and he made People list of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World 1998" with the magazine calling him "a prime-time heartthrob".[11] He got this distinction again in 2000.[19] Despite his success on The Practice, McDermott was cut from the show. Executive producer David E. Kelley cited "economic and creative realities" as a result of pressure from ABC to reduce costs. McDermott did appear in the final two episodes of the final season.[20]

McDermott at the 2012 PaleyFest

In 2004, McDermott starred alongside Julianna Margulies four-part mini-series The Grid, playing FBI Special Agent Max Canary in an anti-terrorist unit.[21] Returning to theater in 2006, the actor played a returned soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in the Ensler's play The Treatment.[22] In 2007, McDermott starred in the television series Big Shots. Due to low viewership, the show was canceled in January 2008 after 11 episodes without completing the planned 13-episode season. On October 30, 2008, TV Guide reported that McDermott was due to co-star alongside Shannen Doherty in the film Burning Palms, a satire based on Los Angeles stereotypes told through five intertwining storylines.[23]

Beginning in 2009, McDermott starred in the TNT drama Dark Blue, playing a veteran cop who heads a squad of undercover LAPD officers.[24] The show ran for two seasons, each consisting of ten episodes. In 2011, McDermott starred on American Horror Story on FX as Ben Harmon, a psychologist and cheating husband. He returned to the second season as a new character due to the series' anthology format, this time portraying Johnny Morgan.[25] In 2012, he appeared in three films: The Campaign, playing Tim Wattley, a campaign manager,[26]The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as the father of main character Charlie (Logan Lerman),[27] and Nobody Walks, as Leroy.[28] He appeared in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen as a treacherous Secret Service Agent who helps a group of terrorists seize control of the White House.[29]

In May 2013, McDermott launched his first photography exhibition in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at Avenue Art Gallery as part of a collaboration with art agent Marina Cutler. The exhibition, titled The Dylan Project, Make some Noise!, tied his support for The V-Day Organization and love of photography together as the project is a way to bring attention and funds to this organization that supports women in various ways who have suffered violent acts of aggression. McDermott and Cutler have plans to bring The Dylan Project to other locations. Also in 2013, McDermott starred in the short-lived CBS television series Hostages as FBI agent Duncan Carlisle.[30] In 2014, McDermott began starring on another short-lived CBS television series Stalker in one of the lead roles, portraying Detective Jack Larsen opposite Maggie Q.[31]

In 2019, McDermott had a recurring role on The Politician starring opposite January Jones, as the father of Lucy Boynton's character.[32] In 2020, McDermott starred in Hollywood, a limited series for Netflix.[33]

Personal life

McDermott has a younger sister, Robin.[5] He married actress Shiva Rose on November 19, 1995.[5] They have two daughters, Colette and Charlotte. Colette's birth is prominently featured in Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.[3] On September 27, 2007, People confirmed that McDermott and Rose had separated.[34] On May 16, 2008, it was reported that McDermott had filed for divorce from Rose.[35] The divorce was finalized on January 2, 2009.[36] Having met on-set in early 2014, on January 14, 2015, it was announced he was engaged to his Stalker co-star Maggie Q,[37] though the couple stated, in 2017, that they are not in any rush to have an actual wedding ceremony.[38] As of February 2019, the couple have split after a four-year engagement.[39]

McDermott has been featured in magazines such as Men's Health.[40] In 1999, he was a finalist in the GQ "Man of the Year" issue.[41][42]

McDermott is a recovering alcoholic. He has been sober since 1984.[43]

In September 2018, it was announced McDermott had been accused of sexual assault by a woman which took place in 1991, but the claim was dismissed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney as it took place outside of the statute of limitations.[44][45]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Hamburger Hill SSG Adam Frantz
1988 The Blue Iguana Vince Holloway
1989 Twister Chris
1989 Steel Magnolias Jackson Latcherie
1990 Hardware Moses "Hard Mo" Baxter
1991 Where Sleeping Dogs Lie Bruce Simmons
1992 Jersey Girl Sal Tomei
1993 In the Line of Fire Al D'Andrea
1994 The Cowboy Way John Stark
1994 Miracle on 34th Street Bryan Bedford
1995 Destiny Turns on the Radio Julian Goddard
1995 Home for the Holidays Leo Fish
1997 'Til There Was You Nick Dawkan
1999 Three to Tango Charles Newman
2001 Texas Rangers Leander McNelly
2003 Party Monster Peter Gatien
2003 Wonderland David Lind
2003 Runaway Jury Jacob Wood Uncredited cameo
2005 Edison Sergeant Francis Lazerov
2005 The Tenants Harry Lesser
2005 The Mistress of Spices Doug
2006 Unbeatable Harold Jake Salamander
2007 The Messengers Roy
2007 Have Dreams, Will Travel Uncle
2009 Mercy Jake
2010 Burning Palms Dennis Marx
2012 Nobody Walks Leroy
2012 The Campaign Tim Wattley
2012 The Perks of Being a Wallflower Mr. Kelmeckis
2013 Olympus Has Fallen Dave Forbes
2013 Freezer Robert Saunders
2014 Behaving Badly Jimmy Leach
2014 Autómata Sean Wallace
2014 Gramma Jim Swann
2015 Survivor Sam Parker
2015 The Laws of the Universe Part 0 Yoake Suguru Limited theatrical release[46][47]
2016 Blind Mark Dutchman
2018 Josie Hank
2018 The Clovehitch Killer Don Burnside
2021 King Richard Will Hodges Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1989 The Neon Empire Vic Television film
1991 Into the Badlands McComas Television film
1992 Tales from the Crypt George Gatlin Episode: "This'll Kill Ya"
1992 The Fear Inside Pete Caswell Television film
1997-2004 The Practice Bobby Donnell 147 episodes
1998 Ally McBeal Bobby Donnell 2 episodes
1998 Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular Himself Episode: #1.5
1999 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Dylan McDermott / Foo Fighters"
2002 Music Behind Bars Host 8 episodes
2003 Will & Grace Tom Episode: "Heart Like a Wheelchair"
2004 The Grid FBI Agent Max Canary 2 episodes
2006 3 lbs Dr. Douglas Hanson Unsold television pilot
2006 A House Divided Anderson Television film
2007-2008 Big Shots Duncan Collinsworth 11 episodes
2009-2010 Dark Blue Carter Shaw 20 episodes
2011 American Horror Story: Murder House Dr. Ben Harmon 12 episodes
2011 Vietnam in HD James Anderson (voice) Episode: "The Beginning"
2012-2013 American Horror Story: Asylum Johnny Morgan 5 episodes
2013-2014 Hostages Duncan Carlisle 15 episodes
2014-2015 Stalker Detective Jack Larsen 20 episodes
2018 LA to Vegas Capt. David "Dave" Pratman 15 episodes
2018 American Horror Story: Apocalypse Dr. Ben Harmon Episode: "Return to Murder House"
2019 The Politician Theo Sloan 6 episodes
2019 American Horror Story: 1984 Bruce 3 episodes
2019 No Activity Clint Bergman 7 episodes
2020 Hollywood Ernie West 7 episodes


Year Title Role
N/A Golden Boy N/A
1978 Believe It, See It, Survival N/A
1985 Biloxi Blues Roy Selridge
1995 Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man N/A
2006 The Treatment Man
2008 Three Changes Nate

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1998 Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series The Practice Nominated
1999 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama The Practice Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Practice Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama The Practice Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Practice Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama The Practice Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama The Practice Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama The Practice Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Practice Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series The Practice Nominated
2001 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama The Practice Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Practice Nominated
2004 Prism Awards Best Performance in a Theatrical Feature Film Wonderland Nominated
2012 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Performance by an Ensemble The Perks of Being a Wallflower Won
Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television American Horror Story: Murder House Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actor in a New TV Series Stalker Nominated
2019 Gold Derby Awards Best Drama Guest Actor American Horror Story: Apocalypse Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Hollywood Nominated


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  42. ^ "20 Years of Sexy Lawyers". People. Vol. 64 no. 22. November 28, 2005. p. 181-82.
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External links

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