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Dylan McDermott

Dylan McDermott

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Also Known As: Mark Anthony Mcdermott Died:
Born: October 26, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Waterbury, Connecticut, USA Profession: actor, director, waiter, busboy

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As an actor, Dylan McDermott's innate inner fire set him apart from many of his less dangerous television contemporaries. McDermott showed the makings of a leading man early on, turning in solid supporting work in such diverse feature films as the grim Vietnam War story "Hamburger Hill" (1987) and the comedic drama "Steel Magnolias" (1989), amidst a cast of leading lady all-stars. He edged up toward movie stardom with the lead in the cult sci-fi thriller "Hardware" (1990) and held his own alongside screen icon Clint Eastwood in "In the Line of Fire" (1993). With the Jodie Foster-directed "Home for the Holidays" (1995), McDermott demonstrated a knack for lighter fare as well, but it was his intense portrayal of driven criminal defense attorney Bobby Donnell on David E. Kelley's acclaimed legal drama "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004) that finally gained the actor critical recognition and sex symbol status. McDermott's track record after "The Practice," however, was spotty at best, with such features as the supernatural thriller "The Messengers" (2007) and the short-lived cop drama "Dark Blue" (TNT, 2009-2010) failing to ignite sparks with audiences. Ironically, his next hit project came when he starred...

As an actor, Dylan McDermott's innate inner fire set him apart from many of his less dangerous television contemporaries. McDermott showed the makings of a leading man early on, turning in solid supporting work in such diverse feature films as the grim Vietnam War story "Hamburger Hill" (1987) and the comedic drama "Steel Magnolias" (1989), amidst a cast of leading lady all-stars. He edged up toward movie stardom with the lead in the cult sci-fi thriller "Hardware" (1990) and held his own alongside screen icon Clint Eastwood in "In the Line of Fire" (1993). With the Jodie Foster-directed "Home for the Holidays" (1995), McDermott demonstrated a knack for lighter fare as well, but it was his intense portrayal of driven criminal defense attorney Bobby Donnell on David E. Kelley's acclaimed legal drama "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004) that finally gained the actor critical recognition and sex symbol status. McDermott's track record after "The Practice," however, was spotty at best, with such features as the supernatural thriller "The Messengers" (2007) and the short-lived cop drama "Dark Blue" (TNT, 2009-2010) failing to ignite sparks with audiences. Ironically, his next hit project came when he starred in the gleefully gratuitous cable shocker "American Horror Story" (FX, 2011- ) - an anthology series that would change not only its setting, but its core cast each season. As a fiercely committed performer willing to take creative risks, McDermott was sure to shake things up on screens for years to come.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Mercy (2014)
2.
 Freezer (2014)
3.
 Automata (2014)
4.
5.
 Survivor (2013)
6.
 Nobody Walks (2012)
7.
 Campaign, The (2012)
8.
 Burning Palms (2011)
9.
 Streets of Blood (2009)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Lived with grandmother in Waterbury, CT after mother's death
:
After his step-mother, Eve Ensler suffered a miscarriage, he took on the name Dylan ¿ the name of her unborn child
1977:
Made stage debut in Eve Ensler's "Believe It, See It, Survival"
1985:
Made his Broadway debut in Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues"
1987:
Made feature film debut in "Hamburger Hill"
1988:
Landed a leading role in "The Blue Iguana"
1989:
Appeared in Michael Almereyda's "Twister"
1989:
Played the affable husband of Julia Roberts' ailing character in "Steel Magnolias"
1989:
Made television debut, playing a featured role in the Showtime miniseries "The Neon Empire"
1990:
Starred in the sci-fi thriller "Hardware"
1991:
Appeared in the USA Network TV-movie "Into the Badlands"
1991:
Starred in the psychodrama "Where Sleeping Dogs Lie"
1992:
Paired with Jami Gertz in the romantic comedy "Jersey Girl"
1992:
Starred in the Showtime thriller "The Fear Inside"
1993:
Played Clint Eastwood's doomed partner in "In the Line of Fire"
1994:
Landed a featured role in "The Cowboy Way"
1994:
Starred as the lawyer defending Kris Kringle in the remake of "Miracle on 34th Street"
1995:
Returned to the stage for Eve Ensler's "Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man"
1995:
Cast in a supporting role in Jodie Foster's "Home for the Holidays"
1997:
Cast in breakthrough role as the headstrong defense attorney Bobby Donnell on ABC's "The Practice"
1997:
Co-starred with Jeanne Tripplehorn in the romantic comedy "'Til There Was You"
1999:
Made TV directorial debut with an episode of ABC's "The Practice"
1999:
Played a high-powered executive opposite Matthew Perry in the romantic comedy "Three to Tango"
2001:
Co-starred with James Van Der Beek in Steve Miner's 1875-set adventure "Texas Rangers"
2003:
Featured in the independent movie "Party Monster," starring Macaulay Culkin as New York club promoter and convicted murderer Michael Alig
2003:
Appeared in the film "Wonderland," starring Val Kilmer and based on the 1981 Wonderland Murders
2004:
Cast as FBI Agent Mike Canary in TNT's six-hour limited series "The Grid"
2006:
Co-starred with Snoop Dogg in the drama "The Tenants"
2007:
Appeared in the Pang Brothers thriller "The Messengers"
2008:
Cast in the Broadway production of Nicky Silver's "Three Changes"
2009:
Played a police lieutenant on the short-lived TNT drama "Dark Blue"
2011:
Starred on FX's sexually charged thriller "American Horror Story," created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk
2012:
Played Logan Lerman's father in feature adaptation of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," written and directed by the novel's author Stephen Chbosky
2012:
Played a serial killer in FX miniseries "American Horror Story: Asylum"
2013:
Played a former Secret Service agent in action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

The Neigborhood Playhouse: New York , New York -
Fordham University: New York , New York - 1983

Notes

When his stepmother Eve Ensler miscarried a baby she planned to name Dylan, McDermott changed his first name from Mark to Dylan.

"People sometimes ask how I've managed to stay afloat after doing all these movies that haven't done well. I came to realize it's been a blessing that I hadn't been in a big hit too early. So many actors in their 20s are burned out by now." --McDermott quoted in the New York Post, September 14, 1995.

Dylan McDermott on "Home for the Holidays": "At the dailies one day, I watched the scene between Holly and me in the doorway to her bedroom, when our characters are breaking up. There I was, 33 and in my 12th film, and I finally said 'You know what, THAT'S what I've been after since I started acting when I was a troubled 19-year-old.' Maybe it's only one moment in the film--and maybe nobody will see it but me--but for the first time I saw a leading man on the screen when looking at myself." --quoted in Movieline, December 1995.

"I've tried like hell to make bad movies good, and I can't. Maybe Marlon Brando has been able to do that at times. But even HE has a hard time making 'The Appaloosa' a good movie." --Dylan McDermott in Us, April 1997.

"[I]n the movies, I felt I couldn't hit my stride. I was frustrated. I was getting scripts that others had passed on, and there was a reason they were passing.

"With 'The Practice', I felt I could go to the next place with my acting and get better movies." --Dylan McDermott to USA Today, October 16, 1997.

McDermott on his motivation for acting: "When my mom died, I felt invisible psychologically; so, from that point on, my goal was to be seen. Acting wasn't about making a career choice. It was almost like I had to become an actor to heal that scar." --quoted in Us, December 1998.

"As an actor, I grew up with Eugene O'Neill as my idol. And I felt that David Kelley [creator of "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal"] was sort of like the modern Eugene O'Neill in terms of someone who could write for me. In the back of my head I always thought I needed a creative partner. I thought of Tennessee Williams writing for Marlon Brando, Scorsese directing De Niro ... creative couples who sort of work off each other. I felt I needed that to help me find my signature piece--every actor needs that signature piece if he wants to go to the next level. And I thought David Kelley would be that person for me. This is a guy who, between our show and "Ally McBeal", writes 100 pages of top-quality script a week. I watch him, but I still don't know how the hell he does it." --McDermott quoted in Daily News, January 24, 1999.

Dennis Gordon, one of the directors of "The Practice": "Dylan smolders better than anyone around. He's always on simmer." --quoted in Us, April 1999.

"Instinctively I thought I'd do well in television because I had grown up in front of it. I was a lonely latchkey kid who watched day and night." --Dylan McDermott quoted in Parade Magazine, August 15, 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Julia Roberts. Actor. Met during filming of "Steel Magnolias"; briefly engaged c. 1990.
companion:
Melissa Gilbert. Actor. Dated briefly.
wife:
Shiva Afshar. Actor. Married c. 1995.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Richard McDermott. Bar owner, bartender. Owned New York's West Fourth Street Saloon; was 17 when McDermott was born.
step-mother:
Eve Ensler. Playwright. Born c. 1953; legally adopted McDermott when he was 19 years old; divorced from Richard McDermott.
sister:
Robin McDermott.
daughter:
Colette McDermott. Born in May 1996; mother, Shiva Afshar.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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