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Ken Olin

Ken Olin

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Also Known As: Kenneth Olin Died:
Born: July 30, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A dark, handsome, sensitive leading actor of television who, after off-Broadway and TV experience, gained some attention amid stiff competition for his recurring role on two seasons of NBC's "Hill Street Blues". Olin was subsequently saddled with an archetypal soap opera role on CBS' "Falcon Crest" (to which, to his credit, he brought a certain low-keyed conviction): a priest who has a torrid affair with one of his parishioners. It was not until his fourth TV series, the acclaimed ABC drama "thirtysomething", that Olin really found a role that properly showcased his casual sincerity and charm, yuppie Michael Steadman, an advertising executive who introspectively worried about whether he was a good husband, a good father, a good friend, and a good Jew, sometimes simultaneously.Like Michael Steadman, the product of a divorce, Olin made his Off-Broadway stage debut in 1978 in "Taxi Tales" and played Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1982), the year after making his film debut in "Ghost Story" (1981), playing John Houseman as a young man. He made his TV debut playing a cadet judging the future status of "Women at West Point" (CBS, 1979), and, in 1983, was a ballplayer in the short-lived...

A dark, handsome, sensitive leading actor of television who, after off-Broadway and TV experience, gained some attention amid stiff competition for his recurring role on two seasons of NBC's "Hill Street Blues". Olin was subsequently saddled with an archetypal soap opera role on CBS' "Falcon Crest" (to which, to his credit, he brought a certain low-keyed conviction): a priest who has a torrid affair with one of his parishioners. It was not until his fourth TV series, the acclaimed ABC drama "thirtysomething", that Olin really found a role that properly showcased his casual sincerity and charm, yuppie Michael Steadman, an advertising executive who introspectively worried about whether he was a good husband, a good father, a good friend, and a good Jew, sometimes simultaneously.

Like Michael Steadman, the product of a divorce, Olin made his Off-Broadway stage debut in 1978 in "Taxi Tales" and played Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1982), the year after making his film debut in "Ghost Story" (1981), playing John Houseman as a young man. He made his TV debut playing a cadet judging the future status of "Women at West Point" (CBS, 1979), and, in 1983, was a ballplayer in the short-lived Steven Bochco NBC series "Bay City Blues". "Hill Street Blues" and "Falcon Crest" followed before "thirtysomething" made Olin a TV star. He played Liz Taylor's agent in "There Must Be a Pony" (ABC, 1986) and starred in the miniseries "I'll Take Manhattan" (CBS, 1987). Olin also played Charles Stuart in "Good Night, Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston" (CBS, 1990), based on the true story of the Boston man who killed his wife and blamed an African American. Olin had his first big screen lead as one of the buddies returning for a wedding in the ensemble reunion movie "Queen's Logic" (1991).

Olin began directing with a 1989 episode of "thirtysomething" and went on to handle six additional assignments. He subsequently branched out into TV-movies, directing "The Broken Cord" (ABC, 1992), about a brain-damaged Lakota Indian adoptee and the first TV-movie produced by the Fox network: "Doing Time on Maple Drive" (1992), about a dysfunctional family, which also offered Jim Carrey his first dramatic role. In 1995, Olin directed Don Johnson in HBO's "In Pursuit of Honor", which chronicled several army officers during World War I who defied orders to slaughter healthy horses. Olin made his feature film directorial debut with "White Fang 2: The Myth of the White Wolf" (1994). He returned to series TV as a police detective in the short-lived, but highly acclaimed CBS drama series "EZ Streets" (1996-97) and again in the short-lived medical drama "L.A. Doctors" (CBS, 1998-99).

Olin is married to actress Patricia Wettig, who also starred on "thirtysomething" (though not as Olin's character's spouse). The duo has worked together in the TV-movies "Cop Killer" (ABC, 1988) and "Nothing But the Truth" (CBS, 1995). Olin was also one of the executive producers of "Kansas", a 1995 ABC TV-movie starring Wettig.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Phenomenon II (2003) Director
2.
  In Pursuit of Honor (1995) Director
4.
  Broken Cord, The (1992) Director
5.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Y2K (1999) Nick Cromwell
2.
 Evolution's Child (1999) Dr James Mydell
3.
 Advocate's Devil, The (1997) Abe Ringel
4.
 'Til There Was You (1997) Gregory
5.
 Nothing But the Truth (1995) Peter Clayman
6.
 Queens Logic (1991) Ray
7.
8.
 Stoning in Fulham County, A (1988) Jim Sandler
9.
 Cop Killer (1988) Curtis "Manny" Mandell
10.
 Tonight's the Night (1987) Henry Fox
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Appeared off-Broadway in such plays as "The Fairy Garden", "Self-Torture and Strenuous Exercise", and "Cacciatore"
1981:
Made feature film debut in "Ghost Story"
1983:
Featured in short-lived NBC series, "Bay City Blues"; played Rocky Padillo
1984:
Played Detective Harry Garibaldi on NBC serial police drama, "Hill Street Blues"
:
Played Father Christopher in CBS serial drama, "Falcon Crest"
1987:
Acted in CBS miniseries, "I'll Take Manhattan"
:
Played Michael Steadman on ABC serial drama, "thirtysomething"
1989:
Made televison directing debut with the "No Promises" episode of "thirtysomething"
1990:
Directed play, "My Mother Said I Never Should", starring his wife, Patricia Wettig, and Estelle Parsons (date approximate)
1991:
First leading role in a feature film; played Ray in ensemble film, "Queen's Logic"
1992:
Directed first TV-movie, "The Broken Cord"
1994:
Feature directorial debut, "White Fang 2: Myth of the White Fang"
1995:
Was executive producer of "Kansas", an ABC TV-movie starring Patricia Wettig
1995:
Starred with Wettig in CBS TV-movie "Nothing But the Truth"
1996:
Returned to series TV as co-star of CBS drama series "EZ Streets"
1998:
Starred in the CBS series "L.A. Doctors"; also executive consultant; directed episodes as well
2000:
Helmed episodes of NBC's "The West Wing"
2001:
Served as one of the executive producers of the TNT series "Breaking News"; also helmed pilot
2001:
Co-executive produced and helmed episodes of the ABC drama series "Alias"
2006:
Executive produced and helmed the ABC family drama, "Brothers & Sisters"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia , Pennsylvania -
Circle in the Square Professional Theatre School: New York , New York -

Notes

Olin and Patricia Wettig were recipients of the Humanitarian Award of the Friends of the Wellness Community-Westside

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Patricia Wettig. Actor. Married in 1982; one of Olin's co-stars on "thirtysomething", although they did not play a married couple on the show; she won three Emmy Awards for her role.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Lawrence Olin. Was deputy director of the Peace Corps; divorced from Ken's mother when Ken a boy.
son:
Clifford Olin. Born c. 1983; mother, Patricia Wettig.
daughter:
Roxanne Olin. Born on Novemebr 5, 1985; mother, Patricia Wettig.

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