Family & Companions
As a classically-trained actor, Thomas Gibson proved to be a versatile performer throughout his career, racking up a number of impressive stage, film and television credits. During the early days of his profession, Gibson made the leap from soap operas to the big screen as a villain intent on keeping Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman apart in the immigrant drama "Far and Away" (1992) and as a stage actor in "Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence" (1993). An all-American actor with a low-key charisma, Gibson continued to make small film appearances, including in yet another Cruise and Kidman collaboration, Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999), as well as in the comedy "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" (2000), but enjoyed his biggest impact on television with long-running roles as the kindly Dr. Danny Nylund on "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000), the lovably uptight Greg on "Dharma & Greg" (ABC, 1997-2002), and the tortured FBI agent Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner on "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ). A steady but under-the-radar pop cultural presence, Thomas Gibson proved a rarity in Hollywood with his avoidance of scandal and stardom in favor of professionalism and dependability until an on-set meltdown, during which he reportedly kicked one of the show's producers, led to his dismissal from "Criminal Minds" at the height of the show's popularity.
Born on July 3, 1962 in Charleston, SC, Gibson began acting at nine years old, enrolling in the Little Theater School before becoming a member of the Young Charleston Theater Company and the Footlight Players. Gibson later graduated from Bishop England High School a year early in order to attend the College of Charleston, but left after a year and a half to attend the prestigious Juilliard School. In New York, he made a strong impact with performances in Shakespeare Festival productions before turning to the small screen, landing a guest role on CBS' legal drama "Leg Work" (1987) before securing stints on the daytime dramas "As the World Turns" (CBS, 1956-2010) and "Another World" (NBC, 1964-1999). He reached a larger audience with small roles in the high-profile TV miniseries "Gore Vidal's Lincoln" (NBC, 1988) and "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" (ABC, 1990) before winning acclaim for his portrayal of contemptible decadent Beauchamp Day in the PBS miniseries adaptation "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City" (1994), a role he revived years later in "Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City" (1998).
Later in 1998, Gibson took his first stab at primetime television, beginning a stint on the medical drama "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000). He played the arrogant and ambitious surgeon Dr. Daniel Nyland, a multifaceted character that offered the actor the opportunity to showcase his talents, though the large ensemble cast limited his screen time. After three seasons on "Chicago Hope," Gibson made the jump to sitcoms with a starring role on "Dharma & Greg" (ABC, 1997-2002), playing Greg Montgomery, a blue-blooded, Harvard-educated U.S. attorney who marries a hippyish yoga instructor and dog trainer, Dharma Finkelstein (Jenna Elfman), in a rare moment of spontaneity. The hit series followed the challenges the odd couple faced in dealing with their divergent world views and their disparate parents, done with a zany comedic approach and an uplifting love conquers all attitude. To the delight of fans, Gibson deftly handled straight man duties opposite Jenna Elfman's wacky scene-stealing antics.
While he was winning over millions of television viewers, Gibson quietly amassed an impressive array of film credits, taking challenging roles in acclaimed indie features, an unexpected direction for a performer with his leading man good looks and unaffected assuredness. The actor made his feature debut as a villainous rival to Tom Cruise for Nicole Kidman in Ron Howard's "Far and Away" (1992), then had a small role as a stage actor in Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's "The Age of Innocence" (1993). He essayed the role of David, a cynical and commitment-weary gay man in Canadian director Denys Arcand's "Love and Human Remains" (1993), a dark, but surprisingly funny tale about six interrelated people connected to a serial killer plaguing an unnamed Canadian metropolis. Next, Gibson's supporting turn in Whit Stillman's "Barcelona" (1994) so impressed Stanley Kubrick that the legendary director cast him in his last film, "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999).
Gibson next reunited with director Denys Arcand to costar in the Canadian drama "Stardom" (2000) as a smarmy promoter who is one of many men in the fashion industry with nefarious designs on a small-town girl (Jessica Paré) plucked from obscurity to become an international supermodel. His movie star looks and comic timing were then wasted as Chip Rockefeller, a suave millionaire with an eye for newlywed Wilma in the live-action prequel "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" (2000). Later that year, the actor returned to his stage roots as a burnt-out surfer in "Psycho Beach Party," a darkly comic slasher flick in disguise as a 1960s beach movie. After a small role as an attorney in the straight-to-cable drama "Jack the Dog" (2001), Gibson starred as a China scholar-turned-business consultant on the hunt for a famous Chinese manuscript in the sprawling miniseries, "The Lost Empire" (NBC, 2001).
Gibson next played an art teacher tracing the ownership of a painting by 17th century Dutch master Jan Vermeer in "Brush With Fate" (CBS, 2003), then starred as a down-and-out police detective reassigned to campus security after the death of his wife at the hands of a serial killer only to discover a deranged scientist (John Waters) reanimating the her murderer's corpse in "Evil Never Dies" (TBS, 2003). In "Raising Waylon" (CBS, 2004), he starred as a man forced to care for his friends' son (Jeremy Bergman) with a woman (Poppy Montgomery) he cannot stand after the unexpected death of his parents. He next played the chief operating officer of a public utility company in the ensemble cast for "Category 6: Day of Destruction" (CBS, 2004), a miniseries about three massive weather systems that collide over Chicago, creating the worst super-storm in American history. Meanwhile, Gibson returned to regular series work with the procedural drama "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ), playing the intense supervisor of an FBI task force with varied areas of expertise that tracks down serial killers. Commuting every week from Texas to Los Angeles, Gibson spoke publicly about how much he enjoyed the professional stretch of moving from the lightness of "Dharma" to the darkness of "Minds," and his role as beleaguered, haunted FBI agent Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner offered the actor multiple opportunities to sink his teeth into gritty, richly dramatic material. The show proved a durable success with a devoted fanbase, but in August 2016, Gibson was first suspended and then fired from the series following an on-set alternation in which he reportedly kicked one of the series' writer-producers during an argument. Gibson next appeared in a voice role in the drama "Axis" (2017), directed by Aisha Tyler, and in a leading role in "Shadow Wolves" (2018), a TV pilot about Native American border agents.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Interned at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival
Made NYC stage debut in "A Map of the World" by David Hare at the Public Theatre
Made his primetime TV debut with a guest appearance on CBS series "Leg Work"
TV miniseries debut, "Gore Vidal's Lincoln" (NBC)
Played the villainous Derek Mason on CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns"
Appeared in ABC miniseries "The Kennedys of Massachusetts"
Acted in six-week recurring stint on NBC's "Another World" as Sam Fowler
Starred on New York stage as Hal in Public Theater's production of "Henry IV, Parts I and II"
Made feature film debut in "Far and Away," directed by Ron Howard; cast as nemesis of Tom Cruise and rival for Nicole Kidman
Starred as a gay, failed actor-turned-waiter in Denys Arcand's Canadian feature "Love & Human Remains" (released 1995 in the U.S.)
Appeared Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence"
Featured in Whit Stillman's "Barcelona" and the independent comedy "Sleep With Me"
Played Beauchamp Day in PBS miniseries "Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City'"
Played regular role of the somewhat arrogant Dr. Daniel Nyland on CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope"
Featured in 1910-set ABC movie "Secrets"
Starred in NBC movie "Night Visitors" and ABC's "To Love, Honor and Deceive"
Played male lead James Percy in CBS movie adaptation "Louisa May Alcott's 'The Inheritance'"
Starred opposite Jenna Elfman as a married couple on ABC sitcom "Dharma & Greg"; made directorial debut with episode during the 2000-01 season
Reprised role of Beauchamp Day in "Armistad Maupin's 'More Tales of the City'" (Showtime)
Portrayed the love interest of Lea Thompson in NBC miniseries "A Will of Their Own"
Revisited "Chicago Hope" with a guest role as Dr. Daniel Nyland
Re-teamed with Cruise and Kidman with a supporting role in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut"
Cast as a burnt-out surfer dude Kanaka in black comedy-murder mystery "Psycho Beach Party"
Featured in prequel "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" as Chip Rockefeller, a millionaire with an eye for newly wed Wilma (Kristen Johnston)
Reunited with director Denys Arcand for drama "Stardom"
Played Aaron Hotchner, Unit Chief of the Behavioral Analysis Unit on CBS crime drama series "Criminal Minds"
Voiced Deathstroke on the DC animated feature "Son of Batman"
Voice Joseph in the thriller "Axis"