Golden Globe Award winning actor Dylan McDermott is best recognized as Bobby Donnell on the David E. Kelly show “The Practice” (ABC, 1997-2004), from which he picked up his Golden Globe award. After the show ended, he starred in the short lived series “Big Shots” (ABC, 2007-2008) and in 2009, began playing the role of Lieutenant Carter Shaw on the TNT series “Dark Blue” (2009-2010). Spotted by an agent while working in Neil Simon's “Biloxi Blues” (1985), the Connecticut native quickly broke into Hollywood with a notable role in the 1987 war movie “Hamburger Hill.” He has since appeared in a number of movies, including “Steel Magnolias” (1989), “Hardware” (1990), “In the Line of Fire” (1993), “Miracle on 34th Street” (1994), “Destiny Turns on the Radio” (1995), “Home for the Holidays” (1995), “Three to Tango” (1999), “Party Monster” (2003), “Wonderland” (2003), “The Mistress of Spices” (2005), “Unbeatable Harold” (2006), “The Messengers” (2007) and “Burning Palms” (2010). McDermott's stage credits include “Believe It, See It, Survival,” “Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man” and “Three Changes” (2008).
McDermott has two daughters with his former wife, actress Shiva Rose. While on the set of “Steel Magnolias,” he was romantically involved with Julia Roberts and they were briefly engaged in 1990. The bond ended when Roberts fell for Kiefer Sutherland on the set of her next film, “Flatliners” (1990). McDermott also briefly dated actress Melissa Gilbert and ranked No. 67 on People Magazine's list of “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” in 1995. Three years later, he was named one of People Magazine's “50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
Childhood and Family:
Mark Anthony McDermott, who would later be popular as Dylan McDermott, was born on October 26, 1961, in Waterbury, Connecticut, to an Irish American father, Richard McDermott, and an Italian American mother, Diane Marino. Her mother was only 15 years old when she had her son, while her father was 17. Dylan’s sister, Robin McDermott, was born five years later before his parents divorced in 1967. After the divorce, his father moved to Manhattan, where he later found success as a bartender and owned New York City's West Fourth Street Saloon, while Mark and his little sister remained in Connecticut with their mother and grandmother, Avis Marino. A tragedy struck when Diane was accidentally shot and killed with her boyfriend's gun in February of 1967. After the tragic death, young Mark became a loner and developed self-destructive behaviors. By the time he was a teenager, he had been involved in fights, drank heavily and acted out. Mark's life began to change following his father's marriage to Eve Ensler, a playwright of “The Vagina Monologues” fame. Ensler took Mark under her care and eventually adopted him when he was 19. With support from his stepmother, he straightened up his life and began exploring acting. The two have remained close although she later divorced his father. When Ensler suffered a miscarriage, Mark changed his name to Dylan in tribute of his stepmother, who would have given her own child that name. Dylan graduated from Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, CT. He then majored in drama at Fordham University in New York City and trained under Sanford Meisner at New York City’s Neighborhood Playhouse.
On November 19, 1995, Dylan married American actress of Irish and Persian/Iranian descent Shiva Rose. Their first child, daughter Colette McDermott, was born in May 1996. The couple welcomed their second daughter, Charlotte Rose McDermott, on September 8, 2005. After having been together for almost 12 years, Dylan and his wife separated and later divorced on January 2, 2009. They share custody of their children.
Dylan McDermott made his professional stage debut in a production of “Believe It, See It, Survival” (1978), which was written by his stepmother, Eve Ensler. After completing his acting studies, he resurfaced in his Broadway debut in Neil Simon's “Biloxi Blues.” Directed by Gene Saks, the play, which ran from March 28, 1985, to June 28, 1986, at the Neil Simon Theatre, won Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Direction of a Play and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play. It was during one of his stage performances that he caught the eye of an agent and was immediately brought to Hollywood.
In 1987, McDermott made the successful jump to features with the significant role of Adam Frantz on “Hamburger Hill,” a Vietnam drama helmed by John Irvin and scripted by James Carabatsos. The film also starred Steven Weber, Courtney B. Vance, Don Cheadle and Michael Boatman. It was followed by roles in John Lafia's “The Blue Iguana” (1988) and Michael Almereyda's “Twister” (1989). In between, he made his television acting debut in the Showtime two part movie “The Neon Empire” (1989), opposite Ray Sharkey, Gary Busey, Linda Fiorentino, Martin Landau and Julie Carmen.
McDermott was next cast as Julia Roberts' husband, Jackson Latcherie, in Herbert Ross' hit “Steel Magnolias” (1989), an adaptation of Robert Harling's 1987 off-Broadway play of the same name. Roberts was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for her role of Shelby Eatenton Latcherie. The film grossed over $5 million during the opening weekend and went on to earn nearly $84 million in the domestic market. The actor then portrayed Moses Baxter in the science fiction thriller “Hardware” (1990), for director Richard Stanley. The film received recognition at several festivals, including the 1990 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival and the 1991 Fantasporto.
1991 saw McDermott work with Bruce Dern, Mariel Hemingway and Helen Hunt in the USA Network television film “Into the Badlands” and star as Bruce Simmons in Charles Finch's “Where Sleeping Dogs Lie,” opposite Sharon Stone. He then suffered a box office disappointment with David Burton Morris' “Jersey Girl,” co-starred with Christine Lahti in the Showtime thriller “The Fear Inside,” directed by Leon Ichaso, and guest starred as George Gatlin in HBO's “Tales from the Crypt” (all 1992) before enjoying success playing Al D'Andrea, the ill-fated partner of Clint Eastwood, in the successful thriller “In the Line of Fire” (1993). The film, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, garnered primarily positive reviews from critics and earned nominations at major award ceremonies, such as the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards. It was also a significant box office hit.
McDermott was next cast with Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland in Gregg Champion's dud “The Cowboy Way” (1994), portrayed Elizabeth Perkins' boyfriend in a ill-conceived remake of the classic film “Miracle on 34th Street” (1994), directed by Les Mayfield and scripted by John Hughes, starred as an escaped bank robber, Julian Goddard, in Jack Baran's feature “Destiny Turns on the Radio” (1995), and played the supporting role of Leo Fish in “Home for the Holidays” (1995), which was directed and co-produced by Jodie Foster and starred Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr.. He also returned to the stage for Ensler's “Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man” in 1995.
While attending a dinner to honor Clint Eastwood, McDermott met Jeffrey Kramer, the president of David E. Kelly productions, who asked him to audition for a new series titled “The Practice” (1997-2004). His audition proved successful and the actor won the role of attorney Bobby Donnell on the series. The legal drama won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 1998 and 1999 and the Golden Globe in 1999 for Best TV-Series - Drama. For his good acting, McDermott took home a 1999 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Drama. He also netted an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1999), two Golden Satellite nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Drama (1999 & 2000), three Screen Actors Guild nominations in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1999-2001), a Television Critics Association nomination for Individual Achievement in Drama (1999) and two Q Award nominations for Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series (1998 & 2000). Apart from acting, McDermott made his directorial debut with the 1999 episode “Infected.”
While working on “The Practice,” McDermott revisited the big screen with the role of Nick in Scott Winant's “'Til There Was You” (1997), with Jeanne Tripplehorn and Sarah Jessica Parker. The next year, he recreated the role of Bobby Donnell in two episodes of the series “Ally McBeal” and guest starred in an episode of “Sin City Spectacular.” He then hosted the 1999 episode “Dylan McDermott/Foo Fighters” of “Saturday Night Live.” Still in 1999, McDermott starred as Charles Newman on the romantic comedy “Three to Tango” (1999), alongside Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell and Oliver Platt. He reappeared three years later in Steve Miner's adventure “Texas Rangers” (2001), opposite James Van Der Beek, Rachael Leigh Cook and Ashton Kutcher. It was followed by the role of Peter Gatien in the Macaulay Culkin indie vehicle “Party Monster” (2003) and the role of David Lind in the film “Wonderland” (2003). The same year, he also had an unaccredited part in Gary Fleder's “Runaway Jury,” starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and Rachel Weisz, and offered a memorable performance as Tom in an episode of “Will & Grace” called “Heart Like a Wheelchair.”
Following the demise of “The Practice,” McDermott landed the starring role of FBI Agent Max Canary on the TNT miniseries “The Grid” (2004, opposite Julianna Margulies), co-starred with Snoop Dogg in the thriller “The Tenants” (2005, directed by Danny Green), was cast with Indian actress Aishwarya Rai in Paul Mayeda Berges's mystical drama “The Mistress of Spices” (2005), and supported Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Justin Timberlake and LL Cool J in David J. Burke's “Edison” (2005). He then teamed up with Gordon Michaels and Nicole DeHuff for the romantic film “Unbeatable Harold” (2006), Kristen Stewart, Penelope Ann Miller and John Corbett in the Pang Brothers thriller “The Messengers” (2007), and Cayden Boyd, AnnaSophia Robb, Lara Flynn Boyle, Heather Graham, Val Kilmer and Matthew Modine in the drama “Have Dreams, Will Travel” (2007).
After a failed attempt to return to series TV with the unsold pilot “A House Divided” (2006), McDermott was cast as a regular on the ABC drama “Big Shots” (2007-2008), created and executive produced by Jon Harmon Feldman. The show, however, was axed after one season. He returned to Broadway in a 2008 production of “Three Changes” by Nick Silver.
McDermott was next cast in the 2009 film “Mercy.” He recently starred with Shannen Doherty, Zoe Saldana, Lake Bell and Nick Stahl in the satirical film “Burning Palms,” which premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 23, 2010. Currently, he stars as Lieutenant Carter Shaw on the Danny Cannon created action series “Dark Blue,” which began airing on TNT on July 15, 2009.
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Drama, “The Practice,” 1999