The Guiding Light
American actor Mark Derwin attained heartthrob status in the late 1980s thanks to his role of Adrian Hunter in the daytime soap opera “The Young and the Restless” (1989-1990) and Detective A.C. Mallet on the long-running soap opera “The Guiding Light” (1990-1993), from which he won a Soap Opera Digest Award and a Daytime Emmy nomination. He was put back in the limelight with his role of Dr. Ben Davidson on the ABC soap opera “One Life to Live” (1999-2002, 2004). Along with costar Erika Sleza, Mark co-won a Favorite Couple Soap Opera Digest Award. Derwin also acted in the sitcom “Life With Bonnie” (2002-2004), the prime time drama “Boston Legal” (2005-2007) and such movies as “The Minus Man” (1999), “Dirty Deeds” (2005) and “Accepted” (2006).
Derwin's admirers should look forward to his impressive performance in the J.J. Abrams-directed “Anatomy of Hope” (2008, TV).
Derwin has been divorced from his actress wife, Alecia, since 2000. He is close friends with actress Jocelyn Seagrave. It was Seagrave who set him up on his first date with Alecia. Derwin's love life has also been linked to actresses Beth Ehlers and Gina Tognoni.
Childhood and Family:
“I'm an Irish Catholic boy. I go to church every Sunday. I always have. There was a time when I'd go just to watch a certain girl I liked or because it was only an hour out of my life or whatever, but I started listening and believing and it helped a lot. It gave me a great deal of confidence.” Mark Derwin
Mark Derwin was born on October 28, 1960, in Park Forest, Illinois, to Irish immigrants. His father was a singer and his mother was an actress. He has one brother and one sister. Self-declared a rebel during his youth, Mark played basketball briefly in high school. He was later expelled from the State University of New York (SUNY). Mark studied acting with actor Michael LaGuardia.
On November 1, 1997, Mark married Alecia Derwin, who played the role of Ava in the dark comedy “Crashing Eden” (1999), directed and written by Dean Alioto. They divorced in 2000.
One Life to Live
After being kicked out from State University of New York at Cobbleskill, Mark Derwin briefly became an IBM employee and took on a series of odd jobs like carpenter, janitor, truck driver, telemarketer and construction worker before heading to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Thanks to the guidance of actor Michael LaGuardia, the once rebellious Derwin developed self-assurance and faith that has played a significant role in his now successful career.
As a struggling actor, Derwin did a number of free films and student films and tirelessly attended auditions. His luck began to change when he booked commercials for such clients as Nike, Toyota (never aired), Nissan, Post Grape Nuts and most notably, Fiesta Cigarettes on Mexican TV. Commenting about the latter project, he said, “I'm the Fiesta man. They were looking for a New York actor with an attitude. It's pretty funny. They dub over my voice. After I did the spots, they put in a real Mexican voice and there were dancing girls and fireworks.”
Derwin landed an episode role on “Hardball” and a recurring role on the long-running soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” where he played Jeremiah Brown in six episodes during the 1988 season. However, the actor did not experience real success until he joined the cast of the daytime drama “The Young and the Restless” in the regular role of Adrian Hunter. He was in the show from 1989 to 1990.
The Illinois native further verified he was a soap opera heartthrob with his role of detective A.C. Mallet on the CBS hit “The Guiding Light.” During his three-year tenure with the series (1990-1993), he became a lead actor and received a 1993 Soap Opera Digest for Hottest Male Star. He was also nominated for a 1992 Soap Opera Digest in the category of Best Love Story: Daytime or Prime Time and a 1993 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
After leaving “The Guiding Light,” Derwin appeared in episodes of the Fox show “Silk Stalkings” (1995) and the short-lived sitcom “The Bonnie Hunt Show” (1995). He was seen a year later with a costarring role in the comedy “Pistol Pete” before returning to series TV as a guest star in such series as “Diagnosis Murder” (1996), “Touched by an Angel”(1997), “Party of Five” (1997), “Cybill” (1997), “Veronica's Closet” (1998), “Pensacola: Wings of Gold” (1998) and “For Your Love” (1998). Derwin was also seen in “Evil Obsession,” a 1997 thriller costarring Corey Feldman and Kimberly Stevens, the independent film “Ballad of the Nightingale” (1998) and the Hampton Fancher-directed mystery/thriller “The Minus Man” (1999), which starred Owen Wilson and Sheryl Crow.
Returning to daytime television, Derwin created the role of Dr. Ben Davidson on the ABC series “One Life to Live” in February 1999. In 2002, he rejoined Bonnie Hunt to costar in the prime time sitcom “Life with Bonnie,” where he played Bonnie's husband, Dr. Mark Molloy. He stayed with the show until its cancellation in 2004. During that period, Derwin's character in “One Life to Live” was put in a coma and was eventually killed off mere weeks before “Life with Bonnie” was canceled.
Derwin next guest starred as Paul Kendall in “Medical Investigation” and Mr. Morgan in “CSI: Miami” (both 2004). He revisited the big screen with a supporting part in the teen comedy “Dirty Deeds” (2005), in which he memorably played Vincent Scarno. It was followed by the role of Jack Gaines in another teen comedy, “Accepted” (2006), and the psychological drama “Laura Smiles” (2006), where he appeared with Kip Pardue, Ted Hartley and Petra Wright. In between these movies, Derwin played the recurring role of James Mandelbaum in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” was cast as Allen Porter in TBS' comedy series, “Boys Life” (2006), portrayed Sam Gordon on the NBC action series “Heist” (2006) and costarred with Hector Bucio in the made-for-TV film “Women of a Certain Age” (2006). 2007 saw Derwin having guest spots on such shows as “Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative,” “Without a Trace,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “How I Met Your Mother.” That same year, he also ended his three-episodic turn as Attorney Michael Eaves in the prime time drama “Boston Legal.” Recently, Derwin portrayed Detective Conway on a 2008 episode of the Sci-fi series “Chuck” and George Nicholson on the new drama series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”
The 48-year-old actor will soon play Dr. Grayson on “Anatomy of Hope” (2008, TV), a medical drama based on the lives of cancer patients. The upcoming project is directed by J.J. Abrams.
Soap Opera Digest: Favorite Couple (shared with Erika Slezak), “One Life to Live,” 2000
Soap Opera Digest: Hottest Male Star, “The Guiding Light,” 1993