Entering show business in 1993, character actor Peter Jacobson has appeared in numerous films and TV shows. He is commonly cast as the perfect “everyman.” Making his debut in 1994's “It Could Happen to You,” Jacobson is perhaps most popular for playing Mr. Hosney in the highly successful movie “Transformers” (2007) from renowned director Michael Bay. He also had noted roles in “Pipe Dream” (2002), “Showtime” (2002) and “Good Night, and Good Luck” (2005, earned a SAG nomination). Other film credits include “A Civil Action” (1998), “Cradle Will Rock” (1999), “Domino” (2005), “Failure to Launch” (2006), “Purple Violets” (2007), “The Midnight Meat Train” (2008) and “What Just Happened (2008). As a TV actor, Jacobson picked up a 2009 SAG nomination for his work in the hit Fox medical series “House M.D.,” where he played Dr. Chris Taub from 2007 to 2009. He is also known for playing Kenny Kagan in the critically acclaimed miniseries “The Starter Wife” (2007), Randolph J. 'Randy' Dworkin in three episodes of “Law & Order” (2003-2006), Artie Green in the Billy Crystal-helmed television movie “61*” (2001) and Josh Kaplan in five episodes of “Bull” (2000-2001). He has also guest starred in such popular TV series as “Will & Grace,” “ER,” “CSI: Miami,” “Scrubs” and “Boston Legal.”
Childhood and Family:
Peter S. Jacobson was born on March 24, 1965, in Chicago, Illinois, to Walter Jacobson, a veteran Chicago news anchor. He graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1987. He then attended the Juilliard School in New York, where he graduated in 1991.
Two years after graduating from Juilliard, Peter Jacobson made his television debut in an episode of “NYPD Blue” (1993). It was followed by another guest appearance in an episode of “Law & Order” in 1994. The same year, he also made the jump to the big screen with a bit role as a TV reporter in “It Could Happen to You,” which was directed by Andrew Bergman and starred Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda.
Jacobson has acted in a number of movies, including Josh Walsh's “Ed's Next Move” (1996, starred Matt Ross), “Howard Stern's 'Private Parts'” (1997), Daniel Taplitz's “Commandments” (1997, with Aidan Quinn, Courteney Cox and Anthony LaPaglia), the Mel Gibson/Julia Roberts movie “Conspiracy Theory” (1997), Woody Allen's “Deconstructing Harry” (1997), James L. Brooks' “As Good as It Gets” (1997, starred Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt), Boaz Yakin's “A Price Above Rubies” (1998, starred Renée Zellweger and Christopher Eccleston), “Great Expectations” (1998), a modern-day adaptation of Charles Dickens novel of the same name which was directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starred Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow, the Acapulco Black Film Festival Award winner “Mixing Nia” (1998), and the John Travolta legal drama “A Civil Action” (1998), directed by Steven Zaillian. He also costarred with Michael Parducci in “Hit and Runway” (1999) and portrayed Uncle Silvano in Tim Robbins' “Cradle Will Rock” (1999). Meanwhile, in 1997, the actor appeared in episodes of the HBO-produced prison drama “Oz” and the ABC sitcom “Spin City.”
Entering the new millennium, Jacobson could be seen in two short-lived series, “Talk to Me” (2000), a sitcom starring Mary Birdsong, and “Bull” (2000). In between the shows, Jacobson appeared in Martin Davidson's dramatic film “Looking for an Echo” (2000), the TV film “Life with David J” (2001), which was written by and starred David J. Nash, and had a supporting role in the comedy film “Roomates“ (2001), directed and written by Paulina Porizkova, who also acted in the film. He then landed guest spots in “Will & Grace,” “Gideon's Crossing” and “Third Watch” (all 2001). However, it was his portrayal of Artie Green in Billy Crystal’s baseball television movie “61*” (2001), about Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle (portrayed by Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane, respectively), which really gained him notice.
Following the supporting role of Nathan in Justin McCarthy's comedy feature “Get Well Soon” (2001), which starred Vincent Gallo and Courteney Cox, Jacobson offered a strong performance as Arnie Hufflitz in the well-reviewed romantic comedy “Pipe Dream” (2002), starring Mary Louise Parker and Martin Donovan. He gave another impressive performance as Brad Slocum in Tom Dey's “Showtime” (also 2002), starring Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy. He returned to TV in the supporting role of Adam Yarmolinsky in the Vietnam War film “Path to War” (2002), whose impressive cast included Michael Gambon, Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Felicity Huffman, Bruce McGill, Tom Skerritt and Gary Sinise, and with a regular role in the NBC short-lived show “A.U.S.A.,” (2003) as Geoffrey Laurence.
Jacobson continued to guest star in TV shows such as “Ed” (2003), “ER” (2004), “Method & Red” (2004, as Bill Blaford), “Hope & Faith” (as Aaron Melville; 2 episodes, 2005), “CSI: Miami” (2005), “Love Monkey,” “Scrubs” and “Criminal Minds” (all 2006). He returned to “Law & Order” in 2003 when he was cast as Randolph J. 'Randy' Dworkin in the episodes “Chosen” and “Bounty” and in 2006 in the episode “Thinking Makes It So.” The busy performer was also seen as Yarmulke Jake in five episodes of the short-lived ABC police procedural drama “In Justice” (2006) and as Wally Jabrowski in three episodes of the Sci-Fi Channel show “The Lost Room” (2006), starring Peter Krause and Elle Fanning.
From 2005 to 2006, Jacobson appeared in several movies. He supported David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella, Jeff Daniels, Tate Donovan and Ray Wise in “Good Night, and Good Luck” (2005), a second directorial debut from Clooney that earned good reviews from critics, and was reunited with Mickey Rourke for a small part in Tony Scott's “Domino” (2005), which was based on the true story of Domino Harvey (played by Keira Knightley), the daughter of film actor Laurence Harvey who left her glamorous life and career as a model to become a bounty hunter. He jointly netted a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for “Good Night, and Good Luck.” Additionally, Jacobson worked again with director Tom Dey in “Failure to Launch” (2006), a romantic comedy that starred Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. He then starred as Jacob Schultz in the 15-minute short “The Passage” (2006), which was written and directed by B. Jason Roer.
In 2007, Jacobson gained a boost to his career when he was cast as one of the stars on television’s “The Starter Wife,” opposite Debra Messing, Judy Davis, Miranda Otto, Chris Diamantopoulos, Stephen Moyer and Joe Mantegna. In the show, he played Kenny Kagan, Molly's (played by Messing) soon-to-be former husband and President of Production at Durango Pictures. The show received various awards and nominations, including 10 Emmy nominations (won one in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie), a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG nomination. He enjoyed additional prominence with his portrayal of Mr. Hosney in Michael Bay's action movie “Transformers” (2007). The blockbuster hit starred Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson, and Rachael Taylor. Also that year, Jacobson appeared in the films “The Memory Thief,” and “Purple Violets,” which was produced, directed and written by Edward Burns who also had a role in the film, and in an episode of “Boston Legal” called “Guantanamo by the Bay.”
In October, 2007, the hardworking actor began his recurring role of Dr. Chris Taub in “House M.D.,” a role he kept until May 2009. He received a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for his work in the Fox medical drama series.
After “Transformers,” Jacobson resurfaced as Cal in “What Just Happened (2008), a comedy directed by Barry Levinson and scripted by Art Linson and based on his book “What Just Happened: Bitter Hollywood Tales From the Front Line.” The film starred Robert De Niro, Catherine Keener, Bruce Willis, John Turturro, Robin Wright Penn, Stanley Tucci and Kristen Stewart. He next costarred with Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields and Vinnie Jones in the mystery “The Midnight Meat Train” (2008), which was adapted from Clive Barker's short stories of the same name.
Jacobson also acted in the plays “Four Dogs and a Bone,” “Waiting for Lefty” and Steve Martin's “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” and appeared in TV commercials for Nextel, Diet Pepsi Twist, and Planters Peanuts.