Golden Globe nominated Canadian actor Tom Cavanagh is best known for his portrayal of the protagonist and main character on the NBC series “Ed” (2000-2004), from which he received a Golden Globe nomination, a Family Television Award and a TV Guide Award. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his performance on Showtime's “Bang Bang You're Dead” (2002). Cavanagh is also known for playing Doug Boyce on NBC's “Providence” (8 episodes, 1999-2000), Dan Dorian on NBC's “Scrubs” (7 episodes, 2002-2009), Tom Farrell on CBS' “Love Monkey” (2006), Jeremy Stone on “Eli Stone” (7 episodes, 2008-2009) and Conner in “Trust Me” (2009). On the big screen, the dark haired thespian has acted in several Canadian and U.S. films, such as “Magic in the Water” (1995), “Honeymoon” (1997), “Something More” (1999), “Alchemy” (2005), “How to Eat Fried Worms” (2006), “Two Weeks” (2006), “Gray Matters” (2006) and “Breakfast with Scot” (2007).
Cavanagh, who was once romantically involved with “Providence” costar Paula Cale, has been married to Maureen Grise since 2004. They have a daughter and two sons and currently reside in Los Angeles. When not working, he enjoys playing the guitar and sports. Cavanagh patronizes Nothing But Nets, a charitable organization that helps prevent malaria deaths in Africa through local distribution of mosquito nets. In 2008, he opened the Cavanagh Classic, an annual celebrity basketball tournament in Rucker Park in New York City to raise money and awareness for the cause. He also traveled with the United Nations to Rwanda in 2009 to distribute nets.
Childhood and Family:
Thomas Cavanagh was born on October 26, 1963, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. When he was six years old, his family moved to a small village in Ghana, where his father taught modern educational methods to local theaters and his mother taught local villagers. Although he spent his childhood in Ghana, young Tom traveled Europe during the summer. His family moved back to Canada when he was a teenager and he was educated at the Seminaire de Sherbrooke and the Champlain College in Lennoxville, Quebec. Tom later graduated with degrees in English, biology and education from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. It was while at Queens University that he developed a love for music and theatre and played varsity hockey and basketball.
On July 31, 2004, Tom married Maureen Grise, a photo editor for “Sports Illustrated,” in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The couple welcomed their first daughter, Alice Ann, on February 10, 2006. Their second child, Thomas Cavanagh, Jr., was born on June 29, 2007. They welcomed a new addition to their family, son James Joseph, on August 5, 2009. The second oldest of five children, Tom has an older brother and three sisters.
Bang Bang You're Dead
Tom Cavanagh made his Broadway debut in a musical revival of “Shenandoah” (1989), starring John Cullum. He has since appeared in several stage productions, including a Canadian “Grease” (as Danny Zuko), “Cabaret,” “A Chorus Line” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” Cavanagh's first screen appearance was in the Canadian independent film “White Light” (1991). The same year, he also landed a regular role in the independently produced Canadian series “No Place Like Home.”
After appearing as Charlie in “Programmer/Child's Play” (1992), an episode of the NBC series “Secret Service” (1992-1993), which was hosted by Steven Ford, and an episode of the science fiction show “Beyond Reality” called “Inner Ear” (1993), Cavanagh was cast in the CBS film “Sherlock Holmes Returns” (1993), which starred Anthony Higgins as Sherlock Holmes. He then appeared in the Lifetime movie “Other Women's Children” (1993), starring Melanie Mayron and Geraint Wyn Davies and guest starred in the Canadian television series “Street Legal” (1994, as Dr. Peter Shenfield), “Madison” (1995, as Jesus) and “Hawkeye” (1995). He also played roles in the American TV films “A Vow to Kill” (US Network) and “Dangerous Intention” (CBS, both 1995). Still in 1995, he received a cameo role in the Canadian family adventure film “Magic in the Water,” which starred Mark Harmon, Joshua Jackson, Harley Jane Kozak and Sarah Wayne, and joined the cast of the CBC dramatic series “Jake and the Kid.”
Cavanagh next portrayed the supporting role of Joey in “Mask of Death” (1996), an action thriller starring Lorenzo Lamas that was directed by David Mitchell, worked with Tim Matheson and Stephen Mendel in the independent thriller “Midnight Heat” (1996) for director Harvey Frost and writer Meredith Preston, supported Corbin Bernsen and Nia Peeples in the television film “Bloodhounds II” (1996) and appeared in “Profile For Murder” (1996), a thriller starring Lance Henriksen. He also played Jamie in the Canadian comedy “Honeymoon” (1997), opposite Blake Boyd and Pascale Bussières, Frank in the Canadian/American TV film “Northern Lights” (1997), with Diane Keaton, Maury Chaykin, Joseph Cross and Kathleen York, and Jackie Frye in the unaired pilot “The 900 Lives of Jackie Frye” (1998). He then portrayed Harry in the Canadian comedy “Something More” (1999), opposite Michael A. Goorjian and Chandra West, and Patrick Birmingham in the CBS television film “Anya's Bell (1999), with Della Reese and Mason Gamble. In addition, the actor could be seen in episodes of UPN's “The Sentinel” (1997), “Eyes of a Cowboy” (1998), CTV's “Cold Squad” (1998), “Viper” (syndication, 1998), Showtime's “Outer Limits” (1999), “Mentors” (1999) and ABC's “Oh, Grow Up” (1999). The energetic performer first gained real notice in America when he was cast in the recurring role of Doug Boyce in the second season of “Providence,” an NBC series starring Melina Kanakaredes. He appeared in 8 episodes during 1999 to 2000.
Following a guest stint in the ABC sitcom “Sports Night” (2000), Cavanagh was cast in the main role of Edward Jeremy Stevens in the series “Ed,” which appeared on NBC from October 8, 2000, to February 6, 2004. Cavanagh won a 2001 Family Television award and a 2001 TV Guide for Actor of the Year in a New Series and was nominated for a 2002 Golden Globe in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy for his performance. The role also brought him a TV Guide nomination for Breakout Star of the Year and a Golden Satellite nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical. Meanwhile, in 2002, Cavanagh also starred as Mr. Val Duncan, opposite Ben Foster as Trevor Adams, in Showtime's “Bang Bang You're Dead,” a television film adaptation of William Mastrosimone's play of the same name. Under the direction of Guy Ferland, Cavanagh received a 2003 Daytime Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special for his performance. The same year, he also began playing Dan Dorian in the NBC sitcom “Scrubs” episode “My Big Brother,” which was broadcasted on October 31, 2002. He would return to the show for several additional episodes in the following years, including the finale titled “My Finale,” in 2009.
After the demise of “Ed,” Cavanagh starred as Simpson in the Lifetime television movie “Heart of the Storm” (2004), opposite Melissa Gilbert. He then appeared in two episodes of The WB's teen drama “Jack & Bobby” (2004, as Jimmy McCallister), played Nick Snowden in the Canadian/American television movie “Snow” (2004), costarred with Sarah Chalke in the U.S. movie “Alchemy” (2005), for director/writer Evan Oppenheimer, and appeared in the television pilot “My Ex Life” (2006). He was also cast in the New Line Cinema film “How to Eat Fried Worms” (2006), which was based on the 1973 children's book of the same name by Thomas Rockwell, played Barry Bergman in “Two Weeks” (2006), a film starring Sally Filed and Ben Chaplin, and costarred with Heather Graham and Bridget Moynahan in the romantic comedy “Gray Matters” (2006), which received a limited theatrical release in February 2007.
Cavanagh returned to series television as a regular on CBS' “Love Monkey,” a 2006 TV series based on the book of the same name by Kyle Smith. The show, starring Cavanagh as a record executive, was axed after three episodes because of poor ratings, although eight episodes had been completed. The all 8 episodes were later broadcasted on VH1.
In 2007, Cavanagh starred with Kathleen York, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Katherine Cunningham-Eves in the direct to video horror film “Sublime,” which was written by Erik Jendresen. He then appeared with Elizabeth Ashley, Jayce Bartok, Bruce Dern, Miriam Shor, Aaron Stanford, Kristen Stewart and Talia Balsam in the Mary Stuart Masterson helmed “The Cake Eaters” and portrayed Eric McNally in “Breakfast with Scot,” a Canadian comedy based on the novel of the same name by Michael Downing. The following year, he starred as a sheriff in a Lifetime two part TV movie titled “The Capture of the Green River Killer,” opposite Amy Davidson, Sharon Lawrence, James Russo and James Marsters, and reprised his role of Nick Snowden for the TV film sequel “Snow 2: Brain Freeze.” He also portrayed Jeremy Stone in several episodes of ABC's “Eli Stone” during 2008 to 2009.
Cavanagh next starred with Eric McCormack in “Trust Me,” a dramatic series that debuted on TNT on January 26, 2009. In December 2009, he played a role in the Canadian TV film “Christmas Dreams,” opposite Edward Asner. 2009 also found Cavanagh hosting “Stories from the Vaults” on Smithsonian Networks, which he begin in 2007.
Recently, in 2010, Cavanagh starred in the ABC television movie “Edgar Floats,” opposite Alicia Witt, Robert Patrick, Raoul Trujillo, Derek Webster and Jason Kravits. He will provide the voice of Ranger Smith in the upcoming animated film “Yogi Bear,” which stars Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi Bear.
Family Television: Actor, “Ed,” 2001
TV Guide: Actor of the Year in a New Series, “Ed,” 2001