Canadian actor Victor Garber is widely recognized as Jack Bristow, the father of Jennifer Garner's lead character Sydney Bristow, on the ABC spy series "Alias" (2001-2006). He also starred in the short lived CBS series "I Had Three Wives" (1985), the Canadian TV drama series "E.N.G.," (1991-1993), the short-lived FOX legal drama "Justice" (2006), and now plays Jordan Wethersby on ABC’s "Eli Stone.” He also has starred in such TV movies and miniseries as "Valley Forge" (1975), "Tartuffe" (1978), "Charley's Aunt" (1983), "The First Circle" (1992), "Dieppe" (1993), "Queen" (1993), "Liberty! The American Revolution" (1997), "Annie" (1999), "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" (2001), "Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story" (2002), and "The Music Man" (2003). Additionally, he delivered Emmy nominated guest performances in an episode of "Frasier" and "Will & Grace." Garber will next be seen as Monsignor De Angelis in the upcoming miniseries "The Last Templar."
A leading actor on Broadway for nearly three decades, Garber has been nominated for Broadway's Tony Award for Best Actor (Featured Role -Play) in 1978 for "Deathtrap," Best Actor (Musical) in 1982 for a revival of "Little Me,” 1994 for a revival of "Damn Yankees," and Best Actor (Play) in 1989 for "Lend Me a Tenor."
On the big screen, the 6' 1½" actor, who was one of People Magazine's “Sexiest Men Alive,” (2006) is widely remembered as ship designer Thomas Andrews in James Cameron's mega hit “Titanic” (1997). He also appeared in the films "Godspell: A Musical Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew" (1973), "The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway" (1988), "Light Sleeper" (1992), "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), "Exotica" (1994), "The First Wives Club" (1996), "Marvin's Room" (1996), "External Affairs" (1999), "Legally Blonde" (2001), and "Tuck Everlasting" (2002).
He will soon portray Mayor George Moscone in the upcoming Gus Van Sant directed biopic about the life and assassination of San Francisco’s city supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn), "Milk."
Childhood and Family:
Of Russian and Jewish descent, Victor Joseph Garber was born in London, Ontario, Canada on March 16, 1949. His mother, Hope Garber, was an actress and singer. Victor was her caregiver until her death on September 7, 2005, when she died of Alzheimer's. His father passed away in 1993.Victor has a brother and sister.
Garber attended London Central Secondary School in London, Ontario. When he was 15, he joined the University of Toronto's Hart House acting group.
Garber is left handed and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12. In 2008, he appeared in a TV commercial for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Canada.
Victor Garber began acting in local productions at the Grand Theatre in his hometown of London, Ontario, Canada when he was a child. He joined the University of Toronto's Hart House acting group at age 15 and moved to Toronto at 16, where he formed a folk band called “The Sugar Shoppe” with Peter Mann, Laurie Hood and Lee Harris. The group enjoyed moderate success and was featured on such TV shows as “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” When The Sugar Shoppe disbanded, he formed a new band called “The Shop.”
In the early 1970s, Garber appeared as Jesus in a Toronto production of Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak's Off-Broadway musical "Godspell" (1972) that featured Gilda Radner, Martin Short and Andrea Martin. The following year, he reprised his "Godspell" role in the musical film version which was directed by David Greene. He was also seen in a revival of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" (1973) and worked at New Haven's Long Wharf Theater and was seen in the Canadian produced "Monkeys in the Attic" (1974).
Garber made his American TV debut in 1975 on the NBC "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production of Maxwell Anderson's play "Valley Forge," portraying the Marquis de Lafayette, a general in the American Revolutionary War. He also returned to New York City in a featured role in Moliere's "Tartuffe" (1977) at the Circle in the Square and reprised the role in a 1978 PBS adaptation.
Garber spent the rest of the 1970s originating the role of novice playwright Clifford Anderson on Broadway in Ira Levin's thriller "Deathtrap" (1978), for which he received his first Tony Award nomination, and originating the male juvenile lead, Anthony Hope, in the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (1979).
Entering the new decade, Broadway saw Garber pick up a second Tony Award nomination for his starring role in the revival of the musical "Little Me" (1982). He also had a featured role in Michael Frayn's farce "Noises Off" (1983). On television, Victor made TV series debut in the ABC soap opera "Ryan's Hope" (1983) and starred as a private detective in the short lived CBS series "I Had Three Wives" (1985).
From 1987 to 1988, Garber played Dennis Widmer, the boss and one-time romantic interest of Blair Brown's title character, in the series "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd." During this time, he won praise for his work in the Off-Broadway play "Wencenslas Square" (1987) and was cast in the title role in the CBS biopic "Liberace: Behind the Music" (1988). After receiving a third Tony Award nomination for his work in the Ken Ludwig Broadway comedy "Lend Me a Tenor" in 1989, Garber portrayed John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, in the controversial Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman Off-Broadway musical "Assassins" (1990).
While playing a recurring role on the Canadian TV drama series "E.N.G." from 1991 to 1993, Garber was also seen in the short lived Broadway production of "Two Shakespearean Actors" (1991) and appeared in Bonnie Palef's 30-minute short film "Walking the Dog" (1991). He was also nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series for his work in the thriller TV movie based on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel, “The First Circle” (1992).
In 1992, Garber returned to feature films to play a drug dealer in writer/director Paul Schrader's "Light Sleeper" alongside Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, David Clennon, and Dana Delany. He then co-starred in the CBS miniseries starring Halle Berry, "Queen" (1993). That same year, he portrayed Lord Louis Mountbatten in the TV movie “Dieppe” (1993). His work in the TV movie earned him a Gemini nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series.
After picking up a fourth Tony Award nomination in 1994 when he was cast as the Devil in the Broadway revival of the musical comedy "Damn Yankees," Garber went on to head the national tour of the musical "They're Playing Our Song." He was also cast as Sarah Polley's father in writer/director Atom Egoyan's Canadian dramatic film "Exotica" (1994) and reunited with Blair Brown in the Broadway staging of Tom Stoppard's play "Arcadia" (1995).
In 1996, Garber played Goldie Hawn's ex-husband in Hugh Wilson's Academy Award nominated comedy film based on the 1992 novel by Olivia Goldsmith, "The First Wives Club.” The following year, he was cast as the King, opposite Brandy Norwood's Cinderella, Whoopi Goldberg's Queen Constantina, and Whitney Houston's Fairy Godmother, in the ABC updated version of "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" classic fairy-tale, and portrayed ship designer Thomas Andrews, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, in James Cameron's Oscar-winning spectacular disaster film "Titanic," which earned him a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast.
Returning to Broadway, Garber co-starred as Serge in Yasmina Reza's French comedy play "Art" (1998; alongside Alfred Molina and Alan Alda) and later reprised the role in Los Angeles. He was also seen in Stephen Sondheim’s musical "Wise Guys" (1999), which was later renamed "Bounce," and portrayed billionaire Oliver Warbucks in the ABC remake of the Broadway musical "Annie" (1999).
Hitting the new millennium, Garber narrated several books on tape by James Howe and was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series for his role of Harry Raymond in Peter Moss' film adaptation of Timothy Findley's play, “External Affairs.” He also played police Inspector Philip Mallard in the Canadian mystery series "Criminal Intent," which aired in the U.S. on Lifetime in 2000 and 2001 as "Criminal Instinct: Deadly Appearances," "Criminal Instinct: Love & Murder," "Criminal Instinct: The Wandering Soul Murders," and "Criminal Instinct: A Colder Kind of Death." During this time, Garber also made a guest appearance on episode "Taking Liberties" of the NBC sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer, "Frasier," for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Victor next received a co-starring role on the ABC spy series "Alias," playing Jack Bristow, the father of Jennifer Garner's lead character Sydney Bristow. Playing the character from September 30, 2001, to May 22, 2006, Garber earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2002, 2003, and 2004 and Saturn Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series in 2003 and 2004, which he won in 2003. He was also nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Parental Units in 2005 and won a Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series in 2003. His character also ranked #29 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [June 20, 2004 issue].
During his "Alias" tenure, Garber earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his portrayal of Sid Luft in the ABC miniseries "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" (2001), which was adapted from Garland's daughter Lorna Luft's memoir. Also that year, he portrayed J.J. Robinette in the fact-based TV movie "Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story" (2001). Garber also played one of the TV writers in the Showtime movie "Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor" and was featured as Callahan, a law school professor, in the hit comedy film starring Reese Witherspoon, "Legally Blonde," which was based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Amanda Brown.
Next up, Garber appeared in Jay Russell's feature film starring Alexis Bledel, "Tuck Everlasting," which was based on the children's book of the same title by Natalie Babbitt. He also earned an Emmy nomination for his guest starring role in episode "Saving Grace, Again: Part 2" (2004) of the popular NBC sitcom starring Eric McCormack and Debra Messing, "Will & Grace."
Since the demise of the show “Alias” in 2006, Garber has starred in two TV series, the short-lived FOX legal drama "Justice" (2006) and "Eli Stone" (2008-current). He was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the PBS television show "American Masters," the Canadian television program "Rareness," and ABC’s series starring America Ferreira, "Ugly Betty."
Garber has completed filming his latest project, "Milk," the Gus Van Sant directed biopic about the life and assassination of San Francisco’s city supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn). In the film, Garber portrays Mayor George Moscone, the then-mayor of San Francisco. He will also soon wrap up "The Last Templar," a miniseries adaptation of Raymond Kory’s best selling novel in which he portrays Monsignor De Angelis, a priest who is also a CIA operative.
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn Award - Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series, "Alias," 2003
Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Drama, "Alias," 2003
National Board of Review (NBR): Best Acting by an Ensemble, "The First Wives Club," 1996