Jeff Perry

Jeff Perry

Aug. 16th, 1955
Born in
Highland Park, Illinois, USA

Jeff Perry's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Scandal TV Show
Nash Bridges TV Show
Nash Bridges

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Jeff Perry (born August 16, 1955) is an American actor of stage, television, and film.

At an early age, his elder sister Jo took him to an audition at Ravinia Festival where American Conservatory Theater was staging Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. He auditioned and got the part.

He is one of the original co-founders of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. Perry and schoolmates Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney started the company in one end of the cafeteria at Highland Park High School and later moved it to a small space in the Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park. It has since grown into a notable national theater company that includes John Malkovich, John Mahoney, and Joan Allen. Perry remains an Executive Artistic Director along with co-founders Kinney & Sinise.

After spending nearly two decades with Steppenwolf, Perry made the move to Los Angeles in 1987 to pursue film and television work. Perry is perhaps best known as Inspector Harvey Leek (a diehard Grateful Dead fan) on the 'Don Johnson' police show Nash Bridges. He was a tough superior to Kevin Bacon's detective in the thriller Wild Things (1998). Many of his television and film credits include The Human Stain (2003), Hard Promises (1991) and The Grifters (1990) as well as appearances on My So-Called Life (1994), The West Wing (1999), The Practice (2003), Lost (2005), Cold Case (2006), Raines (2007), and several episodes of Grey's Anatomy (2005) as Meredith Grey's father. He replaced John Billingsley in the role of Terrence Steadman in the critically acclaimed TV show Prison Break.

Perry has also been in multiple stage productions. These include Time of your Life (in San Francisco and Seattle), Grapes of Wrath (Broadway and London), and The Caretaker (Broadway). He starred in the Tracy Letts play August: Osage County on Broadway, which originated at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. In 2012, he appeared Off Broadway playing Christopher, the aggressive father in an intellectual, though dysfunctional, British family, in the U.S. premiere of the award-winning play Tribes by Nina Raine.

As of 2012, Perry starred in the ABC drama series Scandal as Cyrus Beene. The series debuted on April 5, 2012 as a mid-season replacement in the 2011–12 television season. The series was created by Shonda Rhimes and is currently in its third season.

  • In 1974 Jeff, along with 'Gary Sinise' (qv) and 'Terry Kinney' (qv), began performing plays informally in a church basement in Highland Park. In 1975, the group incorporated. The Steppenwolf Theatre Company was born.
  • Daughter Leah, with wife Linda Lowy.
  • He was nominated for a 1983 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for "Cloud Nine" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Instructor at the Steppenwolf Theater School West in Los Angeles, California.
  • Daughter, with ex-wife 'Laurie Metcalf' (qv), 'Zoe Perry' (qv) was born in 1984.
  • He was nominated for a 1993 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for "Awake and Sing!" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.

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