May. 27th, 1955
Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Richard Schiff (born May 27, 1955) is an American actor and comedian. He played Toby Ziegler on The West Wing, a role for which he received an Emmy Award. Schiff made his directorial debut with The West Wing, directing an episode entitled "Talking Points". He will appear in Ted 2 (2015).
Schiff was the middle of three sons born to Edward, a real estate lawyer, and Charlotte, a cable TV and publishing executive. His parents divorced when he was 12. He dropped out of high school but obtained an equivalency diploma. He tried studying at the City College of New York (CCNY) in 1973, but had no interest. After not bothering to show up for finals, he headed to Colorado where he cut firewood and lived a hippie life. He returned to New York in 1975 and started studying acting at CCNY and eventually was accepted into their theater program. He initially disliked acting and studied to be a director.
He directed several off-Broadway plays, including Antigone with a then just-graduated 'Angela Bassett' in 1983. He also met present wife, 'Sheila Kelley', during auditions for this play. The two married in 1996. In the mid-1980s, Richard says he conquered his fears and decided to take a stab at acting. He got several TV roles, but he was seen by 'Steven Spielberg' in an episode of the TV drama High Incident (1996). Speilberg then cast him in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and his career has been on an upward climb ever since that has lead to his co-starring role in The West Wing (1999).
- Schiff and 'Sheila Kelley (I)' (qv) have a son, Gus.
- Played different characters in _"Ally McBeal" (1997)_ (qv) and _"The Practice" (1997)_ (qv), two shows that are set in the same universe.
- Daughter, Ruby Christine.
- (2000) Received an alumni association award from his alma mater, the City College of New York, for outstanding post-graduate achievement.