Bradley Whitford

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Bradley Whitford
Bradley Whitford, 2006
Born(1959-10-10) October 10, 1959 (age 55)
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Alma materWesleyan University (1981),
Juilliard School (1985)
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)Jane Kaczmarek (m. 1992; div. 2009)
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This article is about the actor. For the musician, see Brad Whitford.
Bradley Whitford
Bradley Whitford, 2006
Born(1959-10-10) October 10, 1959 (age 55)
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Alma materWesleyan University (1981),
Juilliard School (1985)
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)Jane Kaczmarek (m. 1992; div. 2009)

Bradley Whitford (born October 10, 1959) is an American film and television actor. He has played White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on the NBC television drama The West Wing, Danny Tripp on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Dan Stark in the Fox police buddy-comedy The Good Guys, Timothy Carter, a character who was believed to be Red John in the CBS series The Mentalist, and antagonist Eric Gordon in the film Billy Madison.

Whitford was nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards from 2001–2003 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on The West Wing, winning the award in 2001. This role has also garnered him three consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

He was an occasional columnist for The Huffington Post, until November 2009.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Whitford was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Genevieve Louie (née Smith) and George Van Norman Whitford.[2] He graduated from Madison East High School in 1977.[3] He majored in English and Theater at Wesleyan University (B.A. 1981),[3] where his roommate was the younger brother of future castmate Richard Schiff. Whitford then attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division as a member of Group 14 (1981–1985),[4] which also included actor Thomas Gibson.[5]


Whitford first appeared on television in 1985 in an episode of The Equalizer. His film debut was in the 1986 film Doorman. He made his Broadway theatre debut in 1990[6] playing Lt. Jack Ross (followed a few months later in the lead role of Lt. Daniel Kaffee), in the Aaron Sorkin written play A Few Good Men. This was the beginning of a recurring working relationship between Whitford and Sorkin. Whitford also made a guest appearance on ER in the Emmy award-winning March 1995 episode "Love's Labor Lost".

Whitford joined the cast of Sorkin's The West Wing as Josh Lyman with the show's premiere in 1999. For his role, he won an Emmy Award in 2001 for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Whitford also wrote two episodes of the series ("Faith Based Initiative" in the sixth season and "Internal Displacement" in the seventh). After The West Wing ended in May 2006, Whitford appeared in Aaron Sorkin's later series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip playing the role of Danny Tripp.[7] He appeared in the British drama Burn Up on the BBC in July 2008.

He starred on Broadway in Boeing-Boeing which began in previews on April 19, 2008 and opened on May 4, 2008. He left the show in September 2008, and was succeeded in the role by Greg Germann. He co-starred in the Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard horror film The Cabin in the Woods,[8] filmed in 2009 but not released until April 2012. In 2010, Whitford starred as Dan Stark in the canceled Fox TV series The Good Guys opposite Colin Hanks.

In 2011, Whitford guest starred in In Plain Sight on USA Network as a man combatting paranoia. He appeared in the season three finale of The Mentalist as a minion of and decoy for the long-sought nemesis of Patrick Jane, Red John. He also appeared on Law & Order: Los Angeles as a lawyer. On September 15, 2011, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, in partnership with Broadway Impact, announced the complete cast—including Whitford—and roles for the one-night only staged reading of 8, a new play chronicling the historic trial in the federal legal challenge to California's Proposition 8.[9] In 2013, Whitford played Pete Harrison in the ABC comedy Trophy Wife which was cancelled after one season and will guest star in ABC drama Castle in early 2015. Most recently, Whitford appeared in the Amazon series Transparent as a cross dressing businessman in a recurring role, opposite Jeffrey Tambor.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Whitford was married to fellow Wisconsin native, actress Jane Kaczmarek, best known for her role as Lois on Malcolm in the Middle. They lived in San Marino, California with their three children, Frances Genevieve (b. October 31, 1997), George Edward (b. December 23, 1999) and Mary Louisa (b. November 25, 2002). In 2007 the family appeared in magazine advertisements for the 2008 Chrysler Town and Country van. On June 19, 2009, the couple announced that they were filing for divorce after 16 years of marriage.[11] One of the last times they were seen together publicly was in September 2008, at the opening of a Los Angeles production of The House of Blue Leaves,[12] in which Kaczmarek was starring.[13]


Whitford is a political liberal and has appeared several times on Real Time with Bill Maher. He once co-hosted The Majority Report on Air America Radio alongside Janeane Garofalo, and made an appearance on the Al Franken Show Party Album.

During the run-up to the November 2004 general election, Whitford, who was then playing White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on the NBC TV drama series The West Wing, made a satirical video that purported to support then-President George W. Bush for re-election, but which actually lampooned Bush's tax cuts for the rich.[14]

On February 26, 2011, Whitford spoke at one of the many protests in Madison, Wisconsin (his birthplace) in opposition to Governor Scott Walker's controversial budget bill.[15]

During the run-up to the November 2012 general election, Whitford and Courage Campaign founder and chair, Rick Jacobs, appeared together in a video that explained "what's really going on and who's really behind California's Proposition 30 and Proposition 32."[16] The video encouraged viewers to vote "yes" on Prop 30 and "no" on Prop 32[17] Proposition 30 was approved by California voters by a margin of 54 to 46 percent. Proposition 32 was defeated by a margin of 56 to 44 percent.

During the run-up to the November 2014 Wisconsin gubernatorial election, Whitford visited multiple University of Wisconsin System campuses in support of the campaign for the Democratic nominee for governor Mary Burke.[18]


In May 2007, Whitford was honored by Alliance for Justice, a nonprofit organization, as the 2007 Champion of Justice. He was the keynote speaker for Class Day at Princeton University in June 2007.[19] As of 2012, Whitford serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Wesleyan University.[20]



1986Dead as a DoormanTerry Reilly
1986C.A.T. SquadLeon TrepperTelevision movie
1987The Betty Ford StoryJack FordTelevision movie
1987Adventures in BabysittingMike Todwell
1987Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in ParadiseRoger Latimer
1990Vital SignsDr. Donald Ballentine
1990Presumed InnocentJamie Kemp
1990Young Guns IICharles PhalenCredited as Brad Whitford
1990AwakeningsDr. Tyler
1992Scent of a WomanRandy Slade
1993RoboCop 3Fleck
1993My LifePaul Ivanovich
1993A Perfect WorldBobby Lee
1993PhiladelphiaJamey Collins
1993The Silent AlarmReferee DadShort film
1994Web of DeceptionLarry LakeTelevision movie
1994The ClientThomas Fink
1994CobbProcess Server
1995Billy MadisonEric Gordon
1995Nothing But the Truth'Mack' McCarthyTelevision movie
1995The Desperate TrailTommy Donnelly
1996My Fellow AmericansCarl Witnaur
1996Wildly AvailableProfessor
1997In the Line of Duty: Blaze of GloryTom LaSalleTelevision movie
1997MastermindsMiles LawrenceCredited as Brad Whitford
1997ClonedRick WestonTelevision movie
1997Red CornerBob Ghery
1997The PeopleMichael Leary
1997The Spittin' ImageN/AShort film
1999Behind the MaskBrian ShushanTelevision movie
Credited as Brad Whitford
1999The Sky's on FireJohn Morgan, KTML NewsTelevision movie
1999The MuseHal
1999Bicentennial ManLloyd Charney
2001Kate & LeopoldJ.J. Camden
2005Fathers and SonsAnthonyTelevision movie
2005The Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsAl
2005Little ManhattanAdam
2007An American CrimeProsecutor Leroy K. New
2008Bottle ShockProfessor Saunders
2009Off DutyDetective Glenn FalconTelevision movie
2011Have a Little FaithMitchTelevision movie
2012The Spin Room: Newt Takes South CarolinaN/AShort film
2012The Cabin in the WoodsSteve Hadley
2012The AssetLeo MaxiellTelevision movie
2012Man Up, Little BoyWalterShort film
2013Decoding Annie ParkerMarshall Parker
2013Marvel One-Shot: Agent CarterAgent Flynn
2013SavannahJack Cay
2013CBGBNicky Gant
2013Saving Mr. BanksDon DaGradiNominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2014Midnight RiderN/AFilming
2015I Saw the Light[21]Fred RoseFilming


1985The EqualizerDillartEpisode: "The Children's Song"
1988Tales from the DarksideTom DashEpisode: "The Deal"
1993Black Tie AffairDave Brodsky5 episodes
1994NYPD BlueNorman Gardner4 episodes
1994EllenDougEpisode: "The Fix-Up"
1994The X-FilesDaniel TrepkosEpisode: "Firewalker"
1995ERSean O'BrienEpisodes: "A Miracle Happens Here" and "Love's Labor Lost"
1996Touched by an AngelSteven Thomas BellEpisode: "Out of the Darkness
1997Tracey Takes On...NikEpisode: "Vegas"
1998The Secret Lives of MenPhil13 episodes
1999–2006The West WingJosh Lyman149 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2001–02)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2001–03)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2002–03)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2003–06)
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series
1999FelicityTom AndersonEpisode: "Happy Birthday" (uncredited)
2002Malcolm in the MiddleMeg's HusbandEpisode: "Company Picnic: Part 2"
2002FrasierStuEpisode: "Kissing Cousin"
2006–2007Studio 60 on the Sunset StripDanny Tripp21 episodes
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
2008Burn UpMack2 episodes
Nominated—Gemini Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Special or Miniseries
2009MonkDean BerryEpisode: "Mr. Monk on Wheels"
2010The Sarah Silverman ProgramToby GrossnickelEpisode: "Nightmayor"
2010The Good GuysDetective Dan Stark20 episodes
2010Glenn Martin, DDSGonzo Gonzales (voice)Episode: "Camp"
2011In Plain SightAdam Wilson/Adam RostonEpisode: "Crazy Like a Witness"
2011Law & Order: Los AngelesAttorney MiklinEpisode: "Big Rock Mesa"
2011The MentalistTimothy Carter2 episodes
2012Parks and RecreationCouncilman PillnerEpisode: "Live Ammo"
2013ShamelessAbraham PaigeEpisodes: "Civil Wrongs" and "Frank the Plumber"
2013"Go On"HueyEpisode: "Ring and a Miss"
2013LaurenPaul Milgram6 episodes
2013Drunk HistoryWilliam Jennings BryanEpisode: "Nashville"
2013–2014Trophy WifePete Harrison22 episodes
2014Law & Order: Special Victims UnitFrank MaddoxEpisode: "Reasonable Doubt"
2014TransparentMarcy4 episodes
2014Alpha HouseNedEpisode: "The Retreat"


  1. ^ Whitford, Bradley. "Bradley Whitford". Huffington Post. 
  2. ^ "'West Wing' Star Finally Took Flight At Age 40". Chicago Tribune. June 22, 2000. 
  3. ^ a b "Bradley Whitford biography". All Movie Guide (The New York Times). Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. March 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. 
  5. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. 
  6. ^ ""A Few Good Men" production replacements". IMDb. Retrieved March 22, 2011. 
  7. ^ The Hollywood Reporter[dead link]
  8. ^ Kit, Borys; Jay A. Fernandez (January 21, 2009). "Two feel Joss Whedon's 'Cabin' pressure". The Hollywood Reporter (Nielsen Business Media). Retrieved January 21, 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ AFER & Broadway Impact Announce Full Casting for the World Premiere of... – NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2011. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Bradley Whitford, Jane Kaczmarek File for Divorce After Nearly 17 Years". Retrieved June 20, 2009. 
  12. ^ The House of Blue Leaves production. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  13. ^ Kris Lorenz Kaczmarek and Whitford to divorce. June 20, 2009. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  14. ^ "Bradley Whitford 2004 Mock Presidential Ad". Video on Youtube. Youtube. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  15. ^ West Wing's Bradley Whitford Rallies Wisconsin Workers on YouTube. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  16. ^ "How Wealthy Billionaires are Trying to Destroy our Schools and Silence our Voices". The Courage Campaign. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Pledge to Vote Yes on Prop 30, No on Prop 32". The Courage Campaign website. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ Greenstein, Jennifer. (2007-06-04) Princeton University Class Day. Retrieved on 2011-09-23.
  20. ^ "Board of Trustees 2012/2013". Wesleyan University. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  21. ^ Stephen L. Betts (7 November 2014). "Bradley Whitford, Cherry Jones Cast in Upcoming Hank Williams Movie". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 

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