Shea Whigham

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Shea Whigham
BornFranklin Shea Whigham, Jr.
(1969-01-05) January 5, 1969 (age 45)
Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.
Years active1997–present
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Shea Whigham
BornFranklin Shea Whigham, Jr.
(1969-01-05) January 5, 1969 (age 45)
Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.
Years active1997–present

Franklin Shea Whigham, Jr. (born January 5, 1969), best known as Shea Whigham, is an American actor notably starring as Elias "Eli" Thompson on the HBO dramatic series Boardwalk Empire.

Early life[edit]

Whigham was born in Tallahassee, Florida, to attorney Frank and school librarian Beth, moving to Lake Mary when he was five years old.[1][2] He attended Tyler Junior College (Tyler, Texas) and after completing studies there, transferred to the State University of New York at Purchase, where he was part of a small acting program with only 31 students and a graduating class of eight seniors.[3] After graduating, he co-founded New York City theatre troupe The Rorschach Group with his college roommate Kirk Acevedo; he was actor and artistic director with the troupe for three years.[4]


Whigham appeared in one 1997 episode of the television series Ghost Stories before he received a starring role in the 2000 film Tigerland, alongside Colin Farrell and future Boardwalk Empire co-star Michael Shannon.[3] He went on to appear in the television movies Submerged, R.U.S./H. and Paradise before acting in the 2003 film All the Real Girls.[1] Between 2004 and 2006, he was credited in the Japanese film Out of This World, the drama television series Medical Investigation, the films Water and Man of the House, the television movie Faith of My Fathers, and the films Lords of Dogtown, Psychic Driving and South of Heaven.

He appeared in Pride and Glory, with Colin Farrell again, and co-starred in the horror film Splinter, the thriller Creek, and the science fiction film Radio Free Albemuth.[2]

Whigham has a regular role on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. He portrays Elias "Eli" Thompson, sheriff of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and brother of the main character Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi).


1998Of Love & FantasyCraigVideo
2000TigerlandPvt. Wilson
2002Bad CompanyAgent Wells (uncredited)
2003All the Real GirlsTip
2004Out of This WorldRussell Reade
2004WaterDaniel West
2005Man of the HouseRanger Holt
2005Lords of DogtownDrake Landon
2005Psychic DrivingRyan BarrettShort film
2006Wristcutters: A Love StoryEugene
2006First SnowVincent McClure
2008South of HeavenMad Dog Mantee
2008Pride and GloryKenny Dugan
2008SplinterDennis Farell
2009Blood CreekLuke Benny
2009Killing Room, TheThe Killing RoomTony Mazzolla
2009SpoonerStan Manfretti
2009Fast & FuriousAgent Stasiak
2009Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, TheThe Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New OrleansJustin
2010Radio Free AlbemuthPhil
2010Barry MundayDonald
2010Conspirator, TheThe ConspiratorCapt. Cottingham
2011Take ShelterDewart
2011Lincoln Lawyer, TheThe Lincoln LawyerCorliss
2011This Must Be the PlaceErnie Ray
2011Catch .44Billy
2012Big MiracleSAR Pilot Conrad
2012Silver Linings PlaybookJake
2013Fast & Furious 6Agent Stasiak
2013American HustleCarl Elway
2013Wolf of Wall Street, TheThe Wolf of Wall StreetCaptain Ted Beecham
2014Knight of CupsPost-production
1997Ghost StoriesEric DukeEpisode: "Cold in the Grave"
2000Smuggler's RunJon (voice)Video game
2001SubmergedCapt. Oliver NaquinTV movie
2002R.U.S./H.Odell TippyTV movie
2004ParadiseJeremiah AlcottTV movie
2004Medical InvestigationBarrett FidlerEpisode: "In Bloom"
Episode: "Coming Home"
2005Faith of My FathersNorris OverlyTV movie
2006ERBobby Kenyon3 episodes
2007StandoffAndre / Jared KendallEpisode: "Ex-Factor"
2009Lie to MeJered BluntEpisode: "Life Is Priceless"
2009Numb3rsTom KardumEpisode: "The Fifth Man"
2009MediumPatrick WilkesEpisode: "New Terrain"
2010-presentBoardwalk EmpireElias 'Eli' ThompsonMain role
2014True DetectiveJoel TheriotRecurring


  1. ^ a b "Interview: Shea Whigham". When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Blog. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  2. ^ a b Roger Moore (27 October 2007). "'Wrist' could be big break". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  3. ^ a b "An interview with Wristcutters' Shea Whigham". Central Florida Future. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  4. ^ Jason Buchanan. "Shea Whigham: Biography". Allmovie. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 

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