Terry Kinney

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Terry Kinney
Born(1954-01-29) January 29, 1954 (age 60)
Lincoln, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1974–present
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Perkins (March 27, 1984–October 10, 1988; divorced)
Kathryn Erbe (1993–2006; divorced)
ChildrenMaeve Elsbeth Erbe Kinney
Carson Lincoln Kinney
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Terry Kinney
Born(1954-01-29) January 29, 1954 (age 60)
Lincoln, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1974–present
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Perkins (March 27, 1984–October 10, 1988; divorced)
Kathryn Erbe (1993–2006; divorced)
ChildrenMaeve Elsbeth Erbe Kinney
Carson Lincoln Kinney

Terry Kinney (born January 29, 1954) is an American actor and theatre director, and is a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, with Gary Sinise and Jeff Perry. Kinney is best known for his role as Emerald City creator Tim McManus on HBO's prison drama Oz

Early life[edit]

Kinney was born in Lincoln, Illinois, the son of Elizabeth L. (née Eimer), a telephone operator, and Kenneth C. Kinney, a tractor company supervisor.[1] He attended Illinois State University, in Normal, Illinois, where he became friends with Jeff Perry, who took him to see a performance of Grease featuring Gary Sinise, bringing the three Steppenwolf Theatre Company co-founders together for the first time.[citation needed]



Kinney has been involved in theatre since 1974, when he, Gary Sinise and Jeff Perry founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. In describing the company's radical usage of cinematic techniques such as accelerated time, substantial soundtracks and the rough equivalent of dissolves and bleeds, Kinney had said:

We’ve always been more influenced by cinematic techniques than stage techniques because stage techniques have been around long enough to become really boring and cliché. Our earliest influences were the films of Cassavetes, not any plays we’d seen. We always tend to score our pieces and we always tend to manipulate the audience to look where we want them to look and the way to do that is to get very tight on certain situations.[2]

He has directed several plays (see below) and performed in several. In 1985 he performed in the Drama Desk Award winning play Balm in Gilead by Lanford Wilson. In 1996 Kinney played Tilden in the Sam Shepard play Buried Child directed by Gary Sinise in New York City. During a performance of Buried Child Kinney had a "terrible, horrible, screaming panic attack" and stayed offstage for several years, only returning in 2002 in a performance with Kurt Elling called Petty Delusions and Grand Obsessions.[3] He directed Richard Greenberg's play Well Appointed Room in 2006 and Neil Labute's reasons to be pretty in 2009. In 2010 he directed another Lanford Wilson play, Fifth of July for Bay Street Theatre (July) and for the Williamstown Theatre Festival (August).

In October–November 2012 Kinney directs Checkers a new play by Douglas McGrath at the Vineyard Theatre, New York City.[4] He's slated to direct Lyle Kessler's new play Collision in January 2013 at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.[5]

Film and TV[edit]

Besides his theatrical work Kinney has done much acting, mainly for TV, starting in 1985 with an appearance in Miami Vice. In 1987, he starred as Pastor Tom Bird in the CBS miniseries Murder Ordained opposite JoBeth Williams. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the idealistic unit manager Tim McManus on HBO's prison drama Oz.

In 1995, Kinney co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones in an adaptation of an Elmer Kelton western novel titled The Good Old Boys. Tommy Lee Jones directed this made for TV movie which also co-starred Sissy Spacek, Matthew Damon, Sam Shepard, Wilford Brimley and retired Texas Ranger H. Joaquin Jackson.

Kinney also directed two episodes of Oz, "Cruel and Unusual Punishments" in 1999 and "Wheel of Fortune" in 2002. Explaining the experience, he said, "it was great training for shooting on a limited budget, on a time crunch."[6]

His film work includes a role in the 1988 film Miles from Home, which featured many cast members of Steppenwolf and was directed by Sinise. In 1995, he played mayoral candidate Todd Carter in Carl Franklin's film Devil in a Blue Dress. 1999 saw the release of the indie film, The Young Girl and the Monsoon, about Hank, a 39-year-old photo-journalist dealing with a demanding job and a growing daughter, and Kinney played the lead. In 2001, he played the estranged father of the protagonist, Sara Johnson (Julia Stiles), in the film Save the Last Dance.

In 2006 Kinney directed a short film (18 minutes) called Kubuku Rides (This Is It), which portrays the effects of drug addiction of a mother as seen by her young son. The film is based on the short story by Larry Brown. It is the first film produced by Steppenwolf Films. In 2008, he directed Diminished Capacity, a feature film with a big Steppenwolf presence, based on the Sherwood Kiraly novel of that name.

For TV, in 2008, Kinney was Deputy Attorney General Zach Williams in Canterbury's Law, a short-lived Fox series. In 2009, he played Sergeant Harvey Brown in the ABC series, The Unusuals, and in the same year he had a recurring role as Special Agent Sam Bosco on the hit CBS series, The Mentalist.

2010 saw a pilot for a CBS drama called The Line, starring Dylan Walsh as ATF Agent Donovan with Kinney as a complex criminal, Alex Gunderson, that Donovan is hunting. The series was to be based on a novel by Robert Gregory Browne called "Kiss Her Goodbye". (Browne said that the show was tentatively called "ATF".[7]) In 2011 Kinney had a recurring role in the North American adaptation of Being Human as Heggemann, an 1,100 year old Dutch vampire. In April 2012 he starred in the CBS police procedural drama NYC 22 as Field Training Officer Daniel "Yoda" Dean. However after four episodes NYC 22 was axed. Kinney also guest starred as Salvatore Amato, a member of a Chicago crime family, in the new Fox drama The Mob Doctor premiering in September 2012.[8]

Kinney was cast as series regular on ABC drama series Black Box opposite Kelly Reilly and Vanessa Redgrave, set to air on ABC in 2014.[9]

Private life[edit]

Kinney was married to Elizabeth Perkins from 1984 to 1988. From 1993 to 2005, he was married to his Oz costar Kathryn Erbe, with whom he has a daughter, Maeve (b. 1995), and a son, Carson (b. 2003).

Theater directing credits[edit]

1976The LoverDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Laurie Metcalf and Jeff Perry
1981Of Mice and MenDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Gary Sinise
1982And a Nightingale SangDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Joan Allen
1984Fool for LoveDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred William Petersen and Rondi Reed
1985StreamersDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Gary Sinise and Jeff Perry
1990RecklessDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Joan Allen
1992My Thing Of LoveDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Laurie Metcalf
1994A Clockwork OrangeDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago
1997A Streetcar Named DesireDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Gary Sinise
1998Eyes For ConsuelaDirectorManhattan Theatre Club, New York City/Starred David Strathairn
2000One Flew Over The Cuckoo's NestDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Gary Sinise
2003The Violet HourDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago
2004Beautiful ChildDirectorVineyard Theatre, New York City/Starred Gary Sinise
2005After AshleyDirectorVineyard Theatre, New York/Starred Kieran Culkin and Anna Paquin
2006The Well-Appointed RoomDirectorSteppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Starred Josh Charles and Tracy Letts
2006The Agony and the AgonyDirectorVineyard Theatre, New York City/Starred Nicky Silver
2009reasons to be pretty (Neil Labute)DirectorMCC, New York City/Starred Piper Perabo and Thomas Sadoski
2010Fifth of July (Lanford  Wilson)DirectorBay Street Theatre (July), then Williamstown Theatre Festival (August)


1985Seven Minutes in HeavenBill the PhotographerFilm
1986Miami ViceAsst. State Atty. William PepinTV series
No MercyPaul DeveneuxFilm
1987A Walk on the MoonLew EllisFilm
Murder OrdainedPastor Tom BirdTV film
thirtysomethingSteve WoodmanTV series (7 episodes, 1987–1989)
1988Miles from HomeMarkFilm
1990Kojak: None So Blind(unnamed)TV film
Law & OrderClifford ChesterTV series
1991Queens LogicJeremyFilm
The Grapes of WrathReverend Jim CaseyTeleplay
Talent for the GameGil LawrenceFilm
1992The Last of the MohicansJohn CameronFilm
Deadly MatrimonyJim MihkalikTV mini-series
1993Body SnatchersSteve MaloneFilm
The FirmLamar QuinnFilm
J.F.K.: Reckless YouthJoseph P. KennedyTV film
1995The Good Old BoysWalter CallowayTV film (dir: Tommy Lee Jones)
Devil in a Blue DressTodd CarterFilm
1996Fly Away HomeDavid AldenFilm
SleepersRalph FergusonFilm
Critical ChoicesLloydTV series
Homicide: Life on the StreetRichard LaumerTV series
1997George WallaceBilly WatsonTV film (dir: John Frankenheimer)
OzEmerald City Unit Manager Tim McManusTV series (six seasons)
White LiesRichardFilm
1998Luminous MotionPedroFilm
Don't Look DownDr. Paul SadowskiTV film (dir: Wes Craven)
1999OxygenCaptain Tim FosterFilm
That Championship SeasonJames DalyTV film
The Young Girl and the MonsoonHank (main character)Film (with Ellen Muth)
2000The House of MirthGeorge DorsetFilm
2001Save the Last DanceRoy JohnsonFilm
MidwivesRand DanforthTV film
2002The Laramie ProjectDennis ShepardFilm
2003House HuntingHogueShort film
2004Focus GroupBob SadlerShort film
CSI: NYDistrict Attorney Tom MitfordTV series (2 episodes)
2005The Game of Their LivesThe journalist, Dent McSkimmingFilm
RunawayDr. MaximFilm
Amber Frey: Witness for the ProsecutionDetective Neil O'HaraTV film
2006KidnappedJames SullivanTV series
2007Turn the RiverMarkusFilm
Wainy DaysMarvinInternet series (5 min episodes), 1 episode
Queens SupremeAndrew GriggTV series (1 episode)
2008Canterbury's LawDeputy Attorney General Zach WilliamsTV series (main cast)
2009The UnusualsSergeant Harvey BrownTV series (main cast)
The MentalistSpecial Agent Sam BoscoTV series (recurring role)
2010The Good WifeGerald Kozko (Risk assessor)TV series (3 episodes)
2011Being HumanHeggemannTV series (recurring role)
2012NYC 22Daniel "Yoda" DeanTV series (main cast)
2012Promised LandDavid ChurchillFilm
2012The Mob DoctorDante AmatoTV series (2 episodes)
2013ElementaryMartin EnnisTV series (one episode)
2014Black BoxDr. Owen MorelySeries regular


  1. ^ "Terry Kinney Biography (1954-)". Film Reference. Filmreference.com. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ Gholson, Craig. [1] BOMB Magazine Spring, 1989. Retrieved May 15th, 2013.
  3. ^ Hayford, Justin (July 11, 2002). "Petty Delusions and Grand Obsessions". Chicago Reader (Alison Draper/Sun-Times Media Group). Chicagoreader.com. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Jones, Kenneth (June 21, 2012). "New Works by Rajiv Joseph, Jenny Schwartz and Doug McGrath Will Cling to Vineyard's Vine in 2012-13". Playbill (Philip S. Birsh). Playbill.com. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ Bacalzo, Dan (June 29, 2012). "Terry Kinney to Direct Amoralists Production of Lyle Kessler's Collision". Theatermania.com. TheaterMania.com, Inc. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ Kinney was talking about his preparation for directing Diminished Capacity, reported at indieWIRE.
  7. ^ See Browne's Facebook page.
  8. ^ Abrams, Natalie (17 July 2012). "Fox's Mob Doctor Snags Fringe, Oz Alums for Recurring Gigs". TV Guide. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2013-09-26). "Terry Kinney Joins 'Black Box', Robin Weigert In 'Trending Down' & 'Chicago PD', Annabelle Stephenson Boards 'Revenge'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 

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