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Biographical Information
Born
October 26, 1961 (age 100)
Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Nationality
American
Professional Information
Occupation
Actor
Years Active
1987-present
Notable Works
In Perks

Mark Anthony McDermott (born October 26, 1961), better known by his professional name of Dylan McDermott, is an American actor, known for his role as lawyer and law firm head Bobby Donnell on the television legal drama The Practice which earned him a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination and his role in the series American Horror Story as Dr. Ben Harmon. He also starred in the TNT series Dark Blue as Lt. Carter Shaw.

Early lifeEdit

McDermott was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, the son of Diane (née Marino) and Richard McDermott. His mother was fifteen and his father was seventeen when he was born. By 1967, the couple had divorced, and Diane and her children were living with her mother. On February 9, 1967, his mother was accidentally shot and killed with her boyfriend's gun; McDermott was five. Her boyfriend reported to newspapers at the time that she picked up his gun and it went off. He and his sister, Robin, then began to be raised by their maternal grandmother, Avis (Rogers) Marino, in Waterbury. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Italian and English ancestry.

As a teenager, McDermott began taking trips to visit his father, who owned the West Fourth Street Saloon in New York City. The two would see movies together, and the younger McDermott would work in his father's bar serving drinks and breaking up fights. He would also fast talk his way into the Mudd Club and Studio 54. McDermott was uncomfortable with himself as a teenager, saying he had a "Dorothy Hamill hairdo". He began to imitate his acting heroes, such as Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart, to adopt their demeanor. McDermott attended and graduated from Holy Cross High School in Waterbury.

His father's third wife was Eve Ensler (author of The Vagina Monologues) and she legally adopted McDermott when he was fifteen years old and she was twenty-three; she has since divorced his father. Ensler, with whom he has remained close, encouraged McDermott to pursue an acting career and began writing roles for him into her plays. After Ensler suffered a miscarriage, he took on the name Dylan—the name planned for her unborn child. He attended acting school at the Jesuit-run Fordham University, as well as studying under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

CareerEdit

McDermott starred as Chris in the 1989 film Twister about a man who tried to rescue his girlfriend and daughter from a tornado storm. The same year brought Neon Empire, a movie about the rise and fall of one man in Las Vegas. However, his first big break as an actor was in the hit film In the Line of Fire. Through his connection with Clint Eastwood, McDermott was able to land his first major gig in The Practice. The show expanded McDermott's stardom, and he made People list of the "50 Most Beautiful People In The World 1998" with the magazine calling him a "a prime-time heartthrob". He got this distinction again in 2000. Despite his success on The Practice, McDermott was cut from the show. Executive producer David E. Kelley cited "economic and creative realities" as a result of pressure from ABC to reduce costs. He did, however, return for the final two episodes of the final season as a special guest star.

In 2004, McDermott starred alongside Julianna Margulies four-part mini-series The Grid, playing FBI Special Agent Max Canary in an anti-terrorist unit. Returning to theater in 2006, the actor played a returned soldier suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder in the Ensler's play The Treatment. In 2007, McDermott starred in the television series Big Shots. Due to low viewership, the show was cancelled in January 2008 after 11 episodes without completing the planned 13-episode season. On October 30, 2008, TV Guide reported that McDermott was due to co-star alongside Shannen Doherty in the film Burning Palms, a satire based on Los Angeles stereotypes told through five intertwining storylines. Starting in 2009, McDermott starred in the TNT drama Dark Blue, playing a veteran cop who heads a squad of undercover LAPD officers. The show ran for two seasons, each consisting of ten episodes.

McDermott currently stars in the horror/drama American Horror Story on FX as Ben Harmon, an East Coast psychiatrist who decides to move his family to California to start over after a series of marital and family issues. Unfortunately for the Harmons, the new house they purchase quickly is revealed to be haunted.

Personal lifeEdit

McDermott dated actress Julia Roberts, who starred opposite him in the film version of Steel Magnolias. He married actress Shiva Afshar Rose on November 19, 1995. They have two daughters: Colette, born in 1996, and Charlotte Rose, born on September 8, 2005. Colette's birth is prominently featured in Ensler's Vagina Monologues. On September 27, 2007, People confirmed that McDermott and Rose had separated. On May 16, 2008, CelebTV.com reported that McDermott had filed for divorce from Rose. The divorce was finalized on January 2, 2009. McDermott has been featured in magazines such as Men's Health. In 1999, he was one of six-way tie for sixth in GQ's Man of the Year issue. He is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for well over 20 years.

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