6' 0˝" tall actor Billy Burke started acting in the early 1990s and became familiar among TV audiences while portraying the violent-tempered and abusive Gary Matheson (2002-2003) on the second season of Fox's hit show "24." On the silver screen, he was credited in Jane Austen's Mafia (1998), Dill Scallion (1999), Komodo (1999), Along Came a Spider (2001) and Ladder 49 (2004). Next, he will co-star as a hostage negotiator in the soon-to-be released suspense film, Fracture, alongside Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. His other upcoming film projects include The Fallen, Three Days to Vegas, Forfeit, The Feast of Love, and Untraceable.
Childhood and Family:
Billy Burke was born on November 25, 1966, in Bellingham, Washington. He studied drama at Western Washington University.
At age nine, Billy Burke began singing and by age fifteen, he had joined a band. He also began acting while studying at Western Washington University and later performed in Seattle at the Annex Theater, in the New City Festival, and at the A.H.A. Theater.
In 1990, Burke landed his feature film debut in Barry Caillier's independent musical comedy film Dare Dreamer. He subsequently moved to Los Angeles and made his second film with Caillier, another independent comedy called To Cross the Rubicon (1991). He also worked on the small screen and guest starred in the syndicated sci-fi series “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” ABC’s sitcom “All-American Girl,” the syndicated adventure show “Vanishing Son,” Fox’s short-lived sci-fi series “VR.5,” “Strange Luck” and Fox’s long-running dramatic series “Party of Five.” He also appeared in a number of made-for-television movies, including Gone in the Night (1996), The Ultimate Lie (1996), Marshal Law (1996) and Don't Look Down (1998).
During the late 1990s, Burke was cast in Jim Abrahams' crime comedy film Mafia (starring Jay Mohr, Lloyd Bridges, Olympia Dukakis, and Christina Applegate), which spoofs Coppola's Godfather series and other mafia films, and Robert Towne's biographical drama about the famous 1970s runner Steve Prefontaine, Without Limits, starring Billy Crudup and Donald Sutherland. He also snagged his first film starring role as the winsome country-western singer Dill Scallion in writer-director Jordan Brady's film with the same name and co-starred opposite Kevin Zegers and Jill Hennessy in Michael Lantieri's thriller sci-fi film Komodo.
In the new millennium, Burke supported Jerry Stiller and Janeane Garofalo in Stephen Kessler's The Independent and guest starred in the pilot episode of ABC’s short-lived controversial drama series "Wonderland." He then co-starred in the Robert Manganelli's independent psychological thriller After Image and in Lee Tamahori's film adaptation of James Patterson's novel, Along Came a Spider, alongside Morgan Freeman and Monica Potter. He also acted opposite Dana Delany in the TV movies version of Linda Fairstein's novel, Final Jeopardy, and starred in the one-hour action-drama pilot Flashpoint.
From 2002 to 2003, Burke played the violent-tempered, abusive Gary Matheson on the second season of Fox's hit show starring Kiefer Sutherland, "24." During that time, he also had a recurring role on WB’s long-running "Gilmore Girls" and guest starred in an episode of ABC crime drama "Karen Sisco." Additionally, he starred in Devon Gummersall's short musical comedy Something More and co-starred with Neve Campbell in Peter Masterson's drama/thriller/romance film Lost Junction, in which he played a hitchhiking drifter.
2004 saw Burke team up with Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta in Jay Russell's drama movie about firefighters, Ladder 49. He also appeared in an episode of USA Network's Emmy-winning "Monk" and in several episodes of Fox's short-lived one hour drama "The Jury," as John Ranguso.
Burke’s latest film project, Fracture, a suspense film directed by Gregory Hoblit, will be released on April 20, 2007. In the film, which stars Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling, he will play the supporting role of a hostage negotiator named Rob Nunally. Meanwhile, TV audiences could catch him in a January 2007 episode of NBC's police procedural and legal drama "Law & Order."
Burke has wrapped up his upcoming films, Ralph E. Portillo's 1940's period drama, The Fallen (starring Clare Kramer), Charlie Picerni's romantic comedy Three Days to Vegas (with Rip Torn, Peter Falk, Charles Q. Murphy and Bill Cobbs) and Andrew Shea's drama/thriller Forfeit, in which he will play the lead role. He is currently filming Robert Benton's take on Charles Baxter's book, The Feast of Love, alongside Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear and Radha Mitchell, and Gregory Hoblit's thriller Untraceable, with Diane Lane and Colin Hanks.