West Wing Josh
"I participated in theater in high school, but I never thought you could actually be an actor for a living." Bradley Whitford
Emmy-winning actor Bradley Whitford is widely recognized as Josh Lyman (1999-2006), the witty, somewhat cocky, know-it-all Deputy Chief of Staff on NBC’s political drama series "The West Wing," and as Danny Tripp (2006-2007), the former crack addict-turned-producer/director on NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." On the big screen, he played prominent roles in Dead as a Doorman (1986), Scent of a Woman (1992), Red Corner (1997), Kate & Leopold (2001) and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005). His latest film, An American Crime, in which he co-stars with Catherine Keener and Ellen Page, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2007. It will be released in selected theaters sometime in August of 2007.
The 5' 11" tall, boyishly handsome, auburn-haired actor has been married to actress Jane Kaczmarek since 1992. They have three children.
Childhood and Family:
In Madison, Wisconsin, Bradley Whitford was born on October 10, 1959. His mother, Genevieve Smith Whitford, appeared in a May 2006 episode of "Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show." He attended Madison East High School in Madison, Wisconsin, and graduated in 1977. He received his BA in theater and English literature from Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1981, and later signed up with the esteemed Juilliard Theater Center.
On August 15, 1992, Whitford married actress Jane Kaczmarek (born December 21, 1955), who played Lois on “Malcolm in the Middle.” The couple currently lives in Los Angeles with their three children: Frances (born in 1997), George (born in 1999) and Mary Louisa (born November 25, 2002).
Whitford co-founded the charity "Clothes off our Back" with his wife Kaczmarek in 2002. The pair are active supporters and spokespeople for Heifer International. In May 2004, Whitford gave the commencement speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and on June 4, 2007, he will be the keynote speaker for Class Day at Princeton University.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
A former waiter at "Panarellas" at 84th & Columbus, in New York City, Bradley Whitford, who was stung by the acting bug in high school, made his professional acting debut with a guest spot in an October 1985 episode of CBS' action-adventure series starring British actor Edward Woodward, "The Equalizer." He followed it up with the lead role of Terry Reilly, a 30-something doorman who begins a private investigation, in Gary Youngman's low-budget thriller film Dead as a Doorman (1986). Afterward, he starred in the NBC action-drama TV-movie C.A.T. Squad (1986) and portrayed Jack Ford in the ABC Golden Globe-winning biopic about the widow of former United States President Gerald R. Ford, The Betty Ford Story (1987; starring Gena Rowlands).
In 1990, Whitford debuted on Broadway, succeeding Tom Hulce in the starring role in Aaron Sorkin's "A Few Good Men." He was cast as Al Pacino's brother-in-law in Martin Brest's drama comedy Scent of A Woman (1992), adapted from Giovanni Arpino’s novel Il Buio E Il Miele ("Darkness and Honey") and from Dino Risi’s 1974 movie Profumo Di Donna, before starring as Dave Brodsky in the brief-lived NBC sitcom "Black Tie Affair" (1993; a.k.a. Smoldering Lust). He also played a recurring role on four 1994 episodes of the ABC cop drama "NYPD Blue" and appeared as the husband of a pregnant woman in the Emmy-winning "Love's Labor's Lost" episode of the popular NBC medical drama "ER."
Following his significant supporting role in Jon Avnet's high-stakes thriller Red Corner (1997; starring Richard Gere and Bai Ling), Whitford starred opposite Elizabeth Perkins as a couple who loses their 8 year old son in a boating accident in the sci-fi drama/thriller TV-movie Cloned (1997). The next year, he co-starred in the ABC short-lived sitcom "The Secret Lives of Men," alongside Peter Gallagher and Mitch Rouse.
1999 proved to be Whitford’s breakout year when he joined the cast of NBC’s political drama series "The West Wing." In the long-running series, set in the West Wing of the White House, he portrayed Josh Lyman (1999-2006), the witty, somewhat cocky, boyishly charming know-it-all Deputy Chief of Staff in the Josiah Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen) administration. The role won him an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2001) and two Screen Actors Guild awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2001 and 2002).
During his lengthy seven-year stint in "The West Wing," Whitford also co-starred opposite Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman in James Mangold's romantic comedy Kate & Leopold (2001) and did a TV Commercial for M & M's in 2002. He was also seen as the father of America Ferrera's Carmen in Ken Kwapis' coming-of-age film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005), adapted from the bestselling young adult novels by Ann Brashares.
In 2006, Whitford rejoined "The West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin on NBC’s "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," playing the starring role of Danny Tripp, a recovering crack addict-turned-producer/director. Recently, on February 17, 2007, the Golden Globe-nominated show-within-a-show, which also stars Matthew Perry, was pulled from NBC's lineup.
Meanwhile, on January 19, 2007, Whitford's latest film, An American Crime, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The true story-based film, which is directed by Tommy O'Haver and stars Catherine Keener and Ellen Page, will be released in selected theaters sometime in August of 2007.