''I'm the kind of guy who's all-American looking, somebody who you wouldn't necessarily suspect of anything nasty. But I'm perfectly capable of thinking those thoughts!'' Jack Coleman.
Entering television in the early 1980s, Jack Coleman rose to prominence after replacing Al Corley in the role of Steven Carrington (1982-1988), the sexually ambivalent son of John Forsythe's oil tycoon lead character, on ABC prime time soap opera "Dynasty." He currently plays Noah Bennet (aka "Mr. Bennet" or "the Man in Horn-Rimmed Glasses (H.R.G.)"), the shadowy father of Hayden Panettiere's super-powered cheerleader's character, on NBC hit sci-fi/drama series "Heroes" (2006-Present).
Meanwhile, the character actor had guest star roles in such TV shows as "Days of Our Lives," "The Colbys," "Diagnosis Murder," "Touched by an Angel," "According to Jim," "Nip/Tuck," "CSI: Miami," and "Entourage." He also could be seen in the films "The Pursuit of Happiness" (1988), "Trapped in Space" (1994), "Foreign Student" (1994; aka Étudiant étranger, L'), "Time Under Fire" (1996; aka Beneath the Bermuda Triangle), "Spawn" (1997), and "The Landlady" (1998). He will appear in an upcoming drama/comedy film called "Beautiful Loser."
As for his stage works, Coleman has performed in ''Stand-up Tragedy'' at the Mark Taper Forum and ''Bouncers.''
On a more personal note, the 6' 2" thespian has been married to actress Beth Toussaint since 1996 and has one daughter with her.
Childhood and Family:
In Easton, Pennsylvania, John MacDonald Coleman was born on February 21, 1958. He is a sixth generation descendant of American inventor Benjamin Franklin, who is in turn related to President John Calvin Coolidge Jr. and a remote descendant of the old Earls of Orkney and the ancient Kings of Scotland.
Coleman graduated from Duke University in 1980, where he began studying acting. Following graduation, he sharpened his skills at the National Theater Institute.
He married actress Beth Toussaint (born September 25, 1962; played Tracy Lawton on the TV series "Dallas") on June 21, 1996. They have one daughter named Tess.
Deciding to become an actor while studying in university, Jack Coleman honed his skills at the National Theater Institute. In the early 1980s, he began appearing on television, starting with a guest spot in an October 1981 episode of the syndicated soap opera, "Days of our Lives."
Not long afterwards, Coleman landed his first big break when he replaced Al Corley to play the regular role of Steven Carrington, the sexually ambivalent son of John Forsythe's powerful oil tycoon lead character, on ABC prime time soap opera "Dynasty." Coleman stayed on the show from 1982 until 1988, playing the character that is noteworthy as one of the first gay leading characters in a dramatic series (despite identifying as gay, his character has relationships with both women and men throughout the series).
During his six-year stint on "Dynasty," Coleman gave guest appearances on several ABC dramas, including the short-lived "Glitter," the detective drama "Finder of Lost Loves" and the prime time soap opera "The Colbys," a spin-off from "Dynasty." He also appeared in an Australian independent film titled "The Pursuit of Happiness" (1988), directed by Martha Ansara.
After "Dynasty," Coleman worked mainly on television. He starred in a number of TV movies like the drama/comedy "Bridesmaids" (1989; with Sela Ward and Brooke Adams), the horror "Daughter of Darkness" (1990; with Anthony Perkins and Mia Sara), and the serio-comic drama "Children of the Bride" (1990; alongside Rue McClanahan and Patrick Duffy). His other made-for-TV movie works include a starring role opposite Robert Stack in the crime/drama "The Return of Eliot Ness" (1991) and with Michelle Phillips in the erotic thriller "Rubdown" (1993).
After making two films, Arthur Allan Seidelman's independent sci-fi/thriller "Trapped in Space" (1994) and Eva Sereny's adaptation of Philippe Labro's novel, "Foreign Student" (1994), Coleman returned to the small screen, guest starring in CBS' mystery/medical/crime drama series "Diagnosis: Murder," the brief revival of the 1960s cop thriller ""Burke's Law," ABC sitcom "The Naked Truth," and CBS fantasy drama "Touched by an Angel."
Coleman subsequently was cast in Scott P. Levy's disappointing sci-fi/action film "Time Under Fire" (1996), Mark A.Z. Dippé's cinema adaptation of the comic book series "Spawn" (1997), and Robert Malenfant's depressing slasher movie starring Talia Shire, "The Landlady" (1998). Meanwhile, he continued working on television, starring in the TV movies "Medusa's Child" (1997), "Angels in the Endzone" (1997), "Last Rites" (1998) and "Replacing Dad" (1999). He was also spotted as a guest in an episode of USA Network's television drama based on Sandra Bullock's 1995 film, "The Net."
The new millennium saw Coleman guest starring in an episode of the sitcom "Oh Baby," UPN short-lived horror/comedy series "Special Unit 2," NBC drama "Providence," and CBS sitcom starring Ted Danson, "Becker." After starring in Tom Verica's 32/38-minute comedy film "Studio City" (2003; he also wrote the screenplay), he continued giving guest appearances in such TV shows as "According to Jim," "Kingdom Hospital," "Nip/Tuck," "CSI: Miami," and "Without a Trace."
2006 marks Coleman's return to the spotlight. In that year, he snagged his most prominent role after "Dynasty," on NBC hit science fiction drama series "Heroes," playing Noah Bennet (aka "Mr. Bennet" or "the Man in Horn-Rimmed Glasses (H.R.G.)"), the shadowy father of Hayden Panettiere's super-powered cheerleader's character. Coleman once referred to his character as ''a combination of the light and dark. I don't want to just be a moustache twirling villain." He was initially recurring, but was upgraded as regular as of the 11th episode "Fallout."
On being picked as a regular on "Heroes," Coleman recalled, ''['Heroes' executive producer] Dennis Hammer called me and said, 'Just want to let you know that your deal is our top priority.' I got off that call, and I went, 'I'm going to be a series regular. It's going to happen.' It was kind of long in coming. There had been a lot of talk about it, but there hadn't been an offer. Then the next episode would come, and I'd get the script and I was prominent, and then I'd be signing that week-to-week contract. I was just like, 'Ugh.' I started to chomp at the bit.''
And when asked about how he developed chemistry with co-star Hayden Panettiere, Coleman revealed, ''The scene that we did in the pilot where I come home and she comes running into my arms, we'd known each other for about 45 seconds when we shot that. I was the guest star. I come out of my trailer, we're about to shoot, she comes out with 'Daddy!' I thought, 'Wow, this is a very open actor.' I was really kind of blown away. Hayden has chemistry with everybody. She does. She's just invested in whoever she is looking at and acting with, and I think that's something that's really special about her. She's very savvy about the camera, but she's not giving it to the camera, she's giving it to the actor.''
Meanwhile, Coleman portrayed the exasperated father of Aly and AJ's spoiled yet good-intentioned character in Disney Channel Original Movie "Cow Belles" (2006) and was spotted as a guest in an August 2006 episode of Emmy Award-winning HBO original series "Entourage." He also has completed his upcoming film project, "Beautiful Loser," a drama/comedy by writer/director John Nolte.
On stage, Coleman was nominated a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance in the play ''Stand-up Tragedy'' at the Mark Taper Forum. He later won the award after delivering outstanding performance in ''Bouncers.''
TV Land: Future Classic Award, "Heroes," 2007