John Carroll Lynch
Birth Date:
August 1, 1963
Birth Place:
Boulder, Colorado, USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
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Gran Torino


An American character actor who was a member of the world prestigious Guthrie Theater Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, John Carroll Lynch first acquired attention for his impressive portrayal of Oscar winner Frances McDormand's supportive spouse in the critically acclaimed film “Fargo” (1996), which was written by Joel and Ethan Coen. Subsequently, he rose to fame as the cross-dressing brother, Steve, in the popular TV comedy series “The Drew Carey Show,” a role he held from 1997 to 2004. Still on the small screen, Lynch made the transformation from comedy to drama by taking roles in HBO's “Carnivàle” (2005, as Varlyn Stroud), CBS' “Close to Home” (2005-2006, as Steve Sharpe) and Fox's “K-Ville” (2007, as Captain James Embry).

In addition to “Fargo,” Lynch has had supporting roles in many movies, including “Volcano” (1997), “Anywhere But Here” (1999), “Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000), “The Good Girl” (2002), “Gothika“ (2003) and “Mozart and the Whale“ (2005). He also portrayed characters in “Full of It“ and “Zodiac“ (both 2007), worked with Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro in “Things We Lost in Fire“ (2007), and Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino” (2008), to name a few. He will portray Detective Bud Morris in the series “Body of Proof”, Rory in the movie “Highland Park,” and Moses Buggs in Greg Mottola’s “Paul.”

As for his personal life, Lynch is the husband of actress Brenda Wehle, whom he married in 1997.


Childhood and Family:

Born in Boulder, Colorado, on August 1, 1963, John Carroll Lynch spent much of his early years in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he enrolled at the University of Minnesota. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.F.A in theater from The Catholic University of America/ Hartke Theatre Acting program in 1986.

John has been married to actress Brenda Wehle since 1997. Both John and his wife were members of the Guthrie Theater Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Shutter Island


It was at the University of Minnesota that John Carroll Lynch found a knack for acting and auditioned for the school of drama & theatre arts. After receiving his BFA from The Catholic University of America in the mid 1980s, he went on to work in theaters around the country, but focused primarily on his work at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. As part of the Guthrie Theater Acting Company, the actor spent the 1990s performing in a number of plays from Shakespeare to Shaw to Chekhov. He also served as a mentor for the graduate acting program of the University of Minnesota.

Lynch made his first feature film appearance in 1993 when he landed a bit part in Donald Petrie's comedy “Grumpy Old Men.“ He made his television movie debut in 1995's “In the Line of Duty: Hunt for Justice,” which starred Adam Arkin. Lynch, however, did not score a real breakthrough until he landed the role of Frances McDormant's husband, Norm Gunderson, in the Coen Brother's film “Fargo“ (1996), which won McDormant an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The role brought Lynch critical attention and popularity.

After the success, Lynch could be seen in the films “Beautiful Girls” and “Feeling Minnesota” (both 1996). The next year, he began a regular role on the long running comedy series “The Drew Carey Show” (ABC, 1995-2004), portraying Steve Carey. While on the show, Lynch took roles in such diverse projects as “Volcano” (1997, starred Tommy Lee Jones), “Face/Off” (1997, starred John Travolta and Nicolas Cage), “Mercury Rising” (1998), “Restaurant” (1998, with Adrien Brody) and “Anywhere But Here” (1999, starred Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman). Other credits include “Waking the Dead“ (2000) with Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly, “The Next Best Thing“ (2000) with superstar Madonna, “Gone in Sixty Seconds“ (2000) again with Nicolas Cage, “The Good Girl“ (2002), with Jennifer Aniston and Mike White, “Confidence“ (2003) opposite Edward Burns and Rachel Weisz, and “Gothika“ (2003) with Halle Berry and Robert Downey Jr. The dynamic performer also made guest appearances on TV series, including a 1999 episode of the popular series “Star Trek: Voyager.”

2003 saw Lynch play the role of Major Garrett Shaw in “The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire,” opposite Randy Quaid, Chris Penn, Mare Winningham, Elizabeth McGovern and Ann Cusack. Unfortunately, the David E. Kelley production was canceled after two episodes. He returned to series TV playing Varlyn Stroud in 12 episodes of the HBO drama “Carnivàle” in 2005. He followed it up with a 2005 and 2006 season gig on the CBS legal drama “Close to Home.” On the movie front, Lynch acted in “Mozart and the Whale” (2005), starring Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell, and Albert Brooks' “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World” (also 2005).

Lynch next starred as a principal in the comedy series “The PTA” for Touchstone TV in 2006. He also portrayed Captain James Embry in Fox's “K-Ville,” opposite Anthony Anderson and Cole Hauser, and in 2007, was seen in the “Full of It” and David Fincher's “Zodiac,” which starred Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Graysmith. He also has a role in the drama “Things We Lost in Fire,” which was released in 2007 and starred Halle Berry, Benicio Del Toro, David Duchovny and Alison Lohman.

A busy actor, some of Lynch’s more recent and upcoming credits include roles in the series “Lie To Me” (2009), “Monk” (2009), and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (also 2009). In addition, he will appear in multiple episodes of “Body of Proof” and portrayed Deputy Warden McPherson in the hit movie “Shutter Island,” (2010) which starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley.


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