Biography

Theater has played an important part in cultivating Whitford's professional and personal relationships. After earning a master's degree from the prestigious acting program at Juilliard, the actor hit the New York stage, appearing in a myriad of productions including A Few Good Men and Measure for Measure. While he was in the latter, cast mate Kate Burton introduced him to his future wife, Jane Kaczmarek. The couple, who have three children, were married for 16 years before filing for divorce in 2009. During the run of A Few Good Men, Whitford became friendly with playwright Aaron Sorkin, who later cast him in his seminal, Emmy-winning West Wing role. Whitford has also appeared in a number of films, showcasing his range in both comedies (Billy Madison, My Fellow Americans) and dramas (Philadelphia, Scent of a Woman). In 2006, Whitford teamed with Sorkin again on the dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, though the series was canceled after one season. After several-years' hiatus from television, Whitford returned to series TV in 2010 with a starring role in the Fox buddy comedy The Good Guys.

Fast Facts

  • One of his first professional roles was in 1987 in the off-Broadway show Curse of the Starving Class, with Kathy Bates.
  • Met West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin when he was a replacement in Sorkin's A Few Good Men on Broadway in 1990.
  • Met future wife Jane Kaczmarek (from whom he separated in 2009) when she attended a New York stage play he was starring in with her friend Kate Burton.
  • Cofounded (with Kaczmarek) The Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, which auctions off celebrity apparel to benefit children's charities.

Awards

  • 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2002, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2002, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2015, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2003, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2001, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Frances Genevieve Whitford — Daughter
  • George Edward Whitford — Son
  • Mary Louisa Whitford — Daughter
  • Jane Kaczmarek — Ex-wife

College

  • Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (BA, 1981); The Juilliard School, New York, NY (MA in Theater)

Details

  • Birth Place: Madison, WI
  • Birthday: October 10, 1959, Libra
  • Profession: Actor
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