With his good looks and everyman air, this always-employed but often-anonymous character actor has book-ended his career with a pair of enigmatic TV turns. After studying acting at Duke University, Coleman honed his skills on stage. While performing in a Long Island stage production of Grease
, he made his small-screen debut on the soap Days of our Lives
as Jake Kositchek, the Salem Strangler. A quarter of a century later, his subtle but striking work on the sci-fi smash Heroes
as a bespectacled and morally ambiguous character simply referred to as HRG (short for Horn-Rimmed Glasses) garnered him the most mainstream attention he'd had in 25 years in showbiz. Coleman kept busy in between, both on stage and on the small screen, notably with a six-season stint on Dynasty
as Steve Carrington. The second actor to play the part after Al Corley left the series, Coleman was, to some fans, less believable in the part, which was one of the first homosexual characters on a prime-time drama. In the '80s and '90s, Coleman popped up all over the tube, usually playing white-collar types, on everything from Diagnosis Murder
. Although his Heroes
role was initially a small one, the mysteriousness of the character — a ferociously loving father who happened to be an agent for a shady company — turned him into one of the series' breakout stars. Off-screen, Coleman is a direct, sixth-generation descendant of Benjamin Franklin and the grandson of Pulitzer Prize winner Herbert Agar.Jack Coleman Fast Facts:
- Is a direct, sixth-generation descendant of Benjamin Franklin.
- His maternal grandfather, Herbert Agar, won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1934 for his book The People's Choice.
- While performing in a Long Island stage production of Grease, he got his first television break, starring as Jake Kositchek, the Salem Strangler, on Days of Our Lives.
- Received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance in 1986's Bouncers; also earned a nomination in 1990 for his work in Stand-up Tragedy.
- Best known for his turns as the second Steven Carrington on Dynasty and Noah Bennet (aka Horn-Rimmed Glasses) on Heroes.
- Jack Coleman Relationships:
- Beth Toussaint - Wife
- Tess - Daughter
- Agnes Agar Coleman - Mother
- John Coleman - Father
- Duke University, Durham, NC (BA in Drama, 1980)