- After college, performed in various stage productions in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- Starred in a 1986 production of Macbeth at the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare festival and in a 1988 Circle in the Square revival of A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway (taking over the role of Stanley Kowalski from Aidan Quinn).
- Made his film debut in the 1986 Canadian biopic The Boy in Blue.
- Had recurring roles on Prison Break and CSI: Miami.
- Received Gemini Award (Canada's version of the Emmys) nominations for roles in the Showtime series Poltergeist: The Legacy and the 1997 TV-movie Dead Silence.
- Won an Action on Film International Film Festival Half-Life Award in 2009.
- 2013, Canadian Screen Awards — Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- Kyla Coates — Daughter
- Frederick J. Coates — Father
- Brenna Coates — Daughter
- Joyce Coates — Mother
- Diana Coates — Wife
- University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (BA in Drama, 1981)
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