- Before acting, he worked as a carpenter, landscaper, teacher and freelance illustrator (his drawings appeared in the New York Times and the Boston Globe).
- Met his wife, Carrie Preston, while the two were appearing in Hamlet at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
- First major New York stage role was as Oscar Wilde in the 1997 off-Broadway production Gross Indecency: The Trials of Oscar Wilde; made his Broadway debut in a 1999 production of The Iceman Cometh.
- Breakout film role was in the 2004 horror movie Saw.
- Was originally cast for a three-episode guest stint on Lost, but producers were so impressed with his performance that they decided to make him a series regular.
- Supports a number of charities connected to the theater community, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Gay Men's Health Crisis.
- 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
- 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2008, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2010, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 2010, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
- Carrie Preston — Wife
- Drake University, Des Moines, IA (BA in Theater, 1976); University of Alabama, Montgomery, AL (MFA, 1995)
- Birth Place: Cedar Rapids, IA
- Profession: Actor
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