- Wrote a play called The Greatest and Most Exciting Gratuitous Exhibition Ever Exploited, which was staged in New York in 1993.
- Took up acting in his senior year of college and moved to New York (where he attended the Actors Studio).
- Made his film debut as one of Sean Penn's murder victims in Dead Man Walking (1995). Break-out performance was as a rapist-killer in Boys Don't Cry (1999).
- Played a love scene with Liam Neeson in Kinsey (2004); received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his supporting role in the film.
- Made his Broadway debut in 2008 in an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.
- 2004, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2009, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2014, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- Maggie Gyllenhaal — Wife
- Ramona Sarsgaard — Daughter
- Gloria Ray Sarsgaard — Daughter
- Attended Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Washington University, St. Louis, MO (BA in History and Literature, 1994)
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Charlie Rose with Zach Braff, Natalie Portman & Peter Sarsgaard; Sirio Maccioni & Peter Elliott (August 3, 2004)
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