Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Martin Donovan Biography

Birth Name:
Martin Paul Smith
Birth Place:
Reseda, California, United States
Actor, director, producer, screenwriter

Fast Facts

  • First role was in a high-school production of Bye Bye Birdie
  • Worked odd jobs, including installing draperies, to help support his family when they moved to New York City
  • Has appeared in a number of director Hal Hartley's productions, including Trust (1990), Simple Men (1992), Surviving Desire (1993), Amateur (1994), Flirt (1995) and The Book of Life (1998)
  • Donovan once interviewed Hartley for Bomb Magazine in 1991
  • Has costarred with Mary-Louise Parker several times, including in The Portrait of a Lady (1996), Pipe Dream (2002), Saved! (2004) and the Showtime series Weeds
  • Song "Martin Donovan," written by Jeffrey Nothing and performed by Mushroomhead, is about him; he's referenced in "Crackstatic" by Ron Hawkins and the Rusty Nails and "Martin Donovan in Trust" by Herman Dune


  • 2019Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: nominated
  • 2015Independent Spirit Awards-Robert Altman Award: winner
  • 2006Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1996National Society of Film Critics-Best Supporting Actor: winner


  • Gayne Paul Smith -- Father
  • Agnes Mary Regan -- Mother
  • Austin Donovan -- Son
  • Micah Donovan -- Son