Dallas Roberts Dallas Roberts

Dallas Roberts has been unforgettable in numerous recent roles, including the doomed Milton Mamet on The Walking Dead and Alicia Florrick's gay brother, Owen, on The Good Wife. Now he's landed a steady gig as Poppy Montgomery's inscrutable new NYPD boss, Elliot, on Unforgettable. Here's why he lives up to the show's title.

1. He's "the John Malkovich of Unforgettable." So says Montgomery: "Dallas is so unusual — he's created this strange, interesting, fabulous creature." Roberts gladly takes the compliment: "I saw Malkovich do True West on PBS when I was 21, and it literally changed everything I do. It was like an atomic bomb."

2. He didn't mind getting killed off on The Walking Dead. "It was a remarkable bit of fun," he says of shooting the zombie drama. "Milton was born to die, and it was nice when it came through in such a riveting way."

3. He's a believable brother to Julianna Margulies. "We don't look like we're from the same gene pool — or at least she got all the looks," he says modestly. "But we've found this shorthand, and it's such a pleasure."

4. He's not gay, but... He's often played gay roles, in The Good Wife and films like A Home at the End of the World. "It's fun to have people confused," says the 43-year-old actor, who has two sons with his wife, scenic designer Christine Jones. "Ironically, I was not gay on The L Word — I was the token straight boy."

5. His name's Dallas, and he's from Houston. "When I asked my dad, he just said, 'I always wanted my first son to be named Dallas," he says with a laugh. "It's one of those practical jokes that's following me around."

Unforgettable airs its midseason finale Sunday, Sept. 8 at 9/8c on CBS.

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