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White Collar's Tim DeKay: From Supporting Star to Leading Man

It's the blessing and curse of all hard-working character actors: "I have a household face but not a household name," says Tim DeKay, who plays FBI agent Peter Burke on White Collar (airing tonight at 9/8c, USA). Burke's job is to keep tabs on con—turned—FBI consultant Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer)...

David Hochman

It's the blessing and curse of all hard-working character actors: "I have a household face but not a household name," says Tim DeKay, who plays FBI agent Peter Burke on White Collar (airing tonight at 9/8c, USA).
Burke's job is to keep tabs on con—turned—FBI consultant Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer). DeKay's job, meanwhile, is to keep track of all the supporting roles on his résumé.
"When somebody comes up and says, 'Hey, aren't you the guy from...' you can sometimes guess which thing they've seen you in," DeKay explains. With guys in their forties, it's usually "Bizarro Jerry" from an episode of Seinfeld. ("Bizarro's life was exactly like Jerry's, only completely different," he laughs.)
Women often know him as Dr. Paul Thomas from Party of Five, and the hipper-than-hip think he's that dude from HBO's Carnaval or Tell Me You Love Me. But White Collar's changing all that. "Peter's a distinctive character, and he's getting me more and more attention," DeKay says.
This season, Burke and Caffrey will grow closer, and Burke begins questioning the validity of the FBI's by-the-book process. "It's gotten to the point where Peter's connection with Neal is trumping everything else," DeKay says. "Who knows? Maybe they'll both go rogue."

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