American actor Jeff Perry was born on August 16, 1955, and works in theater, television, and film. Richard Katimski on the ABC teen drama My So-Called Life, Thatcher Grey on the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, Cyrus Beene on the political drama Scandal, and Inspector Harvey Leek on the CBS criminal thriller Nash Bridges are some of his best-known roles.
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The Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago was co-founded by Perry. He founded the business with fellow students Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney at Highland Park High School and eventually transferred it to a small room within the Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park. Since then, it has developed into a renowned national theater company with former actors John Malkovich, John Mahoney, and Joan Allen among its alumni. Along with co-founders Kinney and Sinise, Perry continues to serve as executive artistic director.
After working for Steppenwolf for over two decades, Perry relocated to Los Angeles in 1987 to pursue a career in cinema and television. On the CBS police drama series Nash Bridges, Perry is arguably best recognized for his role as inspector Harvey Leek of the San Francisco Police Department, a rabid Grateful Dead enthusiast. In the thriller Wild Things, he served as a gruff superior to Kevin Bacon’s detective (1998).
His numerous roles on television and in movies include Hard Promises (1991), The Grifters (1990), The Human Stain (2003), The West Wing (2003), and The Practice (2003). He has also made appearances on My So-Called Life (1994), Lost (2005), Cold Case (2006), Raines (2007), and several episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (2005) as Thatcher Grey, Meredith Grey’s father. In the critically acclaimed television series Prison Break, he took Terrence Steadman’s spot from John Billingsley.
Perry has also been in a number of theater shows. These include The Caretaker, Time of Your Life, and Grapes of Wrath (all in New York and London) (Broadway). He starred in Tracy Letts’ Broadway production of August: Osage County, which had its world premiere at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. He made an Off-Broadway appearance in 2012 as Christopher, the combative father in Nina Raine’s Tribes.
Perry played Cyrus Beene in the ABC drama series Scandal from 2012 to 2018.
Perry appeared in Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Anna Christie at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in West Los Angeles in 2015 alongside his daughter Zoe Perry and actor Kevin McKidd.
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Perry’s father was a teacher at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois, where he was born. In 1978, he received his degree from Illinois State University. In appreciation of Perry’s outstanding achievements in the theater industry, Illinois State University awarded him an honorary degree in 2011.
From 1983 to 1986, Perry was wed to Laurie Metcalf, a famous actress. In 1983, they gave birth to actress Zoe Perry, although they later got divorced. He married Grey’s Anatomy casting director Linda Lowy in 1989, and the couple had a daughter named Leah Perry.
Who Is Laurie Metcalf?
Laurie Metcalf was born in Carbondale, Illinois on June 16, 1955. Her mother was a librarian, while her father oversaw the university’s finances. James and Linda, Metcalf’s younger brother and sister are his younger siblings. Metcalf is the oldest of three children.
She was up in Edwardsville, Illinois, and graduated from Illinois State University in 1976. While there, she also studied anthropology and German, but her passion for acting ultimately led her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Theater.
Through the theatre department at Illinois State, Laurie Metcalf became friends with a number of people who would go on to become performers, including Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry. After graduating from college, Metcalf started her professional career in Chicago at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where these two ended up as founding members. She went to New York in 1984 with the cast to take part in the Off-Broadway production of “Balm in Gilead,” for which she won the Obie Award for Best Actress that year.
When Laurie Metcalf was chosen to play the sister in the ABC sitcom “Roseanne,” which starred Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, she had her big break. She stayed with the program throughout its nine-season run and received four Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, which she went on to win in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Metcalf appeared in episodes of “Life with Louie,” “Dharma and Greg,” and “3rd Rock From the Sun” throughout her tenure on the program.
Norm Macdonald and Laurie Metcalf co-starred in “The Norm Show” in 1999; the show aired from that year until 2001. She later accepted a part in “Charlie Lawrence,” but it was abruptly canceled. In the years that followed, she did not have much success with television roles until she started playing the mother in “The Big Bang Theory” in 2007. She developed into a recurrent character over the course of the show’s twelve seasons and received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
She starred in the HBO comedy series “Getting On” in 2013, which earned her a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award. 2016 saw her receive yet another nomination for “Horace and Pete” In 2017, it was revealed that “Roseanne” would be getting a revival, and Metcalf had agreed to return in the lead. Roseanne Barr’s racial remarks, however, led to the cancellation of the program after just one season. After that, Metcalf starred in “The Conners,” which made its debut in 2018. For this role, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Throughout her career, Metcalf landed a number of cinema parts in addition to her ongoing television work. Throughout the 1980s, she appeared in a variety of small and supporting roles in movies like “A Wedding,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” and “Making Mr. Right.” She was chosen for grittier movies including “A Dangerous Woman,” “Pacific Heights,” and “Blink” in the 1990s. Her most significant cinematic role to date was in the 1991 movie “JFK.”
She was given a vocal part in Pixar’s popular animated film “Toy Story” in 1995. Since then, she has appeared in “Toy Story 2,” “Toy Story 3,” and “Toy Story 4” again. She also made appearances in dramas like “Georgia Rule” and “Stop Loss,” as well as comedies like “Beer League” and “Fun with Dick and Jane.”
In 2008, Metcalf made a comeback to the stage by participating in the Broadway production of “November.” She was nominated for a Tony Award for her work. She kept acting in plays like “Voice Lessons,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” and “Broadway Bound” throughout the 2010s. Her work in “The Other Place” earned her an Obie Award in 2011. She joined the West End cast of “Long Day’s Journey into Night” in 2012, for which she was nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress.
She was cast as the mother in Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” starring Saoirse Ronan and Tracy Letts in 2017, and the character has since become one of her most well-known and critically appreciated. Metcalf’s performance especially got her nods for Academy Awards, Golden Globes, SAG awards, and Critics Choice awards, among other awards. The movie itself received multiple awards and nominations.
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Her Personal Life
Metcalf wed Jeff Perry, one of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s co-founders, in 1983. Their daughter Zoe was born to Metcalf the same year. Following that, the pair divorced in 1986.
Then, Metcalf started seeing Matt Roth, a co-star in “Roseanne” who portrayed the part of her controlling boyfriend. They had a kid named Will together in November 1993, and they later got married. The couple’s surrogate gave birth to Akins, a daughter, in 2005. Then, in 2006, they adopted a boy they had fostered named Donovan, making him legally their son. 2008 saw the couple’s separation. Roth then submitted a divorce petition in 2011, and it was concluded in 2014.