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Christopher McDonald
Christopher McDonald 2011 Shankbone (cropped).JPG
McDonald in 2011
Born (1955-02-15) February 15, 1955 (age 68)
Alma mater Hobart College
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–present
Lupe Gidley
(m. 1992)
Children 4
  • Daniel McDonald (brother)

Christopher McDonald (born February 15, 1955) is an American film, television, theatre and voice actor.

McDonald is best known for playing the villainous professional golfer Shooter McGavin in the 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore. Other notable starring roles for McDonald in film include "T-Birds" member Goose McKenzie in Grease 2 (1982), Darryl Dickinson opposite his former fiance Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise (1991), Ward Cleaver in the film adaptation Leave It to Beaver (1997), and Tappy Tibbons in Requiem for a Dream (2000). Along with numerous independent and small-budget film roles, he played supporting characters in box-office hits Grumpy Old Men (1993), Flubber (1997), Rumor Has It (2005), The House Bunny (2008) and About Last Night (2014).

Voice acting roles for McDonald include Jor-El on Superman: The Animated Series (1996), Kent Mansley in The Iron Giant (1999), Superman on Batman Beyond (2000) and Harvey Dent on Beware the Batman (2014). On television, McDonald was a series regular on network TV shows Walter & Emily (1991-1992, NBC), Good Advice (1993-1994, CBS), Family Law (1999-2002, NBC), Cracking Up (2004, FOX) and Harry's Law, (2011-2012, NBC).

McDonald has portrayed several notable real-life people, including game show host Jack Barry in Quiz Show (1994), mountaineer Jon Krakauer in Into Thin Air: Death on Everest on ABC (1997), sportscaster Mel Allen in the HBO film 61* (2001), Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio in ESPN's The Bronx Is Burning (2007), U.S. Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty on HBO's Boardwalk Empire (2010-2012), Texas revolution soldier Henry Karnes in History Channel's Texas Rising (2015), and Clinton lawyer Robert S. Bennett on FX's Impeachment: American Crime Story (2021).

In 2022, McDonald was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as casino CEO Marty Ghilain on the HBO Max show Hacks.

Personal life

McDonald was born in New York City, to Patricia, a nursing professor and real estate agent, and James R. McDonald, an educator and high school principal.

Of Irish descent and a practicing Catholic, he and his siblings were raised in Romulus, New York. He graduated from Romulus Central School in 1973 and later earned a degree from Hobart College in Geneva, New York where he played football and soccer. He was also a member of the Kappa Alpha Society. His younger brother, actor and singer Daniel McDonald, died of brain cancer in February 2007. He is a prominent fan of the Buffalo Bills and a friend of former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly.

McDonald was engaged to future Thelma and Louise co-star Geena Davis for a period in the mid-80s until 1985, when she left him for Jeff Goldblum. McDonald met actress Lupe Gidley in 1989 when they performed together in a theatre production in New Mexico. They married in 1992 and have three daughters and one son.


McDonald has numerous film and television roles, often as a supporting actor and often portraying villains. In addition to the above, his credits also include Grease 2, Breakin', Where the Boys Are '84, The Boys Next Door, Thelma & Louise, Grumpy Old Men, Celtic Pride, Quiz Show, Flubber, The Faculty, The Perfect Storm, House Arrest, Dirty Work, American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile, Broken Flowers, and Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams. He was featured as Ward Cleaver in the movie version of Leave It to Beaver and famous baseball broadcaster Mel Allen in 61*. In 1994, he starred in the film Terminal Velocity as an aggressive Russian mafia villain.

In television, along with a starring role on the TV series Family Law, and recurring roles on North Shore, Veronica's Closet, Good Advice, and Harry's Law, McDonald has also made guest appearances on Matlock, Cheers, Riptide, Knight Rider, The Sopranos, Psych, both the 1985 and the 2002 versions of The Twilight Zone, Home Improvement, Las Vegas, the Law & Order franchise, Stargate Universe, and Star Trek: The Next Generation as Lt. Richard Castillo in the season three episode "Yesterday's Enterprise".

McDonald's voice work includes the determined government agent Kent Mansley in the animated film The Iron Giant. He also voiced Jor-El in Superman: The Animated Series and subsequently an older version of Superman in Batman Beyond. He has recalled great affection for these roles, saying that he enjoyed them because he was (and continues to be) such a fan of Superman and because they were in such contrast to the less than sympathetic onscreen roles for which he is known. He subbed for Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg in The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning. In 2009, McDonald also lent his voice talents in the Thomas Nelson audio Bible production known as The Word of Promise. In this dramatized audio, McDonald played the role of Luke.

McDonald played the eponymous lead in Peter Gabriel's music video for the song "The Barry Williams Show". He also replaced Robert De Niro in the Midnight Run movie franchise, playing Jack Walsh in three films: Another Midnight Run, Midnight Runaround, and Midnight Run for Your Life. He portrayed baseball player Joe DiMaggio in the ESPN original series The Bronx Is Burning. In October 2013, McDonald started filming for A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island. Under the title The Crash, it was released direct-to-video in 2017.

McDonald appeared as Murphy in the Broadway show The Front Page at the Broadhurst Theater, which opened in late 2016.

In 2021, McDonald joined the cast of Hacks on HBO Max as Marty, a Las Vegas casino owner. In May 2021, McDonald was cast in the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show is set to premiere in 2023.



Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Hearse Pete
1982 Grease 2 Bradley "Goose" McKenzie
The Black Room Terry
1984 Where the Boys Are '84 Tony
Breakin' James
Chattanooga Choo Choo Alex O'Donnell
1985 The Boys Next Door Detective Mark Woods
1987 Outrageous Fortune George
1988 Paramedics Mike "Mad Mike"
1989 Cool Blue Peter Sin
Chances Are Louie Jeffries
1990 Playroom Chris
1991 Thelma & Louise Darryl Dickinson
Dutch Reed Standish
Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue Senator Dixon
1993 Cover Story Sam Sparks
Benefit of the Doubt Dan
Conflict of Interest Mickey Flannery
Fatal Instinct Frank Kelbo
Bums Sergeant Andrew Holloman
Grumpy Old Men Mike
1994 Roadflower Glen Lerolland
Monkey Trouble Tom
Terminal Velocity Kerr
Quiz Show Jack Barry
1995 My Teacher's Wife Roy Mueller
Forget Paris Zeus Voice Role
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back Sheriff Jack Banning
Fair Game Lieutenant Meyerson
The Tuskegee Airmen Major Sherman Joy Movie
1996 Happy Gilmore Shooter McGavin
Unforgettable Stewart Gleick
Celtic Pride Coach Kimball
House Arrest Donald Krupp
The Rich Man's Wife Tony Potenza
1997 Leave It to Beaver Ward Cleaver
A Smile Like Yours Richard Halstrom
Flubber Wilson Croft
The Eighteenth Angel Hugh Stanto
Lawn Dogs Morton Stockard
1998 Dirty Work Travis Cole
Jaded Jack Carlson
SLC Punk! Mr. Levy
Gideon Alan Longhurst
The Faculty Mr. Connor
Divorce: A Contemporary Western Tony
1999 Five Aces Ash Gray
The Iron Giant Kent Mansley Voice Role
2000 Magicians Jake
Takedown Mitch Gibson
The Skulls Martin Lombard
Isn't She Great Brad Bradburn
Requiem for a Dream "Tappy" Tibbons
The Perfect Storm Todd Gross
2001 The Theory of the Leisure Class Buddy Barnett
The Man Who Wasn't There Macadam Salesman
2002 Speakeasy Dr. Addams
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams President of The United States
Children on Their Birthdays "Speedy" Thorne
2003 Grind Mr. Rivers
2005 The L.A. Riot Spectacular Officer Koon
Rumor Has It... Roger McManus
Broken Flowers Ron Anderson
2006 Funny Money Vic Johnson
American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile Harry Stifler Direct-to-DVD
2007 Kickin' It Old Skool Marty Schumacher
Awake Dr. Larry Lupin
American Pie Presents: Beta House Harry Stifler Direct-to-DVD
2008 Mad Money Bryce Arbogast
Superhero Movie Lou Landers / Hourglass
Summerhood Assistant Director
Player 5150 Tony
The House Bunny Dean Simmons
An American Carol Lab Supervisor
2009 Fanboys Chuck "Big Chuck"
Spooner Dennis Spooner
Reunion Eamon
Deep in the Valley Jim "Diamond Jim"
Splinterheads Sergeant Bruce Mancuso
Middle Men George Harris
2010 Black Widow Steve
Barry Munday Dr. Preston Edwards
The Best and the Brightest The Player
Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial Mirrior Knight Voice (2012 English dub)
2011 Adventures of Serial Buddies Father Christopher
Cat Run Bill Kreb
2012 The Collection Mr. Peters
Not Fade Away Jack Dietz
Grassroots Jim Tripp
2014 About Last Night Casey McNeil
Believe Me Ken
2015 Don't Worry Baby Harry Lang
The Squeeze "Riverboat"
Zipper Peter Kirkland
2016 Exposed Lieutenant Galway
2017 The Crash Del Banco
Once Upon a Time in Venice Mr. Carter
Wetlands Detective Paddy "Red" Sheehan
2018 Deep Murder Richard Dangler
Backtrace Franks Direct-to-video
2020 The Stand at Paxton County Sheriff Roger Bostwick
We Can Be Heroes Neil Anami
2021 Land of Dreams Blair
Walking with Herb Wiley Saunders
2022 Rosaline Lord Capulet
TBA Abruptio Police Chief Richter Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Getting Married Usher Movie
1981 Insight Jeff Curry Episode: "A Step Too Slow"
1982 Cheers Rick Walker Episode: "Endless Slumper"
1983 Lottery! Peter Episode: "Being a Winner"
1984 Call to Glory Tim O'Reilly 2 episodes
1984–1986 Riptide Dennis / Johnny 2 episodes
1985 Hunter Sonny Dupree Episode: "The Garbage Man"
1985 Knight Rider Joe Flynn Episode: "Ten Wheel Trouble"
1985 It's a Living Alexi Episode: "From Russia with Love"
1986 1st & Ten Detective Episode: "California Freeze Out"
1986 The Twilight Zone Delivery Man Episode: "Aqua Vita"
1986–1989 Matlock Eric Lane / David Channing 3 episodes
1987 The Wizard Paige Episode: "The Heart of a Dancer"
1987 Our House Mr. Tollfeson Episode: "The Best Intentions"
1987 Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion Jeb Movie
1988 The Highwayman Joshua Towler Episode: "Billionaire Body Club"
1988 Little Girl Lost Wolff Movie
1989 Paradise Dexter 2 episodes
1989 An Eight Is Enough Wedding Jeb Movie
1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation Lieutenant Richard Castillo Episode: "Yesterday's Enterprise"
1990–1991 Empty Nest Nick Todd 3 episodes
1991–1992 Walter & Emily Matt Collins 13 episodes
1992 Home Improvement Stu Cutler Episode: "For Whom The Belch Tolls"
1993–1994 Good Advice Joey DeRuzza Series regular
1994 Another Midnight Run Jack Walsh Movie
1994 Midnight Runaround Jack Walsh Movie
1994 Midnight Run for Your Life Jack Walsh Movie
1995 The Tuskegee Airmen Major Sherman Joy Movie
1996 Superman: The Animated Series Jor-El (voice) 3 episodes
1997 Gun Lutz Episode: "Ricochet"
1997–1999 Veronica's Closet Bryce Anderson 9 episodes
1997 Into Thin Air: Death on Everest Jon Krakauer Movie
1999–2002 Family Law Rex Weller 68 episodes
2000 Batman Beyond Superman (voice) 2 episodes
2001 61* Mel Allen Movie
2002 Total Access 24/7: Spy Kids 2 Himself 1 episode
2002 The Twilight Zone Rick Episode: "Mr. Motivation"
2003 Without a Trace Bob Carroll Episodes: "The Bus"
2004 Justice League Unlimited Jor-El (voice) Episode: "For the Man Who Has Everything"
2004 North Shore Walter Booth 6 episodes
2004–2006 Cracking Up Ted Shackleton 8 episodes
2004–2007 Kim Possible Hego (voice) 3 episodes
2005 Fat Actress Jimmy Episode: "Crack for Good"
2006 Twins Terry Episode: "Blast from the Past"
2006 Las Vegas Kidnapper Chips 2 episodes
2006–2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Evan Corman / Declan Pace 2 episodes
2007 The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg Movie
2007 Medium Gregory King Episode: "1-900-Lucky"
2007 The Sopranos Eddie Dunne Episode: "Stage 5"
2007 The Bronx Is Burning Joe DiMaggio Miniseries
2008 Psych Paul Haversham Episode: "Ghosts"
2008 My Boys George Newman 2 episodes
2009 Law & Order John Jay McIntyre Episode: "Illegitimate"
2009 Numbers Frank Thompson Episode: "Ultimatum"
2009–2010 Stargate Universe Senator Alan Armstrong 3 episodes
2010–2012 Boardwalk Empire Harry M. Daugherty 7 episodes
2010–2012 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Captain Nemesis (voice) 2 episodes
2011 Lemonade Mouth Principal Stanley Brenigan Movie
2011–2012 Harry's Law Tommy Jefferson 32 episodes
2012–2013 Happy Endings Mr. Kerkovich 2 episodes
2012 Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness Undertaker (voice) Episode: "The Po Who Cried Ghost"
2013 Body of Proof Gerry Roberts Episode: "Disappearing Act"
2013–2014 Kirstie Mr. Sheppard 3 episodes
2014 Beware the Batman Harvey Dent (voice) 8 episodes
2014 Ben 10: Omniverse Captain Nemesis (voice) Episode: "The Vengers"
2014 Regular Show Carl Putter (voice) Episode: "Daddy Issues"
2015 Texas Rising Henry Karnes 5 episodes
2015 The League Judge Raymond Hardy Episode: "The Last Temptation of Andre"
2015–2016 The Good Wife Judge Don Schakowsky 7 episodes
2016–2019 Ballers Dallas Cowboys Owner 13 episodes
2017 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Harold Coyle Episode: "The Newsroom"
2017 Great News Len Episode: "Award Show"
2017–2018 Gone Pastor 2 episodes
2018 Superior Donuts Ted Episode: "The Chicago Way"
2018 Living Biblically Ron Curry Episode: "Honor Thy Father"
2018 Sideswiped Mark Episode: "Baby Steps"
2018 Rob Riggle's Ski Master Academy Jim Bassman Episode: "The Bassman Cometh"
2018–2020 The Real Bros of Simi Valley Cal Surf 9 episodes
2019 Mr. Iglesias Coach Dixon 9 episodes
2019 Costume Quest Bob Dickerson / Grubbin Bob / Mega Bob (voice) 9 episodes
2021 Search Party Bill 2 episodes
2021 Hacks Marty 3 episodes
2021 Impeachment: American Crime Story Robert S. Bennett 2 Episodes
2022 The Watcher Detective Rourke Chamberland 7 Episodes
2023 Secret Invasion TBA Miniseries; in post-production
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