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Josh Charles
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Joshua Aaron Charles

(1971-09-15) September 15, 1971 (age 51)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1988–present
(m. 2013)
Children 2

Joshua Aaron Charles (born September 15, 1971) is an American actor. He is best known for the roles of Dan Rydell on Sports Night; Will Gardner on The Good Wife, which earned him two Primetime Emmy Award nominations; and his early work as Knox Overstreet in Dead Poets Society.

Early life

He is the son of Allan Charles, an advertising executive. He's Jewish on his father's side and has described himself as Jewish. He began his career performing comedy at the age of nine. As a teenager, he spent several summers at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Center in New York, and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts.


Charles' film debut was in fellow Baltimore native John Waters' Hairspray in 1988. The following year, he starred alongside Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke in the Oscar-winning Dead Poets Society. Subsequent film roles have included Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Threesome, Pie in the Sky, Muppets from Space, S.W.A.T, Four Brothers, After.Life, Crossing the Bridge and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

On television, Charles played sports anchor Dan Rydell in Aaron Sorkin's Emmy Award-winning Sports Night, which ran for two years (1998–2000) on ABC and earned Charles a Screen Actors Guild nomination. In 2008, Charles played the role of Jake in season one of HBO's In Treatment. In 2009, he returned to network television in the CBS drama The Good Wife. For his work on the series, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2011 and 2014. In 2022, Charles starred in We Own This City, an HBO limited series from David Simon.

In 1986, Charles headlined a production of Jonathan Marc Sherman's Confrontation. In 2004, he appeared on stage in New York in a revival of Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here, which received a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble Cast. In January 2006, he appeared in the world premiere of Richard Greenberg's The Well-Appointed Room for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, and followed this with a run at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, portraying the cloned brothers in Caryl Churchill's A Number. In 2007, he appeared in Adam Bock's The Receptionist at the Manhattan Theatre Club. In 2011, Charles was the narrator of the debut episode for NFL Network's A Football Life on New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Personal life

In September 2013, Charles married ballet dancer and author Sophie Flack. On December 9, 2014, Flack gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Rocco. On August 23, 2018, Charles revealed on his Instagram that Flack gave birth to their second child, a daughter named Eleonor.

He is a fan of the Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles. In a few films, he donned an Oriole baseball cap.



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Hairspray Iggy
1989 Dead Poets Society Knox Overstreet
1991 Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead Bryan
1992 Crossing the Bridge Mort Golden
1994 Threesome Eddy
1995 Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Bruce Uncredited
1995 Coldblooded Randy
1996 The Grave Tyn
1996 Crossworlds Joe Talbot
1996 Pie in the Sky Charlie Dunlap
1997 Cyclops, Baby Brush Brody
1997 Little City Adam
1999 Muppets from Space Agent Barker
2000 Meeting Daddy Peter Silverblatt
2003 S.W.A.T. T. J. McCabe
2004 Seeing Other People Lou
2005 Four Brothers Detective Fowler
2006 The Darwin Awards Paramedic
2006 The Ex Forrest Mead
2009 After.Life Tom Peterson
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Subject No. 2
2014 Bird People Gary Newman
2014 Adult Beginners Phil
2015 I Smile Back Bruce Brooks
2015 Freeheld Bryan Kelder
2016 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Chris
2016 Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer Arthur Taub
2016 The Drowning Tom Seymour
2018 Amateur Coach Gaines
2019 Framing John DeLorean Bill Collins
TBA Mothers' Instinct Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Murder in Mississippi Andrew Goodman Television movie
1993 Cooperstown Jody Television movie
1996 Norma Jean & Marilyn Eddie Jordan Television movie
1997 The Underworld Ehrlich Television movie
1998–2000 Sports Night Dan Rydell 45 episodes
2002 Our America Dave Isay Television movie
2005 Stella Jeremy Episode: "Meeting Girls"
2007 Six Degrees Ray Jones 4 episodes
2008 In Treatment Jake 8 episodes
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sean Kelley Episode: "Confession"
2009–2016 The Good Wife Will Gardner 107 episodes, also director (3 episodes)
2014–2016 Inside Amy Schumer Various 4 episodes
2015 Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Blake 6 episodes
2016–2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Duke Snyder 5 episodes
2016–2019 Drunk History Various 3 episodes
2017 Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later Blake 6 episodes
2017 Law & Order True Crime Dr. Jerome Oziel 7 episodes
2017 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Forensic Scientist Episode: "Forensic Science"
2019 The Loudest Voice Casey Close 3 episodes
2020 Away Matt Logan 10 episodes
2021 Law & Order: Organized Crime Vince Baldi Episode: "Forget it, Jake; It's Chinatown"
2022 We Own This City Daniel Hersl Miniseries, main cast

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Sports Night Nominated
2000 Viewers for Quality Television Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
2010 Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama The Good Wife Nominated
2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2011 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2012 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2014 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2014 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic Television Actor Won
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series Inside Amy Schumer Nominated
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