John Shea

Active - 1978 - 2017  |   Born - Apr 14, 1949 in North Conway, New Hampshire, United States  |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Actor John Shea launched his career on-stage in 1975 and made his feature-film debut in Hussy (1980). He began his long involvement with television in The Nativity (1978) and later won an Emmy for his work in the miniseries Baby M (1988). Between 1993 and 1997, Shea appeared on the television series Lois and Clark as villain Lex Luthor.

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  • Played varsity football and was a member of the debate team at Bates College.
  • Performed in the cabaret at the Yale Repertory Theatre while at the Yale Drama School with classmate Meryl Streep.
  • Worked at the Chelsea Theatre in London and the Public Theater in New York City under a director apprenticeship, working with Robert Kalfin and Joseph Papp, respectively. 
  • Made his Broadway debut in 1975 as the character of Avigdor in Yentl; he later won the Theatre World Award for Most Promising Actor in 1976 for his performance.
  • Portrayed Michael Trent in a 1984 Broadway production of End of the World.
  • Holds the title of Artistic Director Emeritus at the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, where he plays Ahab in an annual performance of Orson Welles's two-act drama Moby Dick---Rehearsed.