Richmond, IL, native Tom Amandes received his formal dramatic training at DePaul University's Goodman School of Drama, where he aggressively cut his chops on the stage. After his 1981 graduation, Amandes remained in the Chicago area and broke into its theatrical community, with apprenticeships at such venues as the Body Politic Theater and the Court Theatre. The actor achieved his on-camera breakthrough almost a decade later, as the lead, Eliot Ness, in the 1992-1994 syndicated television revival of the 1960s police drama The Untouchables, then went on to essay guest appearances on series programs including Murphy Brown, The Larry Sanders Show, and NYPD Blue, and landed small roles (usually bit parts as professional types) in films including Straight Talk (1992), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), and Brokedown Palace (1999). Beginning in 2002, Amandes commenced a multi-season supporting turn as a physician, Dr. Harold Abbott, on the family-themed small-town Drama Everwood (2002-2007). In 2006, he co-starred opposite Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Christine Baranski in the gentle seriocomedy Bonneville.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Is the sixth of 11 siblings.
- Began acting in school plays and at home with his siblings while growing up.
- Was an ensemble member of Chicago's Body Politic Theatre in the early 1980s and appeared in stage productions that included Translations, The Playboy of the Western World and Falstaff & Hal.
- Performed in productions of What the Butler Saw, Candida and The Mystery Cycle at the Court Theatre in Chicago.
- Made a transition from on-stage roles to television after moving to Los Angeles in the early 1990s.
- Was announcer and head writer for the NPR show The Flea Market.
- Originated the role of Dixon McDaniels in the Victory Gardens Theater's production of Cynical Weathers in 2007.
- Honored with DePaul University's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2011.