Possessing the sort of bland, familiarly handsome looks that make him equally effective at creating both instantly likable and inexplicably repelling characters, actor Dylan Walsh, born November 17th, 1963, generally specialized in the former. When he took to the latter, however, the unexpected change of pace could make for an extremely effective performance. Although audiences may recognize his face from such high-profile Hollywood fare as Congo (1995) and We Were Soldiers (2002), his most affecting roles have been in low-budget independent fare such as the low-key 2001 drama Jet Boy. A California native who graduated from Annandale High School in Virginia, Walsh wowed audiences as Atticus Finch in a high school stage production of To Kill a Mockingbird, giving signs of great things to come from the burgeoning actor. Subsequently gaining his footing as an actor with a recurring role on television's Kate and Allie, his first feature credit came with the 1989 Patrick Dempsey comedy Loverboy. His career truly beginning to gain momentum in the early '90s, Walsh's appearances in Betsy's Wedding (1990) and Nobody's Fool (1994) showed an actor just waiting for his breakthrough role. Although he would take the lead for the eagerly anticipated jungle adventure Congo, the film's dismal fate at the box office certainly didn't do anything for his career. Subsequent efforts such as Divided by Hate (1997) and Chapter Zero (1999) showed an actor capable of much more than what he was given with which to work. Admittedly taking roles just to pay the bills, Walsh was offered the lead in Calgary filmmaker Dave Schultz's dark psychological drama Jet Boy. Cast as a shady, morally ambiguous undercover cop who befriends a street smart orphan while attempting to take down a big-time drug dealer, the role offered some contrast to Walsh's recent performances, and simultaneously proved that he was fully capable of handling a leading dramatic role. Due to the success of Jet Boy, his career was somewhat reinvigorated and subsequent parts in We Were Soldiers and Blood Work paid testament to an actor regaining his footing after a few early falters. In 2003, Walsh donned scrubs for the critically acclaimed television series Nip/Tuck. In 2006 Walsh could be seen back up on the big screen as the buttoned-down boyfriend of Sandra Bullock's haunted character in the fantasy-flavored romantic drama The Lakehouse. Walsh changed his tune for The Stepfather (2009), which starred the actor as a sociopathic murderer. In 2010, he joined the cast of Secretariat in a supporting role as the husband of housewife-turned-horse racer Penny Cherry (Diane Lane).
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Born during a stopover in L.A. while his parents, who worked for the U.S. Foreign Service, were on their way to the U.S. Embassy in Ghana.
- Spent childhood in East Africa, Indonesia and India.
- Started acting in high school.
- After landing a part in a Schoolbreak Special, earned a recurring role on the sitcom Kate & Allie.
- Once dated Julia Roberts.
- Though working steadily in movies and on television, his star rose while playing a plastic surgeon on the graphic cutting-edge drama Nip/Tuck.