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Jeffrey Dean Morgan: This charismatic actor is on his way to becoming one of Hollywood's hottest leading men

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Beginnings

Jeffrey Dean Morgan was born April 22, 1966 in Seattle Washington. His parents; Richard Dean Morgan and Sandy Thomas, divorced at some point in his life. Both parents remarried, giving Morgan a number of step siblings. He has also mentioned during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, as having a sister.

Morgan attended Ben Franklin Elementary School, Rose Hill Junior High and was a 1984 graduate of Lake Washington High School. While in school he was active in sports, playing both football and basketball. Basketball was his true love. Morgan was captain of his varsity basketball team and graduated with a basketball scholarship under his belt. He attended Skaggit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington. Many interviews site the reason he left college was due to a knee injury, but in a March 2009 interview it was revealed "he got jumped by five guys and stabbed."

With his dreams of being a basketball star behind him, Morgan then turned his attention to painting and writing. He has been quoted as working a variety of jobs in the early days as well as starting a graphic arts company. Then a friend asked him to drive the U-Haul truck in his move to LA and everything changed.

A young Jeffrey Dean Morgan

An early headshot

An early headshot

Television Appearances

ShowYearCharacter

The Walking Dead

2017-18

Negan

The Good Wife

2016

Jason Crouse

Extant

2015

JD Richter

Texas Rising

2015

Deaf Smith

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

2015

Joe DiMaggio

Shameless

2014

Charlie Peters

Magic City

2012-13

Ike Evans

Grey's Anatomy

2006-2009

Denny Duquette

Supernatural

2005-2008

John Winchester

Weeds

2005

Judah Botwin

The O.C.

2005

Joe Zukowski

Monk

2004

Steven Leight

Tru Calling

2004

Geoffrey Pine

The Handler

2004

Mike

Star Trek: Enterprise

2003

Xindi Reptilian

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

2003

Bill Nolan

JAG

1995, 2002

Wally

V.I.P.

2002

Randall Waring

The Division

2002

Father Natali

Angel

2002

Sam Ryan

The Practice

2002

Daniel Glenn

ER

2001

Firefighter Larkin

Walker, Texas Ranger

2000

Jake Hobart

The Burning Zone

1996-97

Dr. Edward Marcase

Sliders

1996

Sid

In The Blink of an Eye

1996

Jesse

Mystery Dance

1995

Shay Astor

Extreme

1995

Jack Hawkins

Black Sheep

1994

Bobby Debeneke

Dr. Edwards Marcase, The Burning Zone; WB Network, 1991

Dr. Edwards Marcase, The Burning Zone; WB Network, 1991

Rising Star


Morgan then turned his attention to painting and writing. He has been quoted as working a variety of jobs in the early days as well as starting a graphic arts company. Then a friend asked him to drive the U-Haul truck in his move to LA and everything changed.

What turned out to be a weekend visit turned into a permanent move. After being told he should try out for film work, Morgan auditioned and got the part of a killer pimp in a Roger Corman movie called Uncaged. The year was 1991.

In 1995 he had a bit part in the movie Dillinger and Capone as a reporter. A role in the movie Undercover Heat and two episodes guest starring on the television series Extreme rounded out the year.

1996 was a much better year for Morgan. After playing the role of Jesse in the made for television movie In The Blink of an Eye, and an episode of Sliders, he landed the lead role in UPN's sci-fi series The Burning Zone, a series about a team of scientists sent out to extinguish biologial hot zones. Morgan played Dr. Edward Marcase, a young virologist with a spiritual side. After eleven episodes Morgan left the show due to artistic differences with the show's management. The fall out would follow him in his career for years to come.

Denny Duquette; Grey's Anatomy

Hard Work Pays Off

Over the next ten years Morgan built up a resume of television guest roles on series like Walker, Texas Ranger, ER, The Practice, Angel, The Division, JAG, and CSI. He also won roles in several independent films such as Legal Deceit, Road Kill, Six and Dead & Breakfast.

But if one year could be called "The Year of Jeffrey Dean Morgan", it would be the year 2006. While guest starring as Judah Botwin, the deceased husband of Mary Louise Parker's character in the HBO series Weeds, Morgan caught the eye of Grey's Anatomy writer/producer Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes invited him to audition for the part of Denny Duquette, and as they say, the rest is history. Thanks to his role as Denny and his dual appearance as John Winchester on the WB/CW series Supernatural, Morgan's career began to skyrocket.

Over the next two years Morgan worked on several independent films. His next major motion picture role was P.S. I Love You. In the film Morgan played the love interest of Hilary Swank's character, Holly. The film was full of "firsts" for Morgan - playing guitar, using an Irish accent, and baring his naked butt. His first leading man role came the following year in The Accidental Husband with Uma Thurman.

In 2009 Morgan shocked his fans with his portrayal of The Comedian in The Watchmen. Though the film failed at the box office it was a critical success. Morgan was praised for his performance and gained a whole new legion of fans, not to mention a slew of future film prospects.

The Comedian from Watchmen

jeffrey-dean-morgan-an-overnight-sensation-15-years-in-the-making

Movie Appearances

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

2016

Thomas Wayne

Guns For Hire

2015

Bruce

Heist

2015

Luke Vaughn

Desierto

2015

Sam

Solace

2015

Joe Merriwether

The Salvation

2014

Henry Delarue

They Came Together

2014

Frank

Red Dawn

2012

Tanner

The Possession

2012

Clyde

The Courier

2012

The Courier

Peace, Love & Misunderstanding

2011

Jude

Texas Killing Fields

2011

Brian Heigh

The Resident

2011

Max

Jonah Hex

2010

Jeb Turnbull

Shanghai

2010

Connor

The Losers

2010

Clay

Taking Woodstock

2009

Dan

Watchmen

2009

Edward Blake/Comedian

Days of Wrath

2008

Bryan Gordon

The Accidental Husband

2008

Patrick Sullivan

P.S. I Love You

2007

William

Fred Clause

2007

Man Getting Parking Ticket

Klabuey

2007

Brad

Live

2007

Rick

Jam

2006

Dale

Chasing Ghosts

2005

Detective Cole Davies

Six: The Mark Unleashed

2004

Tom Newman

Dead & Breakfast

2004

The Sheriff

Something More

2003

Daniel

Road Kill

1999

Bobby

Legal Deceit

1997

Todd Hunter

Dillinger & Capone

1995

Jack Bennett

Undercover Heat

1995

Ramone

To Cross The Rubicon

1991

Rod

Uncaged

1991

Sharkey

The Future Is Bright

Not long before Morgan won the role of Denny Duquette on Grey's Anatomy, his long time agent and friend dumped him, stating she "couldn't resurrect" his career. Since then Morgan has worked nearly non-stop building up a huge resume of films. He has five films due out in the next year alone. Most recently Morgan signed on to a new television series being developed by Starz. Magic City, a series set in the Miami during the 1960s is set to debut in 2012. Filming is set to begin in Miami in August 2011.

Many think of Morgan as an overnight sensation, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. Its taken a lot of years and a lot of hard work. And now that Hollywood's finally taken notice, its guaranteed that Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be around for for many more years to come.

Denny Duquette vs Papa Winchester

Jeffrey Dean Morgan at Amazon

© 2009 RO Edwards

Comments

SonQuioey10 on February 16, 2012:

I love him, especially in Watchmen, even though he's a serious case, just horrible character as The Comedian, but I love him anyway.

Thanks for posting.

RO Edwards (author) from Ohio on May 25, 2009:

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I never grow tired of talking about Jeffrey.

morganslady on May 24, 2009:

A wonderful article for a wonderful man!!!

WilliesGirl on May 24, 2009:

An amazing man!!!

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