Adam Arkin
Arkin in 1999
Born (1956-08-19) August 19, 1956 (age 67)
  • Actor
  • director
Years active1969–present
  • Linda Arkin
Phyllis Lyons
(m. 1999⁠–⁠2013)
Michelle Dunker
(m. 2017)
ParentAlan Arkin (father)
RelativesMatthew Arkin (brother)
David I. Arkin (paternal grandfather)

Adam Arkin (born August 19, 1956)[1] is an American actor and director. He is known for playing the role of Aaron Shutt on Chicago Hope. He has been nominated for numerous awards, including a Tony (Best Actor, 1991, I Hate Hamlet) as well as three primetime Emmys, four SAG Awards (Ensemble, Chicago Hope), and a DGA Award (My Louisiana Sky). In 2002, Arkin won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Special for My Louisiana Sky. He is also one of the three actors to portray Dale "The Whale" Biederbeck on Monk. Between 2007 and 2009, he starred in Life. Beginning in 1990, he had a recurring guest role on Northern Exposure playing the angry, paranoid Adam, for which he received an Emmy nomination. In 2009, he portrayed villain Ethan Zobelle, a white separatist gang leader, in Sons of Anarchy and as Principal Ed Gibb in 8 Simple Rules (2003–2005). His father Alan Arkin and brother Matthew are also actors.

Early life

Arkin was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to actor, director and writer Alan Arkin and his first wife Jeremy Yaffe.[2] Arkin joined his parents singing in the children's music group the Baby Sitters, along with Lee Hays and Doris Willens.[3][4] He graduated from Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York. Arkin is Jewish.[5]


Arkin in 1976

Arkin guest-starred in the award-winning television show Happy Days in episode 35, season 2 in 1975. Also in 1975, he made a guest appearance on Barney Miller (episode: "Grand Hotel"). His first starring role in television was as Lenny Markowitz, the central character in the 1977 series Busting Loose.[6] He since has appeared in various television series such as A Year in the Life (1988), The Twilight Zone (1986), Northern Exposure (CBS, 1990–1995), where he played the mercurial barefooted chef Adam, and Chicago Hope (CBS, 1994–2000). He appeared in two Law & Order episodes, "Self Defense" (season three, 1992) as jewelry store owner George Costas and "Red Ball" (season 16, 2005) as a district attorney named Charles Graham. He also appeared in Picket Fences (season two, episode 13). Other television appearances include The West Wing (1999) (as trauma specialist and psychiatrist Dr. Stanley Keyworth), Frasier, as an obsessive fan of Frasier, for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, Boston Legal, Baby Bob, Monk and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (2002). In 2007, he starred in the NBC drama Life in the role of Ted Earley. He played a white separatist leader named Ethan Zobelle during the second season of the series Sons of Anarchy. In 2011, he appeared in The Closer episode "To Serve with Love" (season seven). He also portrayed mob boss Theo Tonin on Justified in 2011 and an FBI agent in The Chicago Code.

Arkin's film appearances include Hitch (2005) and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998). He has performed in Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional theatre productions, including both the South Coast Repertory world premiere and Broadway production of Brooklyn Boy by playwright Donald Margulies.[7] In addition, he is known for his directing work, having done episodes of Grey's Anatomy, Boston Legal, The Riches, Dirt, Ally McBeal, Sons of Anarchy, The Blacklist, Justified, and Masters of Sex. He won an Emmy for directing the Showtime television film My Louisiana Sky. In April 2008, Arkin guest-starred in the web series Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show.[8] He played the part of a divorce lawyer in the film A Serious Man (2009), directed by Ethan and Joel Coen.[9]

Arkin also played a minor role in the radio drama of Star Wars as the voice of Fixer. For PBS, he voiced Meriwether Lewis in Ken Burns' The Voyage of the Corps of Discovery (1997). He also provided character voice work for the Emmy-winning series The National Parks.

He has directed three episodes of the 2013 Cold War television drama The Americans, is co-executive producer of the television series Get Shorty,[10] directed the final episode of the second season (2014) of Masters of Sex,[11] and directed the final two episodes of the critically acclaimed second season (2015) of Fargo, in which he also had a minor role.

Personal life

He has a daughter Molly with his first wife Linda.[12] He was married to Phyllis Anne Lyons from 1999 to 2013, and they had one son together. Phyllis filed for divorce in August 2013.[13][14] He married Michelle Dunker in 2017.



Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Monitors Boy in Monitors Commercial
1969 People Soup Adam Short film
1971 Made for Each Other Teenage Guido "Gig" Panimba
1974 Moe and Joe Ralph Television film
1974 It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy Ken Walters Television film
1975 All Together Now Jerry Television film
1976 Baby Blue Marine Rupe
1979 Tom Edison: The Boy Who Lit Up the World Cole Bogardis Television film
1981 Under the Rainbow Henry Hudson
1981 Chu Chu and the Philly Flash Charlie
1981 Full Moon High Tony Walker
1985 The Fourth Wise Man Joseph Television film
1987 Personal Foul Jeremy
1988 Necessary Parties Mr. Dunfee Television film
1990 Heat Wave Art Berman Television film
1990 Babies David Television film
1990 A Promise to Keep Louis Colt Television film
1991 The Doctor Dr. Eli Blumfield
1993 Wrestling Ernest Hemingway Bookstore Manager Uncredited
1995 In the Line of Duty: Hunt for Justice Agent Gabriel Valentino Television film
1997 Not in This Town Brian Schnitzer Television film
1998 Halloween H20: 20 Years Later Will Brennan Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor – Horror
1998 With Friends Like These... Steve Hersh
1998 Thirst Bob Miller Television film
1999 Lake Placid Kevin Uncredited
1999 A Slight Case of Murder Detective Fred Stapelli Television film
2000 Dropping Out Scott Kayle
2000 Hanging Up Joe Marks
2000 East of A Sylvester
2001 Mission Vissarion Belinsky
2001 Off Season Richard Frangello Television film
2002 Roughing It Henry Television film
2002 Stark Raving Mad Don Partridge Uncredited
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School Gabe Difranco
2005 Hitch Max
2005 Chloe The Father Short film
2005 Kids in America Ed Mumsford
2006 Murder on Pleasant Drive John David Smith Television film
2007 Graduation Dean Deeley
2009 Just Peck Michael Peck
2009 A Serious Man Don Milgram Nominated—Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
2010 Tell Tale Husband Short film
2010 Who Gets the Parents Gene Television film
2011 Summer Eleven Ron
2011 Smothered Alan Television film
2012 The Sessions Josh
2013 In Security Broomhall
2014 10 Cent Pistol Nir Zir
2021 Pig Darius


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Happy Days Bo Episode: "Fonzie Joins the Band"
1975 We'll Get By Richard Episode: "Family Portrait"
1975 Barney Miller Howard Smith Episode: "Grand Hotel"
1975 Harry O Eric Kershaw Episode: "Portrait of a Murder"
1975 Hawaii Five-O Alex Scofield Episode: "A Touch of Guilt"
1976 Visions Bernie Heller Episode: "The Great Cherub Knitwear Strike"
1977 Busting Loose Lenny Markowitz 21 episodes
1978 The Love Boat Alex Lambert Episode: "Heads or Tails"
1978 Captain Kangaroo Genie of the Banana Episode: "10 January 1978"
1978 Pearl Pvt. Billy Zylowski 3 episodes
1979 $weepstake$ Joey Episode: "Lynn and Grover and Joey"
1982 Teachers Only Michael Dreyfuss 8 episodes
1982 The Love Boat Jonathan Stevens Episode: "Salvaged Romance"
1985 St. Elsewhere Doug Zageck Episode: "Fathers and Sons"
1986–87 L.A. Law Richard Kendall 2 episodes
1986 The Twilight Zone Michael Wright Episode: "A Matter of Minutes"
1986 All Is Forgiven Phil Douglas Episode: "Past Perfect"
1986 Tough Cookies Danny Polchek 6 episodes
1986 A Year in the Life Jim Eisenberg 3 episodes
1987–88 A Year in the Life Jim Eisenberg 22 episodes
1989 Hard Time on Planet Earth Harry Newcomb Episode: "Losing Control"
1989 MacGyver Tony Parisio Episode: "The Invisible Killer"
1989–1990 Knots Landing Mark Baylor 6 episodes
1990–1995 Northern Exposure Adam 10 episodes
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Specialty Player
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
1991 China Beach Joe Arneburg 3 episodes
1991 Nurses Peter Teller Episode: "Love, Death, and the Whole Damn Thing"
1991 The Hidden Room Episode: "Dream of the Wolf"
1992 Law & Order George Costas Episode: "Self Defense"
1993 Tribeca Bob Episode: "Stepping Back"
1993 Big Wave Dave's Marshall Fisher 6 episodes
1994 Picket Fences Attorney Robert Biel 2 episodes
1994–2000 Chicago Hope Dr. Aaron Shutt 138 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995–98)
1996 Picket Fences Edward Episode: "The Z Files"
1997 MADTv Host Episode: "2.19"
1997 Perversions of Science Paul Danko Episode: "Dream of Doom"
2000–2002 The West Wing Dr. Stanley Keyworth 4 episodes
2001 The Chris Isaak Show Jimmy Vane Episode: "Hurricane"
2001 Frasier Tom Episode: "The Two Hundredth"
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
2002 Monk Dale 'The Whale' Biederbeck Episode: "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale"
2002–2003 Baby Bob Walter Spencer 14 episodes
2003 The Practice Atty. Albert Ginsberg Episode: "The Chosen"
2004–2005 8 Simple Rules Principal Ed Gibb 12 episodes
2005 Law & Order Charlie Graham Episode: "Red Ball"
2006 Commander in Chief Carl Brantley 2 episodes
2006 Boston Legal A.D.A. Douglas Kupfer 3 episodes
2007–2009 Life Ted Earley 32 episodes
2009 Sons of Anarchy Ethan Zobelle 11 episodes (season 2)
2011 The Chicago Code FBI Division Chief Cuyler 2 episodes
2011 The Closer Steven Hirschbaum Episode: "To Serve With Love"
2012 The Newsroom Adam Roth Episode: "The Blackout, Part 2: Mock Debate"
2012–2014 Justified Theo Tonin 3 episodes; also director (5 episodes)
2013 Family Tools Mr. Baynor Episode: "Pilot"
2014 Masters of Sex Shep Tally 3 episodes
The Bridge Federal Investigator 3 episodes
2015 State of Affairs Victor Gantry 6 episodes
Fargo Hamish Broker 3 episodes; also director (2 episodes)
2016 How To Get Away With Murder Wallace Mahoney 4 episodes
Modern Family Reece Episode: "Man Shouldn't Lie"
2016 The Carmichael Show Grant Episode: "Maxine's Dad"
2017–2019 Get Shorty Co-Executive Producer/director 7 episodes
2019 Santa Clarita Diet Evan Episode: "The Cult of Sheila"
The Act Detective Episode: "Bonnie & Clyde"
2020 Tommy Episode: 10 "Packing Heat"
Law & Order SVU Dr. Julius Adler Season 21, Episode 8: We Dream of Machine Elves
neXt Episodes: "file #7"/"file #10"
2021 Rebel Mark Duncan Recurring role and also executive producer
2021 Big Shot Tim 3 episodes
2022 Benjamin Franklin Elkanah Watson Documentary
The Offer director; 4 episodes
2023 The Night Agent director; 2 episodes


  1. ^ "". Archived from the original on November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Adam Arkin Biography (1957-)".
  3. ^ Swift, P.J. "The Baby Sitters". AllMusic. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  4. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Doris Willens". AllMusic. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  5. ^ Elber, Lynn (November 10, 2009). "Arkin digs into role on 'Sons of Anarchy'". – via The Boston Globe.
  6. ^ Jares, Sue Ellen (March 7, 1977). "The Son Also Rises: Adam Arkin, TV's Newest Star, Inherited His Dad's Funnybone". People.
  7. ^ Jones, Kenneth (July 29, 2004). "Arkin, Reeve, Gross To Star in Premiere of Margulies' Brooklyn Boy in CA and Broadway". Playbill.
  8. ^ "Adam Arkin Talks The Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show". The Deadbolt. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  9. ^ Lidz, Franz (September 23, 2009). "Biblical Adversity in a '60s Suburb". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Stuever, Hank (August 11, 2017). "Epix's 'Get Shorty' reboot is excellent. Now to find where Epix is . . ". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  11. ^ Birnbaum, Debra (August 29, 2014). "Adam Arkin 'Masters' the Segue Between Acting and Directing". Variety. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  12. ^ Miller, Gerri (September 4, 2007). "Fall TV Preview: Adam Arkin". American Jewish Life Magazine. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
  13. ^ "Adam Arkin and Phyllis Lyons to Divorce". People. August 8, 2013.
  14. ^ Elber, Lynn (November 10, 2009). "Arkin digs into role on 'Sons of Anarchy'". The Boston Globe.