Bradley Whitford
Whitford in 2006
Born (1959-10-10) October 10, 1959 (age 64)
Other namesBrad Whitford
EducationWesleyan University (BA)
Juilliard School (GrDip)
  • Actor
  • producer
Years active1985–present
(m. 1992; div. 2010)
(m. 2019)

Bradley Whitford (born October 10, 1959)[1] is an American actor and producer. He is best known for his portrayal of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman in the NBC television political drama The West Wing (1999–2006), for which he was nominated for three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards from 2001 to 2003, winning in 2001. The role earned him three consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations.

In addition to The West Wing, Whitford played Danny Tripp in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Dan Stark in the Fox police buddy-comedy The Good Guys, Timothy Carter, a character who was believed to be Red John, in the CBS series The Mentalist, antagonist Eric Gordon in the film Billy Madison, Arthur Parsons in The Post, Dean Armitage in the horror film Get Out, Roger Peralta in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, President Gray in the dystopian science fiction film The Darkest Minds and Rick Stanton in the monster film Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

In 2015, he won a second Primetime Emmy Award for his role as Marcy in Transparent and later garnered a fifth Primetime Emmy Award nomination for portraying Magnus Hirschfeld in the same series. Since 2018, Whitford has portrayed Commander Joseph Lawrence in Hulu dystopian drama The Handmaid's Tale, for which he won his third Primetime Emmy Award in 2019.

Early life

Whitford was born in Madison, Wisconsin,[1] the son of Genevieve Louie (née Smith; 1915–2011)[2] and George Van Norman Whitford (1915–1999).[3][2] Between the ages of three and fourteen, he lived in Wayne, Pennsylvania. His mother, a poet, later resided in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.[3] He grew up in a Quaker household.[4] Whitford graduated from Madison East High School in 1977.[5] He majored in English and theatre at Wesleyan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1981,[5] where he was a roommate of producer Paul Schiff. Whitford then studied drama at the Juilliard School, where he was a member of "Group 14".[6]

The NBC series Who Do You Think You Are? explored Whitford's ancestry in an August 2022 episode, including ancestors who fought in a crucial American Civil War battle.[7]


Whitford first appeared on television in a 1985 episode of The Equalizer, followed by a two-year recurring role on the ABC daytime drama All My Children. His film debut was in the 1986 film Dead as a Doorman. He made his Broadway theatre debut in 1990[8] playing Lt. Jack Ross (followed a few months later in the lead role of Lt. Daniel Kaffee), in the Aaron Sorkin written play A Few Good Men. This was the beginning of a recurring working relationship between Whitford and Sorkin. Whitford made a guest appearance on ER in the episode "Love's Labor Lost".

Whitford joined the cast of Sorkin's The West Wing as Josh Lyman with the show's premiere in 1999. For his role, he won an Emmy Award in 2001 for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Whitford also wrote two episodes of the series ("Faith Based Initiative" in the sixth season and "Internal Displacement" in the seventh). After The West Wing ended in May 2006, Whitford appeared in Sorkin's later series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip playing the role of Danny Tripp.[9] He appeared in the British drama Burn Up on the BBC in July 2008.

He starred in the play Boeing-Boeing which opened on Broadway on May 4, 2008.[10] He co-starred in the Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard horror film The Cabin in the Woods,[11] filmed in 2009 but not released until April 2012. In 2010, Whitford starred as Dan Stark in the Fox TV comedy The Good Guys opposite Colin Hanks. In 2011, Whitford guest-starred in In Plain Sight on USA Network as a man combatting paranoia. He appeared in the season three finale of The Mentalist as a minion of and decoy for "Red John", the long-sought nemesis of the show's protagonist Patrick Jane. Whitford appeared on Law & Order: Los Angeles as a lawyer. On September 15, 2011, he starred in the one-night-only staged reading of 8, a play that chronicles the trial surrounding California's Proposition 8, written by Dustin Lance Black.[12]

In 2013, Whitford played Pete Harrison in the ABC comedy Trophy Wife, which was canceled after one season. In 2014, Whitford appeared in a recurring role as a cross-dressing businessman during the first season of the Amazon Studios series Transparent.[13] He went on to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance.[14] He returned during the series' second season as Magnus Hirschfeld.[15] In February 2014, it was announced that he was cast in Randall Miller's Midnight Rider, a biopic of Gregg Allman.[16] Since 2015, Whitford has had a recurring role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Roger Peralta, father of lead character Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg).[17][18] In 2017, Whitford played Dean Armitage, a father and neurosurgeon, in the racially themed horror film Get Out.[19]

In 2018, Whitford joined the cast of the web dystopian tragedy The Handmaid's Tale as Commander Joseph Lawrence, guest starring in the final two episodes of the second season.[20] He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2019 for his performance and became the first person to have won the guest acting Emmy Awards for both comedy and drama.[21] He returned as a series regular for the third season and garnered a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.[22][23] From 2019 to 2020, he starred in the musical comedy series Perfect Harmony, which ran for one season on NBC.[24]

In August 2023, he portrayed Francis in the Los Angeles production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong.[25]

Personal life

Whitford married actress Jane Kaczmarek in August 1992.[26] They have three children together.[27][26] In June 2009, the couple announced that they were divorcing after 16 years of marriage,[28] and the divorce was finalized in October 2010.[29]

Whitford began dating his Transparent co-star Amy Landecker in 2015. They announced their engagement in March 2018.[30] Whitford and Landecker eloped on July 17, 2019.[31]

In May 2007, Whitford was honored by Alliance for Justice, a nonprofit organization, as the 2007 Champion of Justice. He was the keynote speaker for Class Day at Princeton University in June 2007.[32] As of 2012, Whitford serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Wesleyan University.[33]

Political views and activism

Whitford has been described as having "liberal views".[29] He contributed to The Huffington Post as a columnist.[34] He serves on the Board of Advisors of Let America Vote, an organization founded by former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander that aims to end voter suppression.[35] He serves on the advisory board of Citizens' Climate Lobby, an international grassroots environmental group founded by Marshall L. Saunders that trains and supports volunteers to build relationships with their elected representatives in order to influence climate policy.[36]

In 2011, Whitford spoke at a protest in his native Madison, Wisconsin, in opposition to Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill.[37] Prior to the 2012 United States elections, Whitford and Courage Campaign founder, Rick Jacobs, appeared together in a video that elaborated on California's Proposition 30 and Proposition 32;[38] the video encouraged viewers to vote "yes" on the former and "no" on the latter.[39] Leading up to the 2014 Wisconsin gubernatorial election, Whitford visited multiple University of Wisconsin System campuses in support of nominee Mary Burke, who went on to lose against incumbent Governor Scott Walker.[40] Whitford supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States presidential election.[41] He has been a vocal critic of former US president Donald Trump.[42]

In 2019, he co-hosted a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg alongside actress Gwyneth Paltrow as well as donated to Buttigieg's 2020 presidential campaign.[43] That same year, Whitford appeared in a public service announcement in support of abortion rights alongside other cast members of The Handmaid's Tale.[44] The following year, he appeared as part of a series of "surprise virtual appearances" in support of Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign.[45]



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Dead as a Doorman Terry Reilly
1987 Adventures in Babysitting Mike Todwell
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise Roger Latimer
1990 Vital Signs Dr. Donald Ballentine
Presumed Innocent Jamie Kemp
Young Guns II Charles Phalen Credited as Brad Whitford
Awakenings Dr. Tyler
1992 Scent of a Woman Randy Slade
1993 RoboCop 3 Jeffrey Fleck
My Life Paul Ivanovich
A Perfect World FBI Agent Bobby Lee
Philadelphia Jamey Collins
1994 The Client Assistant District Attorney Thomas Fink
Cobb Process Server
1995 Billy Madison Eric Gordon
The Desperate Trail Tommy Donnelly
1996 My Fellow Americans Chief of Staff Carl Witnaur
Wildly Available Professor
1997 Masterminds Miles Lawrence Credited as Brad Whitford
Red Corner Bob Ghery
The People Michael Leary
1999 The Muse Hal
Bicentennial Man Lloyd Charney
2001 Kate & Leopold J.J. Camden
2005 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Al Lowell
Little Manhattan Adam Burton
2007 An American Crime Prosecutor Leroy K. New
2008 Bottle Shock Professor Saunders
2012 The Cabin in the Woods Steve Hadley
2013 Savannah Jack Cay
Decoding Annie Parker Marshall Parker
CBGB Nicky Gant
Saving Mr. Banks Don DaGradi
Agent Carter SSR Agent John Flynn Short film
2015 I Saw the Light Fred Rose [46]
2016 Other People Norman Mulcahey
2017 Get Out Dean Armitage
A Happening of Monumental Proportions Arthur Schneedy
Megan Leavey Bob Leavey
Unicorn Store Gene
Three Christs Clyde
The Post Arthur Parsons
2018 The Darkest Minds President Gray
Destroyer Dennis DiFranco
2019 Phil Michael Fisk
Godzilla: King of the Monsters Dr. Rick Stanton
The Last Full Measure Carlton Stanton
2020 Sergio Paul Bremer
The Call of the Wild Judge Miller
Songbird William Griffin
2021 How It Ends Kenny
Not Going Quietly Executive producer
Tick, Tick... Boom! Stephen Sondheim
2022 Rosaline Adrian Capulet
2023 I'll Be Right There TBA


Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Equalizer Dillart Episode: "The Children's Song"
1985–1987 All My Children Jason 3 episodes
1986 C.A.T. Squad Leon Trepper Television film
1987 The Betty Ford Story Jack Ford Television film
1988 Guiding Light Dr. Jones 2 episodes
Tales from the Darkside Tom Dash Episode: "The Deal"
1993 Black Tie Affair Dave Brodsky 5 episodes
1994 NYPD Blue Norman Gardner 4 episodes
Ellen Doug Episode: "The Fix-Up"
The X-Files Daniel Trepkos Episode: "Firewalker"
Web of Deception Larry Lake Television film
1995 ER Sean O'Brien 2 episodes
Nothing But the Truth Lieutenant Thomas 'Mac' McCarthy Television film
1996 Touched by an Angel Steven Thomas Bell Episode: "Out of the Darkness"
1997 Tracey Takes On... Nik Episode: "Vegas"
In the Line of Duty: Blaze of Glory Tom LaSalle Television film
Cloned Rick Weston Television film
High Incident Deputy Carl Engler Episode: "Black & Blue"
1998 The Secret Lives of Men Phil 13 episodes
1999–2006 The West Wing Josh Lyman 155 episodes
1999 Felicity Tom Anderson Episode: "Happy Birthday"; Uncredited[citation needed]
Behind the Mask Brian Shushan Television film; credited as Brad Whitford
The Sky's On Fire John Morgan Television film
2002 Malcolm in the Middle Meg's Husband Episode: "Company Picnic: Part 2"
Frasier Stu Voice, episode: "Kissing Cousin"[47]
2005 Fathers and Sons Anthony Television film
2006–2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Danny Tripp 22 episodes
2008 Burn Up James Mackintosh 2 episodes
2009 Monk Dean Berry Episode: "Mr. Monk on Wheels"
Off Duty Detective Glenn Falcon Television film; also producer
2010 The Sarah Silverman Program Toby Grossnickel Episode: "Nightmayor"
The Good Guys Detective Dan Stark 20 episodes; also producer
Glenn Martin, DDS 'Gonzo' Gonzales Voice, episode: "Camp"
2011 In Plain Sight Adam Wilson / Adam Roston Episode: "Crazy Like a Witness"
Law & Order: LA Attorney Miklin Episode: "Big Rock Mesa"
The Mentalist Timothy Carter / Red John claimant 3 episodes; uncredited
Have a Little Faith Mitch Albom Television film
2012 Parks and Recreation Councilman Pillner Episode: "Live Ammo"
The Asset Leo Maxiell Television film
2013 Shameless Abraham Paige 2 episodes
Go On Huey Episode: "Ring and a Miss"
Lauren Paul Milgram Recurring role, 6 episodes
Drunk History William Jennings Bryan Episode: "Nashville"
2013–2014 Trophy Wife Pete Harrison Main role
2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Frank Maddox Episode: "Reasonable Doubt"
2014–2019 Transparent Marcy / Magnus Hirschfeld Recurring role, 8 episodes
2014 Alpha House Senator Ned Episode: "The Retreat"
2015–2020 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Captain Roger Peralta 4 episodes
2015 Happyish Jonathan Cooke 10 episodes
2016 All the Way Hubert Humphrey Television film
Better Things Gary Episode: "Sam/Pilot"
2017, 2019 Mom Mitch 2 episodes
2017 Chicago Justice Albert Forest Episode: "Fake"
2017–2019 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure King Trevor Voice, 3 episodes[47]
2018–present The Handmaid's Tale Commander Joseph Lawrence Main role
2019 Valley of the Boom James L. Barksdale Miniseries
Flack Calvin Cooper Episode: "Calvin"
2019–2020 Infinity Train Agent Sieve Voice, 5 episodes[47]
Perfect Harmony Arthur Cochran Main role; also executive producer
2020 A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote Josh Lyman Recreation of "Hartsfield's Landing"
American Dad! Vic Mancuso Voice, episode: "Yule. Tide. Repeat."
2021 Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous Mitch Voice, 5 episodes[47]
What If...? Colonel John Flynn Voice, episode: "What If... Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?"[47]
2022 We Baby Bears Glen Voice, episode: "Tooth Fairy Tech"
Echo 3 Eric Haas II 3 episodes
2023 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Pence Humphreys Episode: "King of the Moon"
2023 The Wonder Years Dennis Van Der Kamp Episode: "Bill's New Friend"


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2022 The Big Lie Michael Wilson Voice role [48]

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Bradley Whitford


  1. ^ a b "Bradley Whitford Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Genevieve Smith Whitford Obituary – Pasadena, California Archived March 27, 2023, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Shister, Gail (June 22, 2000). "'West Wing' Star Finally Took Flight At Age 40". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  4. ^ Knutzen, Eirik (October 17, 1999). "'West Wing' Costar Enjoys Political Role". Morning Call. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Bradley Whitford biography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "Alumni News". Juilliard School. March 2008. Archived from the original on November 11, 2011.
  7. ^ "'West Wing' star Bradley Whitford discovers his personal connection to Ulysses S. Grant and the Civil War". August 8, 2022. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  8. ^ "A Few Good Men production replacements". Internet Broadway Database. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "Spate of pilot castings, pickups". The Hollywood Reporter. February 28, 2006. Archived from the original on April 28, 2006.
  10. ^ Brantley, Ben (May 5, 2008). "Up, Up and Away (and Watch Those Swinging Doors)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  11. ^ Kit, Borys; Fernandez, Jay A. (January 21, 2009). "Two feel Joss Whedon's 'Cabin' pressure". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2009.
  12. ^ Rooney, David (September 20, 2011). "Dustin Lance Black Debuts Prop. 8 Play in New York". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  13. ^ Moylan, Brian (September 30, 2014). "How to watch Amazon's Transparent all in one sitting". The Guardian. Manchester. Archived from the original on April 19, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 12, 2015). "Transparent Wins, Breaking Ground For Trans Characters On TV & Amazon – Creative Arts Emmys". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 8, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  15. ^ VanArendonk, Kathryn (December 18, 2015). "Transparent Recap: Limerence". Vulture. Archived from the original on December 6, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (February 7, 2014). "Eliza Dushku, Bradley Whitford Join Gregg Allman Biopic". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 9, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  17. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (January 13, 2015). "Brooklyn Nine-Nine Books Bradley Whitford". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 14, 2021. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  18. ^ Snierson, Dan (November 21, 2017). "West Wing reunion on Brooklyn Nine-Nine". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  19. ^ Rios, Edwin (February 24, 2017). "Get Out is the horror flick America needs right now". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on June 23, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  20. ^ Bradley, Laura (July 11, 2018). "Handmaid's Tale Show-Runner Explains June's Shocking Decision". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  21. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (September 15, 2019). "Bradley Whitford Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actor Emmy". Variety. Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 5, 2018). "Bradley Whitford Returns To Handmaid's Tale As Series Regular, Books 2 Movies". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  23. ^ "Here's a Full List of the 2020 Emmy Nominees". The New York Times. September 20, 2020. Archived from the original on May 24, 2022. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  24. ^ White, Peter (June 10, 2020). "Perfect Harmony & Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt For The Bone Collector Canceled At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 10, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  25. ^ Peter Pan Goes Wrong Los Angeles
  26. ^ a b Jordan, Julie (June 19, 2009). "Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek File for Divorce". People. Archived from the original on May 29, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  27. ^ "Jane Kaczmarek, babies at age 41, 44 and 46". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 15, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  28. ^ "Bradley Whitford, Jane Kaczmarek File for Divorce After Nearly 17 Years". TV Guide. Archived from the original on July 24, 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
  29. ^ a b Braxton, Greg (September 9, 2019). "After 'Handmaid's Tale,' Bradley Whitford's ready to lighten up". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  30. ^ "Bradley Whitford Calls Relationship with Transparent Costar Amy Landecker 'Spectacular'". People. November 11, 2015. Archived from the original on December 3, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  31. ^ Whitford, Bradley (July 17, 2019). "In a shocking, totally unearned plot twist, Commander Lawrence married Mrs. McKenzie today in Santa Barbara. The shark may have been jumped, but the couple is thrilled". Twitter. Archived from the original on September 9, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  32. ^ Greenstein, Jennifer (June 4, 2007). Princeton University Class Day Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  33. ^ "Board of Trustees 2012/2013". Wesleyan University. Archived from the original on December 26, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  34. ^ Whitford, Bradley. "Bradley Whitford profile". HuffPost. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  35. ^ "Advisors". Let America Vote. Archived from the original on July 12, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  36. ^ "Citizens' Climate Lobby's Advisory Board". Citizens' Climate Lobby. Archived from the original on May 17, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  37. ^ Novak, Bill (February 25, 2011). "Protests continuing Friday and Saturday, thousands rallied across the state on Thursday". The Capital Times. Archived from the original on November 6, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  38. ^ "How Wealthy Billionaires are Trying to Destroy our Schools and Silence our Voices". Courage Campaign. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  39. ^ "Pledge to Vote Yes on Prop 30, No on Prop 32". Courage Campaign. Archived from the original on September 22, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  40. ^ "Actor Bradley Whitford Visits UW Campuses To Campaign For Mary Burke". Wisconsin Public Radio. October 3, 2014. Archived from the original on December 29, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  41. ^ Hensch, Mark (April 5, 2016). "'West Wing' actor: Clinton 'the most qualified candidate' of my lifetime". The Hill. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  42. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (September 25, 2019). "West Wing star Bradley Whitford says 'fakest thing' about the show was 'rational Republicans'". The Independent. Archived from the original on November 5, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  43. ^ Levy, Ari (December 4, 2019). "Mayor Pete is Hollywood's top pick now that Kamala Harris is out of the presidential race". CNBC. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  44. ^ Budryk, Zack (June 13, 2019). "'Handmaid's Tale' cast films PSA for Planned Parenthood". The Hill. Archived from the original on August 5, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  45. ^ Johnson, Ted (October 20, 2020). "How Joe Biden's Campaign Has Mobilized Hollywood With Weekly Zoom Sessions". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 5, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  46. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (November 7, 2014). "Bradley Whitford, Cherry Jones Cast in Upcoming Hank Williams Movie". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  47. ^ a b c d e "Bradley Whitford (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved December 27, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  48. ^ Todd Spangler (June 1, 2022). "Audible Drops Trailer for 'The Big Lie' Podcast Drama Starring Jon Hamm, Set in '50s Hollywood Blacklist Era". Variety. Archived from the original on June 21, 2023. Retrieved June 20, 2023.