Peter Gallagher
Gallagher in 2009
Peter Killian Gallagher

(1955-08-19) August 19, 1955 (age 68)
New York City, U.S.
EducationTufts University (BA)
Occupation(s)Actor, singer
Years active1976–present
Paula Harwood
(m. 1983)
Children2; including Kathryn Gallagher

Peter Killian Gallagher (born August 19, 1955)[1] is an American actor. Since 1980, he has played roles in numerous Hollywood films. He is best known for starring as Sandy Cohen in the television drama series The O.C. from 2003 to 2007, recurring roles such as Deputy Chief William Dodds on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Stacey Koons on the Showtime comedy-drama Californication, Nick on the Netflix series Grace & Frankie, and Chuck Cedar in Mr. Deeds. He also played CIA Director of Clandestine Services (DCS) Arthur Campbell on Covert Affairs. He also is known for his roles in musical theatre, his most well known role being Sky Masterson in the 1992 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls.

Early life

Gallagher was born in New York City. His mother, Mary Ann (née O'Shea), was a bacteriologist, and his father, Thomas Francis Gallagher, Jr., was an advertising executive.[2][3][4] Gallagher is the youngest of their three children. He is of Irish Catholic background[5] and was raised in Armonk, New York. Gallagher graduated from Tufts University, where he was active in theater, appearing in such shows as Stephen Sondheim's Company and singing with the all-male a cappella group the Beelzebubs. He studied acting at the William Esper Studio[6] and with Mira Rostova.[7]


Gallagher appeared on Broadway with Glenn Close in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing and made his feature film debut in the Taylor Hackford film The Idolmaker, but first achieved fame for his role in Steven Soderbergh's sex, lies, and videotape (1989). He also starred as Sky Masterson in the 1992 Broadway hit revival of Guys and Dolls.

Gallagher played a potential career threat to Tim Robbins's studio executive in The Player (1992); the comatose fiancé of Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping (1995); a major real estate salesman having an affair with Annette Bening in American Beauty (1999); a media executive in Mr. Deeds (2002); and a political reporter exposing media ethics during a presidential debate in The Last Debate.

From 2003 to 2007, Gallagher starred as Sandy Cohen, a Jewish public defender and corporate lawyer, on the Fox television show The O.C. He hosts an annual award ceremony named "The Sandy Cohen Awards" or The Sandys, which, in honor of his character on The O.C., gives a scholarship to a law school student at UC Berkeley who wants to become a public defender.

Gallagher released an album titled 7 Days in Memphis in 2005, on the Sony BMG label. This includes a studio recording of his performance of "Don't Give Up On Me" (originally by Solomon Burke), which was featured in an episode of The O.C. He also has a video for his single "Still I Long For Your Kiss", in which he starred with his TV-wife Kelly Rowan.

In 2005, Gallagher received the P.T. Barnum Award from Tufts University for his exceptional work in the field of media and entertainment. In 2007, Gallagher received the "Light on the Hill" award at Tufts University. The award is given to notable alumni from Tufts who have demonstrated ambition, achievement, and active citizenship.

From February 13 through July 5, 2015, Gallagher starred on Broadway in On the Twentieth Century although he missed several performances in late February due to illness.[8]

In 2020 Gallagher played Mitch Clarke, who had progressive supranuclear palsy, in a regular role in the first season of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. Though his character died in the season 1 finale, Gallagher appeared in several episodes of the second season[9] and the Christmas special Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas.[10]

In 2021, Gallagher took part in the television series Grey's Anatomy as Dr. David Hamilton.

From 2018 through 2022, Gallagher appeared in four seasons of the Netflix series Grace and Frankie as Nick, the boyfriend of Jane Fonda's character Grace.

Personal life

Gallagher is married to Paula Harwood and has two children, James and Kathryn.[11] His daughter Kathryn is an actress and singer.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Idolmaker Guido, Caesare
1982 Summer Lovers Michael Pappas
1985 Dreamchild Jack Dolan
1986 My Little Girl Kai
1988 High Spirits Brother Tony
1989 Sex, Lies, and Videotape John Mullany
1990 Tune in Tomorrow Richard Quince
1991 Milena Pollak
1991 The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez Matt
1991 Late for Dinner Bob Freeman
1992 The Player Larry Levy
1992 Bob Roberts Dan Riley
1993 Watch It John
1993 Short Cuts Stormy Weathers
1993 Malice Atty. Dennis Riley
1994 The Hudsucker Proxy Vic Tenetta
1994 Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Alan Campbell
1994 Mother's Boys Robert Madigan
1994 White Mile Jack Robbins
1995 The Underneath Michael Chambers
1995 While You Were Sleeping Peter Callaghan
1995 Cafe Society Jack Kale
1996 Last Dance John Hayes
1996 To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday David Lewis
1997 The Man Who Knew Too Little James 'Jimmy' Ritchie
1997 Path to Paradise John Anticev
1998 Johnny Skidmarks Johnny Scardino
1999 House on Haunted Hill Donald W. Blackburn, M.D.
1999 American Beauty Buddy Kane Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2000 Center Stage Jonathan Reeves
2000 Other Voices Jordin
2001 Perfume Guido
2001 Protection Ted
2002 Mr. Deeds Chuck Cedar
2002 The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina Mole King Voice, direct-to-video
2003 How to Deal Len Martin Uncredited
2008 Center Stage: Turn It Up Jonathan Reeves
2009 Adam Marty Buchwald
2009 The War Boys Slater Welch
2010 Conviction Barry Scheck
2010 Burlesque Vincent "Vince" Scali
2011 Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You Paul Sveck
2012 Step Up Revolution William "Bill" Anderson
2015 Hello, My Name Is Doris Willy Williams
2017 Literally, Right Before Aaron Orson Schwartzman
2017 Submission Len Curry
2017 A Bad Moms Christmas Hank Redmond
2019 After Ken Scott
2020 Palm Springs Howard Wilder

Television films

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Terrible Joe Moran Nick
1987 Long Day's Journey into Night Edmund Tyrone
1988 The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Lt. Cmdr. John Challee
1988 I'll Be Home for Christmas Aaron Coplan
1990 Love and Lies David West
1998 Brave New World Bernard Marx
1998 Virtual Obsession Dr. Joe Messenger
1999 Brotherhood of Murder Bob Mathews
2000 The Last Debate Tom Chapman
2000 Cupid & Cate Harry
2001 Feast of All Saints Philippe Ferronaire
2003 A Tale of Two Wives Bill Goodman
2016 Center Stage: On Pointe Jonathan Reeves
2021 One December Night Mike Sullivan

Television series

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Guiding Light Chuck Haskell Unknown episodes
1980 Skag John Skagska 6 episodes
1982 American Playhouse Logan Melton Episode: "Private Contentment"
1984 ABC Weekend Specials Phil Grey Episode: "A Different Twist"
1987 Private Eye Tommy Baron Episode: "Blue Hotel Part 1"
1988 American Playhouse Charles Castle Episode: "The Big Knife"
1988 The Murder of Mary Phagan Leo Frank 2 episodes
1991 An Inconvenient Woman Phillip Quennell 2 episodes
1993 Fallen Angels Dr. Yorgrau Episode: "The Quiet Room"
1993 Fallen Angels Mitch Allison Episode: "The Frightening Frammis"
1996 Titanic Wynn Park 2 episodes
1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Chris Rawls Episode: "Closet Cases"
1998 Superman: The Animated Series Kurt Voice, episode: "Where There's Smoke"
1998–99 The Secret Lives of Men Michael 13 episodes
2001 Family Guy Jared Voice, episode: "Lethal Weapons"
2003–07 The O.C. Sandy Cohen Main role, 92 episodes
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Parental Unit (2005−06)
2006 Robot Chicken Additional voices 2 episodes
2007 The Gathering Dr. Michael Foster 2 episodes
2008 Shark Frank Bell Episode: "Partners in Crime"
2009 Californication Dean Stacey Koons 8 episodes
2010 Rescue Me Father Phil Bingham 5 episodes
2010−14 Covert Affairs Arthur Campbell Main role, 68 episodes
2011 Whitney Vince 3 episodes
2012 How I Met Your Mother Professor Vinick Episode: "The Final Page"
2015 The Good Wife Ethan Carver 3 episodes
2015–16 Togetherness Larry Kosinski Recurring role, 9 episodes
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series
2016 New Girl Gavin Schmidt 4 episodes
2014–19 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Deputy Chief William Dodds Recurring role, 19 episodes
2017 Man Seeking Woman Joel Greenberg Episode: "Dolphin"
2017–2022 Grace and Frankie Nick Skolka Recurring role, 24 episodes
2018 The Gifted Benedict Ryan 5 episodes
2018 Murphy Brown John Haggerty Episode: "Results May Vary"
2019 The Conners Brian Foster Episode: "Rage Against the Machine"
2020–2021 Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Mitch Clarke Main role, 13 episodes
Guest role, 2 episodes
2021-2023 The Owl House Dell Clawthorne Voice, 2 episodes
2021–present Grey's Anatomy Dr. David Hamilton Recurring role
2022 Mr. Mayor Brett Episode "Trampage"
2022 Reboot Tyler Episode: "Who's the Boss"

Stage credits

Year Title Role Notes
1977 Hair Claude
1978 Grease Danny Zuko
1982 A Doll's Life Otto Theatre World Award
1983 The Corn Is Green Morgan Evans
Another Country Guy Bennett
1984 The Real Thing Billy Clarence Derwent Awards—Most Promising Male
1985–86 Pride and Prejudice Fitzwilliam Darcy
1986 Long Day's Journey Into Night Edmund Tyrone Nominated—Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play
1992 Guys and Dolls Sky Masterson Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical
1995 Pal Joey Joey Evans
2001–02 Noises Off Lloyd Dallas
2002 Funny Girl Nick Arnstein Concert
2008 The Country Girl Bernie Dodd
2015 On the Twentieth Century Oscar Jaffe
2019 The Little Mermaid King Triton Concert


  1. ^ Who Sang What on Broadway, 1866–1996: The Singers. McFarland. 2006. p. 281. ISBN 9780786421893.
  2. ^ "Peter Gallagher background" Archived November 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Official website. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  3. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths GALLAGHER, THOMAS F." The New York Times. November 19, 1999.
  4. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths GALLAGHER, MARY ANN (NEE O'SHEA)". The New York Times. June 9, 2004.
  5. ^ "Peter Gallagher – News" Archived August 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. (March 2007). Official website. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  6. ^ "Notable Alumni". The William Esper Studio. March 9, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  7. ^ Grode, Eric (February 6, 2009). "Mira Rostova, Coach to Montgomery Clift, Dies at 99". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam (February 25, 2015). "On the Twentieth Century Will Steam Along Without Sidelined Star". Playbill. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  9. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney. "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist creator breaks down Zoey's big romantic decision". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  10. ^ Maleh, Linda (December 4, 2021). "Can't Miss Episode of the Week: 'Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas'". TV Insider. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  11. ^ "Peter Gallagher – Official website". Archived from the original on August 27, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  12. ^ Blank, Matthew (December 22, 2015). "Pilates, Pics and Lots of Caffeine! Spend a Two-Show Day With Kathryn Gallagher at Spring Awakening". Playbill. Retrieved December 22, 2017.