Ron Rifkin
Rifkin in 2014
Saul M. Rifkin

(1939-10-31) October 31, 1939 (age 84)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1966–present
Iva Rifkin
(m. 1966)

Ron Rifkin (born Saul M. Rifkin; October 31, 1939) is an American actor best known for his roles as Arvin Sloane on the spy drama Alias, Saul Holden on the drama Brothers & Sisters, and District Attorney Ellis Loew in L.A. Confidential.

Personal life

Saul M. Rifkin was born in New York City to Miriam and Herman Rifkin, who was born in Russia. He is the oldest of three children.[1] He was raised as an Orthodox Jew and remains Jewish though he left Orthodoxy at the age of 32.[2][3][4][5] His wife, Iva Rifkin, owns a fashion design business.[6][7]


In 2001, Rifkin's association with Touchstone Television began when he played intelligence agent Arvin Sloane in Alias, opposite Jennifer Garner. From 2006 to 2011, he played second-in-command businessman Saul Holden on Brothers & Sisters, opposite Sally Field. He also played Ann Romano-Royer's (Bonnie Franklin) second boyfriend Nick on One Day at a Time. He was a series regular during the sixth season. In the season 7 premiere, "Alex Moves In", it is revealed that Nick dies as a result of an accident with a drunk driver.[8]

Rifkin has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in film, on stage, and in television. His association with writer Jon Robin Baitz has been especially fruitful.[9] In 1991, his performance in Baitz's play The Substance of Fire won him the Obie, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, and Drama-Logue awards for Best Actor. The next year, he performed in Baitz's Three Hotels, for which he received a second Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nomination. In 1996, he starred in the film version of Substance; in 2002, he appeared in the Baitz play Ten Unknowns at Boston's Huntington Theatre; in 2004, he starred in his play The Paris Letter at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, a role he reprised the next year at the Laura Pels Theatre in New York City, and appeared in the ABC drama series Brothers & Sisters, which Baitz created, as a character named Saul, Rifkin's real name.

Rifkin received a 1998 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for the Broadway revival of Cabaret. Additional theatre credits include David Hirson's Wrong Mountain, Arthur Miller's Broken Glass, Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country, and Neil Simon's Proposals.

Rifkin's extensive film credits include Silent Running (1972), The Sunshine Boys (1975), The Big Fix (1978), JFK (1991), Husbands and Wives (1992), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Wolf (1994), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Negotiator (1998), Boiler Room (2000), Keeping the Faith (2000), The Majestic (2001), Dragonfly (2002), The Sum of All Fears (2002), and Pulse (2006).

On television, Rifkin has appeared in numerous made-for-TV movies and miniseries, had regular roles on The Rockford Files, One Day at a Time, Husbands, Wives & Lovers, The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, and Alias, and made guest appearances on a number of series, including Barnaby Jones, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Sex and the City, The Bob Newhart Show, The Good Wife, ER, Law & Order, A Nero Wolfe Mystery, Falcon Crest, Soap, Hill Street Blues, Smash, and The Outer Limits, for which he received a CableACE nomination.

Rifkin is the reader for a number of audiobooks, including Lois Lowry's The Giver, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Sang Spell, and Jerry Spinelli's Milkweed.

He currently portrays Defense Attorney Marvin Stan Exely, a recurring character on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He also starred in Limitless as Brian Finch's father Dennis Finch and appears in Gotham as Father Creel.

In October 2020, a short film, Daddy, was uploaded on Christian Coppola's YouTube channel in which Rifkin stars alongside Dylan Sprouse. In the film, "after the death of his wife, an 80-year-old man checks into The Plaza Hotel to celebrate their first anniversary apart, hiring a male escort to take her place."



Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Devil's 8 Stewart Martin
1969 Flareup Sailor
1972 Silent Running Marty Barker
1972 Fuzz Cop guarding the Mayor's Mansion Uncredited
1975 The Sunshine Boys TV floor manager
1978 Rabbit Test Dr. Briscoe
1978 The Big Fix Randy
1981 The Chosen Baseball Coach
1983 The Sting II Eddie
1984 Kidco George Tuskie
1991 JFK Mr. Goldberg/Spiesel
1992 Husbands and Wives Rain's Analyst
1993 Manhattan Murder Mystery Sy
1994 Wolf Doctor Ralph
1995 Last Summer in the Hamptons Eli Garfield
1996 The Substance of Fire Isaac Geldhart
1996 I'm Not Rappaport Feigelbaum
1997 L.A. Confidential District Attorney Ellis Loew
1998 The Negotiator Commander Grant Frost
2000 Drop Back Ten
2000 Boiler Room Judge Marty Davis
2000 Keeping the Faith Larry Friedman
2001 Sam the Man Richard
2001 The Majestic Kevin Bannerman - Peter's Attorney
2002 Tadpole Professor Tisch
2002 Dragonfly Charlie Dickinson
2002 The Sum of All Fears Secretary of State Sidney Owens
2002 Just a Kiss Dr. Fauci
2006 Pulse Dr. Waterson
2010 Peep World Henry Meyerwitz
2012 The Words Timothy Epstein
2016 True Memoirs of an International Assassin Amos AKA The Ghost
2017 They Shall Not Perish Henry Morgenthau Sr.
2018 A Star Is Born Carl
2018 Daddy Mr. Smith Short film
2020 Minyan Josef
2022 Funny Pages Grandpa


Year Title Role Notes
1966 Gidget Mel Episode: "Love and the Single Gidget"
1970 Room 222 Ralph Fisk Episode: "Ralph"
1970 The Interns Ferguson Episode: "Mondays Can Be Fatal"
1972 Awake and Sing! Sam Feinschreiber TV movie
1972 The Sandy Duncan Show Warren Episode: "Doctor New"
1972 Young Dr. Kildare Harry Flicker Episode: "No More Than a Bad Cold"
1973 Bachelor-at-Law Assistant District Attorney TV movie
1973 Adam's Rib Asst. Dist. Atty. Roy Mendelsohn 13 episodes
1973 Insight John Bailey Episode: "Reunion"
1974 Get Christie Love! Normand Episode: "Get Christie Love!"
1974 The Bob Newhart Show Jeff Boggs Episode: "Mind Your Own Business"
1974 Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law Marty Dyer Episode: "To Keep and Bear Arms"
1974 The Suicide Club TV movie
1974 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Ed Schroeder Episode: "A New Sue Ann"
1974 The ABC Afternoon Playbreak Tony Episode: "Oh, Baby, Baby, Baby..."
1975 The Dream Makers Herb TV movie
1975 Barnaby Jones Snipper Wilcox Episode: "Counterfall"
1975 Cannon Paul Goldberg Episode: "The Deadly Conspiracy: Part 1"
1975 The Night That Panicked America Mercury Theatre Player TV movie
1975 Kojak Rick Levene Episode: "No Immunity for Murder"
1975 When Things Were Rotten Prince John 9 episodes
1975–1976 The Rockford Files Tom Robertson / Warren Weeks 2 episodes
1976 Doc Gary Episode: "A Little Bit of Soap"
1976 Medical Center Danny Armbruster Episode: "Life, Death and Mrs. Armbruster"
1977 In the Glitter Palace Roger TV movie
1977 McMillan & Wife Aaron Leacock Episode: "Have You Heard About Vanessa?"
1977 Husbands and Wives Ron Cutler TV movie
1977 Family Dr. Grant Episode: "Acts of Love: Part 2"
1977 The Tony Randall Show Benten Episode: "Walter Screws Up"
1977 Rafferty Dr. Bakersmith Episode: "Walking Wounded"
1978 A Question of Guilt Assistant District Attorney Verrell TV movie
1978 Columbo Luther Episode: "Make Me a Perfect Murder"
1978 Husbands, Wives & Lovers Ron Willis 10 episodes
1978 Soap Dr. Kanter 3 episodes
1978 Greatest Heroes of the Bible Beseleel 4 episodes
1979 Alice Eric Episode: "Sweet Charity"
1979 The Mary Tyler Moore Hour Artie Miller 11 episodes
1979 Mrs. R's Daughter Joseph Barron TV movie
1979 Salvage 1 Reporter Mike Flannery Episode: "Diamond Volcano"
1980 Knots Landing Stan Lesser 2 episodes
1980–1981 One Day at a Time Nick Handris 16 episodes
1982 The Day the Bubble Burst TV movie
1983 Another Woman's Child Barry Stein TV movie
1983 The Winds of War Mark Hartley Episode: "The Storm Breaks"
1983 Ryan's Four Episode: "Ryan's Four"
1983 Faerie Tale Theatre The Squire Episode: "Sleeping Beauty"
1983 Falcon Crest Dr. Hal Lantry 9 episodes
1984 Hill Street Blues Monty DiMair Episode: "Ratman and Bobbin"
1984 The Ratings Game TV Director TV movie
1984–1991 American Playhouse Leonard / Samuel Roth 2 episodes
1985 Evergreen Solly Episode #1.1
1985 Do You Remember Love Gerry Kaplan TV movie
1986 The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible Mordecai (voice) Episode: "Queen Esther"
1986 Dress Gray Maj. Consor 2 episodes
1987 Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8 Allen Ginsberg TV movie
1990 Three Hotels TV movie
1990–1992 The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Ben Meyer 34 episodes
1990–1992 Law & Order Alex Drakos / Defense Attorney Phillip Nevins 2 episodes
1992 ScreenPlay Teddy Weinfeld Episode: "Buying a Landslide"
1993 Room for Two Jack Weissman 3 episodes
1994 WSH: The Myth of the Urban Myth Professor Pulling TV movie
1995 Fallen Angels Frank Barsaly Episode: "Red Wind"
1995–1996 ER Dr. Carl Vucelich 9 episodes
1996 Norma Jean & Marilyn Johnny Hyde TV movie
1997 Leaving L.A. Dr. Neil Bernstein 6 episodes
1997–1998 The Outer Limits Dr. Martin Nodel 2 episodes
2000 Flowers for Algernon Dr. Jonah Strauss TV movie
2000 Deliberate Intent Howard Siegel TV movie
2001 The Warden Judge Faschbinder TV movie
2001 A Nero Wolfe Mystery Nikola Miltan / Attorney Perry Helmar 3 episodes
2001–2006 Alias Arvin Sloane 103 episodes
2002 Sex and the City Julian Fisher Episode: "A 'Vogue' Idea"
2006–2011 Brothers & Sisters Saul Holden 95 episodes
2009 American Masters Narrator Episode: "Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About"
2011–2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Defense Attorney Marvin Exley 6 episodes
2013 Touch Isaac Episode: "Leviathan"
2013 Smash Himself Episode: "The Tonys"
2014 Mind Games Ted Sanders Episode: "Pilot"
2015 The Good Wife Spencer Randolph Episode: "Winning Ugly"
2015–2016 Gotham Father Creal 5 episodes
2015–2016 Limitless Dennis Finch 12 episodes
2016 Elementary Wayne Vachs Episode: "Worth Several Cities"
2018 Blindspot Rob Donnelly Episode: "Deductions"
2018–2019 New Amsterdam Dean Peter Fulton 7 episodes


  1. ^ "Ron Rifkin TV Listings / Biography".
  2. ^ "Theater; Acting Against Type: The Self-Hating Jew". New York Times. April 24, 1994.
  3. ^ Axelrod, Toby (December 6, 1996). "Haunted By The Holocaust: Brooklyn-born Ron Rifkin lands film role of his career as a Lear-like figure in 'The Substance of Fire'". The Jewish Week. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011.
  4. ^ Elkin, Michael (December 21, 2006). "Jewish Jingle Belles? Chanukah with the 'Brothers & Sisters'". The Jewish Exponent.
  5. ^ "Ron Rifkin's Jewish Journeys | Luke Ford". February 20, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  6. ^ De Vries, Hilary. "Death of a Coat Salesman: After 30 years in the theater and six years in the fashion business, Ron Rifkin becomes an overnight success with a tailor-made role in ‘The Substance of Fire’," LA Times, July 28 1991. Retrieved Feb. 26, 2023.
  7. ^ "Ron Rifkin Biography (1939-)".
  8. ^ ""One Day at a Time" Alex Moves In (TV Episode 1981)". IMDb. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  9. ^ Green, Jesse (June 5, 2005). "The Muse Who Sold Shmattes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 13, 2018.