Whitford in 2006
|Born||October 10, 1959|
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Other names||Brad Whitford|
|Alma mater||Wesleyan University (BFA), Juilliard School (GrDip)|
(m. 1992; div. 2010)
Amy Landecker (m. 2019)
Bradley Whitford (born October 10, 1959) is an American actor and political activist. He garnered attention 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. This role also earned him three consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations.
Following The West Wing, Whitford also 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; and Roger Peralta in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
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. He was an occasional columnist for The Huffington Post until November 2009 and is noted for his politically liberal activism.
Whitford was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Genevieve Louie (née Smith; 1915-2011)  and George Van Norman Whitford (1915-1999). Between the ages of three and 14, he lived in Wayne, Pennsylvania. His mother, a poet, later resided in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a Quaker household. Whitford graduated from Madison East High School in 1977. He majored in English and theatre at Wesleyan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1981, where he was a roommate of producer Paul Schiff. Whitford then attended the Juilliard School for drama, where he was a member of "Group 14", alongside Thomas Gibson.
Whitford first appeared on television in 1985 in an episode of The Equalizer. His film debut was in the 1986 film Dead as a Doorman. He made his Broadway theatre debut in 1990 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 also made a guest appearance on ER in the Emmy award-winning March 1995 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. He appeared in the British drama Burn Up on the BBC in July 2008.
He starred on Broadway in Boeing-Boeing which began in previews on April 19, 2008, and opened on May 4, 2008. He left the show in September 2008, and was succeeded in the role by Greg Germann. He co-starred in the Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard horror film The Cabin in the Woods, 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 also appeared on Law & Order: Los Angeles as a lawyer. On September 15, 2011, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, in partnership with Broadway Impact, announced the complete cast—including Whitford—and roles for the one-night only staged reading of 8, a new play chronicling the historic trial in the federal legal challenge to California's Proposition 8.
In 2013 Whitford played Pete Harrison in the ABC comedy Trophy Wife, which was canceled after one season. Most recently, Whitford appeared in the Amazon series Transparent in the first season in a recurring role as a cross-dressing businessman and in the second season in a recurring role as Magnus Hirschfeld.
In 2018 he joined the cast of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu as Commander Joseph Lawrence. Whitford guest starred in the final two episodes of the second season and reprised his role in the third season airing in 2019.
Whitford married actress Jane Kaczmarek in August 1992. They had three children together, Frances Genevieve (born October 1997), George Edward (born December 1999), and Mary Louisa (born November 2002). In June 2009, the couple announced that they were divorcing after 16 years of marriage, and the divorce was finalized in October 2010.
Whitford is a political liberal and has appeared several times on Real Time with Bill Maher. He once co-hosted The Majority Report on Air America Radio alongside Janeane Garofalo, and made an appearance on the Al Franken Show Party Album. During the run-up to the November 2004 general election, Whitford, who was then playing White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on the NBC TV drama series The West Wing, made a satirical video that purported to support then-President George W. Bush for re-election, but which actually lampooned Bush, who went on to win re-election.
On February 26, 2011, Whitford spoke at one of the many protests in his native Madison, Wisconsin in opposition to Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill. The budget repair bill ultimately became law. During the run-up to the November 2012 general election, Whitford and Courage Campaign founder/chair, Rick Jacobs, appeared together in a video that explained "what's really going on and who's really behind California's Proposition 30 and Proposition 32". The video encouraged viewers to vote "yes" on Prop 30 and "no" on Prop 32. Proposition 30 was approved by California voters by a margin of 54% to 46%. Proposition 32 was defeated by a margin of 56% to 44%.
During the run-up to the November 2014 Wisconsin gubernatorial election, Whitford visited multiple University of Wisconsin System campuses in support of the campaign for the Democratic nominee for governor Mary Burke, who was running against incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker; Burke lost. In September 2016, he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he expressed his support for Hillary Clinton.
On November 25, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted on Twitter, comparing herself to the character C. J. Cregg from The West Wing on an incident involving a situation where the White House was receiving one of the White House Thanksgiving turkeys set to be pardoned by President Donald Trump. After this tweet, Whitford, who portrayed White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on the show, replied saying, "I know C. J. Cregg. C. J. Cregg is a friend of mine. You're no C. J. Cregg", an homage to the famed "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" debate quote. Actress Allison Janney, who played C.J. in the series, also replied, thanking Whitford for his sentiment.
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. As of 2012, Whitford serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Wesleyan University.
|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|
|1992||Scent of a Woman||Randy Slade|
|1993||RoboCop 3||Jeffrey Fleck|
|My Life||Paul Ivanovich|
|A Perfect World||Bobby Lee|
|The Silent Alarm||Referee Dad||Short film|
|1994||The Client||Thomas Fink|
|1995||Billy Madison||Eric Gordon|
|The Desperate Trail||Tommy Donnelly|
|1996||My Fellow Americans||Carl Witnaur|
|1997||Masterminds||Miles Lawrence||Credited as Brad Whitford|
|Red Corner||Bob Ghery|
|The People||Michael Leary|
|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|
|Man Up, Little Boy||Walter||Short film|
|Decoding Annie Parker||Marshall Parker|
|Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter||Agent John Flynn||Short film|
|Saving Mr. Banks||Don DaGradi||Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast|
|2015||I Saw the Light||Fred Rose|
|2016||Other People||Norman Mulcahey|
|2017||Get Out||Dean Armitage||Seattle Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble|
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
|A Happening of Monumental Proportions||Arthur Schneedy|
|Megan Leavey||Bob Leavey|
|The Post||Arthur Parsons|
|2018||The Darkest Minds||President Gray|
|2019||Godzilla: King of the Monsters||Dr. Rick Stanton|
|2020||The Last Full Measure||Carlton Stanton||Post-production|
|Call of the Wild||Judge Miller||Post-production|
|1985||The Equalizer||Dillart||Episode: "The Children's Song"|
|1986||C.A.T. Squad||Leon Trepper||Television film|
|1987||The Betty Ford Story||Jack Ford||Television film|
|1988||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||Lt. Thomas "Mack" 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||149 episodes|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2001)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2001–02)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2001–03)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2002–03)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2003–06)
Nominated – Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series (2000)
|1999||Felicity||Tom Anderson||Episode: "Happy Birthday" (uncredited)|
|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"|
|2005||Fathers and Sons||Anthony||Television film|
|2006–07||Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip||Danny Tripp||21 episodes|
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
|2008||Burn Up||James Mackintosh||2 episodes|
Nominated – Gemini Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Special or Miniseries
|2009||Monk||Dean Berry||Episode: "Mr. Monk on Wheels"|
|Off Duty||Det. Glenn Falcon||Television film|
|2010||The Sarah Silverman Program||Toby Grossnickel||Episode: "Nightmayor"|
|The Good Guys||Det. Dan Stark||20 episodes|
|Glenn Martin, DDS||Gonzo Gonzales||Voice; Episode: "Camp"|
|2011||In Plain Sight||Adam Wilson / Adam Roston||Episode: "Crazy Like a Witness"|
|Law & Order: Los Angeles||Attorney Miklin||Episode: "Big Rock Mesa"|
|The Mentalist||Timothy Carter||2 episodes|
|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||6 episodes|
|Drunk History||William Jennings Bryan||Episode: "Nashville"|
|2013–14||Trophy Wife||Pete Harrison||22 episodes|
|2014||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Frank Maddox||Episode: "Reasonable Doubt"|
|2014–19||Transparent||Marcy / Magnus Hirschfeld||8 episodes|
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series (2015)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (2015)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (2016)
|2014||Alpha House||Senator Ned||Episode: "The Retreat"|
|2015–17||Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Captain Roger Peralta||3 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"|
|2017–19||Tangled: The Series||King Trevor||Voice; 2 episodes|
|2018–present||The Handmaid's Tale||Commander Joseph Lawrence||15 episodes|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2019)
|2019||Valley of the Boom||James L. Barksdale||6 episodes|
|Flack||Calvin Cooper||Episode: "Rodney"|
|Infinity Train||Agent Sieve||Voice; Episode: "The Chrome Car"|
|Perfect Harmony||Arthur Cochran|