Jeff Perry


Actor

About

Also Known As
Jeffrey S. Perry
Birth Place
Highland Park, Illinois, USA
Born
August 16, 1955

Biography

Jeff Perry is a veteran character actor easily recognized as Cyrus Beene by devoted fans of the drama series "Scandal" (ABC, 2012- ). The Illinois native began acting at young age and founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1974, along with fellow Chicago-area actors Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney. Sticking primarily to stage work with Steppenwolf, Perry eventually made a push to land s...

Family & Companions

Laurie Metcalf
Wife
Actor. Divorced.

Biography

Jeff Perry is a veteran character actor easily recognized as Cyrus Beene by devoted fans of the drama series "Scandal" (ABC, 2012- ). The Illinois native began acting at young age and founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1974, along with fellow Chicago-area actors Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney. Sticking primarily to stage work with Steppenwolf, Perry eventually made a push to land screen roles, and began appearing in TV guest spots during the late 1980s. In 1993, he had a recurring part on the popular series "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994) which led to more television stints, notably his regular role on the cop show, "Nash Bridges" (CBS, 1996-2001). While mixing in occasional film and theater productions, Perry remained most visible on TV, finding his signature part as Cyrus Beene, the White House Chief of Staff on the surprise hit series "Scandal," a program that finally allowed him to display his full versatility.

Hailing from the Chicago suburbs, Perry gravitated towards the stage as a teen and started Steppenwolf in his hometown of Highland Park. Eventually, the modest basement theater found a larger audience and, in 1980, moved to Chicago, where it began gaining a national reputation for outstanding theater productions. In 1983, he married fellow Steppenwolf actor Laurie Metcalf, though the two would split less than a decade later. Perry remained closely involved with the theater company for decades, but he followed the lead of fellow co-founder Sinise and made the transition to screen work in the late 1980s. While not a conventional leading man, his regular-guy looks helped him to win small parts, and, by 1993, he had a short stint on "L.A. Law." In 1996, Perry became a regular on "Nash Bridges," playing Inspector Harvey Leek, the Deadhead peer of Don Johnson's title police detective, and two years later, he had one of his more memorable supporting film roles as another cop in the steamy thriller "Wild Things" (1998), starring Matt Dillon and Kevin Bacon.

After one-off appearances on numerous primetime shows, Perry joined the cast of the medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 2005- ) for occasional turns as Thatcher Grey, the father of series protagonist Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Returning prominently to the stage, he had a featured role in the original 2007 Steppenwolf production of Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County" and even appeared in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play during its Broadway and London runs. Perry also starred in Nina Raine's lauded Off-Broadway play "Tribes," beginning in 2012. The same year, "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes recruited him for her latest project, the political melodrama "Scandal." Perry signed on to portray Cyrus Beene, one of the closest advisers to President Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and a father figure to lead character and crisis manager Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). Though the extensive shooting schedule of "Scandal" took up much of his time, Perry, like Sinise and Kinney, stayed on as an Executive Artistic Director at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and has also served as an acting instructor over the years.

Life Events

1974

Co-founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company

1980

Steppenwolf moved to Chicago

1993

First recurring TV role on "L.A. Law"

1996

Became a regular on "Nash Bridges"

1998

Appeared in the thriller "Wild Things"

2006

Featured on "Grey's Anatomy"

2007

Starred in the acclaimed play "August: Osage County"

2012

Joined the cast of "Scandal"

Family

Zoe Perry
Daughter
Born c. 1984.

Companions

Laurie Metcalf
Wife
Actor. Divorced.

Bibliography