Family & Companions
A staple of American television and features since the early 1990s, Nick Searcy was a versatile supporting talent whose subtle but sincere work buoyed projects ranging from the feature hit "The Fugitive" (1993) and "From the Earth to the Moon" (HBO, 1998) to "Cast Away" (1998) and "Justified" (FX, 2010-15). Like all good character actors, Searcy disappeared into his roles, embodying everything from sheriffs and military men to good ole' boys and sitcom husbands. Comedy and drama flowed with equal ease in his hands, though the former was largely relegated to seldom-seen sitcoms like "Rodney" (ABC, 2004-06). He was one of the many aspects of the drama "Justified" (FX, 2010-15) that was singled out for praise by critics, which underscored his talent as one of the business's best utility players.
Born March 7, 1959 in the small rural town of Cullowhee, NC, Nick Searcy discovered his love for acting while still in elementary school, and became something of a regular in local theater productions, most notably at nearby Western Carolina University. After high school, he briefly attended the North Carolina School of the Arts before earning a degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Searcy then relocated to New York City, where he appeared in numerous off-Broadway productions. In 1990, he returned to North Carolina to explore opportunities in the state's growing film and television industry. There, he made his feature debut as a highway patrolman in the Tom Cruise NASCAR flick, "Days of Thunder" (1990). More bit parts preceded his first substantial role as Mary-Louise Parker's abusive husband who meets a grisly if well-deserved fate in "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991).
Searcy soon settled into a string of supporting character roles in films and on television series and features, most notably "A Mother's Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story" (ABC, 1992) as a husband locked in a custody battle with his wife (Bonnie Bedelia), who has accused him of abusing their child. Tall, solidly built, and with an air of gravitas to his bearing, Searcy was frequently cast as law officials, like his sarcastic sheriff in "The Fugitive" (1993), or businessmen and blue collar workers. From 1994 to 1995, he was a recurring player on the short-lived and much-reworked comedy "Thunder Alley (ABC, 1994-95) before joining the cult thriller "American Gothic" (CBS, 1995-96) as the terrified deputy of supernatural sheriff Gary Cole. In 1998, he played Deke Slayton, one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, in the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" (1998).
Searcy made his debut as writer, producer and director on "Paradise Falls" (1997), a Depression Era drama lensed in his home state about a pair of farm boys who take up bank robbing to save their family home. Searcy, who also appeared in the film, took home a Hollywood Discovery Award for Best Feature Film (Under $1 Million), but his responsibilities as an actor appeared to prevent him from tackling a sophomore effort. By the late 1990s and new millennium, Searcy was a staple of major features and television series, including Robert Zemeckis' "Cast Away" (2000) as Tom Hanks' friend and fellow traveler, "One Hour Photo" (2002) and "Runaway Jury" (2003) as a spy working for Gene Hackman's amoral lawyer. He also played the short-tempered head of security on a top-secret time travel experiment on "Seven Days" (UPN, 1998-2001). From 2004 to 2006, he was comedian Rodney Carrington's henpecked sidekick on the ABC sitcom "Rodney."
Though he continued to appear in features like "The Ugly Truth" (2009) and "The Last Song" (2010), and even earned a rare lead as a deranged backwoods resident in the horror film "Cold Storage" (2009), television became Searcy's primary showcase. He was the head of an eccentric family and its high-interest loan business in the short-lived "Easy Money" (The CW, 2008-09), then made recurring appearances on the comedy "Svetlana" (HDNet, 2010) before joining the cast of "Justified" as Chief Deputy Art Mullen, the no-nonsense boss to taciturn U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant).
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Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Performed in several off-Broadway productions
First film role was playing a highway patrol officer in "Days of Thunder"
Featured in the ABC movie, "Unspeakable Acts"
Cast in a small but memorable role as the abusive husband of Mary-Louise Parker in "Fried Green Tomatoes"
Played an estranged husband accused of molesting his daughter in the ABC movie, "A Mother's Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story"
Played a Sheriff in "The Fugitive," opposite Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones
Acted on the popular CBS miniseries sequel "Return to Lonesome Dove"
Played Deputy Ben Healy on the CBS supernatural drama, "American Gothic"
Made feature writing and directing debut with "Paradise Falls" (released theatrically in 2000)
Portrayed NSA Agent Nathan Ramsey on the sci-fi series "Seven Days" (UPN)
Played Deke Slayton in the the Tom Hanks-produced miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" (HBO)
Had a small role as Tom Hanks' friend in "Cast Away"
Co-starred with Chris Rock in "Head of State"
Appeared opposite Gene Hackman and John Cusack in "Runaway Jury"
Cast as a regular on the ABC comedy "Rodney"
Featured in "The Assassination of Richard Nixon," starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts
Co-starred with Catherine Keener in Tommy O'Haver's "An American Crime"
Played Katherine Heigl's station manager in "The Ugly Truth"
Portrayed a United States Deputy Marshal on FX's "Justified"
Cast in a supporting role in the biographical drama "Moneyball," starring Brad Pitt