Zach Grenier is an American character actor who has appeared on dozens of major TV shows, but may be best known as the stone-faced boss in the subversive cult classic "Fight Club" (1999). Featured in stage productions in his youth, Grenier had his earliest screen parts on episodes of various late-1980s television shows. After small roles in the 1988 features "Working Girl" and "Talk Radio," he shifted towards film appearances, eventually turning up in the tornado movie "Twister" (1996) and the crime drama "Donnie Brasco" (1997). Following his memorable performance as a callous corporate guy in "Fight Club," Grenier leaned back in the direction of TV, with a recurring role on the action series "24" (Fox, 2001-2010) and a slew of one-off spots on other major network shows. In 2004, he began a stint on the rugged HBO period drama "Deadwood" (2004-06), and later joined the cast of the fan-favorite series "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009-16). Although Grenier has continued to make occasional movie appearances, he seems to have hit his stride on television, where his subtle yet steely presence is more thoroughly showcased.
Born in New Jersey but raised in Michigan, Grenier performed on the high school stage, but didn't start his screen career until his mid-thirties. Paying his dues with brief spots on episodes of crime shows such as "Miami Vice" (NBC, 1984-1990), he worked his way up to small movie roles, notably appearing in Oliver Stone's biting 1988 drama "Talk Radio" before winning parts in even bigger films such as the Johnny Depp/Al Pacino mob tale "Donnie Brasco." In 1999, Grenier was featured as Richard Chesler, the rigid and uncaring boss of Edward Norton's restless character in David Fincher's stylized and darkly comedic "Fight Club," and this turn increased his visibility, leading to various other film and TV roles. After being featured as the duplicitous Carl Webb in the first season of "24," he signed on as a regular on the lauded crime drama "Touching Evil" (USA Network, 2004), starring Jeffrey Donovan and Vera Farmiga, but the promising show was cancelled after a handful of episodes.
Fortunately, Grenier was also appearing on the gritty Western series "Deadwood" at the time, portraying gambler Andy Cramed, who naturally finds trouble in the seedy and violent frontier town. In 2007, he reunited with Fincher for a small role in the ensemble murder mystery "Zodiac" and subsequently continued to juggle movie spots with guest shots on TV shows, making a habit of working on almost every procedural drama under the sun, including various incarnations of the "Law & Order" and "CSI" franchises. Having made infrequent appearances on Broadway over the years, Grenier garnered a Tony nomination for his role as Ludwig van Beethoven in the play "33 Variations," also featuring Jane Fonda. However, he soon returned to TV, taking on the recurring part of lawyer David Lee on the legal drama "The Good Wife." For the fifth season of the show in 2013, he was bumped up to a regular character, and that year Grenier also filmed his role as a politician in the sci-fi reboot movie "RoboCop" (2014).
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Film debut in the independent "Kenny"
Earliest major film roles in "Working Girl" and "Talk Radio"
Television debut on "Kate and Allie" (CBS, 1984-1989
Broadway debut in "Mastergate"
Supporting role in "Fight Club," his first of two appearances in a David Fincher film
Plays Carl Webb on "24"
Joined the cast of "Touching Evil"
Recurring turn as Andy Cramed on "Deadwood"
Nominated for a Tony Award for "33 Variations"
Starred as David Lee on "The Good Wife"
Supporting role in "J. Edgar" for Clint Eastwood
Promoted to series regular on "The Good Wife"
Played Wayne Blanks on "Zero Hour"
Cast as Senator Hubert Dreyfus in the "RoboCop" reboot
Appeared on an episode of "The Blacklist"
Cast as Dean Healy on "BrainDead"
Cast as a detective in "Crown Heights"
Reprised "Good Wife" role on "The Good Fight"