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Željko Ivanek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Željko Ivanek
Close-up photograph of a thin bespectacled man, mostly bald with short gray hair around
Ivanek in 2017
Željko Šimić-Ivanek

(1957-08-15) August 15, 1957 (age 63)
Years active1981–present

Željko Ivanek (né Šimić-Ivanek; /ˈʒɛlkɪˈvɑːnɪk/;[1] Slovene: [ˈʒɛːlkɔ iˈʋaːnək]; born August 15, 1957) is a Slovenian-American actor, known for his role as Ray Fiske on Damages,[2] for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award. Ivanek is also known for his role of Ed Danvers on Homicide: Life on the Street and Homicide: The Movie, Governor James Devlin on Oz, Andre Drazen on 24, Blake Sterling on the short-lived series The Event, and Emile "The Hunter" Danko in Heroes. From 2014 until 2019, he starred as Russell Jackson in the drama Madam Secretary. He also had a recurring role as FBI Special Agent Jim Racine in the series Banshee.

For his active stage career, he was awarded a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for three Tony Awards.

Early life and education

Ivanek was born Željko Šimić-Ivanek in Ljubljana, PR Slovenia, FPR Yugoslavia. In 1960, Željko, his mother and younger brother, Ivan, immigrated to Palo Alto, California, where his father was studying for his PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford University.[3][4]

After a two-year stay, in 1962, the family moved back to Yugoslavia for five years and then returned to Palo Alto in 1967. Having performed in numerous community theater plays in the San Francisco Bay Area, he graduated from Ellwood P. Cubberley High School in Palo Alto in 1975.[5] Ivanek graduated from Yale University majoring in theater in 1978 and attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art afterward.[6]

Acting career

Ivanek has worked extensively on the stage. In 1982, he originated the role of Hally in Athol Fugard's play "Master Harold"...and the Boys. He appeared in the U.S. premieres of Cloud Nine (for which he earned the 1981 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play) and The Pillowman. He performs frequently on Broadway and has been nominated for three Tony Awards, for his performances in the original production of Brighton Beach Memoirs, in Two Shakespearean Actors, and in a revival of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, alongside David Schwimmer and Tim Daly.

However, Ivanek is perhaps best known for his supporting roles in a number of well-known television series. His first television role was as Sammie Wheaton on the soap opera The Edge of Night. Other roles include Emile Danko in Heroes; Roland in The X-Files; prosecuting attorney Ed Danvers in Homicide: Life on the Street; Ray Fiske in Damages; J.J. in Big Love; the Magister in True Blood; Governor James Devlin in Oz; Serbian terrorist Andre Drazen in 24; and Blake Sterling, the Director of National Intelligence in the NBC drama series The Event.[7][8]

Most recently, Ivanek played Russell Jackson in the TV series Madam Secretary. He portrayed John Dickinson, the Pennsylvania representative to the Second Continental Congress, in the miniseries John Adams. He has guest-starred on such shows as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and House. He has appeared several times on Law & Order, both as one-off characters and as Ed Danvers, this last in crossover episodes with Homicide: Life on the Street.

In addition to his stage and television work, Ivanek has appeared in more than 20 feature films, including The Sender, in which he made his feature film debut as the unnamed title character, School Ties, The Bourne Legacy, In Bruges, Dogville, Black Hawk Down, Donnie Brasco, Argo, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

In 2012, he portrayed Dr. Stafford White in the drama The Mob Doctor. As of 2014, he has supporting roles in several shows on broadcast and cable television, including the series Revolution, where he plays the recurring roles of Dr. Calvin Horn and an illusory nanotech avatar of Horn; Suits; Banshee; and The Americans.

In the documentary That Guy... Who Was in That Thing, Ivanek states that his contract includes a rider to ensure that the first letter in his name, Ž, has its caron properly rendered in any credits sequence where his name appears.


Ivanek has received recognition for his on-screen work. In 2008, he was awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in the role of Ray Fiske on Damages.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 The Soldier Bombmaker/Cleaning lady
1982 Tex Mark Jennings Credited as "Hitchhiker".
1982 The Sender John Doe #83 / The Sender
1984 Mass Appeal Mark Dolson
1984 The Sun Also Rises Bill Gorton
1987 Rachel River Momo
1990 Artificial Paradise Willy
1991 Our Sons Donald Barnes
1992 School Ties Mr. Cleary
1996 White Squall Coast Guard Captain Sanders
1996 Courage Under Fire Ben Banacek
1996 Infinity Bill Price
1996 The Associate SEC Agent Thompkins
1997 Donnie Brasco Tim Curley
1997 Julian Po Tom Potter
1998 Nowhere to Go Principal Jack Walker
1998 A Civil Action Bill Crowley
1999 Snow Falling on Cedars Dr. Whitman
2000 Dancer in the Dark District Attorney
2001 Hannibal Dr. Cordell Doemling
2001 Black Hawk Down Lieutenant Colonel Gary Harrell
2002 Unfaithful Detective Dean
2003 Dogville Ben
2004 The Manchurian Candidate Vaughn Utly
2005 Manderlay Dr. Hector
2006 The Hoax Ralph Graves
2007 Ascension Day Master Travis
2007 Live Free or Die Hard Molina
2008 In Bruges Canadian Guy
2011 Tower Heist FBI Director Mazin
2012 The Bourne Legacy Dr. Donald Foite
2012 Argo Robert Pender Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
2012 Seven Psychopaths Paulo Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
2012 The Words Cutler
2016 X-Men: Apocalypse Pentagon Scientist
2017 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Desk Sergeant Cedric Connoly Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2020 The Courier CIA Boss


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Great Performances March Hare Episode: "Alice in Wonderland"
1986 American Playhouse George Deever Episode: "All My Sons"
1987 St. Elsewhere Mark Dolson Episode: "You Again?"
1987 Echoes in the Darkness Vince Valaitis Television movie
1990 L.A. Law Joel Lassen Episode: "Bound for Glory"
1993 Law & Order Phillip Swann Episode: "American Dreams"
1993–1999 Homicide: Life on the Street Ed Danvers 37 episodes
1994 The X-Files Roland Fuller / Dr. Arthur Grable Episode: "Roland"
1995 Murder, She Wrote Eddie Saunders Episode: "Home Care"
1995 Truman Eddie Jacobsen Television movie
1997–1999 Law & Order ASA Ed Danvers 2 episodes
1997 Frasier Dr. Arnold Shaw Episode: "Death and the Dog"
1997 The Practice D.A. Mark McGovern Episode: "The Civil Right"
1997 Millennium Dr. Daniel "Danny" Miller Episode: "Walkabout"
1997–2003 Oz Governor James Devlin 27 episodes
1997 Ally McBeal Judge Marshal Pink Episode: "One Hundred Tears Away"
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Ken Mattingly Episode: "The Original Wives Club"
1998 The Rat Pack Robert F. Kennedy Television movie
2000 ER Bruce Resnick Episode: "The Dance We Do"
2000 Homicide: The Movie Ed Danvers TV film
2001 The Practice A.U.S.A. Steven Sanders Episode: "The Confession"
2002 The Practice Matthew Davies Episode: "Neighboring Species"
2002 24 Andre Drazen 15 episodes
2002 The Twilight Zone ER chief Episode: "The Lineman"
2003 The West Wing Steve Atwood 2 episodes
2003 The Reagans Michael Deaver Television movie
2004 Law & Order Mr. Capplin Episode: "Gov Love"
2004 Touching Evil Ronald Hinks Episode: "Pilot"
2005 NYPD Blue Justin Deroos Episode: "Stoli With a Twist"
2005 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Andrew Melton Episode: "Nesting Dolls"
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Everett Drake Episode: "Taboo"
2006 Bones Carl Decker Episode: "The Woman in the Car"
2006 Shark Eliot Dasher 2 episodes
2006 Cold Case John Doe Episode: "One Night"
2007–2010 Damages Raymond "Ray" Fiske 16 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film
2007 Lost Edmund Burke Episode: "Not in Portland"
2008–2014 The Mentalist Dr. Linus Wagner 2 episodes
2008 Numbers William Fraley Episode: "When Worlds Collide"
2008 John Adams John Dickinson 2 episodes
2008–2014 True Blood Magister 5 episodes
2008 House Jason Episode: "Last Resort"
2009 Heroes Emile "The Hunter" Danko 13 episodes
2009–2010 Big Love J.J. 12 episodes
2010–2011 The Event Blake Sterling 22 episodes
2013 White Collar Brett Forsythe Episode: "Digging Deeper"
2012–2013 The Mob Doctor Dr. Stafford White 13 episodes
2013–2014 Revolution Dr. Calvin Horn 5 episodes
2014 Banshee F.B.I. Special Agent Jim Racine 3 episodes
2014–2015 Suits Eric Woodall 4 episodes
2014 The Americans John Skeevers Episode: "Stealth"
2014–2019 Madam Secretary Russell Jackson 102 episodes
2015–2017 12 Monkeys Leland Goines 3 episodes


Year Title Role(s) Notes
1978 Idiot's Delight Palota[10]
Design for Living Photographer[11]
The School for Wives Notary[12]
A Month in the Country Matvey[13]
1979 Hay Fever Sandy Tyrell[14]
Charley's Aunt Charley Wykeham[15]
Children of the Sun Rioter[16]
1980 The Front Page Earl Williams[17]
1981 The Survivor Yankele, understudy Rudy[18] Broadway debut
Cloud 9 Betty/Gerry[19] Winner: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
1982 "Master Harold"...and the Boys Hally[20]
1983 Brighton Beach Memoirs Stanley Jerome[21] Nomination: Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play
1985 A Map of the World Stephen[22]
1986 Loot Hal[23]
1988 The Cherry Orchard Trofimov[24]
Hamlet Hamlet[25]
1990 Ivanov Lvov[26]
1991 Two Shakespearean Actors John Ryder[27] Nomination: Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play

Nomination: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

1992 It's Only a Play Peter Austin[28]
1994 The Glass Menagerie Tom Wingfield[29]
2001 The Dumb Waiter Ben[30]
The Zoo Story Peter[30]
2002 Blue/Orange Robert Smith[31]
2005 The Pillowman Ariel[32]
2006 The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Lt. Com. Philip Francis Queeg[33] Nomination: Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play

Nomination: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play

2012 Slowgirl Sterling[34]


  1. ^ "SLOWGIRL: Interview with Željko Ivanek" on YouTube
  2. ^ "Željko Ivanek: Slovenec, ki živi hollywoodski sen".
  3. ^ Voislava Simic-Ivanek, Ivan Simic-Ivanek, and Željko Šimic-Ivanek; arrived New York, New York, US, aboard Queen Elizabeth, destination Palo Alto, California; New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917-1966
  4. ^ "Željko Ivanek profile". TV Guide. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  5. ^ "Around Town". Palo Alto Online. 1996-02-14. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  6. ^ "Željko Ivanek Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  7. ^ "NBC Picks Up Three New Series for 2010-11 Season with "The Event", "Outsourced" and "Love Bites"". The Futon Critic. May 7, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  8. ^ Hibberd, James (May 16, 2010). "NBC's fall schedule, upfront revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  9. ^ Levin, Gary (January 5, 2009). "'Damages' returns in all its complexity." USA Today. p. 01D. Retrieved via Biography In Context database, November 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Idiot's Delight". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  11. ^ "Design for Living". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  12. ^ "School for Wives, The". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  13. ^ "Month in the Country, A". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  14. ^ "Hay Fever". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  15. ^ "Charley's Aunt". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  16. ^ "Children of the Sun". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  17. ^ "Front Page, The". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  18. ^ "The Survivor – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB". Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  19. ^ "Cloud 9". Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  20. ^ Fugard, Athol (2009). "Master Harold" … and the boys. Penguin. ISBN 9780307475206.
  21. ^ "Brighton Beach Memoirs – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB". Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  22. ^ "David Hare's 'A Map of the World' Opens Off-Broadway". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  23. ^ "Loot – Broadway Play – 1986 Revival | IBDB". Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  24. ^ Rich, Frank (1988-01-25). "Stage: Brook's 'Cherry Orchard'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  25. ^ "Guthrie Theater flourishing in its 25th year. Moli'ere play on stage, 'Hamlet' in the wings". Christian Science Monitor. 1988-07-29. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  26. ^ Rich, Frank (1990-09-25). "Review/Theater; Early Chekhov in a Cross-Cultural Exercise". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  27. ^ "Two Shakespearean Actors – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB". Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  28. ^ McNally, Terrence (1992). It's Only a Play. Dramatists Play Service. p. 4. ISBN 0822205823.
  29. ^ League, The Broadway. "The Glass Menagerie – Broadway Play – 1994 Revival | IBDB". Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  30. ^ a b "Dumb Waiter & The Zoo Story, The". Williamstown Theatre Festival. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  31. ^ Weber, Bruce (2002-11-25). "THEATER REVIEW; Psychiatrists Do Battle, Mental Illness In the Middle". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  32. ^ "The Pillowman – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB". Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  33. ^ "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial – Broadway Play – 2006 Revival | IBDB". Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  34. ^ Isherwood, Charles (2012-06-19). "Filling the Silence With the Voice of Youth". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-20.

External links

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