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Peter MacNicol

Peter MacNicol
MacNicol at Eagle Base, November 14, 2001
Born (1954-04-10) April 10, 1954
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Other names Peter Johnson
Occupation Actor
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) Martha Sue Cumming (m. 1986)

Peter MacNicol (born April 10, 1954) is an American actor. He is known in films for his roles of Janosz Poha in Ghostbusters II, Stingo in Sophie's Choice, and David Langley in Bean. For television he is known for the roles of the eccentric lawyer John Cage in the FOX comedy-drama Ally McBeal, as Tom Lennox in the sixth season of action-thriller 24, Alan Birch in the medical drama Chicago Hope, and as physicist Dr. Larry Fleinhardt on the CBS crime drama Numbers.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
    • Film 4.1
    • Television 4.2
    • Video games 4.3
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

MacNicol was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, the youngest of five children of Barbara Jean (née Gottlich), a homemaker, and John Wilbur Johnson, a corporate executive who became an Episcopal priest later in life.[1][2][3][4] MacNicol began his career studying at the University of Dallas and University of Minnesota. While in Minnesota, he performed in two seasons at the Guthrie Theater. A New York talent agent spotted him and told him to make a move to Manhattan.


MacNicol was cast in the off-Broadway play, Crimes of the Heart. The production eventually moved to Broadway, and he won the Theatre World Award. It was also during this production that a casting agent noticed him and called him in to read for his eventual role in Sophie's Choice. In 1981 he landed the starring role in his first film, Dragonslayer, opposite Sir Ralph Richardson. In 1987, he starred in the Trinity Repertory Company's original production of the stage adaptation of All the King's Men, which first appeared at the Dallas Theater Center. This adaptation was developed with the consultation of the author himself.

Among his other stage credits is the Broadway production of Black Comedy/White Lies. He has further extensive classical repertory theater background, including the New York Shakespeare Festival in which he played title roles in Richard II and Romeo and Juliet, and appeared in Twelfth Night, Rum and Coke and Found a Peanut.

On film, he played the naive Southern writer who fell in love with Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice; the museum curator Janosz Poha in Ghostbusters II and camp director Gary Granger alongside future Numbers co-star David Krumholtz in Addams Family Values. Other film credits include Housesitter and American Blue Note.

In 1994 MacNicol had a prominent role as Alan Birch for the first season and under half of the second season of Chicago Hope before departing to take on a role on another TV series, Ally McBeal, also created by Chicago Hopes creator, David E. Kelley. However, he did return for one final guest appearance in episode five of the former show's fifth season.

MacNicol is known by television viewers for his Ally McBeal performance as eccentric attorney John Cage, for which he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2001. He also starred in the drama NUMB3RS as physicist Dr. Larry Fleinhardt, and had a role as Tom Lennox in the sixth season of the hit FOX show 24. MacNicol reprised his role as Lennox in the film 24: Redemption. He also played a hotel receptionist in one episode of Cheers titled "Look Before You Sleep".

MacNicol has lent his voice to several comic book supervillains: Dr. Kirk Langstrom/Man-Bat in The Batman, David Clinton/Chronos in Justice League Unlimited, Professor Ivo in Young Justice, Dr. Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus in The Spectacular Spider-Man, X The Eliminator in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law and the Mad Hatter in the video games Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Origins. He also voiced Firefly in G.I. Joe: Renegades.

MacNicol played Dr. Stark, a pediatric surgeon, on Grey's Anatomy.[5]

Personal life

MacNicol resides in Los Angeles with his wife, who runs the Corie Williams Scholarship Fund, a non-profit foundation that provides scholarships for inner-city children in Los Angeles.



Year Title Role Notes
1981 Dragonslayer Galen Bradwarden
1982 Sophie's Choice Stingo
1986 Heat Cyrus Kinnick
1986 American Blue Note Jack Solow
1989 Ghostbusters II Dr. Janosz Poha
1990 By Dawn's Early Light Sedgwick Television movie
1991 Hard Promises Stuart
1992 Housesitter Marty
1993 Addams Family Values Gary Granger
1994 Radioland Murders Son Writer
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Thomas Renfield
1996 The Oz Kids Ork
1997 Bean David Langley
1998 The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue Narrator
1999 Baby Geniuses Dan
2001 Recess: School's Out Fenwick
2002 Balto II: Wolf Quest Muru Voice
2004 Breakin' All the Rules Philip Gascon
2005 Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild Troopmaster Bickle Direct-to-video
2008 24: Redemption Tom Lennox Television movie
Short role
2012 Battleship Secretary of Defense
2012 Game Change Rick Davis Television movie
2013 Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright Dewey Ottoman


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Faerie Tale Theatre Martin Episode: "The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers"
1992–1993 The Powers That Be Bradley Grist 20 episodes
1993 Cheers Mario Episode: "Look Before You Sleep"
1994 Tales from the Crypt Austin Haggard Episode: "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime"
1994–1998 Chicago Hope Alan Birch 31 episodes
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995–96)
1997–2002 Ally McBeal John Cage 103 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2001)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1998)
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series (1999)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1999-2000)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television Series (2002)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2001–02)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (1999-2001)
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1998, 2000)
1999 The Angry Beavers Kid Friendly Episode: "The Legend of Kid Friendly"
2000 The Wild Thornberrys Raju, Monkey Episode: "Monkey See, Monkey Don't"
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Major 2 episodes
2003–2007 Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Various 14 episodes
2004–2005 Danny Phantom Sidney Poindexter 2 episodes
2004–2008 The Batman Dr. Kirk Langstrom 3 episodes
2005 Justice League Unlimited Chronos 2 episodes
2005–2010 Numbers Dr. Larry Fleinhardt 94 episodes
2006 Boston Legal Dr. Sydney Field Episode: "Race Ipsa"
2007 24 Tom Lennox 24 episodes
2008–2009 The Spectacular Spider-Man Doctor Octopus 12 episodes
2010 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Various 2 episodes
2010–2011 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Robert Stark 7 episodes
2011 Young Justice Professor Ivo 2 episodes
2011 G.I. Joe: Renegades Firefly Episode: "Homecoming Part 2"
2011 Fairly Legal Judge Smollet Episode: "Coming Home"
2013 Necessary Roughness Dr. Gunner 3 episodes
2013–2015 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Professor Elliot Randolph 2 episodes
2014 The Mindy Project Rabbi David Adler Episode: "An Officer and a Gynecologist"
2014 Star Wars Rebels Tseebo 2 episodes
2015 CSI: Cyber Simon Sifter Main cast

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law X the Eliminator
2011 Batman: Arkham City Mad Hatter
2013 Batman: Arkham Origins Mad Hatter


  1. ^ "Film Reference bio". Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  2. ^
  3. ^,,20120778,00.html
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ "Exclusive: Peter MacNicol Joins Grey’s Anatomy". Retrieved October 1, 2010. 

External links

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