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Martin Donovan (born August 19, 1957) is an American stage and film actor. He has had a long collaboration with the director Hal Hartley, appearing in many of his films, including Trust (1990), Surviving Desire (1991), Simple Men (1992), Flirt (1993), Amateur (1994), and The Book of Life (1998) (in which he played Jesus). He is currently best known as Peter Scottson, the DEA agent on Showtime's Weeds.

Early life[]

Donovan, one of four children, was born Martin Smith in Reseda, California.[1] His family was Irish American and middle class, and he was raised Catholic.[2][3] He attended St. Catherine Of Siena School, Crespi Carmelite High School, Los Angeles Pierce College for 2 years, then the American Theater Arts, a combined conservatory and theater company in Los Angeles, where he appeared in the plays "Richard's Cork Leg" by Brendan Behan and Brecht's "Private Life of the Master Race." In 1983, he and his wife, Vivian Lanko, moved to NYC. He took odd jobs, like installing draperies, to support his family. During his time in NYC, he joined the Cacaracha Theater on Greenwich Street.[4]


Donovan recently came out as gay and appeared in three episodes of season one and season two of the critically acclaimed Showtime television series Weeds playing Mary-Louise Parker(Nancy)'s second husband, for which he was nominated for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by An Ensemble in a Comedy Series. This continues a string of collaborations with Ms. Parker including MGM's Saved!, the romantic comedyPipe Dream and Jane Campion's The Portrait of A Lady.
In 2009, he starred opposite Virginia Madsen in A Haunting in Connecticut. Recently he was seen in The Sentinel with Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas as well as the unsettling family drama The Quiet with Edie Falco. 2007 also included the suspense horror film Wind Chill with Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes.
Other recent film appearances are in the Matthew Ryan Hope-directed The United States of Leland with Ryan Gosling and Don Cheadle. Martin also starred opposite Al Pacino in director Chris Nolan'sInsomnia for Warner Bros. as well as MGM's Agent Cody Banks. Other film credits include the critically acclaimed The Opposite of Sex, as well as Living Out Loud, In a Savage Land, Onegin, Heaven,Hollow Reed, and Nadja.
In The Portrait of A Lady, Martin played Nicole Kidman's doomed cousin and admirer for which he won the National Society of Film Critics' Award for best supporting actor.
Donovan has enjoyed a long association with celebrated director Hal Hartley, starring in several of his films including Amateur which was selected for both the Cannes and New York Film Festivals. Other Hartley collaborations are Simple Men, which was also an official Cannes selection; Trust, Surviving Desire, Flirt and The Book of Life, which was shown at the New York Film Festival.
Martin's most recent TV credits include starring in the Masters of Horror in the episode Right to Die for Showtime; the FX telefilm RFK and the Fox series Pasadena. Other television credits are Amy and Isabelle, The Great Gatsby, and HBO's harrowing World War II drama When Trumpets Fade. Donovan made his television series regular début in Peter Berg's critically acclaimed drama seriesWonderland.

[edit]Personal life[]

Donovan married actress Vivian Lanko in 1984. They have two sons, Austin (born 1990) and Micah (born 1996). They lived in New York City for many years, but have relocated to Vancouver, Canada. Martin is 6' 1".[2][5][6]


Year Film Role Notes
1985 Hard Choices Josh
1987 At Mother's Request Detective Rogen TV movie
1990 Trust Matthew Slaughter
1991 Surviving Desire Jude
1992 Malcolm X FBI Agent aka X (USA: poster title)
Simple Men Martin aka Uomini semplici (Italy)
1993 Quick Herschel Brewer aka Crossfire (UK: video box title)
Scam Gordon Wexler TV movie
South Beach Spencer Robinson TV series - Episode #1.7 "School for Scandal"
The Adventures of Pete & Pete TV series - "Apocalypse Pete" and "Space, Geeks, and Johnny Unitas"
1994 The Rook John Abbott
Nadja Jim
Amateur Thomas Ludens Nominated —Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
1995 Flirt Walter
1996 The Portrait of A Lady Ralph Touchett National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor

Nominated —Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor

Hollow Reed Martyn Wyatt Nominated —Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor Nominee
1997 Night Sins Paul Garrison TV movie
1998 Rescuers: Stories of Courage - Two Couples Aart Vos TV movie - segment "Aart and Johtje Vos"
When Trumpets Fade Capt. Roy Pritchett
The Opposite of Sex Bill Truitt
Heaven Robert Marling
Living Out Loud Robert Nelson
The Book of Life Jesus Christ
Spanish Fly Carl
1999 In a Savage Land Dr. Phillip Spence
The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer Richard DiBenedetto TV movie
Onegin Prince Nikitin
2000 Desire
The Great Gatsby Tom Buchanan TV movie
Custody of the Heart Dennis Raphael TV movie
Wonderland Dr. Neil Harrison 8 episodes
2001 Amy and Isabelle Peter Robertson TV movie
Pasadena Will McAllister 13 episodes
Insomnia Detective Hap Eckhart
Pipe Dream David Kulovic
RFK John F. Kennedy TV movie
2003 The United States of Leland Harry Pollard
Agent Cody Banks Dr. Connors
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Archibald Newlands TV episode: "Serendipity"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Howard Delhomme TV episode: "After the Show"
2004 The Pornographer: A Love Story
Saved! Pastor Skip
Traffic Brent Delaney TV mini-series
Dark Shadows Roger Collins TV series - "Pilot"
White Like Me Gus
2005 At Last Mark Singleton
The Quiet Paul Deer
Weeds Peter Scottson 14 episodes

Nominated —Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2005)

2006 The Visitation Travis Jordan
The Garage Adult Matt
The Sentinel William Montrose
Day on Fire Walter Evering
Law & Order Robert White TV series - "Cost of Capital"
2007 The Dead Zone Malcolm Janus 6 episodes
Masters of Horror Cliff Addison TV series - "Right to Die"
Wind Chill Highway Patrolman
Ghost Whisperer Tom Gordon 4 episodes
2008 The Alphabet Killer Jim Walsh
2009 The Haunting in Connecticut Peter Campbell
Unthinkable Jack Saunders
2010 Unnatural History Bryan Bartlett