Peter Gallagher

For other people named Peter Gallagher, see Peter Gallagher (disambiguation).
Peter Gallagher

Gallagher at the Paley Center's 6th annual Celebrity Golf Classic, Westlake Village, California - June 8, 2009
Born Peter Killian Gallagher
(1955-08-19) August 19, 1955
Manhattan, New York City
Occupation Actor, musician, writer
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Paula Harwood (1983–present)
Children Kathryn Gallagher
James Gallagher

Peter Killian Gallagher (born August 19, 1955) is an American actor, musician and writer.[1] Since 1980, Gallagher has played roles in numerous Hollywood films. He is best known for starring as Sandy Cohen in the television drama series The O.C. from 2003 to 2007, and a recurring role as Deputy Chief William Dodds on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Early life

Gallagher was born in Manhattan, New York City. His mother, Mary Ann (née O'Shea), was a bacteriologist, and his father, Thomas Francis Gallagher, Jr., was an advertising executive.[2][3][4][5] Gallagher is the youngest of their three children. He is of Irish Catholic background[6] and was raised in Armonk, New York. Gallagher graduated from Tufts University, where he had been active in theater, appearing in such shows as Stephen Sondheim's Company and singing with the all-male a cappella group the Beelzebubs.


Gallagher appeared on Broadway with Glenn Close in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, but first achieved fame for his role in Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). He also starred as Sky Masterson in the 1992 Broadway hit revival of Guys and Dolls.

Gallagher played a potential career threat to Tim Robbins' studio executive in The Player (1992); the comatose fiancé of Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping (1995); a real estate salesman having an affair with Annette Bening in American Beauty (1999); a media executive in Mr. Deeds (2002); and a political reporter exposing media ethics during a presidential debate in The Last Debate.

From 2003 to 2007, Gallagher starred as Sandy Cohen, a Jewish public defender and corporate lawyer, on the Fox television show The O.C.. He hosts an annual award ceremony named "The Sandy Cohen Awards" or The Sandys, which, in honor of his character on The O.C., gives a scholarship to a law school student at UC Berkeley who wants to become a public defender.

Gallagher released an album entitled 7 Days in Memphis in 2005, on the Sony BMG label. This includes a studio recording of his performance of "Don't Give Up On Me" (originally by Solomon Burke), which was featured in an episode of The O.C. He also has a video for his single "Still I Long For Your Kiss", in which he starred with his TV-wife Kelly Rowan.

In 2005, Gallagher received the P.T. Barnum Award from Tufts University for his exceptional work in the field of media and entertainment. In 2007, Gallagher received the "Light on the Hill" award at Tufts University. The award is given to notable alumni from Tufts who have demonstrated ambition, achievement, and active citizenship.

As of March 2015, Gallagher is co-starring on Broadway in On the Twentieth Century.

Personal life

Gallagher is married to Paula Harwood and has two children, James and Kathryn.[7] His daughter Kathryn is an actress and singer, and most recently performed in Deaf West's production of Spring Awakening on Broadway as the voice of Martha.


Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Idolmaker Guido/Caesare
1982 Summer Lovers Michael Pappas
1985 Dreamchild Jack Dolan
1986 My Little Girl Kai
1988 High Spirits Brother Tony
1989 Sex, Lies, and Videotape John Mullany
1990 Tune in Tomorrow Richard Quince
1991 Milena Pollak
The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez Matt
Late for Dinner Bob Freeman
1992 The Player Larry Levy
Bob Roberts Dan Riley
1993 Watch It John
Short Cuts Stormy Weathers Golden Globe for Best Ensemble Cast
Volpi Cup—Best Ensemble Cast
Malice Atty. Dennis Riley
1994 The Hudsucker Proxy Vic Tenetta
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Alan Campbell
Mother's Boys Robert Madigan
White Mile Jack Robbins
1995 The Underneath Michael Chambers
While You Were Sleeping Peter Callaghan
Cafe Society Jack Kale
1996 Last Dance John Hayes
To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday David Lewis
1997 The Man Who Knew Too Little James 'Jimmy' Ritchie
Path to Paradise John Anticev
1998 Johnny Skidmarks Johnny Scardino
1999 House on Haunted Hill Donald W. Blackburn, M.D.
American Beauty Buddy Kane Screen Actors Guild Awards—Outstanding Performance by a Cast
OFCS Award for Best Ensemble Cast Performance
2000 Center Stage Jonathan Reeves
Other Voices Jordin
2001 Perfume Guido
Protection Ted
2002 Mr. Deeds Chuck Cedar
The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina Mole King Direct-to-video; Voice-over
2003 How to Deal Len Martin Uncredited
2008 Center Stage: Turn It Up Jonathan Reeves
2009 Adam Marty Buchwald
The War Boys Slater Welch
2010 Conviction Barry Scheck
Burlesque Vincent "Vince" Scali
2011 Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You Paul Sveck
2012 Step Up: Revolution Bill Anderson
2015 Hello, My Name Is Doris Willy Williams
Year Title Role Notes
1979 Guiding Light Chuck Haskell
1980 Skag John Skagska 6 episodes
1982 American Playhouse Logan Melton 1 episode
1984 ABC Weekend Specials Phil Grey 1 episode
Terrible Joe Moran Nick Television film
1987 Long Day's Journey into Night Edmund Tyrone Television film
1988 The Murder of Mary Phagan Leo Frank Television film
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Lt. Cmdr. John Challee Television film
The Big Knife Charles Castle Television film
I'll Be Home for Christmas Aaron Coplan Television film
1990 Love and Lies David West Television film
1991 An Inconvenient Woman Philip Quennell Television film
1993 Fallen Angels Mitch Allison
Dr. Yorgrau
2 episodes
1996 Titanic Wynn Park TV miniseries
1998 Superman: The Animated Series Kurt 1 episode
The Secret Lives of Men Michael 7 episodes
Brave New World Bernard Marx Television film
Virtual Obsession Dr. Joe Messenger Television film
1999 Brotherhood of Murder Bob Mathews Television film
2000 The Last Debate Tom Chapman Television film
Cupid & Cate Harry Television film
2001 Family Guy Jared 1 episode
Feast of All Saints Philippe Ferronaire Television film
2002 Contest Searchlight Himself 1 episode
20022003 Page to Screen Himself - host 1 episode
2003 A Tale of Two Wives Bill Goodman Television film
20032007 The O.C. Sandy Cohen 92 episodes
Nominated—Prism Award—Best Performance in a Drama Series Episode
Nominated—Teen Choice Awards—2005 TV Choice Parental Unit
Nominated—Teen Choice Awards—2006 TV Choice Parental Unit
2006 Robot Chicken Store Clerk
Douglas Goldstein / Anchor / Spectator
2 episodes
2007 The Gathering Dr. Michael Foster TV miniseries
2008 Shark Frank Bell 1 episode
2009 Californication Stacey Koons 7 episodes
2010 Rescue Me Father Phil Gallagher 7 episodes
20102014 Covert Affairs Arthur Campbell seasons 2-5, recurring previously
2011 Whitney Vince 2 episodes
2012 How I Met Your Mother Professor Vinick 1 episode: "The Final Page"
2015 The Good Wife Ethan Carver 3 episodes
20152016 Togetherness Larry 9 episodes
2016 New Girl Gavin Schmidt 2 episodes
2016 Center Stage: On Pointe Jonathan Reeves Television film
2014present Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Deputy Chief William Dodds Recurring Role, Seasons 16,17 & 18
Year Title Role Notes
1977 Hair Claude
1978 Grease Danny Zuko
1982 A Doll's Life Otto Theatre World Award
1983 The Corn Is Green Morgan Evans
Another Country Guy Bennett
1984 The Real Thing Billy Clarence Derwent Awards—Most Promising Male
198586 Pride and Prejudice Fitzwilliam Darcy
1986 Long Day's Journey Into Night Edmund Tyrone Nominated—Tony Award for Featured Actor (Play)
1992 Guys and Dolls Sky Masterson Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical
1995 Pal Joey Joey Evans
200102 Noises Off Lloyd Dallas
2008 The Country Girl Bernie Dodd
2015 On The Twentieth Century Oscar Jaffe


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