Tag Archives: Lost

The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Mark Pellegrino

20 Nov

Mark Pellegrino

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

Some of the people we induct into the Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame are actors who most people would instantly recognize because of their long, prolific television careers, or character actors remembered in particular for one stand-out main cast role in a much-loved television show. Some however, are less well-known, and can only be pinned down by most people as “the guy who played” one character from a couple of episodes of a couple of shows. Well, Marl Pellegrino is one of the latter, but I think if you’ve watched a lot of television in the ‘00s, you’ll likely recognize at least a role or two he’s played. In particular, he has appeared in one all-time recurring role of a character much better remembered by name than for the amount of screen time he gets in the seven episodes in which he appears. But we’ll get there. First we start at the beginning.

Pellegrino’s first IMDB credited role is as “punk” in an episode of L.A. Law. Next was an appearance in TV movie What Price Victory, followed by one-shots as “Dude” in Doogie Howser, M.D., an episode of Hunter, and as “Punk” again in a Tales From the Crypt. He ran through the entire decade of the ‘90s appearing in single episodes of many television shows, some of them popular, including, Northern Exposure, something called The Hat Squad, The Commish, Viper, Renegade, Deadly Games, ER, Nash Bridges, The Sentinal, Brimstone, and The X-Files. In X-Files episode “Hungry” he played a murder suspect, Derwood Spinks, who gets eaten by the true murderer and self-hating monster Rob Roberts. He also appeared in TV movies Class of ’61, Knight Rider 2010, The Cherokee Kid, and Born Into Exile. His best known role of the decade, however, may have come as an unnamed blond Jackie Treehorn thug in The Big Lebowski. He dunks The Dude’s head into the toilet and drops the bowling on the tile, breaking it, towards the beginning of the film (“Where’s the money Lebowski?,” he asks).

In the ‘00s, Pellegrino’s career began to pick up with some recurring roles. He was in three episodes of The Beast and four of NYPD Blue. He was in single episodes of The Practice, The Unit, Burn Notice, and Grey’s Anatomy, and two of Without a Trace, along with TV movie NYPD 2069.

Paul from Dexter

In 2006, he got the first television role for which he’s frequently recognized. He played Rita’s sketchy ex-con ex-husband Paul Bennett in eight episodes of the first two seasons of Dexter. Bennett is extremely possessive, and after he gets out of jail he comes looking for Rita and her new boyfriend, who is, of course, Dexter. Bennett was an abusive husband who beat and raped Rita, which got him to jail in the first place. Rather than simply kill him, per Dexter’s m.o. Dexter sets him up with some heroin and gets him shipped back to prison, where Bennett gets killed in a prison fight.

After getting killed off on Dexter, Pellegrino spent some more time as a TV nomad. He appeared on episodes of Women’s Murder Club, K-Ville, Knight Rider (remember that reboot?), Criminal Minds, Fear Itself, Ghost Whisperer, The Philanthropist, and The Mentalist, and two each of Prison Break and CSI.

Jacob from Lost

Soon, though he was to land his next extremely recognizable recurring character as the infamous Jacob from Lost. I don’t even begin to actually understand much of Jacob’s story, but he was a legendary figure talked about and heard but not seen long before his backstory was revealed. Jacob was the long-time protector of the island. He had a centuries-long feud with his brother, the nefarious Man in Black who also took the form of the Smoke Monster, and also killed their mother (Yes, Lost makes absolutely no sense; as someone who watched most of it, I can’t even imagine how ridiculous this sounds to someone who has seen none of it). Jacob was worshiped by Ben Linus, he was the one who made Richard immortal and he eventually anointed a successor to his place from among the survivors of the Oceanic crash.

Pellegrino was in TV movie Locke & Key (as Locke), a CSI: Miami, and a Breakout Kings, before guest-starring in six episodes of TNT hit The Closer as Gavin Q. Baker, a lawyer who represents Brenda in whatever the Turrell Baylor lawsuit is. He’s described by Wikipedia as flamboyant, astute, clever, and brutally honest.

He appeared in two Chucks and a Castle. He got a pretty choice recurring role as Archangel Lucifer on Supernatural. He has appeared in that role for 10 episodes over the course of seasons 5 through 7 and is the primary antagonist of season five, when, after breaking out of his prison in hell, he attempts to get Sam to be his vessel who he can inhabit (I don’t really know what that means either. Maybe I’ll watch you one day, Supernatural).

He appeared in the TV movie Hemingway & Gellhorn and in episodes of Grimm and Person of Interest.  He was a main cast member in the first season of the American Syfy remake of British supernatural show Being Human, in which a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire live together and try to make it in modern day society. He played James Bishop, a vampire, turned in the 15th century, who now works in the Boston Police Department.

Pellegrino played Jeremy Baker, a member of the Monroe Militia in four episodes of Revolution. Currently, he’s starring as the antagonist in the CW’s The Tomorrow People, about a near-future where some people have genetic super powers. He plays the head of the villainous government organization Ultra, charged with rounding up and disabling all the people with genetic mutations.

Before, he may have just seemed to be “the guy who played Jacob in Lost,” but he’s so much more. Welcome to the Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame, Mark Pellegrino.

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Six Shows I Stopped Watching, Part 1

22 Apr

For years, I had a serious sense of commitment about my TV.  If I started watching a show, I finished it down to the bitter end (and it was sometimes quite bitter).  Cast changed?  Head writer  left?  Show just started being all out terrible?  Too damn bad.  I was there until the finale.  I can’t make a commitment to anything else in life, but I made a commitment to a television program, and I was going to follow through on that at least.  I scorned friends who didn’t feel the same way.  Quitters, I’d say.  You owe it to the show, it might get better.  And then came the first show on my list, which got so bad, so quickly, that it simply broke my system in one fell swoop.  It made continuing watching it so painful and pointless that not only did I stop watching that show, but my sense of television commitment was shattered forever.  I still didn’t do it with ease, but now I was free to discard a show that cried out for discarding, a show that hadn’t plateaued or become simply mediocre but which had become bad or actively irritating and was counting only on my lifetime of viewing to keep me watching.  That show I could now simply neglect without feelings of regret, because screw it.  Sometimes it was a conscious instant decision to stop watching from one point, but more often it just came about because I noticed myself simply not catching up to a show even though the episodes were on my DV-r or on Hulu and every time I thought to myself, I really should catch up, and then thought, I don’t really want to and put it off for later. At some point later officially becomes never.

Without futher ado, here are the first of six shows I quit.

Heroes

We can be Heroes

The show that taught me how to say no.  Find a person who started watching Heroes in the fall of 2006, and you’ll find a person who stopped watching Heroes before its fourth season (!) ended; just ask them when and they’ll respond in a disgusted manner with when it was, and how it still took them too long to quit.  After utter obsession with the first half of the first season, which seemed like fascinating can’t-wait-for-the-next-episode new tv as characters with powers gathered together and found each other to take on villains Sylar and the mysterious Linderman, the foundation started to crack as quickly as the second half of the first season.  I remember reading that Heroes allegedly had a plan in place for five or six seasons, but if they did, boy, it was an awful one.  The ending of the first season was terrible, and it didn’t get any better from there.  I watched the first half of the second season, which was kind of structured into two halves, and I was officially out.  For the first couple of years afterwards I talked about the lost promise of Heroes, how a show that started out so strongly fell so fast, due to mismanagement of a brilliant premise.  Later on, I decided there was nothing brilliant about it at all; it was a good premise sure, but brilliance doesn’t become quite that bad, quite that fast, and my only regret was that I had gotten that involved to begin with.  My brother stuck around a lot longer than I did and would tell me tales of future seasons which only made me laugh and be thankful that I was no longer spending my time with them.

Lost

Lost

There’s probably no show I’ve spent more words of frustration on, orally or written, than Lost.  No show built me up and then knocked me down more fiercely.  I’ve always said about Lost that I despise Lost only in a way that you can only hate something that you once loved.  Lost is one of few shows I was truly obsessed with, if only for a short time.  I marathoned most of the first season and was obsessed in the second half of the second and early in the third, reading internet forums and trying to figure out what the hydra and the arrow and other stations might mean.  It’s hard to remember in hindsight exactly when things began to go wrong, but by the fourth season, our honeymoon was very clearly over.  The more Lost spiraled out of control, the more I felt I had lost what we had, and the magic was gone.  Ironically, this was at least partly because the magic was full on – time travel in particular may have been the switch that sent me over the edge.  Because I had been so in love with the show, I stayed on well after I seriously thought we had no chance of a future together.  Still, in the gap between seasons 5 and 6, even though I knew it would be the last season, I made the extraordinary decision to stop watching.  I had to.  I had no other choice.  I still read the wikipedia episode summaries, because yes, I had to know what was going on in Lost’s life, but I couldn’t be there with it. The more I read, the happier I was to be apart.  The flash-sideways were the single worst thing to happen to Lost, and that’s saying a lot.  Just for purposes of closure, I sat down with my friends, who hadn’t stopped watching like I had, and watched the finale, live.  I”m glad I did, because I got to know what everyone who hated it was talking about and was able to more knowingly complain about how stupid everything about the show had gotten.  To this day, I can rant about Lost for hours and days, and want to punch everyone who tells me it’s about the journey or the characters and not the plot or the questions being answered.

The Walking Dead’s Passing Resemblance to Lost

27 Nov

 

Warning:  Walking Dead and Lost spoilers ahead.

It dawned on me while watching the last couple of episodes of The Walking Dead, that the current situation in the show bears a striking resemblance to certain periods of Lost.  These similarities are not necessarily one for one, but rather in overall feel as well as certainly matching elements of both shows.  Granted, I’m stretching a little bit here and there, but just follow along with me.

First, the Governor and his people are the Others.  The Governor is Ben.  The post-Apocalyptic southern landscape resembles the Island in the fact that danger lurks everywhere outside of protected areas, and that resources are scarce and technology is limited.  Like the Others, the Governor’s people live some semblance of a normal life, unencumbered by the constant dangers and shortages faced by those outside (Jack’s group in Lost, Rick’s group in The Walking Dead).  The Governor, like Ben Linus, is clearly an archvillain, from the viewer’s perspective, but we don’t know his exact history (at least in the first couple of seasons of Lost), and clearly he didn’t necessarily start out with the intention of being evil (well, neither thinks  of themselves as evil, but let’s say, their intents were not purely negative like a true evil villain).  Also, it seems that many in Governor’s group don’t know exactly the full story about the Governor’s motives and villain-ness; it also seemed that way for Ben as well in Lost, though that may just be an impression I got, especially in the episode (the first episode of the third season, A Tale of Two Cities) that showed some of the Others at a book club when Oceanic Flight 815 crashed (more of the Others obviously knew something was going on, but I’m not sure how obviously villainous it was to all of them, at least at first, there were innocents, like Juliet).  Like Lost, our good guys are composed of a rag team group of strangers who didn’t know each other until a tragic set of circumstances, nad have to band together to stay alive.

The interrogation scenes with Glen and Maggie have no exact parallels, but remind me of not one but two major interrogations in Lost.  These are when Jack’s crew had Ben locked up, without knowing his identity, for the last few episodes in the second season, when Ben claimed his name was Henry Gale, and when the Others captured Jack, Sawyer and Kate early in the third season, and particularly when Juliet interrogated Jack (by the way, if we’re really stretching this out, Rick is obviously Jack and Daryl clearly a much nicer Sawyer).  As in Lost, in The Walking Dead, we know these two groups are going to clash at some point, as the much weaker good guy crew dares to take on the much stronger bad guys.  There’s something not quite right about the Governor and his crew, which is exactly the feeling that viewers developed with the Others, even besides their simply being antagonists – the idea that they’re up to something fishy and underhanded aside from just wanting to defeat our protagonists.

Of course, Lost spent a lot more time developing these groups (the Others are around by the end of the first season, while the Governor doesn’t enter until the beginning of the third of Walking Dead, though the latter is on cable, and the episode count per season is significantly less) and then went way off the rail afterwards (time travel, um, purgatory, nuclear explosions).  Lost involved elements of the supernatural that aren’t present in Walking Dead.  Walking Dead involves the science fiction of zombies, and that’s about it.  Many of Lost’s best episodes were when the Others were still mysterious and when Ben’s creepy stare and constant lies-that-might-be-part-truths were captivating instead of tiring and repetitive (why did anyone ever believe Ben by the end of the show?).  The combination of the human dynamics amongst people who don’t know each other yet must work together set against the tension between opposing groups and the continuing plot mysteries that kept audiences guessing, anticipating, and theorizing were what made Lost so tantalizing, and what The Walking Dead does on its best days.

To its credit, I think The Walking Dead has soundly avoided the problem of biting off more than it can chew, plot mystery wise , and having source material, even if it’s not entirely faithful to it, probably helps a lot (I think the lack of limitless supernatural elements helps as well).  In addition, it smartly stayed away from the flashbacks, which I, and I realize this is a divisive opinion, always hated.  We can learn all we need about the characters from their actions at the present time.

I admit, the comparison is a stretch at times, but I do think Lost viewers will recognize at least a feeling in The Walking Dead right now which resembles some of the magic of the earlier (and best) seasons of Lost.  The show, which has had its share of issues over the first couple of seasons, has had its strongest half season so far.  Hopefully Walking Dead will continue its positive run of episodes;  for the first time in a while, I’m really looking forward to the next episode, the midseason finale.  So, kudos, The Walking Dead (and visiting the Lost wikipedia page just reminds me again of how Lost made me crazy (like visiting an ex’s facebook page) but that’s for another day).

The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Titus Welliver

15 Jul

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

It’s been far too long since I’ve done one of these, but I was raised out of my stupor by a true TV that-guy, the wonderfully-named Titus Welliver.  I had been discussing Welliver with a friend recently, and then, upon watching the first episode of The Good Wife, saw that he popped up again.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Inspiration?  Certainly.  Let’s pay the good Mr. Welliver the respect he deserves with a true Ivanek tribute.

Welliver, born in 1961, made his first TV appearance in 1990 with a role in TV movie The Lost Capone and in an episode of Matlock.  He then appeared in episodes of L.A. Law, Beverly Hills, 90210, The Commish, and Tales from the Crypt, along with TV movies An American Story and One Woman’s Courage.  Welliver then guest starred in X-Files episode “Darkness Falls,” as an ecoterrorist who, along with loggers, tries to avoid a killer swarm of green insects which escaped when an extremely old tree was cut down.  Welliver is dead by the end of the episode.  He appeared in episodes of New York Undercover, Kindred: The Embraced, and High Incident, as well as HBO TV movie Blind Justice, before appearing in three episodes of Murder One.  He followed this with episodes of Nash Bridges, Spy Game, The Practice, and TV movies Rough Riders and The Day Lincoln Was Shot.  In 1995, he was introduced to Steven Bochco with a recurring role in eight episodes of NYPD Blue as Dr. Mondzac.

Bochco would give him his first shot at a starring role in 1997.  He played Officer Jack Lowery in the one season of Bochco cop show Brooklyn South, which had the distinction of airing the first TV-M rated episode ever.  His character, as Wikipedia describes, was, “a tough street cop coping with personal demons which included his selfish and nagging wife, Yvonne, who died early in the season,” After the show was cancelled, Welliver finished out the decade appearing in episodes of Total Recall: The Series (doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry), Star Trek: Voyager, and Touched by an Angel, as well as in TV movie Mind Prey.

He got a couple of quick starring chances early in the next decade, as a regular on eight episode Ed O’Neill starrer Big Apple, and as second season character in what I-can’t-believe-lasted-two seasons-since-I-don’t-remember-it-at-all dramedy That’s Life, which starred Paul Sorvino, Ellen Burstyn, Kevin Dillon and Debi Mazar.  Before his next big role, he appeared in episodes of UC: Undercover, Third Watch, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Twilight Zone, Hack, and in mini-series Blonde about Marilyn Monroe, as Joe DiMaggio.  He picked up his next major role in 2004 in David Milch’s Deadwood.  His role is not extremely major, but he plays Silas Adams, one of villainous Al Swearengen’s primary and smartest henchmen.  He appears in the majority of the episodes of the show.  He has a rivalry with fellow henchman Dan Dority, but saves Dan’s life from a Chinese man with a knife at the end of the second season, allowing them to reconsider their relationship.

The mid-2000s were a nomadic period for Welliver.  He appeared in episodes of Law & Order, Numb3rs, Kidnapped, Jericho, NCIS, Shark, Life, Prison Break, Monk, Raising the Bar, Kings, and Supernatural and TV movies Danny Fricke and True Blue.  He next played a small but crucial role in Lost as The Man in Black, one of the primary antagonists of the series.  Although Welliver only appeared in three episodes as the character, the role was a major one.  I’m not even going to try to explain the entire Lost Man in Black mythology because it makes no sense and I don’t understand it, but apparently he’s the representation of evil who needs to be kept on the island and he’s also the smoke monster and he also can appear as dead people like John Locke.  Jack kills him at the end after Desmond makes him mortal by pulling some plug in the heart of the island.  Sure, why not.

Welliver was the primary antagonist of the third season of motorcycle gang show Sons of Anarchy.  He played IRA kingpin gone rogue Jimmy O’Phelan.  He’s originally in charge of selling guns to the Sons, and has a complicated history with them, having kicked SAMCRO member Chibs out of the IRA and stolen his wife and daughter.  It turns out that he’s trying to screw over SAMCRO and the rest of the Real IRA.

In 2009, he also began his other major recurring role as new Cook County State’s Attorney in The Good Wife after titular good wife Julianna Margulies’ husband was forced to resign.  He appeared in 16 episodes in the first two seasons.  He’s still looking for a new longer-term home, but since those two shows, he’s appeared in The Closer, Law & Order: LA, Suits, TV movies Awakening and Good Morning, Killer, an episode of Grimm, and in the pilot episode and two others of Fox’s Touch.

Welliver’s TV work is diverse and prolific, and we induct him today into the Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame.

The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Julie Bowen

14 Dec

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

This week’s honoree Julie Bowen has made a living in television for more than fifteen years, with her first spot in an episode of soap opera Loving in 1992.  She followed that up with appearances in Lifestories: Families in Crisis, Class of ’96, and Acapulco H.E.A.T., and TV movies Runaway Daughters and Where Are My Children? over the next two years.  Bowen next co-starred in the seven episode James Brolin action-adventure series Extreme.  Extreme followed ABC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XXIX in 1995, and the series flopped so badly that there was a four year hiatus before another network was willing to launch a show after the Super Bowl, with Family Guy in 1999.  She appeared on episodes of Party of Five and Strange Luck before getting her next main cast role.  This was on the extremely short-lived WB series Three, which had a Mod Squad like premise of three criminals being used for their special abilities to help out some sort of secret agency.  Three is so forgotten that it’s wikipedia page incorrectly writes Bowen’s name as “Julie Bowman” and imdb oddly claims she was only in two episodes.  I remember the show well, however, because I knew two of the only people on the planet who watched the show and my friend and I would constantly make fun of them for it in ways we thought were never-endingly hilarious (How many people watched the show?  Three.  What was the IQ of the writers?  Three.  What was the production budget?  Three dollars.  You get the idea.  This could go on for a lot longer than you might imagine).

That same year Bowen showed up in nine episodes of ER as Roxanne Please, an insurance salesman, who is initially a patient, and later girlfriend of Dr. John Carter, played by Noah Wyle.  In 1999, she starred in TV movie The Last Man on the Planet Earth.  The premise of the movie was that a biological weapon which targets only men is unleashed, killing most of the men in the world.  Realizing the world is better off without them, women outlaw all men.  Years later, Bowen portrays a young scientist who uses her knowledge of genetics to create a man with his tendency for violence removed, ostensibly to have sex with.  She is discovered, and soon both her and her created man are on the run from the government.  He dies at the end, but not before they have sex, and Bowen is pregnant with a son.

Her next jobs were in two episodes of Lifetime series Oh Baby and in one of Dawson’s Creek.  She got her next starring role in quirky four season dramady Ed, which starred Tom Cavanagh as a New York lawyer who went back to his hometown in Ohio after being fired and purchased a bowling alley.  He comes back and attempts to win over his old high school crush, Carol Vessey, played by Bowen, who has become an English teacher.  After four seasons of back and forth, they finally get married in the final episode of the series.

She voiced DC superhero Arisia in two episodes of the Justice League cartoon.  She was in four episodes of one season John Stamos comedy Jake in Progress.  She appeared in five episodes over the series run of Lost as Jack’s ex-wife Sarah.  After she was in a car crash, Jack performed surgery on her and helped her miraculous recovery along, falling in love with her at the same time.  Eventually she cheats on him and they break up, in a number of tedious flashback sequences overemphasizing Jack’s need to help others even when they don’t want it.

Bowen was a series regular in Boston Legal seasons 2 and 3 as Denise Bauer.  Bauer is an up-and-coming young lawyer who is divorced by her husband, who demands alimony payments.  She wants desperately to make partner, but is unable to do so.  Eventually in season three she becomes pregnant by fellow employee Brad Chase.  Bowen appears in eight episodes of season four of Weeds as cheese shop owner Lisa Ferris.  She has a relationship with Silas, and the two of them grow and sell marijuana out of her shop.

She was in an episode of Monk and one of Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated before getting her current role, which will likely be her biggest, if it isn’t already.  She stars as Claire Dunphy in ABC comedy hit Modern Family.  Claire is the wife of Phil, the daughter of Jay, and the mother of Haley, Alex and Luke.  Claire is a perfectionist and gets irritated with her husband and children frequently, but loves them and gives parenting advice to her brother.  Bowen won an Emmy award for her portrayal.

The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Alan Dale

7 Dec

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

Alan Dale didn’t get his start in American television until well into the ‘90s, but he has spent the last decade making a living as an older powerful rich white guy, much in the Malcolm McDowell mode.

Born in New Zealand, Dale got his start in Australian soap The Young Doctors as Dr. John Forrest, a role he played for almost four years, from 1979 to 1983.  He then graduated to the granddaddy of Australian soap operas, Neighbours, which has been the breeding ground for popular Aussies from Kylie Minogue to Natalie Imbruglia to Guy Pearce.  He played the role of Jim Robinson for eight years, from the inception of the role in 1985 until 1993, when failed contract negotiations resulted in him being off the show and his character being killed off on screen.  Jim was the powerful and wealthy (watch the theme develop) family patriarch who loves cars and his children.  He’s still best known for his Neighbours work down under and in the UK.

He then plied his trade in Australia for a couple more years, guest spotting in Janus, Frontline, and Blue Heelers and in a couple of American shows which filmed in Australia such as Time Trax and Space: Above and Beyond.  He also recurred in Aussie police show State Coroner.

United States television finally took an interest in him in the late ‘90s.  He was first in Muriel Hemingway TV movie First Daughter.  Once the new millennium hit, the roles came fast and furious.  He recurred in four episodes of ER as South African Al Patterson, which was his first big American break.  He was then in episodes of The Lone Gunmen and Philly and three of The X-Files as “Toothpick Man.”  His character was a high-ranking FBI agent who was a super soldier and also a judge in Mulder’s military trial.  He was in an episode of American Dreams and then two of The Practice, two of JAG, and two of The West Wing as Mitch Bryce, the Secretary of Commerce in the Bartlett administration.  He was in a CSI:Miami, TV movie Rent Control, and a Crossing Jordan.

He appeared in eight episodes of 24 as Vice President James Prescott.  In the second season, Prescott believed the president should authorize an attack on a Middle Eastern nation he thought responsible for a failed nuclear strike in Los Angeles.  Prescott and Mike Novick conspired to get the 25th amendment invoked to take Presidnet Palmer out of power, and Prescott takes control, only to give it up when he learns the evidence about the failed nuclear strike was fabricated.  He took power again when the President was injured in an assassination attempt.

Next, he was a main cast member in The O.C.  He played Caleb Nichol during the first and second seasons.  Nichol was a wealthy and powerful businessman who owned real estate company The Newport Group.  He was known for unethical business practices and treated his daughter Kristen harshly even though he appeared to have genuine affection for her.  He married Julie Cooper, discovered an illegitimate daughter and eventually died of a heart attack.  Later he was found to have been bankrupt.

He appeared in seven episodes of NCIS as NCIS director Tom Morrow, reprising his role from JAG.  He left within the show to become Deputy Director of Homeland Security.  He was in three episodes of E-Ring.  He was a main cast member of Ugly Betty for the first two seasons.  He portrayed Bradford Meade, the rich and powerful publishing titan behind the fashion magazine at which Betty works, MODE.  He puts his son in charge of the magazine after the previous editor died, and hires Betty.  Apparently Ugly Betty is a far far more insane show than I had realized, and I can’t even begin to sum out Bradford’s role in just two seasons except that he learned that at least two people he thought were dead were alive, including his son who was now his daughter, and he was seduced, using his foot fetish, into only marrying someone who wanted him for control of the magazine.  He died of a heart attack eventually (reading about his character, I’ve read more about Ugly Betty than I have in my life and I want to repeat that I can’t believe how insane it is).

He was in episodes of British shows Torchwood and Midnight Man and six of Aussie show Sea Patrol.  In Lost, he played the important recurring role of Charles Widmore as a wealthy and powerful businessman who was a former Other and was Penny’s father.  He is Ben Linus’s key rival, and was leader of the Others before him.  Eventually exiled from the island, he desperately wants back and eventually finds the island and sends a team to investigate and take it back.  Ben shoots and kills him after he gives information to the Man in Black.  Yeah, I don’t really understand the last season of Lost either.

He appeared in Flight of the Conchords as the Australian ambassador (ironically, as Dale is a kiwi) and mocks Murray continuously.  In five episodes of Entourage, Dale plays Warner Bros. studio head John Ellis.  Ellis offers Ari Gold the job of studio head once, which he turns down but recommends Dana Gordon for, and later offers Ari the job of succeeding him when he retires.  He was in single episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Important Things with Demetri Martin, Burn Notice and Californication.  He was three episodes of Undercovers.  He appeared in two of The Killing as mayoral candidate aide Gwen Eaton’s (previous Ivanek honoree Kristin Lehman) father Senator Eaton.  Most recently he appeared in a Person of Interest and as King George in an episode of Once Upon a Time.

The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Nestor Carbonell

21 Sep

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

A personal favorite of mine, Nestor Carbonell has been there and back on television, likely to be found somewhere on your set (people don’t call them sets very much anymore I”ve noticed) during each of the past fifteen years.

Carbonell’s first television role was, like many others, in a Law & Order episode, in 1991.  Next, he  appeared in an episode of Melrose Place and two of A Different World in 1992.  He also appeared in single episodes of Reasonable Doubts and Good Advice.  Carbonell got his first shot in a lead role in 1995’s Muscle on the WB.  Muscle was a parody of ‘80s primetime soaps (think Dallas or Dynasty), and was set in a fictional gym in New York.  Carbonell starred as a gigolo named Gianni who used the gym pick up clients.  The show also starred Alan Ruck and Michael Boatman, who later played best friends on SpinCity.  The show lasted thirteen episodes, the only series of its two hour block of new series, including The Wayans Bros., The Parent ‘Hood and Unhappily Ever After, not to get a second season.

Carbonell rebounded quite nicely with a main role on Brooke Shields show Suddenly Susan as photographer Luis Rivera.  Carbonell appeared in all four seasons of the show, running from 1996 to 2000.  During that period, he also appeared in episodes of The John Larroquette Show, Veronica’s Closet and Encore! Encore!.  In 2000, he had a recurring role in Showtime series Resurrection Blvd., about a family of boxers.  He appeared in an HBO movie, The Laramie Project, in 2002 about the Matthew Shepard murder.  He starred as Batmanuel in the ill-fated live action version of The Tick, with Patrick Warburton as the title character.  After its cancellation, he appeared in single episodes of Ally McBeal, The Division, Monk, and Scrubs.

He next co-starred in the brilliant conceptual Century City(expect more on this show in the near future) about a team of lawyers in the year 2030 dealing with all manner of futuristic issues.  Sadly, the series lasted just nine episodes.  He appeared in episodes of House M.D. and Justice League and then as a recurring character in 11 episodes of Lifetime’s Strong Medicine as a well-meaning millionaire with embezzlement issues who marries one of the major characters.  After that he continued the single episode circuit, with appearances in Commander in Chief, Day Break, Andy Barker, PI, Queens Supreme and three Cold Cases.  Over the run of the series, Carbonell voiced character Senor Senior Jr. in 12 episodes of Disney Channel original Kim Possible.  In 2007, he played the firsr born son in the Jimmy Smits led family rum-and-sugar empire drama Cane, which lasted 13 episodes.

In was in 2007 in which he got the role he’s probably most famous for, ageless and mysterious Richard Alpert on Lost.  Slated to appear in seven third season episodes, the early cancellation of Cane opened Carbonell up to rejoin Lost, and he appeared in a couple of season four episodes, nine season five episodes, and was a main cast member for the final sixth season.  Alpert first arrived on the island in the mid-19th century as a slave on a ship, and later he becomes a key other member, and doesn’t age for some reason.  All of this is kind of explained in one of the very last episodes of the series, and as the series wraps, Alpert starts aging and makes it away from the island on the plane with Kate, Sawyer and some others (not Others, just other people).

After Lost, he appeared on two episodes of Psych, one of Wilfred, and now is co-starring as a federal agent out to protect Sarah Michelle Gellar (one of her two characters anyway) in Ringer.

Carbonell also went to Harvard and is cousins with 500 home run hitter and steroid user and denier Rafael Palmeiro.  Oh, and not TV but it bears mentioning he played the mayor in the Dark Knight and will reprise the role in the next Batman film.