Michael O'Neill practices some self-defense tactics at Lackland Air Force Base in 2006
|Alma mater||Auburn University (1974)|
Early life and education
O'Neill was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. He attended Capitol Heights Junior High and Robert E. Lee High School, graduating in 1969. In high school he played basketball and was elected class beau and a class favorite. He graduated from Auburn University in 1974. While at Auburn, O'Neill was inducted as a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha. After attending Auburn, he spent time under the tutelage of actor Will Geer and one of Geer's daughters, the actress Ellen Geer, at Theatricum Botanicum in Los Angeles before moving to New York to pursue his career there.
With a career stretching through three decades, he usually portrays senior law enforcement or military officers. He played Special Agent Ron Butterfield, the head of President Josiah Bartlet's Secret Service detail, on The West Wing, and CTU Administrative Director Richard Walsh in the first two episodes of 24. He played Sgt. Maj. Ron Cheals in CBS' action drama series The Unit. He starred in the Season 6 two-part finale of Grey's Anatomy as Gary Clark, the broken widower who holds the hospital hostage with a 9mm while pursuing the doctors responsible for unplugging his wife's life support. He portrayed Nick Ford on the second season of Bates Motel, and Alan Sparks on Extant. His most notable film performances occur in Seabiscuit, Secondhand Lions, Transformers, Dancer, Texas Pop. 81, Traffic, Sea of Love, A Quiet Little Marriage, Nothing but the Truth, Green Zone, J. Edgar (directed by Clint Eastwood), and Dallas Buyers Club.
|1989||Sea of Love||Raymond Brown|
|1992||The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag||Jergens|
|Jennifer Eight||Angelo Serato|
|Lorenzo's Oil||School Psychologist|
|1993||For Their Own Good||Clark Thompson||Television movie|
|Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story||Dick Britton||Television movie|
|1994||Blind Justice||Spencer Heyman||Television movie|
|Beyond Betrayal||Ray Pasquerello||Television movie|
|On Trial||Himself||Television movie|
|1995||Awake to Danger||Detective Brickman||Television movie|
|1996||Norma Jean & Marilyn||Mr. Kimmel||Television movie|
|The Sunchaser||Agent Moreland|
|1998||Standoff||Cult Leader (voice)|
|Dancer, Texas Pop. 81||Mr. Lusk|
|1999||The Mod Squad||Det. Carl Greene|
|A.T.F.||Ben Walker||Television movie, Assistant Director|
|The Legend of Bagger Vance||O.B. Keeler|
|2002||The Board Room||Walters|
|2004||American Crime||Sheriff Smyth||Direct-to-video|
|Around the Bend||Cowboy|
|Across the Universe||Lucy and Max's uncle at dinner|
|2008||A Quiet Little Marriage||Bruce|
|2010||Green Zone||Colonel Bethel|
|2011||J. Edgar||Kenneth McKellar|
|2013||Dallas Buyers Club||Barkley|
|1990||H.E.L.P.||Cabot||Episode: "Are You There, Alpha Centauri?"|
|1992||L.A. Law||Mr. Moran||Episode: "My Friend Flicker"|
|1994||Picket Fences||Prosecutor Larry Adler||Episode: "System Down"|
|1995||Days of Our Lives||Father Jansen||2 episodes|
|1995||One West Waikiki||N/A||Episode: "Manpower"|
|1996||The Cape||Keith Mason||Episode: "The Need to Know"|
|1997||The Pretender||Captain Harrigan||Episode: "The Better Part of Valor"|
|1997||Millennium||County Prosecutor Calvin Smith||Episode: "Covenant"|
|1997||Orleans||N/A||Episode: "Luther's Temptation"|
|1997||The Shining||Dr. Daniel Edwards||Episode: "#1.2"|
|1998||The X-Files||The Patrol Captain||Episode: "Drive"|
|1999||Roswell||Phillip Evans||Episode: "The Morning After"|
|1999||JAG||Cmdr. Bradley||Episode: "Shakedown"|
|1999–2006||The West Wing||Secret Service Agent Ron Butterfield||15 episodes|
|2000||Chicago Hope||Bill Wyzinski||Episode: "Everybody's Special at Chicago Hope"|
|2001||NYPD Blue||Capt. Chuck Dowling||Episode: "Peeping Tommy"|
|2001||Diagnosis: Murder||Sheriff Buck O'Hara||Episode: "No Good Deed"|
|2001||24||Richard Walsh||2 episodes|
|2001–2002||Boston Public||Dr. Bernard Colbert||4 episodes|
|2002||Ally McBeal||Dr. Colbert||Episode: "All of Me"|
|2002||Without a Trace||Thomas Shannon||Episode: "Silent Partner"|
|2003||Presidio Med||N/A||Episode: "Breathless"|
|2003||Carnivàle||Sheiff Lyle Donovan||Episode: "Tipton"|
|2004||The Practice||Judge Robert Temple||Episode: "Police State"|
|2004||Judging Amy||D.A. Dave Sherman||Episode: "My Little Runaway"|
|2004||Crossing Jordan||Chris Benz||Episode: "Out of Sight"|
|2004||LAX||Alonso Mathews||Episode: "Unscheduled Arrivals"|
|2005||Boston Legal||Dr. Robert McLean||Episode: "It Girls and Beyond"|
|2005||Cold Case||Warren Cousins 2005||Episode: "Revolution"|
|2005||ER||Col. Ken Kilner||Episode: "Here and There"|
|2005||Commander in Chief||Congressman Wilcox||Episode: "First Strike, First Scandal"|
|2005||JAG||Maj. Gen. Harold Rossing||Episode: "Fair Winds and Following Seas"|
|2006||Close to Home||Don Wheeler||Episode: "The Rapist Next Door"|
|2006||3 lbs||James Wills||Episode: "Lost for Words"|
|2006–2007||The Unit||Ron Cheals||6 episodes|
|2006–2007||The Nine||Pete Burton||3 episodes|
|2007||Lincoln Heights||Captain||Episode: "Suspicion"|
|2007||K-Ville||Father Dennehy||Episode: "Critical Mass"|
|2007||Criminal Minds||Det. Yarbough||Episode: "About Face"|
|2008||Women's Murder Club||FBI Agent Ted Thorne||Episode: "Never Tell"|
|2008||The Mentalist||Sheriff Nelson||Episode: "Redwood"|
|2008||Prison Break||Herb Stanton||3 episodes|
|2008||My Own Worst Enemy||Alexander DeSantos||Episode: "Love in All the Wrong Places"|
|2008||Leverage||Judge Roy||Episode: "The Bank Shot Job"|
|2009||FlashForward||CIA Director Mr. Keller||Episode: "Gimme Some Truth"|
|2009||Ghost Whisperer||Male Ghost||Episode: "Ghost Busted"|
|2009||Army Wives||Reverent Bankerd||2 episodes|
|2009||Sons of Anarchy||Judge Franklin||Episode: "Fa Guan"|
|2010||Numb3rs||Boyd Keene||Episode: "Scratch"|
|2010||Fringe||Sheriff Velchik||Episode: "Johari Window"|
|2010||Miami Medical||Dr. Bruce Kaye||2 episodes|
|2010||Grey's Anatomy||Gary Clark||4 episodes|
|2010–2012||NCIS||Former NCIS Special Agent Riley McCallister||3 episodes|
|2012||Vegas||Mayor Ted Bennett||4 episodes|
|2012||CSI: Miami||Jerry Blackburn||1 episode|
|2013–2015||Rectify||Senator Roland Foulkes||14 episodes|
|2014||Bates Motel||Nick Ford||8 episodes|
|2014||Extant||Alan Sparks||12 episodes|
|2015||Battle Creek||Councilman Pritchett||Episode: "Old Wounds"|
|2015||Manhattan||Psychiatrist||Episode: "The Threshold"|
|2016||11.22.63||Arliss Price||Episode: "The Kill Floor"|
|2017||S.W.A.T.||Luca's Father||Episode: "Homecoming"|
|2018||Shooter||Ray Brooks||Recurring role|
|2018||Scandal||Lonnie Mencken||3 episodes|
|2018||The Resident||Joshua Williams||Episode: "And the Nurses Get Screwed"|
|2018||The Romanoffs||Ron Hopkins||Episode: "Expectation"|
|2019||Jack Ryan||Senator Mitchell Chapin||5 episodes|
|2020||Council of Dads||Larry Malvern||Main role|
|2020||The Messiah||Cameron Collier||Episode: "Trial"|
|2021||This Is Us||Arlo||Episode: "In The Room"|
- "Extant Cast: Michael O'Neill". CBS.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- Watkins, Mia (September 12, 2012). "'Vegas,' 'Grey's Anatomy' star Michael O'Neill moves back to Alabama". The Birmingham News. AL.com. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- Seckinger, Kate (April 9, 2014). "Actor Michael O'Neill discusses life after Auburn". The Auburn Plainsman. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- Taylor, Drew (March 2, 2014). "Auburn grad worked on Oscar-nominated film 'Dallas Buyers Club'". Opelika-Auburn News.
- "Interview: Michael O'Neill Reflects On 'The West Wing', Being Educated By US Secret Service & More - TVWise". tvwise.co.uk. September 22, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- "Role Recall: Michael O'Neill Talks Saving Presidents on '24' and 'West Wing,' His Unforgettable 'Grey's' Arc, and Messing With Halle Berry's Mind on 'Extant'". yahoo.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- "An Emotional Day On The Set Of GREY'S ANATOMY by Michael O'Neill". Film Courage. January 28, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- "'Bates Motel' Interview: Michael O'Neill Introduces Mysterious Nick Ford". buddytv.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- "Birmingham actor Michael O'Neill on working with Halle Berry ahead of tonight's 'Extant' premiere". al.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- "Dallas Buyers Club actor Michael O'Neill: I didn't recognise". independent.co.uk. June 3, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Munn, Patrick (July 8, 2014). "Interview: Michael O'Neill Talks CBS' 'Extant', Working With Halle Berry & More". TV Wise. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014.
- Nemetz, Dave (August 29, 2018). "The Romanoffs: Amazon Reveals Episode Lineup for Matthew Weiner's Anthology — Plus, See First Photos". TVLine. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
- McNamara, Mary (November 28, 2004). "The Life of Hollywood: The Conversation (interview with Michael O'Neill)". Los Angeles Times.