Dean Norris

Dean Norris Headshot

Actor

Birth Name: Dean Joseph Norris

Birth Date: April 8, 1963

Age: 61 years old

Birth Place: South Bend, Indiana

One of the busiest character actors of the late 20th and early 21st century, Dean Norris worked steadily in features and on television, essaying an astonishing number of policemen, detectives, military men and the occasional criminal, all without name recognition or acclaim until his much-lauded turn as a DEA agent on "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2013). His flinty exterior made him an ideal screen match for such Hollywood tough guys as Mel Gibson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, though he could be found more often on small screen dramas ranging from "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005) and "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002; 2016- ) to "24" (Fox, 2001-2010) and "The West Wing" (NBC, 1996-2006). In 2008, he was cast as Hank Schrader, the blustery brother-in-law to Bryan Cranston's teacher/meth kingpin on "Breaking Bad," which became a major critical hit for five years. In addition to increasing his profile, the series also allowed Norris to show a greater range of emotions than in previous projects, which in turn, made him a much-desired character player in higher profile feature projects. Norris' tenacity and professionalism gave living proof that acting careers could still blossom after decades in the business. Born Dean Joseph Norris in South Bend, IN on April 8, 1963, he was one of five children and the only son of Jack Norris, a furniture store owner who moonlighted as a singer in a band, and his wife, Rosie. After graduating from Clay High School, Norris was accepted at Harvard, which made him the first member of his family to attend college. He accepted a job with an investment banking firm while still a student at Harvard. The company's frequent business trips to New York City also allowed him to audition for roles in theater, as well as a chance to train with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which accepted him after graduation from Harvard in 1985. Upon completion of his studies in London, Norris began appearing in supporting roles on television. His burly frame and intense presence made him ideal for hardnosed authority figures like policemen and military officers, which comprised the majority of his early projects, including his feature film debut in "Lethal Weapon 2" (1989). More action-oriented films soon followed, including "Total Recall" (1990) and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), though on occasion, he worked outside of the genre, most notably in a recurring turn as a priest on "NYPD Blue." In 1995, he made an appearance on "The X-Files," which marked his first collaboration with "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan. Norris worked steadily throughout the 1990s and 2000s, moving from independent and low-budget projects like "Without Limits" (1998), which cast him as Olympian-turned-coach Bill Dellinger, who was instrumental in training distance running legend Steve Prefontaine, to major films and television series like "Gattaca" (1997), "Starship Troopers" (1997) and "24." His first stint as a series regular came in 2003 with the Sci Fi Channel series "Tremors," a spin-off of the popular science fiction comedy-thriller franchise. Television soon became his primary showcase, including appearances on "The West Wing," "Nip/Tuck" (FX, 2003-09) and "Bones" (Fox, 2005-17). However, his profile increased considerably after he was cast as Hank Schrader, DEA agent and brother-in-law to terminally ill teacher-turned-meth dealer Walter White (Bryan Cranston) on "Breaking Bad." Initially portrayed as a blowhard, Hank developed into a more sympathetic character over the course of the series' five seasons, especially after being shot and paralyzed after unknowingly taking a drug cartel bullet for Walter. Audiences soon came to see him as a fiercely loyal family man who hid his own fear of coming across as weak, most notably in a lengthy second season story arc when he suffered traumatic stress after a nearly fatal explosion while on border patrol. For his work on "Breaking Bad," Norris received a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Saturn Awards, as well as a Writers Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama. The critical acclaim that surrounded "Breaking Bad" led to additional work for Norris outside of the series, including recurring roles on "Medium" (NBC/CBS, 2005-2011) and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000-15), as well as guest appearances on "True Blood" (HBO, 2008-14), among countless other series. In 2012, he returned to features opposite Mel Gibson in "Get the Gringo" (2012) before adding a slew of supporting roles in features to his already busy slate, including "The Frozen Ground" (2013) with Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. After the conclusion of "Breaking Bad," Norris co-starred in the Stephen King drama "Under the Dome" (CBS 2013-15) and the nail salon-set comedy-drama "Claws" (TNT 2017- ), and began a recurring role as a military intelligence officer in "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS 2007- ). During the same period, he also appeared in films including Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" (2013), crime comedy "Small Time" (2014), Jason Reitman's comedy-drama "Men, Women and Children" (2014), and Atom Egoyan's "Remember" (2015). Norris also appeared in the broad comedy "Fist Fight" (2017), Colin Trevorrow's critical misfire "The Book of Henry" (2017), espionage drama "Beirut" (2018) and the Bruce Willis remake of "Death Wish" (2018).

Credits

Carry On

Actor
Movie
2024

In the Kitchen with Harry HamlinStream

Guest
Series
2023

Fool's ParadiseStream

Actor
Studio Head
Movie
2023
18%

Nova Vita

Actor
Show
2021

Law & Order: Organized CrimeStream

Guest Star
Randall Stabler
Series
2021

United States of AlStream

Actor
Art
Series
2021
31%

The Hustle

Actor
Howard Bacon
Movie
2019

Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkStream

Actor
Roy Nicholls
Movie
2019
77%

Jezive priče iz mraka

Actor
Movie
2019

Breaking Bad Comic-Con 2018 Full Panel

Guest
Show
2018

Death WishStream

Actor
Detective Kevin Raines
Movie
2018
18%

BeirutStream

Actor
Donald Gaines
Movie
2018
82%

Daily Blast Live

Guest
Show
2017

The Stoned Ages

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Show
2017

ClawsStream

Actor
Uncle Daddy
Series
2017
90%

ClawsStream

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Uncle Daddy
Series
2017
90%

GirlbossStream

Actor
Jay
Series
2017
35%

The Book of Henry

Actor
Glenn Sickleman
Movie
2017

Fist FightStream

Actor
Principal Tyler
Movie
2017
25%

SuperstoreStream

Guest Star
Howard
Series
2015
93%

The Late Late Show With James Corden

Guest
Talk
2015

Sons of LibertyStream

Actor
Benjamin Franklin
Miniseries
2015
58%

Secret in Their EyesStream

Actor
Bumpy Willis
Movie
2015
39%

RememberStream

Actor
John Kurlander
Movie
2015
69%

Under the Dome: Extras

Actor
Show
2014

Under the Dome: Inside Chester's Mill

Actor
Show
2014

Small Time

Actor
Ash Martini
Movie
2014

Men, Women & ChildrenStream

Actor
Kent Mooney
Movie
2014
33%

Breaking Bad: Extras

Actor
Show
2013

Under the DomeStream

Actor
James "Big Jim" Rennie
Series
2013
68%

Myorzlaya zemlya

Actor
Movie
2013

The Frozen GroundStream

Actor
Sgt. Lyle Haugsven
Movie
2013
61%

Sofia the FirstStream

Guest Star
Series
2012

Sofia the FirstStream

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Mazzimo
Series
2012

Larry King NowStream

Guest
Talk
2012

ScandalStream

Guest Star
Fenton Glackland
Series
2012
93%

Get the GringoStream

Actor
Bill
Movie
2012
81%

WhitneyStream

Guest Star
Series
2011
21%

The Stoned Ages

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Show
2011

Body of ProofStream

Guest Star
Series
2011
76%

Vergiss nie, dass ich Dich Liebe

Actor
Terry
Movie
2011

ConanStream

Guest
Talk
2010

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

The Whole Truth

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2010

The DefendersStream

Guest Star
Donnie Barrett
Series
2010
74%

Dark Blue

Guest Star
Show
2009

CastleStream

Guest Star
Series
2009
82%

Lie to MeStream

Guest Star
Dawkins
Series
2009

The MentalistStream

Guest Star
Series
2008

The CleanerStream

Guest Star
Series
2008
24%

Breaking Bad

Actor
Hank Schrader
Show
2008

Breaking BadStream

Actor
Hank Schrader
Series
2008
96%

Breaking BadStream

Guest
Series
2008
96%

Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesStream

Guest Star
Series
2008
85%

Linewatch

Actor
Warren
Movie
2008

The Big Bang TheoryStream

Guest Star
Colonel Richard Williams
Series
2007
81%

Saving GraceStream

Guest Star
Series
2007
76%

Chelsea Lately

Guest
Talk
2007

Justice

Guest Star
Series
2006
63%

The UnitStream

Guest Star
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2006
84%

Criminal Minds: EvolutionStream

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2005

BonesStream

Guest Star
Don Timmons
Series
2005
90%

Grey's AnatomyStream

Guest Star
Series
2005
84%

American DadStream

Guest Voice
Head of Security
Series
2005

MediumStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

Boston LegalStream

Guest Star
Byron Kaneb
Series
2004
86%

LostStream

Guest Star
Howard Gray
Series
2004
86%

CSI: NYStream

Guest Star
Series
2004

Cold CaseStream

Guest Star
Series
2003

NCISStream

Guest Star
Gunnery Sgt. Vestman
Series
2003

Nip/TuckStream

Guest Star
Mark Noble
Series
2003
74%

TremorsStream

Actor
Series
2003

L.A. DragnetStream

Guest Star
Series
2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

Without a TraceStream

Guest Star
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2002

24Stream

Guest Star
General Bowden
Series
2001
87%

Philly

Guest Star
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2001

Six Feet UnderStream

Guest Star
Detective Shea
Series
2001
81%

The District

Guest Star
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2000

CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationStream

Guest Star
Bob Durham, Juror
Series
2000

3 Strikes

Actor
Officer Roberts
Movie
2000

The West WingStream

Guest Star
Steve Hodder
Series
1999
81%

Mr. Murder

Actor
Show
1999

Lansky

Actor
Naval Captain
Movie
1999

V.I.P.Stream

Guest Star
Series
1998

On the Line

Actor
Manny Denikolas
Movie
1998

Without LimitsStream

Actor
Bill Dellinger
Movie
1998
79%

Pensacola: Wings of Gold

Guest Star
Show
1997

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

The PracticeStream

Guest Star
Series
1997

Starship TroopersStream

Actor
Commanding Officer
Movie
1997
72%

Millennium

Guest Star
Series
1996

Nash Bridges

Guest Star
Series
1996

Seduced by Madness: The Diane Borchardt Story

Actor
Show
1996

It Came From Outer Space II

Actor
Dave Grant
Movie
1996

Death Benefit

Actor
Rod Montgomery
Movie
1996

Forgotten Sins

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Detective Carl Messenger
Movie
1996

JAGStream

Guest Star
Series
1995

Murder OneStream

Guest Star
Series
1995
91%

Texas Justice

Actor
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1995

The Marshal

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1995

Regard traqué

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Graham Chandler
Movie
1995

In the Line of Duty: Hunt for Justice

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Levasseur
Movie
1995

ERStream

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Clark
Series
1994

The Last SeductionStream

Actor
Shep
Movie
1994
94%

NYPD BlueStream

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Father Jerry Downey
Series
1993
83%

The X-FilesStream

Guest Star
Marshal Tapia
Series
1993
74%

Late Show With David Letterman

Guest
Talk
1993

Fallen Angels

Actor
Allen
Series
1993

Walker, Texas RangerStream

Guest Star
Series
1993

Jailbait

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Hershiser
Movie
1993

It's Nothing Personal

Actor
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1993

Till Death Us Do Part

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Matt Hobert
Movie
1992

The Lawnmower ManStream

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The Director
Movie
1992
37%

Murderous Vision

Actor
Lt. Martin
Movie
1991

Lethal Weapon 2Stream

Actor
Tim Cavanaugh
Movie
1989
82%

Beauty and the Beast

Guest Star
Biggs
Series
1987

Married ... With ChildrenStream

Guest Star
Rodent
Series
1987

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutDean Norris

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