Martin Donovan

Martin Donovan Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: August 19, 1957

Age: 66 years old

Birth Place: Reseda, California

Tall, handsome, with a long face and piercing blue eyes, Martin Donovan established himself in independent features, notably those of Hal Hartley. Usually cast as quintessential New Yorkers, the light-haired actor became quickly identified for his straightforward yet unemotional portrayals. The California native, however, had begun his career as a stage actor while a student at The American Theatre Arts in L.A.

Relocating to NYC in 1983, Donovan landed his first screen role alongside Margaret Klenck and John Sayles in Rick King's indie "Hard Choices" (1984). But it was his turn as Matthew Slaughter, an angry computer technician who carries around a 40-year-old grenade in Hal Hartley's quirky comedy-drama "Trust" (1990) that established him as a lead in independent films. He essayed similar types in other Hartley works including "Simple Men" (1992), as one of the men who fall under the charms of Karen Sillas' Kate, and the short "Flirt" (1993), which the director used in 1995 to anchor a triptych of variations on the same theme. As the amnesiac Thomas in "Amateur" (1994), Donovan was the film's catalyst linking the stories of a nun turned pornographer with that of a vengeful porno star.

Donovan has also worked with other independent filmmakers. In 1994, he reteamed with Rick King for the direct-to-video "Quick," playing a mild-mannered accountant caught up in mob dealings. As usual, the actor brought wit to his performance as an Everyman coping under extraordinary circumstances. Later that same year, he was another beleaguered type, this time the nephew of vampire hunter Van Helsing (Peter Fonda) in Michael Almereyda's take on the Dracula legend, "Nadja."

So it was almost shocking to critics and audiences when Jane Campion cast Donovan as the tubercular Englishman Ralph Touchette in "The Portrait of a Lady" (1996). Mustachioed and somewhat unrecognizable, the actor brought welcome charm, warmth and tenderness to this somewhat muddled adaptation of the Henry James novel. Donovan's scenes with Sir John Gielgud and Nicole Kidman were among the highlights of the picture and his work earned him a citation as Best Supporting Actor from the National Society of Film Critics (who also cited Tony Shalhoub for his work in "Big Night").

Continuing to challenge audience expectations, Donovan next portrayed another Englishman, a gay doctor battling his ex-wife (Joely Richardson) for custody of their son, in the based-on-fact drama "The Hollow Reed" (1996), then segued to playing a psychic transsexual in "Heaven" (1997).

Making occasional forays to the small screen, Donovan debut on TV in the 1987 CBS miniseries "At Mother's Request." Perhaps his best-known work, though, was in Hal Hartley's "Surviving Desire," 1992 presentation on PBS' "American Playhouse," in which he portrayed a depressed college teacher who embarks on an affair with a student. Donovan has also had small roles in two special episodes of "The Adventures of Pete and Pete" (Nickelodeon, 1992), was another bookkeeper involved with shady dealings in "Scam" (Showtime, 1993) and co-starred with Valerie Bertinelli, Harry Hamlin and Karen Sillas in the kidnap drama "Night Sins" (CBS, 1997).

Credits

BlackBerryStream

Actor
Rick Brock
Series
2023
98%

BlackBerry

Actor
Rick Brock
Movie
2023

Sealed with a List

Actor
Silas Redmond
Movie
2023

Archive 81Stream

Actor
Virgil
Series
2022
87%

Dreamland

Actor
Lawrence Morgan
Movie
2021

Redemption Day

Actor
Tom Fitzgerald
Movie
2021

TenetStream

Actor
Fay
Movie
2020
69%

Percy

Actor
Rick Aarons
Movie
2020

The Art of Racing in the RainStream

Actor
Maxwell
Movie
2019
45%

Come To DaddyStream

Actor
Brian
Movie
2019
88%

White Lie

Actor
Doug Arneson
Movie
2019

Fahrenheit 451Stream

Actor
Command Nyari
Movie
2018
31%

Electric DreamsStream

Actor
Odin
Series
2017
72%

Big Little LiesStream

Actor
Martin Howard
Series
2017
89%

Aftermath

Actor
Robert
Movie
2017

RememoryStream

Actor
Gordon Dunn
Movie
2017
25%

Indian Horse

Actor
Jack Lanahan
Movie
2017

ConvictionStream

Guest Star
President Theodore 'Ted' Morrison
Series
2016
20%

Lethal WeaponStream

Guest Star
Grant Davenport
Series
2016
89%

DC's Legends of TomorrowStream

Guest Star
Zaman Druce
Series
2016
89%

Second ChanceStream

Guest Star
Duke Davis
Series
2016
30%

All at Once

Actor
Giovanni Sacco
Movie
2016

Ant-ManStream

Actor
Mitchell Carson
Movie
2015
83%

Ned Rifle

Actor
Rev. Daniel Gardner
Movie
2015

The Lottery

Actor
Darius Hayes
Show
2014

SabotageStream

Actor
Floyd Demel
Movie
2014
21%

HannibalStream

Guest Star
Crawford's Therapist
Series
2013
92%

RogueStream

Guest Star
Campbell
Series
2013

MotiveStream

Guest Star
Series
2013

The Firm

Guest Star
Show
2012

Silent Hill: Revelation

Actor
Douglas Cartland
Movie
2012

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Actor
Ludlow Cooper
Movie
2012

Free Starz: Boss 101

Actor
Ezra Stone
Show
2011

BossStream

Actor
Ezra Stone
Series
2011
81%

HomelandStream

Guest Star
Leland Bennett
Series
2011
85%

UnforgettableStream

Guest Star
William Houston
Series
2011

Collaborator

Actor
Robert Longfellow
Movie
2011

Collaborator

Director
Movie
2011

Collaborator

Screenwriter
Movie
2011

Unthinkable

Actor
Assistant Director Jack Saunders
Movie
2010

Shadows and Lies

Actor
Victor
Movie
2010

Ann Rule's Everything She Ever Wanted

Actor
Show
2009

Duress

Actor
Richard Barnett
Movie
2009

The Haunting in ConnecticutStream

Actor
Peter Campbell
Movie
2009
17%

Fear Itself

Actor
Officer Dan Johnson
Show
2008

Wind Chill

Actor
Highway Patrolman
Movie
2007

Day on Fire

Actor
Walter Evering
Movie
2006

The SentinelStream

Actor
William Montrose
Movie
2006
35%

The Visitation

Actor
Travis Jordan
Movie
2006

The Garage

Actor
Movie
2006

Masters of HorrorStream

Actor
Series
2005

Ghost WhispererStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

WeedsStream

Guest Star
Peter Scottson
Series
2005
70%

At Last

Actor
Movie
2005

The QuietStream

Actor
Paul Deer
Movie
2005
22%

Saved!

Actor
Pastor Skip
Movie
2004

The Pornographer: A Love Story

Actor
Michael
Movie
2004

Agent Cody BanksStream

Actor
Dr. Connors
Movie
2003
13%

The United States of Leland

Actor
Harry Pollard
Movie
2003

The Dead ZoneStream

Actor
Malcolm Janus
Series
2002

The Dead ZoneStream

Guest Star
Malcolm Janus
Series
2002

InsomniaStream

Actor
Hap Eckhart
Movie
2002
92%

RFK

Actor
John F. Kennedy
Movie
2002

Pipe Dream

Actor
David Kulovic
Movie
2002

Pasadena

Actor
Will McAllister
Show
2001

Amy and Isabelle

Actor
Peter Robertson
Movie
2001

CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationStream

Guest Star
Howard Delhomme
Series
2000

Wonderland

Actor
Dr. Neil Harrison
Series
2000

The Great Gatsby

Actor
Tom Buchanan
Movie
2000

Custody of the Heart

Actor
Dennis Raphael
Movie
2000

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Captain Logan Carter
Series
1999
78%

The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer

Actor
Richard DiBenedetto
Show
1999

Onegin

Actor
Prince Nikitin
Movie
1999

In a Savage Land

Actor
Dr. Phillip Spence
Movie
1999

Opowieść o odwadze: dwie pary

Actor
Movie
1998

Rescuers: Stories of Courage -- Two Couples

Actor
Aart Vos
Movie
1998

When Trumpets Fade

Actor
Capt. Roy Pritchett
Movie
1998

The Opposite of SexStream

Actor
Bill Truitt
Movie
1998
81%

Living Out LoudStream

Actor
Robert Nelson
Movie
1998
60%

Heaven

Actor
Robert Marling
Movie
1998

The Book of Life

Actor
Jesus Christ
Movie
1998

Spanish Fly

Actor
Carl
Movie
1998

Night Sins

Actor
Paul Garrison
Show
1997

Night Sins

Actor
Paul Garrison
Movie
1997

Hollow Reed

Actor
Martyn Wyatt
Movie
1996

Flirt

Actor
Walter
Movie
1995

Amateur

Actor
Thomas Ludens
Movie
1994

Nadja

Actor
Jim
Movie
1994

The Rook

Actor
John Abbott
Movie
1994

Scam

Actor
Gordon Wexler
Movie
1993

Quick

Actor
Herschel Brewer
Movie
1993

Simple Men

Actor
Martin
Movie
1992

Trust me

Actor
Movie
1991

Deseo Frustrado

Actor
Jude
Movie
1991

Law & OrderStream

Guest Star
Series
1990

Trust

Actor
Matthew Slaughter
Movie
1990

Hard Choices

Actor
Josh
Movie
1986

News aboutMartin Donovan