John Carroll Lynch

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John Carroll Lynch
John Carroll Lynch Viennale 2017 02.jpg
Lynch in 2017
Born (1963-08-01) August 1, 1963 (age 56)
Alma mater The Catholic University of America
Occupation Actor, film director, screenwriter
Years active1990–present
Brenda Wehle(m. 1997)

John Carroll Lynch (born August 1, 1963) [1] [2] is an American character actor and film director. He first gained notice for his role as Norm Gunderson in Fargo . He is also known for his television work on the ABC sitcom The Drew Carey Show as the title character's cross-dressing brother, Steve Carey, as well as on American Horror Story: Freak Show and American Horror Story: Cult as Twisty the Clown. He returned to American Horror Story as a series regular, in American Horror Story: 1984 , to portray Benjamin Richter, also known as Mr. Jingles, the main killer of the season.


His films include Face/Off , Gran Torino , Shutter Island , Ted 2 , The Invitation , and Zodiac . He also portrayed McDonald's co-founder Maurice McDonald in The Founder . He made his directorial debut with the 2017 film Lucky .

Early life

Lynch was born in Boulder, Colorado. [1] He attended Regis Jesuit High School in Denver. He studied theater at The Catholic University of America, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1986. [3]


Lynch was a member of the Guthrie Theater company. He starred in several productions, toured with the company and worked there for over eight seasons. [4] [5]

Lynch made his feature film debut in Grumpy Old Men (1993). He gained notice starring as Norm Gunderson in the Coen brothers' film Fargo (1996). His other notable films are Face/Off (1997), Bubble Boy (2001), Gothika (2003), Things We Lost in the Fire (2007), Gran Torino (2008), Shutter Island (2010), Paul (2011) and Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011). He portrayed Arthur Leigh Allen in Zodiac (2007) and the first establisher of McDonald's, Mac McDonald, in The Founder (2016).

Lynch has also had an extensive career in television. He appeared in ABC sitcom The Drew Carey Show as the title character's cross-dressing brother, Steve Carey. He has also been a regular cast member on series such as Close to Home , Carnivàle , Body of Proof and seasons 4, 5, 7, and 9 of American Horror Story .

In 2018, Lynch was cast in the lead role of Bud Carl in the CBS All Access drama One Dollar . [6] The series was cancelled after one season. In 2020, Lynch will play in the lead role of Rick Legarski in the ABC crime drama series Big Sky which was created by David E. Kelley. [7]

Personal life

Lynch has been married to actress Brenda Wehle (also a former member of the Guthrie Theatre Company) since 1997. [8]



1993 Grumpy Old Men Moving Man
1995 The Cure Skipper #1Credited as John Lynch
1996 Beautiful Girls Frank Womack
Fargo Norm Gunderson
Feeling Minnesota Cop
1997 Volcano Stan Olber
Face/Off Prison Guard Walton
1998 Mercury Rising Martin Lynch
The Naked Man Sticks' Driver
Restaurant John English
1999 Anywhere but Here Jack Irwin
The Minus Man Bartenderuncredited
Pushing Tin Doctor Freeze
Freak WeatherEd
2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Impound ManagerUncredited Cameo
2001 Bubble Boy Mr. Livingston
2002 The Good Girl Jack Field
Bug Wallace Gregory
Three Days of Rain Dinner Guest
2003 Gothika Sheriff Ryan
Confidence Leon Ashby
2004 Catch That Kid Mr. Hartmunn
2005 Mozart and the Whale Gregory
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World Stewart
2007 Full of It Mr. Leonard
Zodiac Arthur Leigh Allen
Things We Lost in the Fire Howard Glassman
2008 Gran Torino Barber Martin
2009 Love Happens Walter
2010 Sympathy for Delicious Evangelist Carroll
Shutter Island Deputy Warden McPherson
Hesher Larry
2011 Paul Moses Buggs
Crazy, Stupid, Love Bernie Riley
2012 Lay the Favorite Dave Greenberg
2013 The Pretty One Frank
2014 Camp X-Ray Col. James Drummond
2015 Hot Pursuit Captain Emmett
Ted 2 Tom Jessup
The Invitation Pruitt
2016 Miracles from Heaven Pastor Scott
Jackie Lyndon B. Johnson
The Founder Mac McDonald
2017 Lucky N/ADirectorial debut
Anything Early Landry
2018 Private Life Charlie
White OrchidSheriff Mann
2019 The Highwaymen Lee Simmons
2020 The Trial of the Chicago 7 David Dellinger


1996 Frasier Actor playing FranklinEpisode: "The Show Where Diane Comes Back"
Murder One Officer Carl BickleyEpisode: "Chapter Thirteen"
The Client FrankEpisode: "Damn Yankees"
Voice from the Grave Prosecutor O'GaneTelevision film
A Friend's Betrayal Mr. FranksTelevision film
1996, 1997 Life's Work District Attorney Agee / Crazy Larry2 episodes
1997–2004 The Drew Carey Show Steve CareyMain role (Season 6-8), recurring role (Season 3-5), Guest (Season 9), 72 episodes
1997 The Practice Dr. Robert LarsonEpisode: "Search and Seizure"
The Visitor Joe YorkEpisode: "Going Home"
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Robert R. Gilruth 2 episodes
1999 Star Trek: Voyager Gerald MossEpisode: "11:59"
Late Last Night Sgt. Van WyckTelevision film
Tuesdays with Morrie Walter MoranTelevision film
2000 The Fugitive RaynorEpisode: "Pilot"
The West Wing JackEpisode: "Galileo"
2001 Gideon's Crossing Sonny GreenEpisode: "The Race"
2002 Live from Baghdad John Holliman Television film
2003 The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire Mayor Garrett Shaw7 episodes
2005–2006 Close to Home Steve SharpeMain role, 21 episodes
2005 Carnivàle Varlyn Stroud12 episodes
American Dad! Mr. Simms (voice)Episode: "Stannie Get Your Gun"
2007–2008 K-Ville Captain James EmbryMain role, 11 episodes
2007 Big Love Officer Chuck Tuttle2 episodes
2009 Lie to Me Mr. ReedEpisode: "Truth or Consequences"
Monk Kurt PressmanEpisode: "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Buddy ArnoldEpisode: "Bloodsport"
2010–2012 The Glades Mike Ogletree2 episodes
2010 How to Make It in America LarryEpisode: "Keep on Truck'n"
2011–2013 Body of Proof Bud Morris Main role, 26 episodes
2013 Do No Harm Will Hayes10 episodes
2013–2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Ned Dooley2 episodes
2014 House of Lies Gil Selby2 episodes
The Americans Fred6 episodes
Manhattan Daniel Ellis2 episodes
Us & Them EdEpisode: "Coeds & Carburetors"
2014–2015 American Horror Story: Freak Show Twisty the Clown 5 episodes
2015–2016 American Horror Story: Hotel John Wayne Gacy 2 episodes
2015 The Walking Dead EastmanEpisode: "Here's Not Here"
2016–2017 Turn: Washington's Spies James Rivington 6 episodes
2016 Billions Mr. GilbertEpisode: "The Punch"
2017 American Horror Story: Cult Twisty the Clown 2 episodes
Channel Zero: The No-End House John Sleator6 episodes
2018 The Handmaid's Tale DanEpisode: "Unwomen"
Crawford Owen
One Dollar Bud CarlMain role, 10 episodes
2019 Veep Lloyd Hennick3 episodes
American Horror Story: 1984 Benjamin Richter / Mr. Jingles 9 episodes
TBA Big Sky Rick LegarskiMain role, upcoming series

Awards and nominations

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResultRef.
2016 42nd Saturn Awards Best Guest Starring Role on Television The Walking Dead Nominated [9]
2017 Fangoria Chainsaw AwardsBest Supporting Actor The Invitation Nominated [10]
Camerimage Directors' Debuts Competition Lucky Nominated [11]
Chicago Film Critics Association Most Promising FilmmakerNominated [12]
Haifa International Film Festival Carmel Award for Best FilmNominated [13]
Fedeora Award - Directors of TomorrowWon [14]
Locarno Festival Golden Leopard Nominated [15]
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Won
22nd Satellite Awards Special Achievement Award for Best First FeatureWon [16]
Los Angeles Film Festival Special Mention for Acting Anything Won [17]

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  1. 1 2 "John Carroll Lynch". Rovi. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014 via The New York Times.
  2. "[S]ome sources cite May 11, 1961", per "John Carroll Lynch Biography (1963?-)". Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  3. "Alumni Relations: Arts & Entertainment". The Catholic University of America. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  4. "John Carroll Lynch lands juicy role in 'Freak Show'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  5. "John Carroll Lynch". Guthrie Theater. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  6. Andreeva, Nellie (March 6, 2018). "'$1': John Carroll Lynch & Philip Ettinger To Star, Jeff Perry, Sturgill Simpson & Leslie Odom Jr. To Recur On CBS All Access Series". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  7. Andreeva, Nellie (February 12, 2020). "'The Big Sky': John Carroll Lynch Cast In David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series For ABC". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  8. "Brenda Wehle Biography ((?)-)". Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
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  15. "Locarno Festival on Twitter". Twitter .
  16. Pond, Steve (28 November 2017). "'Dunkirk,' 'The Shape of Water' Lead Satellite Award Nominations".
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