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John Pankow

John Pankow

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 28, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: St. Louis, Missouri, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

John Pankow was an American actor who was best known for his long-running TV roles on the popular shows "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99) and "Episodes" (Showtime, 2011-17). Born in St. Louis and raised in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Pankow grew up in a big German-Irish family; he was the sixth of nine siblings. He lived a relatively normal middle-class childhood, and never had any intention on becoming a professional actor. That all changed, however, when he saw an early version of David Mamet's iconic play "The American Buffalo" performed at the St. Nicholas Theater in Chicago. Upon leaving the theater Pankow knew immediately that he wanted to become a professional actor, and soon after signed up for a two-year acting training program at the St. Nicholas Theater. Before long Pankow was appearing in plays both in Chicago and off-Broadway, and by the mid-80s was making a substantial living for himself as a film actor. Among the more notable movies he appeared in during this time included "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985), "The Secret of My Success" (1987), and "Talk Radio" (1988). Pankow continued acting mostly in movies well into the early 1990s, until landing his first big break in 1993 when he...

John Pankow was an American actor who was best known for his long-running TV roles on the popular shows "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99) and "Episodes" (Showtime, 2011-17). Born in St. Louis and raised in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Pankow grew up in a big German-Irish family; he was the sixth of nine siblings. He lived a relatively normal middle-class childhood, and never had any intention on becoming a professional actor. That all changed, however, when he saw an early version of David Mamet's iconic play "The American Buffalo" performed at the St. Nicholas Theater in Chicago. Upon leaving the theater Pankow knew immediately that he wanted to become a professional actor, and soon after signed up for a two-year acting training program at the St. Nicholas Theater. Before long Pankow was appearing in plays both in Chicago and off-Broadway, and by the mid-80s was making a substantial living for himself as a film actor. Among the more notable movies he appeared in during this time included "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985), "The Secret of My Success" (1987), and "Talk Radio" (1988). Pankow continued acting mostly in movies well into the early 1990s, until landing his first big break in 1993 when he was asked to join the cast of the NBC sitcom "Mad About You." Pankow played Ira Buchman, brash cousin of star Paul Reiser's Paul Buchman, on 143 episodes of the Emmy Award-winning series. After "Mad About You" ended its run in 1999, Pankow spent the next decade working steadily in both films and TV, before returning to TV full-time once again in 2011 on the Showtime comedy "Episodes." He played Merc Lapidus on the Emmy Award-nominated series, which premiered its fifth and final season in August of 2017.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Putzel (2012)
2.
 Morning Glory (2010)
3.
 Extra Man, The (2010)
5.
 Bride Wars (2009)
6.
 Life as a House (2001) Bryan Burke
7.
 Object of My Affection, The (1998) Vince Mcbride
8.
 Stranger Among Us, A (1992) Levine
9.
 Year Of The Gun (1991) Italo Bianchi
10.
 Mortal Thoughts (1991) Arthur Kellogg
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

2001:
Acted in the New York Shakespeare Festival staging of "Measure for Measure" in Central Park (June-July)
1997:
Appeared Off-Broadway in Peter Hedges' comedy "Baby Anger" (summer)
1981:
Feature film debut, "The Chosen"
1980:
Cast in the Off-Broadway production, "The Slab Boys" which also featured Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon
1985:
Played featured role in "To Live and Die in L.A."
1998:
Played Jennifer Aniston's boyfriend in "The Object of My Affection"
1980:
Starred on Broadway as Mozart in "Amadeus"
1980:
TV debut in dramatic special, "Life on the Mississippi"
1978:
Stage debut, "Two Gentlemen of Verona" in NYC
1993:
Appeared in the recurring role of Paul's cousin Ira in the NBC sitcom "Mad About You"; character made a series regular beginning with the 1993-94 season
1988:
Appeared in Oliver Stone's "Talk Radio"
2011:
Played Merc Lapidus on Showtime's "Episodes"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Northeastern Illinois University: Chicago, Illinois -
St Nicholas Theatre: Chicago, Illinois -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Kristine Sutherland. Actor. Married in 1985.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Wayne Pankow. Advertising salesman in technical publishing.
mother:
Marion Pankow. Housewife.
brother:
James Pankow. Musician. Born on August 20, 1947; plays trumpet with the band 'Chicago'.
daughter:
Eleanore Pankow. Born c. 1991.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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