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An instantly recognizable face to daytime television fans, actor Mark Derwin appeared in several soap operas, usually portraying hard-nosed doctors or detectives. Derwin began a long and fruitful soap career with a short run on "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ), followed by a more extensive stay on "Guiding Light" (CBS, 1952-2009), where he became a featured cast member. He left soaps for several years in the 1990s for episodic television, but returned with another high-profile role on "One Life to Live" (ABC, 1968-2013). The versatile actor also did a fair share of comedy, including a two-year run as Bonnie Hunt's doctor husband on the experimental sitcom, "Life With Bonnie" (ABC, 2002-04). After two decades on daytime television, Derwin turned to primetime drama, playing the harried father of two troubled teenage girls on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" (ABC Family, 2008-12). Thanks to the quickly popular series, Derwin found a role that perfectly balanced daytime-style melodrama and dry humor, while opening him up to a whole new audience.
Born on Oct. 28, 1960, Derwin was raised in Park Forest, IL, a small village located just south of Chicago. His family moved to New York when he was young, where he was raised in North Salem, a small town just outside of New York City. After graduating from high school, Derwin attended State University of New York at Cobleskill, but left after one semester. He spent the next several years working various jobs around New York City, including construction, driving a truck and carpentry. Although he often pondered a career in acting throughout his life, Derwin had no idea how to pursue one. Things changed dramatically for him in the mid 1980s, when he began to take acting classes conducted by actor friend, Michael LaGaurdia. Emboldened by his progress, Derwin took the plunge and moved to Los Angeles to make it a career in 1987.
Derwin's first year in Los Angeles was a trial by fire that found him forced to work in telemarketing to pay the rent. But he soon found some success in television commercials. Of particular note was a series of ads for a Mexican cigarette company called Fiesta. He starred in five Fiesta spots, effectively becoming the Mexican Marlboro Man. In 1989, he landed a year-long stint on the long-running daytime soap, "The Young and the Restless," playing grifter and eventual murderer, Adrian Hunter. In 1990, he moved back to New York City and started work on "Guiding Light," on which he portrayed detective A.C. Mallet. Originally a minor role, Derwin became so popular that the character was turned into a lead that outlasted his stint on the show. During the course of filming, Derwin developed a romantic relationship with his co-star, Beth Ehlers, which eventually led to both leaving the show together in 1993. The couple broke up soon after, however, with Derwin soon moving back again to Los Angeles.
He spent the next several years appearing in one-off guest spots on nighttime dramas and sitcoms, including "Touched by an Angel" (1994-2003), "Party of Five" (1994-2000) and "Cybill" (1995-98), while landing a regular series role on the short-lived sitcom, "The Bonnie Hunt Show." However, the actor missed both New York City life and daytime drama, so he returned to both in 1999 when he joined the cast of the soap "One Life to Live," playing Dr Ben Davidson. During his initial three-year stint, he continued guest starring on shows like "Veronica's Closet" (NBC, 1997-2000), "Getting Personal" (Fox, 1998) and "For Your Love" (The WB, 1998-2002). Derwin returned as a series regular in the semi-improvised sitcom "Life With Bonnie (ABC, 2002-04), starring frequent Derwin collaborator Bonnie Hunt. In a move only the world of soap operas could condone, Derwin's character on "One Life to Live" lapsed into a coma so he could take time out to act on Hunt's show. Initially, the plan was to revive him once "Life With Bonnie" ended, but "One Life" producers opted to kill off his character before "Bonnie" was cancelled.
Derwin spent the next several years appearing in small film and television roles, including a five-episode arc on "24" (Fox, 2001-10). He also guest starred on the ever-popular "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000-15) and "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-12). Following episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005-14) and the short-lived "Heist" (NBC, 2006), he had a recurring role on "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-09) as Attorney Michael Eaves. More episodes of popular shows were added to his resume, including "Without a Trace" (CBS, 2002-09), "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO, 2000- ) and "Chuck" (NBC, 2007-12). But by far his greatest success to date was his portrayal of George Juergens, a put-upon father of a smart, level-headed high school girl (Shailene Woodley) who becomes unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." So popular was his turn that he was nominated for a 2009 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Parental Unit.
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