Phillips in 2009
|Born||February 8, 1955|
Garden City, New York, U.S.
|Education||Boston University (BA)|
Cornell University (MFA)
Phillips was raised on Long Island, New York. His father was the owner of Frankie & Johnnie’s, a steakhouse on 45th and Eighth Avenue in New York City. He received a bachelor's degree in English literature from Boston University and a Master of Fine Arts from Cornell University. He plays the tenor saxophone in the Alan Wasserman Jazz Band.
Ethan Phillips began his show business career in New York City, performing off-Broadway at theaters including Direct Theater, winning the Best of the Actors’ Festival there in 1977; at the Wonderhorse Theater, in the premiere of Christopher Durang's The Nature and Purpose of the Universe; and at Playwrights Horizons in a revival of Eccentricities of a Nightingale. Tennessee Williams, who helped shape the latter production, wrote a new monologue for Phillips, which Williams personally dictated to him when it was realized that leading lady Jill Eikenberry needed more time for a dress change.
Phillips performed in many plays in New York over the next fifteen years, including Terrence McNally's Lips Together, Teeth Apart at the Lucille Lortel, Measure for Measure with Kevin Kline at The Public Theater's Delacorte Theater; and the Broadway premier of My Favorite Year at Lincoln Center, with Andrea Martin and Tim Curry, as well as new works for Ars Nova (theater), Ensemble Studio Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, the Hudson Guild Theater, the American Jewish Theater, and many others.
He went on to appear in the premier of David Mamet's November with Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf at the Ethel Barrymore Theater and performed it once more with John Malkovich and Pattie Lupone for Stars in the House. He played the title character opposite Peter Dinklage in The Imaginary Invalid for Bard College's 2012 SummerScape Festival. In 2013-14 he appeared as Stanley Levison in Robert Schenkkan's All the Way at the American Repertory Theater. Phillips moved with the show to Broadway’s Neil Simon Theater where the play won the Tony Award for Best Play and Best Actor, Bryan Cranston. More recently Phillips played leading roles in the premiers of Dennis Kelly’s Taking Care of Baby, Terrence McNally's Golden Age, and Sharyn Rothstein’s By the Water, all for the Manhattan Theatre Club (off-Broadway). Most recently, Ethan played Murray Lefkowitz in the Broadway premier of Ayad Akhtar's Junk: The Golden Age of Debt at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater.
Phillips' regional theater credits include leading roles for San Diego's Old Globe Theater, the Alaska Repertory Theater, at Seattle Repertory Theater, at Baltimore's Centerstage, for the Westport Country Playhouse, Boston Shakespeare Company, Actors Theater of Louisville, The American Repertory Theater, the Salt Lake Acting Co., and the McCarter Theatre. In Los Angeles, Phillips acted in Side Man at the Pasadena Playhouse, in Lips Together, Teeth Apart for the Mark Taper Forum; in You Can't Take It with You at the Geffen Playhouse, in The Bourgeois Gentleman for the Pasadena Symphony, and as Polonius in Hamlet for the Uprising Theater.
Phillips has been an actor at the Sundance Institute's Playwrights Conference in Utah for six summers, where he developed his play Penguin Blues, which is published by Samuel French Inc. and is included in The Best Short Plays of 1989 (Applause, ed. Ramon Delgado). Based on his experiences at Sundance, Phillips helped found First Stage, a playwright development lab in Los Angeles.
Phillips has appeared in over fifty films, beginning with Ragtime (directed by Miloš Forman). Other features include For Richer or Poorer, Jeffrey, The Shadow, Wagons East, The Man Without a Face, Green Card, Lean On Me, Critters, Bloodhounds of Broadway, The Island, Bad Santa, and The Babysitters. More recent films include Shadow Witness, Audrey, the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, Woody Allen's Irrational Man, and James DeMonaco's The Purge: Election Year.
In 1980, Phillips joined the cast of the sitcom Benson, playing PR man Pete Downey for five seasons.
He has made scores of guest appearances on television series and tele films, including Pushing Daisies, Bones (TV Series), Eli Stone, Criminal Minds, NUMB3RS, Las Vegas, L.A. Law, JAG, Law & Order, Arrested Development, Boston Legal, Castle, Rizzoli & Isles, The Good Guys and The Mentalist, Deadbeat, The Good Wife, New Amsterdam (2018 TV series), Better Call Saul and Veep. He played the recurring role of Keith in the final two seasons of Lena Dunham's Girls. He currently plays Spike Martin in Armando Iannucci's space comedy Avenue 5 on HBO.
In 1990 he began his Star Trek career playing the Ferengi character, Dr. Farek, in the "Ménage à Troi" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He went on to play Neelix on Star Trek: Voyager in 1995, and stayed with the series through its entire seven-season run. He also cameoed as a holographic nightclub maître d' in the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact, and appeared as a Ferengi pirate captain on an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Phillips has also performed voice work for several of the Star Wars franchise video games: 2000's Star Wars: Force Commander, 2001's Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, and 2003's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
|1981||Ragtime||Guard at Family House|
|1987||Burglar||Bartender at Parker's on Fifth|
|1989||Lean on Me||Mr. Rosenberg|
|1989||Bloodhounds of Broadway||Basil Valentine|
|1990||Green Card||Gorsky, INS agent|
|1993||Rain Without Thunder||Gynecologist|
|1993||The Man Without a Face||Todd Lansing|
|1994||Wagons East||CMMDR. S. L. Smedly|
|1996||Star Trek: First Contact||Holodeck Nightclub Maitre d'||Uncredited|
|1997||For Richer or Poorer||Jerry|
|1998||The Battery||Bernard||Short film|
|2000||9mm of Love||Guy|
|2002||The Wild Thornberrys Movie||Loris||Uncredited|
|2003||Rugrats Go Wild||Toa||Voice|
|2003||Bad Santa||Roger Merman|
|2005||The Island||Jones Three Echo|
|2006||Chestnut: Hero of Central Park||Marty|
|2007||Have Dreams, Will Travel (aka A West Texas Children's Story)||Businessman|
|2007||The Babysitters||Mark Kessler|
|2007||California Dreaming||Wayne Porter|
|2009||Dahmer Vs. Gacy||X-13|
|2012||The Adventures of RoboRex||Randy Jenkins|
|2013||Inside Llewyn Davis||Mitch Gorfein|
|2015||Irrational Man||Jill's Father|
|2016||The Purge: Election Year||Chief Couper|
|2017||Future '38||Dr. Elcourt|
|2018||Most Likely to Murder||Dad|
|1980–1985||Benson||Peter 'Pete' John Downey||Seasons 2-6|
|1983||One Life to Live||Mr. Darrin||2 episodes|
|1983||Hart to Hart||Redstone||Episode: "Pandora Has Wings"|
|1985||Three's a Crowd||Ronnie Pine||Episode: "Jack Gets Trashed"|
|1985||The Twilight Zone||Deaver||Segment: "Devil's Alphabet"|
|1986||Hunter||State Department Man||Episode: "High Noon in L.A."|
|1987||Outlaws||Vernon Buckley||Episode: "Jackpot"|
|1990||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Dr. Farek||Episode: "Ménage à Troi"|
|1990||Doogie Howser, M.D.||Advertiser||Episode: "Ask Dr. Doogie"|
|1990, 1993||L.A. Law||Dr. Sam Waibel, Marvin Pick||2 episodes|
|1991||Father Dowling Mysteries||Leonard Spalding||Episode: "The Monkey Business Mystery"|
|1991||Murphy Brown||Richard Cooper||Episode: "Everytime It Rains... You Get Wet"|
|1992||Law & Order||Mark Hauser||Episode: "Helpless"|
|1993||NYPD Blue||Dwight||Episode: "True Confessions"|
|1994||The Mommies||Omelette Chef||Episode: "Mommies Day"|
|1995||Platypus Man||Vern Tuttle||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1995–2001||Star Trek: Voyager||Neelix||Main cast, 170 episodes|
|1995||Maybe This Time||Douglas||Episode: "Judgment Day"|
|1996||Chicago Hope||Bob Stewart||Episode: "Sexual Perversity in Chicago Hope"|
|1996||Homeboys in Outer Space||Inspector 17||Episode: "House Party or, Play That Funky White Music Droid"|
|1998||From the Earth to the Moon||Stanley Craig||TV miniseries|
Episode: "We Interrupt This Program"
|1998||The Lost World||Copy Boy||TV movie|
|2002||Rugrats||Storyteller (voice)||Episode: "Quiet, Please/Early Retirement"|
|2002||Star Trek: Enterprise||Ulis, group leader of Ferengi thieves||Episode: "Acquisition"|
|2002||Rocket Power||Shop Owner (voice)||Episode: "Less Than Full Otto/Card Sharked"|
|2002||Half & Half||Dr. Adelman||Episode: "The Big Award Episode"|
|2002||Providence||Finch||Episode: "Truth and Consequences"|
|2003||Touched by an Angel||Wally||Episode: "The Show Must Not Go On"|
|2003||Rock Me Baby||The Doctor||Episode: "Pretty in Pink Eye"|
|2004||8 Simple Rules||Dave||Episode: "YMCA"|
|2004||JAG||Mr. Worley||Episode: "Take It Like a Man"|
|2004||Arrested Development||Military Officer||Episode: "Whistler's Mother"|
|2004||Oliver Beene||Mr. Stitt||2 episodes|
|2005||Las Vegas||Gabe Labrador||Episode: "Double Down, Triple Threat"|
|2006||Numb3rs||Professor Leonard||Episode: "Double Down"|
|2006||Criminal Minds||Marvin Doyle||Episode: "A Real Rain"|
|2006||Boston Legal||Michael Schiller||3 episodes|
|2006||The War at Home||Bob Cooper||Episode: "Be Careful What You Ask For"|
|2007||Super Sweet 16: The Movie||Craig||TV movie|
|2007||Hallowed Ground||Preacher||TV movie|
|2007||Star Trek: Of Gods and Men||Data Clerk||Miniseries|
|2008||Eli Stone||Principal Ackerman||Episode: "I Want Your Sex"|
|2008||Bones||Checker Box Manager||Episode: "The Wannabe in the Weeds"|
|2008||Pushing Daisies||Daniel Hill||Episode: "Robbing Hood"|
|2009||Mental||Hollis Breyer||Episode: "Book of Judges"|
|2009||True Blood||Parish Coroner||Episode: "Shake and Fingerpop"|
|2010||Rizzoli & Isles||John J. Murray||Episode: "I Kissed a Girl"|
|2010||The Good Guys||Alphonse LaViolette||Episode: "Common Enemies"|
|2010||The Middle||Chairman||Episode: "The Quarry"|
|2010||Days of Our Lives||Mr. Satterfield||Episode #1.11456|
|2011||Castle||James Farnham||Episode: "The Final Nail"|
|2011||The Mentalist||Newsome Kirk||Episode: "The Red Mile"|
|2011||The Young and the Restless||Nelson McGinnis||Episode: "Tucker Is Taken Off Life Support"|
|2011||Chuck||Woodley||Episode: "Chuck Versus the Zoom"|
|2014||Deadbeat||Jack Donaldson||Episode: "Calamityville Horror"|
|2015||Veep||Mr. Wallace||2 episodes|
|2016||The Good Wife||Dr. Morris Weiner||Episode: "Tracks"|
|2016||All the Way||Joe Alsop||TV movie|
|2016||Younger||Paul||Episode: "Summer Friday"|
|2018||Dallas & Robo||Bob (voice)||Episode: "I Was a Teenage Cannibal Biker"|
|2018||Better Call Saul||Judge Benedict Munsinger|
|2018||New Amsterdam||Dan Marken||Episode: "Anthropocene"|
|2020||Avenue 5||Spike Williams||Main cast|
|1992||My Favorite Year||Herb Lee||Vivian Beaumont Theater|
|2008||November||Turkey Rep||Ethel Barrymore Theatre|
|2014||All the Way||Stanley Levison||Neil Simon Theatre|
|2017||Junk: The Golden Age of Debt||Murray Lefkowitz||Vivian Beaumont Theater|
|2000||Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force||Neelix||Voice|
|Star Wars: Force Commander||Transport Pilot, Governor of Abridon|
|2001||Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds||Empire Medical Droid, Krantian Governor, Royal Grenade Trooper|
|2003||Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic||Galon Lor (Korriban), Tamlen, Hrakert Mercenary, Dantooine Civilian, Various|
|2004||Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain||Broussard, Canadian Prime Minister|
|2014||Star Trek Online||Neelix|
- Phillips, Ethan (November 19, 2018). "At Frankie & Johnnie's (Metropolitan Diary)". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- "Home". Ensemble Studio Theatre.
- "Jewish Theater of New York Homepage". www.jewishtheater.org.
- "Alaska Repertory Theatre Company". www.lifeofanactor.com.
- "Salt Lake Acting Company - Home". saltlakeactingcompany.org.
- "Home - McCarter Theatre". www.mccarter.org.
- "Home - Uprising Theatre Company". Uprising Theatre Company.
- "Samuel French – Licensing Plays and Musicals to the Theatrical Community". www.samuelfrench.com.
- "Sundance Institute". www.sundance.org.
- "Motion Picture Purgatory: The Moth Diaries - Dread Central". 19 April 2012.
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