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Getz and Jeanne Lange on the set of the soap opera Another World in 1974
John William Getz
October 15, 1946
|Education||University of Iowa |
American Conservatory Theater
(m. 1987; div. 1996)
Getz, one of four children, was born in Davenport, Iowa, and grew up in the Mississippi River Valley. He began acting while attending the University of Iowa, where he helped found the Center for New Performing Arts. He has a daughter, Hannah, from his marriage to playwright Grace McKeaney.
Getz dropped out of college to attend the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. While working in a winery, he helped found the Theater Company in Napa County, California. His location in the grape-growing Napa Valley led to Getz's television debut in a made-for-television horror film Killer Bees (1974). Killer Bees starred Gloria Swanson, Craig Stevens, Kate Jackson, and Edward Albert. Getz then moved to New York City, where he became active in local theater while doing an 18-month stint as Neil Johnson on the soap opera Another World.
Getz appeared in The Happy Hooker (1975) and followed up with several other roles before starring in the Coen Brothers' neo-noir thriller Blood Simple (1984). He played the doomed lover of a married woman (Frances McDormand) who woefully misinterprets his increasingly complex circumstances.
In 1985, he co-starred in the unsuccessful police drama MacGruder and Loud. The pilot was given the post-Super Bowl time slot, contributing to its strong debut in the ratings. However, ABC rescheduled it repeatedly and finally relegated it to the "graveyard slot", 10:00 p.m. EST, Monday night. In 1998, he co-starred in Maggie as the title character's husband, Dr. Arthur Day.
Getz has guest-starred in many television series, including Barney Miller (in the 1977 episode "Atomic Bomb") and Three's Company (1980), where he played Lee Tripper, brother of Jack Tripper (John Ritter). More recently, he guest-starred in How I Met Your Mother, Prison Break, The King of Queens and Private Practice.
Getz also appeared in The Fly (1986) and The Fly II (1989) as Stathis Borans, a science magazine editor who pays a heavy price for his curiosity. Also in 1989, he played a Marine Corps Major in Born on the Fourth of July. In 1991, Getz appeared as the unpleasant boyfriend of professional women in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and Curly Sue. In 1990, Getz appeared as a crime boss in the Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez spoof Men At Work. In 1994, he appeared in the film Playmaker, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Rubin.
In 2007, he had a role in David Fincher's film Zodiac. Also in 2007, he appeared in Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman's documentary film Nanking as George Ashmore Fitch, head of the local YMCA and administrative director of the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone. Getz also had a role in Fincher's film The Social Network (2010), about the founding of Facebook. He appeared in the suspense thriller Elevator as a Wall Street executive trapped in an elevator with a group of strangers, one of whom has a bomb. Written and produced by Marc Rosenberg and directed by Stig Svendsen, Elevator was released in July 2012. He appeared in Trumbo (2015) as director Sam Wood and as the character Bradley Walker in Season 3 (2017) of the Amazon series Bosch.
- The Happy Hooker (1975) as Trout Fisherman
- Tattoo (1981) as Buddy
- Muggable Mary, Street Cop (1982, TV movie) as Dan Waters
- Blood Simple (1984) as Ray
- Thief of Hearts (1984) as Ray Davis
- The Fly (1986) as Stathis Borans
- The Fly II (1989) as Stathis Borans
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989) as Marine Major - Vietnam
- Men at Work (1990) as Maxwell Potterdam III
- Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991) as Gus
- Curly Sue (1991) as Walker McCormick
- Fortunes of War (1994) as Franklin Hewitt
- Playmaker (1994) as Eddie
- A Passion to Kill (1994) as Jerry
- Mojave Moon (1996) as Police Officer
- Painted Hero (1997) as Sheriff Acuff
- Some Girl (1998) as Claire's Father
- Held for Ransom (2000) as Mr. Kirkland
- A Day Without a Mexican (2004) as Senator Abercombie
- Living 'til the End (2005) as Mr. Hines
- Nanking (2007) as George Fitch
- Zodiac (2007) as Templeton Peck
- Hard Four (2007) as Blazedell Woodruff
- Superhero Movie (2008) as Lunatic Editor
- A Line in the Sand (2008) as Captain McClenon
- The Social Network (2010) as Sy
- Elevator (2011) as Henry Barton
- Jobs (2013) as Paul Jobs
- Desperate Acts of Magic (2013) as Don Tarzia
- The Perfect Guy (2015) as Renkin
- Trumbo (2015) as Sam Wood
- Certain Women (2016) as Sheriff Rowles
- Transparent (2016-2017) as Donald
- Bosch (2017) as Bradley Walker
- American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018) as Mr. St. Pierre Vanderbilt
- "John Getz Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- IndustryCentral Working Actor Profiles - John Getz
- "Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History". DreadCentral.