Jonathan Banks

Jonathan Ray Banks[1] (born January 31, 1947)[2] is an American actor. His first notable film roles were in the films Airplane! (1980), 48 Hrs. (1982), and Beverly Hills Cop (1984). He has received critical acclaim for his role as former police officer turned private investigator, fixer, and hitman Mike Ehrmantraut in the television series Breaking Bad (2009–2012), its spin-off series Better Call Saul (2015–present) and sequel film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019). He is also known for his breakthrough role as Frank McPike in Wiseguy (1987–1990).[3]

Jonathan Banks
Jonathan Banks 2012 2.jpg
Banks at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con
Jonathan Ray Banks

(1947-01-31) January 31, 1947 (age 73)
Alma materIndiana University Bloomington
Years active1974–present
Marnie Fausch
(m. 1968; div. 1970)

Gennera Banks
(m. after 1990)

He has received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (1989, 2013, 2015-2017, 2019) for his work on all three series, making him the only actor with nominations as a main cast member for three different shows in this category, two of which feature him as the same character.

Early life and educationEdit

Banks was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Chillum Heights, Maryland. He was raised by a single mother, Elena Adams Banks (October 13, 1917 – September 16, 2012), who was a secretary in various federal government offices including the CIA. She was also a private secretary for top Navy officers such as Admiral Nimitz.[4][5] He graduated from Northwood High School in Silver Spring, MD in 1966,[6][unreliable source?] and attended Indiana University Bloomington, where he was a classmate of actor Kevin Kline. During that time, they participated in a production of The Threepenny Opera together.[1] Banks dropped out of the university to join a touring company of Hair as a stage manager. He toured Australia with the Hair company.[7]


In 1974, Banks moved to Los Angeles and performed on stage before picking up bit parts on television. He starred in the 1974 sex public service announcement (PSA) Linda's Film on Menstruation, produced by the Los Angeles Public Library system, which was referenced by John Oliver in a 2015 episode of his show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver focusing on sex education.[8] Banks appeared on the show, ridiculing the content of the PSA.[9][10][11] He co-starred in 48 Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop, and made appearances in Armed and Dangerous, Buckaroo Banzai, Freejack, Flipper, Airplane!, Gremlins, Murder Me, Murder You, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, and Identity Thief.

Banks' big break on television came in 1987 with the series Wiseguy, in which he played Frank McPike for four years, a role which led to a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.[12] Although his character was primarily the hero's mentor, stories occasionally featured McPike as hero. In 1981, he appeared as Dutch Schultz on the NBC series the Gangster Chronicles.[13] He also starred on the short-lived science fiction series Otherworld, as Kommander Nuveen Kroll, and in the sitcom Fired Up.

Banks in 1995

On May 14 1994, Banks was one of the guests alongside Ben Masters and Stuart Whitman in a two hour long special episode of the television show Walker, Texas Ranger called The Reunion. With Chuck Norris and Clarence Gilyard as a crime fighting duo.[14] In the story, Banks plays the role of a suspicious character who meets the leads (Norris and Gilyard) who are uncovering a plot to assassinate a senator (Masters).[15] On its own the episode was released on Home Media.[16]

In the second season of Breaking Bad, Banks appeared as Mike Ehrmantraut. He became a series regular for the third, fourth, and fifth seasons. For the fifth season, he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Banks reprised his role as Mike Ehrmantraut as a regular in the Breaking Bad spinoff series Better Call Saul, for which he earned his third Emmy nomination in season 1.[17]

In 2019, Nolan North stated that Banks was originally considered to play the role of Zoran Lazaravić in the 2009 video game Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but the role instead went to Graham McTavish. According to North, the main factors that influenced this decision were Banks' height and the arrival of actor Steve Valentine as Harry Flynn.[18]

In 2014, he had a recurring role as Buzz Hickey in the fifth season of the NBC sitcom Community.[19]

He played the voice of James Gordon in the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight.[20] In 2015, Banks made a special guest appearance on the MythBusters episode "Supernatural Shooters".[21]

In April 2016, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Indiana University.[22]

Banks played Walt in the 2018 thriller film The Commuter.[23]

Banks joined the cast of the Netflix animated series F is for Family in its fourth season as Bill Murphy, the father of the main character Frank Murphy.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

Banks married his first wife in 1968.[citation needed] Together, they had one daughter. After his divorce in 1970, Banks married his second wife in 1990. From this marriage, they had fraternal twins. Banks also has a stepdaughter from this marriage.[2][1]

He lost his house during the 2018 Woolsey Fire.[25][26]



Year Title Role Notes
1977 The Night They Took Miss Beautiful Buck
1978 Coming Home Marine at Party
1978 The Cheap Detective Cabbie
1978 Who'll Stop the Rain Marine
1979 The Rose Television Promoter
1980 Airplane! Gunderson
1980 Stir Crazy Jack Graham
1981 Gangster Wars Dutch Schultz
1982 Frances Hitchhiker
1982 48 Hrs. Algren
1984 Gremlins Deputy Brent
1984 Buckaroo Banzai Lizardo Hospital Guard
1984 Beverly Hills Cop Zack
1986 Armed and Dangerous Clyde Klepper
1987 Cold Steel Iceman
1988 Pin Pin Voice
1990 Honeymoon Academy Pitt
1992 Freejack Michelette
1992 There Goes the Neighborhood Handsome Harry
1993 Boiling Point Max Waxman
1994 Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion Shelby Valentine
1995 Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Scotty
1996 Flipper Dirk Moran
1996 Dark Breed Commander Joseph Shay
1999 Let the Devil Wear Black Satch
1999 Foolish Numbers
1999 Trash Judge Callum
2001 Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles Milos Drubnik
2001 Proximity Price
2002 Dark Blue James
2002 R.S.V.P Walter Franklin
2006 Puff, Puff, Pass Lance
2007 Reign Over Me Stelter
2008 Proud American Mr. Moretti
2012 Watercolor Postcards Ledball
2013 Identity Thief Paolo
2013 Roar Bernie Warren Short film
2014 Bullet Carlito Kane
2014 Authors Anonymous David Kelleher
2014 Horrible Bosses 2 Detective Hatcher
2016 Term Life Harper
2016 Alibi Billy Short film
2017 Mudbound Pappy McAllan
2018 The Commuter Walt
2018 Incredibles 2 Rick Dicker Voice
2018 Redbad Pepin Herstal
2019 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie Mike Ehrmantraut

Television filmsEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Macahans Woodward
1977 Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn Michael
1979 She's Dressed to Kill Rudy Striker
1980 Desperate Voyage Louis
1983 The Invisible Woman Darren
1983 Murder Me, Murder You Janos Saracen
1984 Nadia Gheorge Comaneci
1986 The Fifth Missile Ray Olson
1986 Assassin Earl Dickman
1986 Who Is Julia Jack Bodine
1991 Don't Touch My Daughter Ryter
1993 Blind Side Aaron
1997 Melanie Darrow Arthur Abbott
1998 Dollar for the Dead Col. Skinner

Television seriesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Barnaby Jones Vince Gentry Episode: "Dead Heat"
1977 Family Attendant Episode: "Taking Chances: Part I"
1977 Barnaby Jones Car Salesman Episode: "Duet for Dying"
1977 Carter Country Bob Phillips Episode: "The Fireside Burnside Budget Chat"
1979 Lou Grant Clay Starkes Episode: "Kidnap"
1979 The Waltons Jeb Sanders Episode: "The Wager"
1979 Lou Grant Cyrus Episode: "Sweep"
1980 Little House on the Prairie Jed Episode: "Darkness Is My Friend"
1981 Lou Grant Intruder Episode: "Rape"
1981 Sanford Al Episode: "Cal the Coward"
1981 The Gangster Chronicles Dutch Schultz 13 episodes
1981 Best of the West Hombre 2 episodes
1982 Report to Murphy Vinny Episode: "Papillon"
1982–1983 T. J. Hooker Danny Scott/Freddy Baker 2 episodes
1983 Hill Street Blues Reggie 2 episodes
1983 Whiz Kids N/A Episode: "Programmed For Murder"
1984 Jessie Ernie Ross Episode: "Pilot"
1984 Cagney & Lacey Keith Edsin Episode: "Old Debts"
1985 Otherworld Kommander Nuveen Kroll 8 episodes
1985 Hunter Detective Gary Krewson Episode: "The Big Fall"
1987 Falcon Crest Kolinksi 8 episodes
1987 Designing Women Eldon Ashcroft IV Episode: "101 Ways to Decorate a Gas Station"
1987–1990 Wiseguy Frank McPike 74 episodes
1993 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Shel-la Episode: "Battle Lines"
1994 Highlander: The Series Mako Episode: "Under Colour of Authority"
1994 Matlock Jack Starling Episode: "The P.I."
1994 Walker, Texas Ranger Shelby Valentine Episode: "Deadly Reunion"
1994 Tales from the Crypt William Episode: "The Assassin"
1995 Due South Garret Episode: "Heaven and Earth"
1995 Women of the House Jim Sugarbaker 2 episodes
1994–1995 SeaQuest 2032 Maximillian Scully 2 episodes
1996 Diagnosis: Murder Max Jupe Episode: "Murder by Friendly Fire"
1997–1998 Fired Up Guy Mann 28 episodes
2000 Diagnosis: Murder Bruce Locatelli Episode: "Murder by Remote"
2000–2001 The Trouble With Normal Dr. Lowell 2 episodes
2001 The District Monya Pastov Episode: "Fools Russian: Part I"
2003 Alias Frederick Brandon 2 episodes
2003 Strong Medicine Frank Hardwyck Episode: "Skin"
2004 Joan of Arcadia Sheriff Mike Rakowski Episode: "Jump"
2004–2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Bobby Jensen 2 episodes
2005 E-Ring Adm. Cooper 4 episodes
2006 Ghost Whisperer Lyle Chase Episode: "Friendly Neighborhood Ghost"
2006 Without a Trace Sal Marcello Episode: "Check Your Head"
2006–2007 Day Break Shadow Man 7 episodes
2007 Dexter FBI Deputy Director Max Adams 2 episodes
2008 ER Robert Truman Episode: "Atonement"
2008 Shark Jason Normandy 2 episodes
2008 Life Nathan Gray Episode: "Crushed"
2008 Eli Stone Agent Johnathan Maine Episode: "Owner of a Lonely Heart"
2009 Lie to Me Ex-FBI Agent Bitcher Episode: "Sacrifice"
2009 Cold Case John Clark Episode: "Jackals"
2009 Castle Bruce Kirby Episode: "Hell Hath No Fury"
2009–2012 Breaking Bad Mike Ehrmantraut 25 episodes
2011 Modern Family Donnie Pritchett Episode: "The Musical Man"
2011 Two and a Half Men Pawn Broker Episode: "A Fishbowl Full of Glass Eyes"
2011 CSI: Miami Oscar Duarte Episode: "Long Gone"
2012 Ringer Remy Osterman 2 episodes
2012 Parks and Recreation Steve Wyatt Episode: "Ben's Parents"
2012 Vegas Angelo LaFlatta 2 episodes
2013 Bloodline Leo Killpriest Pilot
2013 Body of Proof Glenn Fitz Episode: "Daddy Issue"
2013–2015 Axe Cop Various Voices 3 episodes
2014 Community Buzz Hickey 11 episodes
2014 Mike Tyson Mysteries The Wizard (voice) Episode: "Is Magic Real?"
2015–present Better Call Saul Mike Ehrmantraut 48 episodes
2015 The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Mr. Flowers 3 episodes
2015 Major Lazer The Law (voice) Episode: "Escape from Rave Island"
2015 Gravity Falls Filbrick Pines (voice) Episode: "A Tale of Two Stans"[27]
2015 Robot Chicken Composite Superman (voice) Episode: Magical Friendship
2015 The Expanse Executive Officer Episode: "Dulcinea"
2015 MythBusters Mike Ehrmantraut Episode: "Supernatural Shooters"
2016–2018 Skylanders Academy Eruptor (voice) 38 episodes
2017 Dr. Ken Dr. Erwin Episode: "Ken's Professor"
2017–2019 Tangled: The Series Quirin (voice) 8 episodes
2020 F Is for Family William Murphy (voice) 9 episodes
2020 The Casagrandes Coach Crawford (voice) Episode: "Team Effort"
2020 The Comey Rule James Clapper 2 episodes

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Batman: Arkham Knight James Gordon
2018 Lego The Incredibles Rick Dicker

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
1989 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Wiseguy Nominated
1990 Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series Nominated
2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Breaking Bad Nominated
2013 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Better Call Saul Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2016 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2017 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2019 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "Jonathan Banks". TV Guide. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Jonathan Banks". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  3. ^ "'Breaking Bad' vet Jonathan Banks joins 'Community'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  4. ^ "Elena Adams Banks". Tribune-Star. September 22, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  5. ^ Fresh Air interview
  6. ^ Northwood Year Book 1966
  7. ^ Gaydos, Steven; Gaydos, Steven (June 5, 2015). "'Better Call Saul's' Jonathan Banks Remembers His Start as a 'Music' Man". Variety. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "John Oliver's latest find: How 'Breaking Bad's' Mike misled teens about menstruation". Los Angeles Times. August 10, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  9. ^ Busis, Hillary (August 28, 2012). "Jonathan Banks of 'Breaking Bad' appears in '70s period PSA". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  10. ^ Eakin, Marah (August 30, 2012). "Watch Breaking Bad's Mike learn about menstruation in a 1974 PSA". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sex Education (HBO). YouTube. August 9, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "Mike Ehrmantraut/Jonathan Banks". AMC. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  13. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 447. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  14. ^ "Saturday Prime Time Television". Lincoln Journal Star: 9. May 14, 1994 – via Newspapers.
  15. ^ Burlingame, Jon (May 14, 1994). "Mac goes treasure hunting on 'Atlantis'". Intelligencer Journal: 10 – via Newspapers.
  16. ^ Chuck Norris (1994). Walker Texas Ranger The Reunion (VHS). USA: Warner Home Video. ISBN 0-7907-2495-2. 0859321338.
  17. ^ Kenneally, Tim (January 27, 2014). "'Breaking Bad' Prequel 'Better Call Saul' Enlists Jonathan Banks". Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  18. ^ Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - The Definitive Playthrough-p10 (Nolan North,Troy Baker,Graham McTavish). Retro Replay. December 23, 2019. Event occurs at 21:20. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  19. ^ Goldman, Eric (August 20, 2013). "Breaking Bad's Jonathan Banks Joins Community". IGN. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  20. ^ "Batman: Arkham Knight's cast includes Jonathan Banks and John Noble". Destructoid. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  21. ^ Supernatural Shooters, retrieved May 28, 2020
  22. ^ "Indiana University to present Jonathan Banks with an honorary degree". IU Bloomington Newsroom. March 7, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  23. ^ The Commuter, retrieved May 28, 2020
  24. ^ Petski, Denise (May 7, 2020). "'F Is For Family': Jonathan Banks Joins Season 4 Cast Of Animated Netflix Comedy". Deadline. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  25. ^ "The Night Time Show" (Interview). Interviewed by Stephen Kramer.
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Gravity Falls: "A Tale Of Two Stans"". July 13, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2018.

External linksEdit