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Ken Jenkins (born August 28, 1940) is an American actor and musician, best known for his role as Dr. Bob Kelso, the Chief of Medicine on the American comedy series Scrubs (2001-2009; main). Jenkins has also had notable appearances in many popular TV shows.

Ken Jenkins
Born (1940-08-28) August 28, 1940 (age 79)
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Years active1974–present
Joan Patchen
(m. 1958; div. 1969)
Children3; including Daniel Jenkins
RelativesKatharine Hepburn (aunt-in-law)

Early lifeEdit

Jenkins was born in Dayton, Ohio and graduated from Wilbur Wright High School in 1958.[2]


In 1969, Jenkins joined Actors Theatre of Louisville under the leadership of Jon Jory where he served as a company member for three years.

Jenkins appeared on episodes of Homefront, The X-Files, Babylon 5, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Wiseguy, Early Edition, Beverly Hills, 90210, and starred in Scrubs in the first eight seasons as a main cast member and guest starred in the ninth and final season. His character, Dr. Bob Kelso, is his most recognizable role to date.[3]

Jenkins has appeared in many films throughout his career including The Wizard of Loneliness,[3] Executive Decision, The Abyss, Air America, Sliders, Last Man Standing, Fled, Gone in 60 Seconds, I Am Sam, The Sum of All Fears, Matewan, Courage Under Fire and the 1998 remake of Psycho. He appeared as the father of Fran Goldsmith in Stephen King's TV miniseries, The Stand. Jenkins also had a role in Clockstoppers.[3]

Jenkins can sing and play the acoustic guitar, and is seen doing so on the Scrubs episodes "My Tuscaloosa Heart" and "My Musical".

Jenkins also had a recurring role on Cougar Town, as the father of Jules (played by Courteney Cox).[3] Jenkins also appears in The Blanks' music video for "Guy Love" as the owner of an L.A. bar, as he appeared with The Blanks in Scrubs, most prominently band member Sam Lloyd who starred as regular Ted Buckland.

Jenkins portrayed Representative Howard W. Smith in the 2016 HBO TV movie All the Way, in which Smith's segregationist views posed as a central and divisive opposition to President Lyndon B. Johnson's proposal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Jenkins was the voice of Blister from Harvey Beaks.


Year Title Role Notes
1985 What Comes Around Larry
1987 Matewan Sephus Purcell
1988 The Wizard of Loneliness' Joel Spender
1989 The Abyss Gerard Kirkhill
1989 In Country Jim Holly
1990 Air America Major Donald Lemond
1991 Edge of Honor Bo Dubs
1992 Crossing the Bridge Lou Morgan
1996 Executive Decision General Wood
1996 Last Dance Warden Laverty
1996 Courage Under Fire Joel Walden
1996 Fled Warden Nichols
1996 Last Man Standing Capt. Tom Pickett
1998 Where's Marlowe? Linguist
1998 Psycho District Attorney
1999 The Last Marshal Judge Wooley
1999 Beverly Hills, 90210 Pastor Neal
2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Televangelist Uncredited
2000 Lucky Numbers Dan Schuff
2001 The Tailor of Panama Morecombe
2001 I Am Sam Judge McNeily
2002 Clockstoppers NSA Agent Moore
2002 Home Room Police Captain
2002 The Sum of All Fears Admiral Pollack
2007 Welcome to Paradise Reverend McNamara


  1. ^ "Father, son appear together on stage". The News and Courier. April 6, 1986. pp. 8–E. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  2. ^ Hopkins, Tom (November 16, 1992). "For Father And Son, Prime-Time Roles Are As Easy As ABC". Dayton Daily News. p. 3B.
  3. ^ a b c d

External linksEdit