Peter Gallagher is an American actor, musician and writer. Since 1980, Gallagher has played roles in numerous Hollywood films. He is best known for starring as Sandy Cohen in the television drama series The O.C. from 2003 to 2007, recurring role as Deputy Chief William Dodds on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Nick on the Netflix series Grace & Frankie. He also played CIA Director Arthur Campbell on Covert Affairs.
Gallagher was born in New York City. His mother, Mary Ann (née O’Shea; August 23, 1915 – June 6, 2004), was a bacteriologist, and his father, Thomas Francis Gallagher, Jr. (June 10, 1912 – November 16, 1999), was an advertising executive. Gallagher is the youngest of their three children. He is of Irish Catholic background and was raised in Armonk, New York. Gallagher graduated from Tufts University, where he was active in theater, appearing in such shows as Stephen Sondheim’s Company and singing with the all-male a cappella group the Beelzebubs.
Gallagher appeared on Broadway with Glenn Close in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing and made his feature film debut in the Taylor Hackford film The Idolmaker, but first achieved fame for his role in Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). He also starred as Sky Masterson in the 1992 Broadway hit revival of Guys and Dolls.
Gallagher played a potential career threat to Tim Robbins’s studio executive in The Player (1992); the comatose fiancé of Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping (since 1995); a real estate salesman having an affair with Annette Bening in American Beauty (since 1999); a media executive in Mr. Deeds (since 2002); and a political reporter exposing media ethics during a presidential debate in The Last Debate.
From 2003 to 2007, Gallagher starred as Sandy Cohen, a Jewish public defender and corporate lawyer, on the Fox television show The O.C.. He hosts an annual award ceremony named “The Sandy Cohen Awards” or The Sandys, which, in honor of his character on The O.C. And gives a scholarship to a law school student at UC Berkeley who wants to become a public defender.
Gallagher is tied a knot to Paula Harwood and has two children, James and Kathryn. His daughter Kathryn is an actress and singer, and in 2015 performed in Deaf West Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening on Broadway as the voice of Martha. Moreover, in November 2019, she began starring as Bella in Jagged Little Pill at the Broadhurst Theatre. Kathryn hosts a vlog for Broadway.com called Jagged Little Thrill, in which she chronicles the backstage happenings of the production.
- Full Name: Peter Killian Gallagher
- Date of Birth: August 19, 1955
- Age: 64 years
- Birth Place: New York, New York, United States
- Height: 1.75 m
- Spouse: Paula Harwood (m since 1983)
- Albums: 7 Days in Memphis, etc.
- Children: Kathryn Gallagher, James Gallagher
- Education: Tufts University (BA)
- Occupation: Actor, musician, writer
- Years active: since 1976–present
- Net Worth: $8 million
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