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Boston Public Bios

Boston Public Bios

Chi McBride, Steven Harper
Chi McBride recently co-starred opposite Nicholas Cage in Jerry Bruckheimer's "Gone in 60 Seconds" and currently co-stars in "The Kid" with Bruce Willis. His other feature film credits include "The Frighteners", "Hoodlum", "Mercury Rising", "The Distinguished Gentleman", the Oscar-nominated "What's Love Got To Do With It", "The Great White Hype", and "Magicians"

McBride is well known to television viewers for his role as the wisecracking, philisophical janitor on "The John Larroquette Show" He also received critical acclaim for his starring role in the Hudlin Brothers production "Tang", a segment of cable's "Cosmic Slop Trilogy" Earlier this year, he starred as Bundini Brown in the telefilm "Muhammad Ali: King of the World."

For his theater highlight, McBride performed as eight different complex characters in "Nagataki Sake", which was directed by Robert Downey, Sr.

He was born and raised in Chicago.

Anthony Heald, Scott Guber
Anthony Heald's extensive list of feature film credits includes "Proof of Life", "8MM", "Deep Rising", "A Time to Kill", "Silence of the Lambs", "The Client", "Kiss of Death", "The Pelican Brief" and "Postcards From the Edge".

For television, Heald had a recurring role in "The Practice", plus guest-starring roles on "Law & Order", "Frasier" and "The X-Files".

His award-winning theater background includes the Broadway productions of "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and "Anything Goes", (both of which earned him Tony Award nominations), "Inherit the Wind", "A Small Family Business", "The Marriage of Figaro" and "The Wake of Jamey Foster". He also received Obie Awards for his roles in "The Foreigner", "Quartermaine's Terms", "Henry V" and "Digby".

He was born in New Rochelle, NY.

Jessalyn Gilsig, Lauren Davis
Jessalyn Gilsig first came to the attention of David E. Kelley as a guest star on his series "The Practice". Kelley then approached her to appear on his series "Snoops", but the show was cancelled before her two episodes could air. Kelley then wrote the character Lauren Davis on BOSTON PUBLIC specifically for Gilsig.

Gilsig has been acting since the age of 12 and graduated from the American Repertory Theater at Harvard in 1995. While there, she performed in such productions as "The Cherry Orchard", "The Oresteia", "Tartuffe" and "The Tempest". She then moved to New York and appeared in such Off-Broadway plays as "Mere Mortals" and "Gun Shy". Her regional theater credits include "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "A Shayna Maidel", "The Love of the Nightengale", "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" and "Scent of Roses".

Her acting credits for feature films include "A Cooler Climate" and "The Horse Whisperer". She also performed voiceover work in "Quest for Camelot".

Gilsig was born in Montreal.

Nicky Katt, Harry Senate
Nicky Katt, making his television debut, most recently starred in the feature film "Boiler Room". He can next be seen in Academy Award-winner Christopher McQuarrie's directorial debut "Way of the Gun". His other film credits include "Dazed and Confused", "The Doom Generation", "The Babysitter", "A Time To Kill", "Suburbia", "One True Thing", "The Limey" and "Rules of Engagement".

He starred in and executive produced Adam Goldberg's ("The Street") film "Scotch and Milk", which garnered rave reviews at the 1998 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. Katt also produced and starred in the short film "Mutiny", which premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Short Honor at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Seattle Film Festival and the SXSW Film Festival.

Katt was born in Los Angeles.

Fyvush Finkel, Harvey Lipschultz
Fyvush Finkel won the Best Supporting Actor Emmy Award for his role on "Picket Fences". His first acting role was 51 years earlier in the numerous Jewish theaters along New York City's Second Avenue. Finkel's breakthrough to American mainstream theater came at the age of 43 when he joined Jerome Robbins' national company of the Broadway hit "Fiddler On the Roof". He toured the USA and Canada, playing first the Innkeeper, then the Butcher and finally the lead, Tevya, over a 12-year period.

His additional theater credits include an Obie-winning performance in "Cafe Crown" and a five-year stint as the star of Off-Broadway's "Little Shop of Horrors".

Finkel appeared in the feature films "Nixon", "For Love Or Money", "Mobsters", "Seize the Day" and "Q&A". His additional television credits include the revival of "Fantasy Island", "Early Edition", "One Life to Live", "Evergreen", "Prime of Your Life", and "The Simpsons".  Between his film and television work, Finkel has appeared with sons Ian, a master mallet percussionist, and Elliot, a noted pianist, along with his grandson Abbot, a drummer, in two musical reviews -- "Finkel's Follies", which Fyvush created, and "From Second Avenue to Broadway", with Fyvush singing songs from both the Yiddish theater and Broadway. Finkel and sons have also appeared in concert aboard cruise ships, highlighted by a 'round-the-world cruise on the QE 2.

Finkel was born in Brooklyn, NY.

Loretta Devine, Marla Hendricks
Loretta Devine has created indelible roles in both television and feature films. She starred with Alfre Woodard twice in "Down In The Delta" and "Funny Valentines".  Devine also co-starred with Whitney Houston twice in "Waiting To Exhale" and "The Preacher's Wife".

Among her numerous other film credits are "Little Nikita", "Stanley and Iris" opposite Jane Fonda and Robert De Niro, "Livin' Large", "Class Act", "Caged Fear", "Amos and Andrew" with Samuel L. Jackson and Nicholas Cage, "Clover", "Hoodlum" with Laurence Fishburne, "Urban Legend" and "Punks".

Her movies for television include "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge", "Don King: Only in America" opposite Ving Rhames and "Freedom Song" with Danny Glover. Additional credits include "The Murder of Mary Phagan" with Jack Lemmon, "Parent Trap 3", "Best Actress" and voicing the character Muriel Stubbs on "The PJs".

Devine was born in Houston, TX.

Sharon Leal, Marilin Sudor
Sharon Leal has an extensive list of theater credits, including Broadway's "Rent" and "Miss Saigon" plus regional productions "Into the Woods", "Go Down Garvey", "Dreamgirls", "West Side Story", "The Wiz" and "Ain't Misbehavin".

Her television credits include "Legacy" and "The Guiding Light", while for feature film, she was the lead in "Face the Music".

Leal was born in Tucson, AZ.

Rashida Jones, Louisa
Rashida Jones co-starred in "If These Walls Could Talk II: Women Only" and "The Last Don".  She was a series regular on "Those Who Can", guest starred on "Freaks and Geeks" and appeared as a correspondent on "Vibe TV".

Her feature film credits include "East of Africa" and "Myth America". While at Harvard University, she appeared in "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf", "Dancing at Lughnasa", "The Third Wave", "Love, Sex and the I.R.S.", and "The Odd Couple: The Female Version".

Jones was born in Los Angeles.

David E. Kelley, Creator/Executive Producer
Multi award-winning writer/producer David E. Kelley is the creative force behind some of America's most distinctive television series. He also has written and produced the feature films "Mystery Alaska", "Lake Placid" and "To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday"

As creator of 20th Century Fox Television's critically-acclaimed "Chicago Hope", the multiple award-winning drama series "Picket Fences", the award-winning drama series "The Practice", the Emmy Award-winning and back-to-back Golden Globe Award-winning comedy series "Ally McBeal", Kelley's writing and executive producing style continues to leave an indelible impression on television viewing audiences. "Picket Fences" won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Outstanding Drama Series for its first and second television seasons, as well as Emmy Awards in acting categories, among others. "Picket Fences" also was named Best Drama by Viewers For Quality Television Association. "Chicago Hope", entering its sixth season, also has received many prestigious honors including a GLAAD Media Award for Best Drama and an American Red Cross Spirit Award.

Kelley also has been honored with two George Foster Peabody Awards, a Television Showmanship Award from the Publicists Guild of America, the Paul Selvin Award from the Writers Guild of America and the prestigious Humanitas Prize. His efforts on behalf of "Picket Fences" also have been awarded with an ACLU Bill of Rights Award, a Jewish Televimage Award (Best Drama Series) and a Wilbur Award (Best Television Drama). In addition, various episodes of "Picket Fences" have been recognized by The Directors Guild, Advocates for Youth, National Easter Seal Society, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Catholics in the Media and The Center for Population Options.

He was an attorney practicing law in Boston before venturing into the world of entertainment. Kelley joined "L.A. Law" as a term writer in 1986, became co-producer the following year and supervising producer during the show's third season. After series co-creator Steven Bochco's departure, Kelley earned five Emmy Awards as producer and writer, as well as 13 Emmy nominations. "L.A. Law" won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series four out of the five seasons in which Kelley participated. He also earned five nominations from the Writers Guild of America. Following "L.A. Law", he co-created the popular series "Doogie Howser, M.D"

Born in Waterville, ME, Kelley graduated from Princeton University in 1979, where he served as captain of the hockey team. He received his law degree from the Boston University School of Law in 1983 and practiced law for three years before joining "L.A. Law".

Jonathan Pontell, Co-Executive Producer
For the past three seasons, Jonathan Pontell was co-executive producer/director of the Emmy Award-winning series "Ally McBeal". Award highlights for the series include back-to-back Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy, 1997 and 1998, and winner of the 1998 George Foster Peabody Award.

Pontell comes from a film editing background with credits including "Hill St. Blues", "Hooperman", "Northern Exposure", "Moonlighting", "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "L.A. Law", for which he received an Emmy Award nomination. Having met David E. Kelley during "L.A. Law", he edited the "Picket Fences" pilot and became a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer of the critically acclaimed series during its four-year run, while also making his directorial debut in 1996. He served as a producer and director on the premiere season of "The Practice", for which he won his third Emmy Award. Pontell also co-edited the pilot of "Ally McBeal" and has directed multiple episodes of the series.

He is a graduate of the Film Department, School of Visual Arts in New York City. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 1980, he worked on feature films such as "The Exorcist" and "Lenny" and spent several years as a documentary film editor for public television and CBS News.

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