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O'Donnell at the premiere of Max Payne in 2008
Christopher Eugene O'Donnell
June 26, 1970
Winnetka, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Boston College (BS)|
Christopher Eugene O'Donnell (born June 26, 1970) is an American actor and former model. He played Charlie Sims in Scent of a Woman, Chris Reece in School Ties, D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers, Jack Foley in the drama film Circle of Friends, Dick Grayson/Robin in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, Jason Brown in Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune, Peter Garrett in Vertical Limit, and Wardell Pomeroy in Kinsey. O'Donnell stars as special Agent G. Callen on the CBS crime drama television series NCIS: Los Angeles, a spin-off of NCIS.
O'Donnell was born in Winnetka, Illinois, the son of William Charles O'Donnell, Sr., a general manager of WBBM-AM, and Julie Ann Rohs von Brecht. He is the youngest of seven children, with four sisters and two brothers, and is of German and Irish descent. He was raised in a Catholic family and attended Catholic schools, including Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois for high school, graduating in 1988. He attended Boston College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in marketing. He began modeling at the age of 13, and was featured in several commercials.
O'Donnell was discovered when he was cast in a McDonald's commercial, in which he served Michael Jordan. His first television role was an appearance on the series Jack and Mike in 1986. At the age of 17, he landed a role in the movie Men Don't Leave, with Jessica Lange. In the early 1990s, he was in many successful movies including Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), School Ties (1992) and Scent of a Woman (1992) with Al Pacino (receiving a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, which he lost to Gene Hackman for Unforgiven). He was named one of the 12 Promising New Actors of 1992 in John Willis's Screen World, Vol. 44.
After the success of Blue Sky (1994) and Circle of Friends (1995), O'Donnell co-starred with Drew Barrymore in the movie Mad Love (1995), then went on to play Dick Grayson/Robin in Batman Forever, in which Drew Barrymore also made an appearance. He reportedly was part of a field of candidates that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Toby Stephens, and Scott Speedman. Producers narrowed their choices to DiCaprio and O'Donnell. At a comic book convention, they asked a group of 11-year-old boys, the target audience, which actor could win a fistfight. After the boys overwhelmingly declared O'Donnell the winner, he was ultimately given the role. O'Donnell was said to be 20th Century Fox's favorite choice to play Jack Dawson in Titanic, but DiCaprio ended up with the role.
O'Donnell followed with a starring role in 1996's The Chamber, based on the John Grisham novel. He subsequently reprised his role as Robin in 1997's Batman & Robin. Although it was a box-office success, the movie was critically panned and O'Donnell himself called it a low point in his career. He was considered for the lead role in Spider-Man, when the project was in development with James Cameron directing in 1996. Tobey Maguire was ultimately cast.
O'Donnell did not appear in another movie for two years. He was the producers' original choice for the role of James Darrell Edwards III/Agent J in Men in Black (1997), but, after turning it down because he thought the character would be too similar to his role in Batman Forever, the role went to Will Smith. The Robert Altman film Cookie's Fortune, The Bachelor (1999) and Vertical Limit (2000) were only moderately successful.
Following Vertical Limit, a four-year hiatus led some to believe Batman & Robin had damaged O'Donnell's career. However, he came back in 2004 with the widely praised Kinsey. He also appeared in the 2004 episode of Two and a Half Men entitled "An Old Flame With A New Wick." O'Donnell took a lead role in the Fox Network television series Head Cases in 2005. The show was the first of the fall 2005 season to be canceled, and only two episodes were aired. He was subsequently cast as veterinarian Finn Dandridge on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy.
O'Donnell featured prominently in the TNT miniseries The Company as CIA case officer Jack McAuliffe, a character who progressed from spoonfed Yale elitist to jaded, post-Cold War cynic. In 2008 he appeared in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl as the titular character's father Jack Kittredge, and in Max Payne as Jason Colvin.
Since 2009, O'Donnell has starred in NCIS: Los Angeles, a spinoff of NCIS, as G. Callen, an NCIS Special Agent in charge of the Office of Special Projects Team stationed in Los Angeles. CBS describes Callen as "a chameleon who transforms himself into whomever he needs to be to infiltrate the criminal underworld."
|1990||Men Don't Leave||Chris Macauley|
|1991||Fried Green Tomatoes||Buddy Threadgoode|
|1992||School Ties||Chris Reece|
|Scent of a Woman||Charlie Simms||Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1993||The Three Musketeers||D'Artagnan||Nominated - Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|1994||Blue Sky||Glenn Johnson|
|1995||Circle of Friends||Jack Foley|
|Mad Love||Matt Leland|
|Batman Forever||Dick Grayson/Robin|
|1996||The Chamber||Adam Hall|
|In Love and War||Ernest "Ernie" Hemingway|
|1997||Batman & Robin||Dick Grayson/Robin||Nominated - Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
Nominated - Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (with George Clooney)
|1999||Cookie's Fortune||Jason Brown|
|The Bachelor||Jimmie Shannon|
|2000||Vertical Limit||Peter Garrett|
|2002||29 Palms||The Hitman|
|2005||The Sisters||David Turzin|
|2008||Kit Kittredge: An American Girl||Jack Kittredge|
|Max Payne||Jason Colvin|
|2010||Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore||Shane|
|A Little Help||Bob Pehlke|
|1986||Jack and Mike||Evan||Episode: Cry Uncle|
|2003||The Practice||Brad Stanfield||4 episodes|
|2004||Two and a Half Men||Bill||Episode: An Old Flame with a New Wick|
|2004||The Amazing Westermans||TV Movie|
|2005||Head Cases||Jason Payne||2 episodes|
|2005-06||Grey's Anatomy||Dr. Finn "McVet" Dandridge||9 episodes|
|The Company||Jack McAuliffe||TV miniseries, 6 episodes|
|2009||NCIS||G. Callen||2 pilot episodes: "Legend"|
|2009-present||NCIS: Los Angeles||216 episodes|
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Crime Drama Actor (2017)
|2010||WWII in HD: The Air War||John Gibbons||Voice|
|2012||Hawaii Five-0||G. Callen||Crossover episode: "Pa Make Loa"|
|2013||Who Do You Think You Are?||Himself||Episode:|
|2014||Robot Chicken||Mr. Fantastic/RoboCop/Commander Rex Kling||Voice|
|2017||The Price Is Right||Himself||February 24, 2017: Celebrity Charity Week|
|American Dad!||G. Callen|