Shea Whigham

Shea Whigham was a prolific film and television actor who appeared in dozens of roles over the course of his years in the business, most notably "Tigerland" (2000), HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 2010-14), and on the Hulu limited series "Homecoming" (Hulu, 2018). Whigham was born in Tallahassee but was raised in the suburban town of Lake Mary, Florida. He went to Junior College in Tyler, Texas and eventually transferred to State University of New York, Purchase. It was there that Whigham enrolled in the school's small but intensive acting program, and subsequently met a number of fellow student actors who would later become close friends and collaborators. After graduation Whigham and a few of his SUNY Purchase classmates moved to New York City to take a crack at becoming theater actors. Whigham would later go on to co-found the NYC theater troupe, the Rorschach Group, with his friend and fellow actor Kirk Acevedo. By the late 90s Whigham was landing small parts on television but it was his co-starring role in the 2000 war drama "Tigerland" that first put him on the map. That film, which was directed by Joel Schumacher, also starred Colin Farrell and Matthew Davis. After his impressive work in "Tigerland" Whigham began landing regular work as a film and TV actor. He appeared in films like "All the Real Girls" (2003) and "Water" (2004), as well as TV shows like "Medical Investigation" (NBC, 2004-05) and "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). By the 2010s Whigham began landing more substantial parts in several critically-acclaimed films like "Take Shelter" (2011), "The Lincoln Lawyer" (2011), "American Hustle" (2013), "The Wolf of Wall Street" (2013), "Kong: Skull Island" (2016), and "First Man" (2018). It was Whigham's television work during this period, however, that would truly make him a recognizable face to millions. In 2010 Whigham began playing Eli Thompson on the Emmy-winning period gangster drama "Boardwalk Empire." The series ran for five seasons and also starred Steve Buscemi, Kelly MacDonald and Michael Shannon. After "Boardwalk Empire" ended in 2014, Whigham would go on to nab recurring parts in some of the most acclaimed television shows of the mid- to late-2010s, including "Fargo" (FX, 2014- ), "Vice Principals" (HBO, 2016-17), "Waco" (Paramount Network, 2018), and "Homecoming" (Hulu, 2018), the latter of which starred Julia Roberts in her first starring TV role. In 2019 Whigham had a very big year. In addition to appearing alongside Joaquin Phoenix in the Oscar-nominated actor's transformative title role in "Joker" (2019), Whigham was also cast in a recurring role in the HBO remake of "Perry Mason" (HBO, 2020). The limited series, which was set in Los Angeles in the 1930s, began filming in 2019.