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Dylan McDermott is a household name thanks to roles in multiple movies and on the television shows The Practice and Dark Blue. However, the actor was born Mark Anthony McDermott on October 26, 1961 in Waterbury, Connecticut to parents Richard and Diane McDermott. The pair were teenagers when McDermott was born, and were divorced by the time he was seven years old. Perhaps the rocky childhood experienced by this actor helped to provide the emotions which would later be expressed so well on screen and stage.
Dylan McDermott’s mother died in 1967 in what her boyfriend claimed was an accident with his gun. His maternal grandmother assumed the responsibility of raising McDermott and his sister Robin in Waterbury, Connecticut. As he entered his teen years, he frequently visited his father in Manhattan and help tend bar and break up fights in his father’s bar, the West Fourth Street Saloon. His father’s third wife, Eve Ensler, was very close to the young teenager and actually adopted him when he was fifteen. She wrote roles for him in her plays and encouraged him to pursue acting. In fact, the stage name of Dylan was chosen after his stepmother miscarried a baby of the same name.
His heroes in the acting world were Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart, and McDermott would try to imitate their demeanor and mannerisms during his troublesome teenage years. After attending Fordham University’s acting school, Dylan McDermott pursued dreams of performing in movies, earning himself roles in films like Twister, Steel Magnolias, and In the Line of Fire, among many others. His Emmy nominated and Golden Globe award winning role as self-made lawyer Bobby Donnell on The Practice rocketed his rise to stardom. He has also appeared in multiple television shows and stage plays. His most recent work is viewed in Christopher B. Landon’s edgy film Burning Palms.
On a personal note McDermott was married to Shiva Afshar Rose, an actress and social change activist. The couple has two daughters, Colette and Charlotte Rose. They were divorced in 2009. Dylan McDermott has over twenty years of sobriety in his fight against alcoholism. In an interview he states that acting is a form of therapy of him, and the choices he makes in roles are his way of working out psychological issues. Some are dark and some are comic depending on the stage of life he is going through. McDermott’s rugged good looks have garnered attention from People magazine, Men’s Health, and GQ.
write by Joshua Olin