Worked With:

Paz De La Huerta


Claire Danes


Arnold Schwarzenegger


Mads Mikkelsen


Thandie Newton


Kristin Lehman


Marley Shelton


David Morse


Rebecca Romijn


Adelaide Clemens

Martin Donovan Biography


Home > Actors > D > Donovan, Martin > Biography


Birth Name: Martin Donovan
Born: 08/19/1957
Birth Place: Reseda, California, USA


Donovan has also worked with other independent filmmakers. In 1994, he reteamed with Rick King for the direct-to-video "Quick", playing a mild-mannered accountant caught up in mob dealings. As usual, the actor brought wit to his performance as an Everyman coping under extraordinary circumstances. Later that same year, he was another beleaguered type, this time the nephew of vampire hunter Van Helsing (Peter Fonda) in Michael Almereyda's take on the Dracula legend, "Nadja". So it was almost shocking to critics and audiences when Jane Campion cast Donovan as the tubercular Englishman Ralph Touchette in "The Portrait of a Lady" (1996). Mustachioed and somewhat unrecognizable, the actor brought welcome charm, warmth and tenderness to this somewhat muddled adaptation of the Henry James novel. Donovan's scenes with Sir John Gielgud and Nicole Kidman were among the highlights of the picture and his work earned him a citation as Best Supporting Actor from the National Society of Film Critics (who also cited Tony Shalhoub for his work in "Big Night"). Continuing to challenge audience expectations, Donovan next portrayed another Englishman, a gay doctor battling his ex-wife (Joely Richardson) for custody of their son, in the based-on-fact drama "The Hollow Reed" (1996), then segued to playing a psychic transsexual in "Heaven" (1997).

Making occasional forays to the small screen, Donovan debut on TV in the 1987 CBS miniseries "At Mother's Request". Perhaps his best-known work, though, was in Hal Hartley's "Surviving Desire", 1992 presentation on PBS' "American Playhouse", in which he portrayed a depressed college teacher who embarks on an affair with a student. Donovan has also had small roles in two special episodes of "The Adventures of Pete and Pete" (Nickelodeon, 1992), was another bookkeeper involved with shady dealings in "Scam" (Showtime, 1993) and co-starred with Valerie Bertinelli, Harry Hamlin and Karen Sillas in the kidnap drama "Night Sins" (CBS, 1997).