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Holt McCallany Biography


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Birth Name: Holt McCallany
Born: 09/03/1964
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA


Born Holt Quinn McAloney on Sept. 3, 1964, Holt McCallany was the oldest of two sons by Irish actor Michael McAloney, who won a Tony Award for his production of Brendan Behan's "Borstal Boy," and actress-singer Julie Wilson. A childhood spent in Dublin was cut short by his parents' divorce, with McCallany returning with his parents to the United States. There, he was sent to live with his maternal grandparents in Omaha, NE, but this period was a troubled one for him. After being expelled from school, he ran away to Los Angeles, where he decided to become an actor. McCallany's parents eventually tracked him down and sent him back to Ireland to finish high school. After graduation, he studied French at the Sorbonne and theater at the Ecole Marcel Marceau.

Upon returning to the States, McCallany apprenticed at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland, OH, then relocated to New York City, where he landed a job as an understudy in Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues" on Broadway. His feature film debut came in 1987's "Creepshow 2" as a murderous Native American who receives his comeuppance at the hands of a cigar store Indian come to life. Soon after, he found steady work in films and on television. His intense presence and formidable build made him a natural for men of action on either side of the law, whom he portrayed in minor and supporting roles for such noted directors as Brian De Palma with "Casualties of War" (1989); David Fincher, who cast him as a self-sacrificing convict in "Alien 3" (1989) and as the Mechanic who explains the rules of "Fight Club" (1999); and for William Friedkin in the box office bomb, "Jade" (1995). McCallany found more substantial roles in independent fare or television; the former provided him with his first starring role in "The Search for One-Eye Jimmy" (1994), as a film student who encounters a parade of odd characters upon his return to his hometown of Brooklyn. The latter brought him to the HBO biopic "Tyson" (1995), in which he starred as legendary fight trainer Teddy Atlas, who helped develop Tyson from street tough to boxing legend. The project inspired McCallany to develop his own television program about a trainer, which would eventually bring him to the FX Network and "Lights Out."

McCallany continued to work steadily throughout the late 1990s and early 21st century in steely character roles for films and television shows both major and minor. He was the by-the-books lieutenant who made life difficult for George Clooney in "Three Kings" (1999), enjoyed a recurring role for three seasons of "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002- ) as a tormented cop who ends his own life after being implicated with tampered evidence, and played an Irish mobster who pressed Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) into committing crimes for him on "Heroes" (NBC, 2006-2010). While pitching his boxing trainer series to HBO, he was informed that FX was developing a show about an aging fighter who was forced to return to the ring. McCallany was eventually cast in "Lights Out" as Patrick "Lights" Leary, a forty-something brawler who re-enters the sport after landing in trouble with a local mobster. While drawing critical praise for his performance, McCallany also wrote and developed a TV movie based on the story of Doreen Giuliano, a real-life Brooklynite who fought for her son's release from prison after a wrongful murder convicion.