Dylan McDermott: an award-winning actor with a troubled past

Dylan McDermott is a household name thanks to his roles in various 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 two were teenagers when McDermott was born and they divorced when he was seven. Perhaps the rocky childhood lived by this actor helped to contribute the emotions that would later be expressed so well on screen and on stage.

Dylan McDermott’s mother died in 1967 in what her boyfriend claimed was an accident with his gun. Her maternal grandmother took on the responsibility of raising McDermott and her sister Robin in Waterbury, Connecticut. When he entered his teens, he frequently visited his father in Manhattan and helped run bars and break up fights at 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 his plays and encouraged him to continue acting. In fact, Dylan’s stage name was chosen after his stepmother aborted 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 behaviors and gestures during his troubled teenage years. After attending Fordham University acting school, Dylan McDermott pursued his dreams of acting in movies, earning roles in films like Twister, Steel Magnolias, and In the Line of Fire, among many others. His Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning role as Bobby Donnell’s self-made lawyer on The Practice sparked his rise to stardom. He has also appeared on multiple television shows and plays. His most recent work is seen in the daring Christopher B. Landon film Burning Palms.

On a personal note, McDermott was married to Shiva Afshar Rose, an actress and social change activist. The couple have two daughters, Colette and Charlotte Rose. They divorced in 2009. Dylan McDermott has been sober for more than twenty years in his fight against alcoholism. In an interview, he states that acting is a form of therapy for him, and the choices he makes in roles are his way of solving psychological problems. Some are dark and some are comical depending on the stage of life you are going through. McDermott’s rugged appearance has attracted the attention of People magazine, Men’s Health, and GQ.

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