Cotter Smith (born May 29, 1949) is an American stage, film, and television actor.

Biography Edit

He was born Joseph Cotter Smith in Washington, D.C., the son of Madeline (née Cotter) and John Lewis Smith, Jr., who was a federal judge.In 1972, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in literature at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.

Career Edit

He began his acting career in New York in 1978, studying with Stella Adler and at the Actors Studio. His many New York theater credits include the Broadway premiere of Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter with Hal Holbrook, Kate Nelligan, and Peter Riegert; Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive with Molly Ringwald; Lanford Wilson's Burn This with Joan Allen; Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier's Play with Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson; Athol Fugard's Blood Knot with Danny Glover; the premiere of Craig Lucas' The Dying Gaul, as well as many others. He spent ten years as a member of the Circle Repertory Company working exclusively on the premiere productions of new American plays, and is currently a member of the Vineyard Theatre Company in New York. He also co-starred with Judd Hirsch in the National Tour of the Tony Award-winning play 'Art'.

He spent five summers as a member of the Playwrights Lab at Robert Redford's Sundance Institute and four at the New York Stage and Film Company working on the development of new American plays. He is also a founding member of the Matrix Theatre Company in Los Angeles, where he has appeared in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, Samuel Beckett's Endgame, Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus and George M. Cohan's The Tavern. Other Los Angeles performances include Romeo and Juliet, Love Letters, and Raft of the Medusa, as well as the West Coast premieres of A Soldier's Play and How I Learned to Drive at the Mark Taper Forum.

Together with his wife, Heidi Mueller Smith, he is a Founder and Artistic Director of the Cornerstone Theatre Company in Milwaukee, where he has also directed and taught acting. Among his directing credits for the company are Edward Albee's The American Dream, Harold Pinter's Night School, and Lanford Wilson's The Gingham Dog. Some of his acting credits there include 12 Angry Men, Betrayal, Long Day's Journey into Night, and Educating Rita.

He has been nominated four times by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and is the recipient of their Outstanding Performance Award. He has also received four Drama-Logue Awards and two Ovation Award nominations.

His television and film work ranges from his debut 25 years ago co-starring as Robert Kennedy (opposite Robert Blake's Jimmy Hoffa) in the mini-series Blood Feud, to his more recent role as the President of the United States in the 20th Century Fox film, X2. Over the years he has appeared in over fifty television shows, from his regular roles on the ABC series Equal Justice and Night Stalker to his recurring roles on Judging Amy, Tru Calling, Courthouse, and Orleans. His numerous guest star appearances span from the early days of Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere to the more recent Law & Order and Without a Trace.

Personal life Edit

He and his third wife, Heidi Mueller Smith, currently reside in Los Angeles and Milwaukee.

Cotter Smith is the father of Madeline, a student at Barnard College in New York. He has three stepchildren: Brianne, Christopher and Evan.

Filmography Edit

Year Film Role Other notes
1984 Nickel Mountain Tucker
1987 Lady Beware Mac Odell
1988 Cameron's Closet Sergeant Sam Taliaferro
1989 K-9 Gilliam
1996 Invader Dr. Case Montgomery Alternative title: Lifeform
2003 Reeseville John Meyers
X2 President McKenna
2005 The Sleeper Dr. Altman
2008 Lunatics, Lovers & Poets Scotty MacGregor
Year Title Role Notes
1982 St. Elsewhere Dr. Rowe 1 episode
Hill Street Blues Intern 1 episode
1983 Blood Feud Robert F. Kennedy Television movie
1984 Mistral's Daughter Frank Miniseries
The Master Chad Webster 1 episode
Cagney & Lacey Captain Fuller 1 episode
1985 A Bunny's Tale Ned Holcomb Television movie
Moonlighting Brian Baker 1 episode
The Rape of Richard Beck Lt. Hugo Television movie
Hardcastle and McCormick Randy Hopke 1 episode
1986 The New Twilight Zone Mitchell Chaplin 1 episode
Murder, She Wrote Robert Rhine 1 episode
D.C. Cops Michael Halsey Television movie
1990 Equal Justice Deputy D.A. Eugene "Gene" Rogan Television movie
1990-1991 Equal Justice Deputy D.A. Eugene "Gene" Rogan 25 episodes
1991 The Last Prostitute Joe Television movie
1992 Midnight's Child Television movie
A Message from Holly Television movie
1993 A Place to Be Loved Mike Caldwell Television movie
With Hostile Intent Officer Rob Arnold Television movie
L.A. Law Tony Henderson 3 episodes
Desperate Journey: The Allison Wilcox Story Steve Television movie
1994 Armed and Innocent Lonnie Television movie
1995 Chicago Hope Dr. Bob Marinak 1 episode
Courthouse Andrew Rawson 6 episodes
Remember Me Adam Nichols Television movie
1996 High Incident 1 episode
1997 Spy Game Adam Quill 1 episode
Bridge of Time Robert Creighton Television movie
Orleans Bill Brennecke 1 episode
Law & Order Eric Martin 1 episode
1998 Oz Judge Benjamin Fee 1 episode
Trinity Agent 1 episode
1999 Vengeance Unlimited Stan Garcos 1 episode
2000 Run the Wild Fields Silas Green Television movie
2001-2005 Judging Amy ASA Jeremy Friedman 4 episodes
2004 Alias Agent Foster 1 episode
2004-2005 Tru Calling Richard Davies 6 episodes
2005-2006 Night Stalker Tony Vincenzo 10 episodes
2006 Commander in Chief Governor Stan Preston 1 episode
NCIS NCIS Special Agent in Charge Sam Stevens 1 episode
Invasion Deputy Buell 1 episode
Without a Trace Fr. Sean McGinnis 1 episode
The Unit 1 episode
2008 Depth Charge Television movie