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Chris O'Donnell

Attending the movie premiere of Max Payne, Hollywood, CA on 10-13-2008
Born Christopher Eugene O'Donnell
June 26, 1970 (1970-06-26) (age 39)
Winnetka, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Caroline Fentress
5 children

Christopher Eugene "Chris" O'Donnell (born June 26, 1970) is an American actor, perhaps best known for playing Robin in the Batman films, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, Charlie Simms in Scent of a Woman, Finn Dandridge in Grey's Anatomy, and more recently, Jack McAuliffe in The Company. O'Donnell currently plays the role of Callen in the NCIS spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles, which premiered in September of 2009.


Early life

O'Donnell, the youngest of seven children (with four sisters and two brothers), was born in Winnetka, Illinois, the son of Julie and William O'Donnell, Sr., a radio manager.[1] O'Donnell is of paternal Irish and maternal German descent;[2][3] he was raised in a devout Catholic family and attended Catholic schools,[4] including Loyola Academy in Willmette, Illinois for high school, graduating in 1988. O'Donnell attended Boston College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in marketing.

O'Donnell began modeling at the age of thirteen and was featured in several commercials


O'Donnell was discovered when he was cast in a McDonald's commercial, in which he served Michael Jordan. His first television role was an appearance on the series Jack and Mike in 1986. At the age of seventeen, he was offered a chance to audition for a part in the movie Men Don't Leave, with Jessica Lange, and he won the role. In the early 1990s, O'Donnell was a featured player in many successful movies such as Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), School Ties (1992), and Scent of a Woman (1992) with Al Pacino (receiving a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, which he lost to Gene Hackman for Unforgiven). He was named one of the twelve Promising New Actors of 1992 in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 44.

Chris O'Donnell as Robin in Batman Forever.

After the success of Circle of Friends (1995), O'Donnell played Dick Grayson/Robin in Batman Forever. He reportedly was part of a field of candidates that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Toby Stephens, and Scott Speedman. Producers narrowed their choices to DiCaprio and O'Donnell. At a comic book convention, they asked a group of eleven year-old boys, the target audience, which actor could win a fistfight. After the boys overwhelmingly declared O'Donnell the winner, he was ultimately given the role. By coincidence, O'Donnell was said to be 20th Century Fox's favorite choice to play Jack Dawson in Titanic, but DiCaprio ended up with the role.

O'Donnell followed with a starring role in 1996's The Chamber, based on the John Grisham novel. He subsequently reprised his role in the Batman sequel, Batman & Robin, in 1997. Although a box office success, the movie was critically panned and O'Donnell himself has called it a low point in his career. He was considered for the lead role in Spider-Man, when the project was in development with James Cameron directing in 1996. Tobey Maguire was ultimately cast.

O'Donnell did not appear in another movie for two years. He was the producers' original choice for the role of James Edwards in Men in Black (1997), but, after he turned it down, the role went to Will Smith.[5] The Robert Altman film Cookie's Fortune, The Bachelor (1999) and Vertical Limit (2000) were only moderately successful. Following Vertical Limit, a four-year hiatus led some to believe Batman & Robin had damaged his career. However, he came back in 2004 with the widely praised Kinsey. O'Donnell also appeared in the 2004 episode of Two and a Half Men entitled "An Old Flame With A New Wick". He played Charlie Sheen's former girlfriend, Jill, who had a sex change and resurfaced in Charlie's life as Bill.

O'Donnell took a lead role in the Fox Network television series Head Cases in 2005. The show was the first show of the fall 2005 season to be canceled, and only two episodes were aired. He was subsequently cast as veterinarian Finn Dandridge on the ABC drama Grey's Anatomy.

He figured prominently in the TNT miniseries The Company as fictional CIA agent Jack McAuliffe, in a performance which subtly portrayed his character's progression from spoon-fed Yale elitist to jaded, post-Cold War cynic. Film projects for 2008 included Kit Kittredge: An American Girl and Max Payne.

He is currently working on the sequel of the 2001 movie Cats and Dogs, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. He will star in the movie, due to be released in 2010.

NCIS: Los Angeles

O'Donnell filming with Mark Harmon in the pilot of NCIS: Los Angeles in 2009.

NCIS: Los Angeles, a spin-off of NCIS, sees a team of highly trained agents working in undercover surveillance at the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of NCIS. The show was introduced during a two-part episode of NCIS, named Legend (Part 1) and Legend (Part 2). O'Donnell starred as G. Callen,[6] a Special Agent in the Office of Special Projects. His character, Callen, is described as 'a chameleon who transforms himself into whomever he needs to be to infiltrate the criminal underworld'.[7] This role continues since the premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles on September 22nd, at 9:00pm, on CBS,[8] following NCIS at 8:00pm.[9]

O'Donnell stars alongside LL Cool J, Peter Cambor, Daniela Ruah, Linda Hunt and Adam Jamal Craig. Rocky Carroll, who plays Director Leon Vance of NCIS will appear in at least 6 of the first 13 episodes. Pauley Perrette, who stars as Abby Sciuto in the original NCIS series, will appear in 2 episodes.

Personal life

In 1996, O’Donnell proposed to girlfriend Caroline Fentress. He met her while in college; they married in 1997.

The couple have five children, three sons and two daughters: Lily Anne O'Donnell (b. September 6, 1999), Christopher "Chip" Eugene O'Donnell Jr. (b. October 24, 2000), Charles McHugh O'Donnell (b. July 11, 2003), Finley O'Donnell (b. March 24, 2006), and Maeve Frances O'Donnell (b. December 10, 2007).[10]

O'Donnell is an avid golfer. He participated in a golf outing to help raise money for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, for which they raised $500,000 in the year 2000.


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Men Don't Leave Chris Macauley
1991 Fried Green Tomatoes Buddy Threadgoode
1992 School Ties Chris Reece
Scent of a Woman Charlie Simms
1993 The Three Musketeers D'Artagnan
1994 Blue Sky Glenn Johnson
1995 Circle of Friends Jack Foley
Mad Love Matt Leland
Batman Forever Robin/Richard "Dick" Grayson
1996 The Chamber Adam Hall
In Love and War Ernest 'Ernie' Hemingway
1997 Batman & Robin Robin/Richard "Dick" Grayson
1999 Cookie's Fortune Jason Brown
The Bachelor Jimmie Shannon
2000 Vertical Limit Peter Garrett
2002 29 Palms The Hitman
2003 The Practice Brad Stanfield TV series
2004 Kinsey Wardell Pomeroy
Two And A Half Men Jill/Bill TV series
2005 The Sisters David Turzin
Head Cases Jason Payne TV series
2007 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Finn "McVet" Dandridge TV series
The Company Jack McAuliffe TV miniseries
2008 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Mr. Kittredge
Max Payne Jason Colvin
2009 NCIS G. Callen Episode: "Legend (Parts 1 & 2)"
2009-present NCIS: Los Angeles TV series
2010 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore Shane


External links

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