John Shea: Wikis


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John Shea
Born John Victor Shea III[1]
April 14, 1949 (1949-04-14) (age 60)
North Conway, New Hampshire, United States
Spouse(s) Melissa MacLeod (2001-present)
Laura Pettibone (1971-2000)[1]

John Victor Shea III (born April 14, 1949) is an American Emmy award-winning actor and director who has starred on stage, television and in film. He is best known for his role as Lex Luthor in the 1990s TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and also starred in the short lived 1990s TV series WIOU as Hank Zaret. Later on in the 2000s he starred on the series Mutant X as Adam Kane.




Early life

Shea was born in North Conway, New Hampshire and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts in a family of five. His parents were Elizabeth Mary (née Fuller) and Dr. John Victor Shea, Jr.,[2] who was a teacher, coach and later an assistant Superintendent of Schools. Shea received his early training at Bates College, where he performed on the varsity debating and football teams and co-edited the college literary magazine before graduating with a BA in 1970.[1] He studied acting and directing at the Yale School of Drama with Dean Robert Brustein, gaining an MFA in Directing in 1973.[1] During his time at the School of Drama, he also performed at the Yale Repertory Theatre.

Stage and screen debuts

After a directing apprenticeship at both the Chelsea Theatre (under Robert Kalfin) and the Public Theatre (with Joseph Papp) he made his Broadway debut at the age of 26 in Kalfin's production of "Yentl", for which he received the Theatre World Award.

After a couple of minor roles in such TV series' as Eight Is Enough and Man from Atlantis, Shea made his television film debut in The Nativity (1978) opposite Madeline Stowe, and his feature-film debut in the English film Hussy (1980) opposite Helen Mirren. His American film debut was in Costa-Gavras' Academy Award-winning Missing (1982) with Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek.


Since then he has starred in many films, including Windy City (for which he won a "Best Actor" award at the Montreal Film Festival in 1984), Stealing Home, Lune de Miel AKA Honeymoon (which he shot in both French and English with French actress Nathalie Baye), Unsettled Land (Israel, 1987) with Kelly McGillis, A New Life with Alan Alda, The Impossible Spy with Eli Wallach (winning a "Best Actor" Golden Panda Award in China) and Freejack (1992).

Shea made his debut into Indian cinema with the 2009 Tamil film Achchamundu! Achchamundu! in a supporting role.


Shea has also starred in a number of independent films, including The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (1998) and The Insurgents (2007). In addition, he co-wrote and directed the independent film Southie (1998) starring Amanda Peet, Donnie Wahlberg, Rose McGowan, Anne Meara, and Lawrence Tierney. Southie won the Seattle International Film Festival award for Best Film.

Stage work

Since his debut in "Yentl" Shea has continued to work in Off-Broadway and Broadway theatre productions, starring in "End of the World" (directed by Hal Prince), "How I Learned to Drive", "Down the Garden Paths", "Long Days Journey Into Night", "The Dining Room", "The Sorrows of Stephen", "The Master and Margarita", "American Days" (for which he received a "Best Actor" nomination from the Drama Desk Awards), "The Director" and "The Secret of Madame Bonnard's Bath" (in 2007).

He made his Carnegie Hall debut playing "The Soldier" in Tom O'Horgan's production of Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat". In 1986 he made his London West End debut starring in Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" at the Albery Theatre.

Shea is also a regular reader on Selected Shorts for Symphony Space, broadcast nationwide on Public Radio International. His sensitive reading of Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory won AudioFile Magazine's Earphones Award in 1999, as part of the anthology Selected Shorts: Classic Tales, Vol. XII.[3] And for his work reading Ted Bell's "Assassin," Shea received an Audie Award-nomination as "Best Male Narrator."


Besides his more high-profile recurring roles in Lois & Clark and Mutant X, Shea's diverse television work includes guest-appearances on TV shows Sex and the City, Law & Order, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent as well as being a recurring character on Gossip Girl.

He has featured in the TV films Family Reunion (with Bette Davis), Small Sacrifices (opposite Farrah Fawcett), Kennedy (with Martin Sheen), A Will of Their Own, Hitler's S.S. (opposite Bill Nighy), Coast to Coast (with Lenny Henry for the BBC) and The Dining Room for Great Performances. Shea received an Emmy Award for his role in the TV movie Baby M and has served on the Advisory Board of the Nantucket Film Festival since its inception.

Personal life

John has been married twice. He and his first wife, Laura Pettibone, had one child together, Jake. He and his current wife, Melissa, have two children, Miranda and Caiden.



External links

Preceded by
Sherman Howard
for Superboy
Actors portraying
Lex Luthor

for Lois and Clark
Succeeded by
Michael Rosenbaum
for Smallville


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