Image of Robert John Burke

Robert John Burke

A born-and-bred New Yorker, Robert John Burke made his film debut while in his early 20s with a small part in the drama "The Chosen" (1981), based on the Chaim Potok story. He went on to study acting at SUNY Purchase where he met aspiring filmmaker Hal Hartley, who cast him as one of the leads in his debut feature "The Unbelievable Truth," an offbeat indie tale where he played a man trying to escape his troubled past. Working with Hartley again on the charming brother-centric dark comedy "Simple Men," Burke caught a major break when Hollywood producers decided that his chiseled jawline was the right one to replace Peter Weller's in the sci-fi/action sequel "RoboCop 3." Despite Burke's efforts, the movie tanked, and he went on to smaller roles in major films, including the lauded Western "Tombstone" (1993) and the prison-break movie "Fled" (1996). Burke landed his second chance in a Hollywood starring role with the Stephen King adaptation "Thinner" (1996), but the macabre tale, which featured him under heavy makeup to depict a callous man who magically loses weight, was deemed almost universally unlikable.Though Burke's leading-man days were mostly behind him, his beastly role in Hartley's "No Such Thing" (2001) aside, he soldiered on, and began increasingly working on television with recurring roles on the grim prison drama "Oz" and the police procedural "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). Appearing in George Clooney's first two movies as director, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002) and "Good Night, and Good Luck." (2005), Burke nonetheless became more familiar to TV audiences, particularly when he signed on to play Mickey Gavin, the ex-priest cousin of Denis Leary's lead character on the firefighter series "Rescue Me," a part that dovetailed with Burke's real-life second job as a New York State fireman.Often cast as a tough guy, the ruggedly handsome and tall actor continued to play imposing figures such as Major General James "Chaos" Mattis in the Iraq War miniseries "Generation Kill" (HBO, 2008) and Bart Bass, the controlling billionaire father of Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) on the soapy drama "Gossip Girl." Before long, he was juggling his ongoing "Law & Order: SVU" part with regular spots on the military drama "Army Wives" (Lifetime, 2007- ) and the tense crime show "Person of Interest" (CBS, 2011- ), while still finding time for supporting turns in films, including the Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg action movie "2 Guns" (2013).

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Sep 12, 1960 In New York City - New York - USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Looking for Mr. Goodbar 1977-10-19
Latest Project:
Movie Boston Strangler 2023-03-17
Known For
Poster of Good Night, and Good Luck.
Poster of Hide and Seek
Poster of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Poster of Simple Men
Movie Boston Strangler Eddie Holland 2023-03-17
Movie The Retaliators Captain Briggs 2022-09-08
Movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Smitty 2022-11-09
Movie Being Sheriff Campbell 2020-01-07
Movie BlacKkKlansman Chief Bridges 2018-08-09
Movie Boarding School Mr. Holcomb 2018-08-30
Movie Where There's Smoke Captain Frascone 2017-04-01
Movie Future '38 General Sportwood 2017-12-01
Movie Ned Rifle Chet 2015-04-01
Series Allegiance Special Agent Brock 2015-02-05
Movie True Story Greg Ganley 2015-04-17
Series Golden Boy Andrew Lightstone 2013-02-26
Movie 2 Guns Jessup 2013-08-02
Movie Safe Captain Wolf 2012-04-16
Movie Limitless Pierce 2011-03-08
Series Person of Interest Officer Patrick Simmons 2011-09-22
Movie Brooklyn's Finest State Trooper #1 2010-03-04
Series Blue Bloods Jyle Hogan 2010-09-24
Movie Years Later: The Unbelievable Truth and Its Consequences Himself 2010-11-01
Series White Collar Patrick O'Leary 2009-10-23
Movie Miracle at St. Anna General Ned Almond 2008-09-15
Series Gossip Girl Bart Bass 2007-09-19
Movie The Oh in Ohio Binky Taylor 2006-03-30
Movie The Ex Colonel 2006-12-01
Series Kidnapped Bellows 2006-09-20
Movie Hide and Seek Steven 2005-01-27
Series American Dad! Unknown 2005-02-06
Movie Good Night, and Good Luck. Charlie Mack 2005-09-16
Movie Munich Belligerent American 2005-12-23
Movie Speak Mr. Neck 2004-01-20
Movie Connie and Carla Rudy 2004-04-16
Series Rescue Me 2004-07-21
Movie Piggie Jim 2003-06-13
Movie Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Instructor Jenks 2002-12-31
Movie No Such Thing The Monster 2001-05-12
Series Witchblade Unknown 2001-06-12
Series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Ed Tucker 1999-09-20
Movie A Bright Shining Lie Frank Drummond 1998-05-30
Movie Midnight Flight Paul Bacon 1998-06-02
Movie Somewhere in the City Frankie 1998-06-11
Movie First Love, Last Rites Henry 1998-08-07
Movie Mayday - Flug in den Tod Tom Hutton 1997-01-01
Series Oz Unknown 1997-07-12
Movie Cop Land Officer B 1997-08-15
Movie If Lucy Fell Handsome Man 1996-03-08
Movie Fled Pat Schiller 1996-07-19
Movie Killer: A Journal of Murder R.G. Greiser 1996-09-06
Movie Thinner Billy Halleck 1996-10-25
Movie Flirt Men's Room Man #2 1995-09-14
Movie A Far Off Place Paul Parker 1993-03-12
Movie RoboCop 3 Robocop 1993-11-05
Movie Heaven & Earth Paul 1993-12-24
Movie Tombstone Frank McLaury 1993-12-25
Movie Dust Devil Dust Devil 1992-07-11
Movie Simple Men Bill McCabe 1992-10-14
Movie Rambling Rose Dave Wilkie 1991-09-10
Movie The Unbelievable Truth Josh 1989-04-01
Movie Nightmare Weekend Dave 1984-04-01
Movie The Chosen Levi Saunders 1981-08-20
Movie Gangster Wars Officer Reardon 1981-04-09
Movie Looking for Mr. Goodbar Patrick 1977-10-19