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Lansing, Michigan
Birth Sign
Lansing, Michigan

Timothy Busfield, an actor, director, producer, and writer, became well-known around the world for his role as Elliot Weston in the popular television program “Thirtysomething.” His other standout roles include Danny Concannon in Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing,” Mark, the brother-in-law of Kevin Costner’s character in “Field of Dreams,” and Dr. John “J.T.” McIntyre in the medical drama “Trapper John, M.D.” Busfield, a native of Michigan, has had acting ambitions from a young age. He acquired a respectable education in theatre thanks to the influence of his father, a theater professor, and he soon began working as a stage professional. He made his acting debut in the war comedy “Stripes” in 1981. In the situational comedy “Reggie,” he played Mark Potter, in his debut television appearance. Busfield continued to play lesser roles throughout the ensuing years, honing his skills, and eventually landed his first leading role on television as Dr. John “J.T.” McIntyre. He has been a working actor for more than three decades, and he made his directing debut with a few episodes of his Emmy Award-winning sitcom “Thirtysomething.” Busfield has had a successful theater career in addition to his distinguished film and television roles, and he has garnered countless accolades for both his on-screen and stage performances. He established the California-based 501c3 non-profit theaters B Street Theatre and Fantasy Theatre for Children in the middle of the 1980s.

Early Childhood & Life

One of Roger and Jean Busfield’s four children, Timothy Busfield was born on June 12, 1957, in Lansing, Michigan. His mother worked as a secretary, and his father was a professor of drama. He has two sisters, Terry and Julia, as well as a brother named Buck.

After graduating from East Lansing High School, he continued his education at East Tennessee State University. He joined a production firm as a theatre expert soon after completing his degree.

A career in television and film

Timothy Busfield made his acting debut in the 1981 film Stripes, starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis; he was given the title “Soldier with Morter.” He received his first important part in the ABC sitcom “Reggie” two years later, in 1983. He made a total of six appearances as the recurrent character Mark Potter.

He had the opportunity to play Arnold Poindexter in the 1984 cult classic “Revenge of the Nerds,” which was the first significant role of his career. In 1987, he made a comeback to reprise his role in the follow-up film “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.”

In 1984, Busfield landed his first significant television job. In the television spinoff of the movie “MASH,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” played Dr. John “J.T.” McIntyre, the son of the title character. Then, between 1984 through 1986, he played a variety of characters in the NBC sitcom “Family Ties.”

He appeared in Phil Alden Robinson’s fantasy-drama sports movie “Field of Dreams,” which also starred Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster. It was chosen by the Library of Congress in 2017 to be conserved in the United States Nations Film Registry because it was deemed to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and it got three Oscar nominations. Busfield’s portrayal of Mark in the movie contrasts perfectly with Costner’s portrayal of Ray Kinsella, who is portrayed as rural and idealistic.

In the 1991 made-for-television horror movie “Strays,” he portrayed a displeased attorney. His debut telefilm was this one. He went on to play a number of more television roles after that. In the 1992 film Calendar Girl, Cop, Killer? In the Bambi Bembenek Story, he played Elfred Schultz, Laurie Bembenek’s real-life husband. He also played Del Calvin in the 1992 film Fade to Black, a psychologist who analyzes human behavior, and John Thorn in the 1992 film Murder Between Friends (1994).

In ABC’s “The Byrds of Paradise,” Busfield had the opportunity to collaborate with Steven Spielberg. Sam Byrd, the head of the Byrd family, was portrayed by Busfield. The Hawaii-based TV show was notable for its eccentric cast members.

He appeared as a featured character in a 1987 episode of “Matlock.” Then, in 1992’s comedic caper “Sneakers,” he appeared onscreen alongside Sidney Poitier and Robert Redford. He spent the following few months in London filming “Wall of Silence,” a 1993 television movie in which he played Ephraim Lipshitz, a Mossad operative infiltrating a Hasidic Jewish community. He traveled to Canada in 1997 to film “Trucks.”

He received high appreciation from critics for his depiction of White House correspondent Danny Concannon in Aaron Sorkin’s 1999–2006 serial political drama “The West Wing.” Joshua Malina, his brother-in-law, played Will Bailey in the show as well. The roles of Cal Shanley in “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” (2006–07), Benjamin Franklin in “Sleepy Hollow” (2014–15), and John Garner in “Secret and Lies” are just a few of his notable cinematic appearances (2015).

Busfield just made an appearance on an episode of ABC’s “Designated Survivor” from 2018.

Three “Thirtysomething” episodes served as the foundation for Busfield’s directing career. He also directed episodes of several other shows in the years that followed, including “Rude Awakening” (2000–2001), “Ed” (2001–03), “Without a Trace” (2004–06), “Las Vegas” (2003–07), “Lipstick Jungle” (2008), “Damages” (2007–11), and “The Night Shift” (2015–17).

Stage Career of Timothy Busfield

Busfield has accumulated a great deal of fame over the years as a theater actor and director. He had appearances in “A Few Good Men” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs” on Broadway. In 1982, he worked with Circle Repertory Company off-Broadway.

In Sacramento, California, Busfield co-founded the B Street Theater with his brother Buck, where he continues to work as an actor and director. They also formed Fantasy Theatre, a traveling group that specializes in kid-friendly material. He writes plays for the group on a regular basis.

Bigger Works

In ABC’s “Thirtysomething,” Timothy Busfield portrayed Elliot Weston, a businessman caught in a tumultuous marriage (1987-91). The family drama series, created by Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, followed a group of baby boomers in their thirties living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as they struggle to reconcile the contrast between the counterculture of their early years and the yuppie lifestyle that dominated American culture in the 1980s. Busfield’s performance earned him a Primetime Emmy.

Recognition & Achievements

After receiving four nominations, Timothy Busfield won the 1991 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the television series “Thirtysomething.”

For “One Smart Fellow,” he received the Audience Award for Best Fiction Short in 2016. (2015). Together with cinematographer Tommy Lohmann, he received the honor.
The Michigan State University awarded him an honorary PhD.

Individual Life of Timothy Busfield

Three marriages have taken place for Timothy Busfield. He wed Radha Delamarter, an actor, and director, for the first time in 1981. Wilson was their son, who was born to her (Willy). In 1986, the couple got divorced.

On September 11, 1988, he wed fashion designer Jennifer Merwin. Daisy and Samuel are their joint offspring. That union disintegrated in 2008.

A spokesperson for Busfield informed the media in January 2013 that the seasoned performer had proposed to Melissa Gilbert over the holiday season and that she had accepted. On April 24, 2013, they were married at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, in a secret ceremony. Currently, the pair resides in Howell, Michigan.

Estimated net worth

An American actor, director, producer, and writer with a net worth of $500,000 is Timothy Busfield. That is his total net worth, including the actress Melissa Gilbert, his wife since 2013.


Busfield has owned several standard-bred horses throughout the years, and he still takes his kids to the Golden Bear racetrack at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California.