Actor Paul Adelstein

Paul Adelstein (born April 29, 1969) is an American actor, known for the role of Agent Paul Kellerman in the Fox television series Prison Break and his role as pediatrician Cooper Freedman in the ABC medical drama Private Practice. In addition to supporting roles in films such as Intolerable Cruelty and Memoirs of a Geisha, he is also known for his recurring role as Leo Bergen on ABC’s Scandal and as Jake Novak in the Bravo television series Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. He also played Shelley Cohen on Imposters, another Bravo series, and David Sweetzer on the short-lived NBC comedy I Feel Bad.

Early life

Adelstein was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Reform Jewish family. Prior to his professional acting career, Adelstein attended the progressive Francis W. Parker School, then Bowdoin College where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a degree in English. He began his career in theatre, working with New Crime Productions, a company founded by John Cusack, and later with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.


After making his film debut in the film, The Grifters (1990), Adelstein went on to appear in several television series, including Cupid, ER, Without a Trace, and Scrubs, and to play a number of significant supporting roles in films such as Bedazzled (2000), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), and Be Cool (2005).

In 2005, he received his most significant role to date as a member of the regular cast of the suspenseful television series Prison Break. Although he played the role of mysterious government operative Paul Kellerman, he had originally auditioned for the role of protagonist Lincoln Burrows. When he left the show in 2007, he joined the regular cast of the medical drama Private Practice and stayed for the show’s entire six-season run. After the series finale in 2013, he had more recently a recurring role as Leo Bergen on Scandal, which continued into 2018.

He played the main role of Jake Novak, the husband of Abby McCarthy (Lisa Edelstein) in Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, which premiered in late 2014 as the first scripted original series for Bravo. In April 2016, he was cast as Raymond Blackstone in the Hulu series Chance, starring Hugh Laurie.

Music career

Adelstein is the lead singer and guitarist of a band called Doris. The band was started in the late 1990s, and Adelstein has recorded several albums with them, singing and songwriting for the group. Adelstein is also a pianist and guitarist. His musical background was the cover story in the May/June 2012 issue of Making Music Magazine.

Personal life

Adelstein moved to Los Angeles in 2003, at the age of 34.

I’ve fallen in love with the city. I found it difficult at first, but like I said I was doing it in pretty small doses. By the time I had my own place I was pretty comfortable here, and now I love it. There’s really no place in the world like Los Angeles, love it or hate it.

Despite hailing from Chicago, Adelstein has been a fan and supporter since childhood of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

Adelstein married actress Liza Weil in a Reform Jewish ceremony, in November 2006. They had previously known each other through theatrical projects. The two went on to appear together in three film projects: the short film Order Up (2007), the Gregory Dark-helmed Frenemy (2008), and The Missing Person. She also appeared in an episode of Private Practice (airdate February 24, 2011), although she and Adelstein had no scenes together.

Weil became pregnant in mid-2009 with her only child with Adelstein, a girl born on April 20, 2010. Weil filed for divorce from Adelstein in March 2016, requesting joint custody of their daughter and using mediation to hash out spousal support.



Year Title Role Notes
1990 The Grifters Sailor – Young Paul
1997 Peoria Babylon Brad Kessler
2000 Bedazzled Bob/Roberto/Beach Jock/Sportscaster
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Wrigley
2004 Lawrence Melm
Bandwagon Joe Rice
Collateral Fed #3
2005 Memoirs of a Geisha Lieutenant Hutchins
Be Cool Hy Gordon
2009 Land of the Lost Astronaut (voice)
The Missing Person Drexler Hewitt
Little Fish, Strange Pond aka. Frenemy Philly direct-to-DVD
2010 Happy Sushi short
2014 Return to Zero Aaron Main Role
2016 The Phenom Scott Borwitz
Mothers and Daughters Peter


Year Title Role Notes
1998–1999 Cupid Mike Television episodes (1×01, 1×02, 1×06, 1×07, 1×09, 1×11, 1×14)
1999 Turks Officer Cliff Fowler Television series
ER Hank Loman 1 episode (6×09: “How the Finch Stole Christmas’)
2002 R.U.S./H. Tom Epstein Television movie
ER 1 episode (8×17: “Bygones”)
Breaking News Julian Kerbis Television series
2002–2003 Hack Sergeant Aldo Rossi 5 episodes (1×13, 1×14, 1×20, 2×04, 2×10)
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Steven Kellerman 1 episode (4×14: “Mercy”)
Partners and Crime Television movie
The Lyon’s Den Snyder 1 episode (1×09)
Without a Trace Dave 1 episode (2×05: “Copy Cat”)
2004 Las Vegas Alex Brooks Television episode (2×11: “My Beautiful Launderette”)
2005 Medium Craig 1 episode (1×14: “In the Rough”)
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Murro 1 episode (3×02)
Prison Break Paul Kellerman Television series
Series regular
48 episodes
2006 Nobody’s Watching Jeff Tucker Television series
Scrubs Dr. Stone 1 episode (5×21: “My Fallen Idol”)
2007 Grey’s Anatomy Cooper Freedman 2 episodes (3×22, 3×23)
2007–2013 Private Practice Television series
Series regular
111 episodes
2010 Glenn Martin DDS Earl (voice) 1 episode (“Courtney’s Pony”)
2013–2018 Scandal Leo Bergen Television series
18 episodes
2014–2018 Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce Jake Novak Television series
Series regular, producer
26 episodes
2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Neil Alexander 1 episode (“Decaying Morality”)
2016 Chance Raymond Blackstone TV series
2017 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Seamus Murphy Recurring, Season 5
2017 Get Shorty Wes Krupke Recurring, 2 episodes
2017 Imposters Shelly Cohen 3 episodes
2018 I Feel Bad David Main role
2019 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Oscar Lehman 1 episode (“It’s the Sixties, Man!”)
2019- Chicago P.D Jason Crawford Recurring, Season 7

External Links

Actor Paul Adelstein – Wikipedia

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