James Timothy Daly (born March 1, 1956) is an American actor and producer. He is known for his role as Joe Hackett on the NBC sitcom Wings and his voice role as Clark Kent/Superman in Superman: The Animated Series, as well as his recurring role as the drug-addicted screenwriter J.T. Dolan on The Sopranos (for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award). He starred as Pete Wilder on Private Practice from 2007 to 2012. From 2014 until 2019, he portrayed Henry McCord, husband of the Secretary of State, on the CBS drama Madam Secretary.
Daly was born March 1, 1956, at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, the only son and youngest of four children of actor James Daly and actress Mary Hope (née Newell) Daly. He is the younger brother of actress Tyne Daly. He has two other sisters, Mary Glynn (wife of Mark Snow) and Pegeen Michael. Daly attended The Putney School, where he started to study acting.
Daly began his professional career while a student at Vermont’s Bennington College, where he studied Theatre and Literature, from which he now holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, and acted in summer stock. He graduated from college in 1979, and returned to New York to continue studying acting and singing.
Daly debuted on stage when he was seven years old in Jenny Kissed Me by Jean Kerr, together with his parents and two sisters. He appeared for the first time on TV when he was 10 years old in an American Playhouse adaptation of An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, which starred his father James Daly. He dreamed about a sports or music career and also considered becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but finally decided to become an actor. Daly started his professional acting career when he appeared in a 1978 adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s play Equus.
His first leading film role was in the film Diner, directed by Barry Levinson, in which he shared screen time with actors including Kevin Bacon and Mickey Rourke. Starring roles soon followed in Alan Rudolph’s feature, Made in Heaven, the American Playhouse production of The Rise & Rise of Daniel Rocket, and the CBS dramatic series, Almost Grown created by David Chase.
In theatre he has starred in the Broadway production of Coastal Disturbances by playwright Tina Howe opposite Annette Bening and received a 1987 Theatre World Award for his performance. He has also starred in Oliver, Oliver at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Mass Appeal by Bill C. Davis and Bus Stop by William Inge at Trinity Repertory Company, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams at the Santa Fe Festival Theatre, A Knife in the Heart and A Study in Scarlet at the Williamstown Playhouse, and Paris Bound at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. During this time, Daly also starred in the CBS television miniseries I’ll Take Manhattan as Toby Amberville.
Daly describes himself as being highly self-critical in regard to his career. In an interview with New Zealand ‘ZM’ radio personality Polly Gillespie, Daly was quoted as saying, “I think part of it (his self-critical nature) is passed down to me from my parents who are actors. The theatre was our temple… When you entered you were expected to live up to the example of this glorious place.”
Wings is an American sitcom that ran on NBC from April 19, 1990, to May 14, 1997. It starred Daly and Steven Weber as brothers Joe and Brian Hackett. The show was set at the fictional Tom Nevers Field, a small airport in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where the Hackett brothers operated the one-plane airline, Sandpiper Air.
Daly also became noted for voicing Clark Kent/Superman in Superman: The Animated Series during this time.
In 1997, he and J. Todd Harris formed Daly-Harris Productions, through which he produced such movies as: Execution of Justice (1999) (TV), Urbania (2000) and Tick Tock (2000). In 1998, Daly appeared in several episodes of the Emmy award-winning, Tom Hanks-produced HBO mini-series From the Earth to the Moon playing astronaut Jim Lovell, whom Hanks himself had portrayed in the film Apollo 13.
During the 2000–2001 television season, Daly starred as Dr. Richard Kimble in a remake of the classic television series The Fugitive. The series lasted only one season.
In 2002, Daly guest-starred as himself in the TV series Monk in the episode “Mr. Monk and the Airplane”, briefly reuniting him with his Wings castmate Tony Shalhoub. In 2006, Daly returned to Broadway when he appeared on stage opposite David Schwimmer and Željko Ivanek in the Broadway revival of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. Daly made several appearances on The Sopranos as J.T. Dolan, an AA buddy of Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli). Daly received a 2007 Emmy nomination for his work on the series. He appeared on the midseason ABC crime series Eyes, which got good reviews but was canceled after only five episodes. In 2006, Daly played the role of Nick Cavanaugh on the new ABC drama The Nine. From 2007 to 2012, Daly played a love interest for Kate Walsh’s character on the TV series Private Practice.
As a voice-actor, Daly portrayed superhero Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent in Superman: The Animated Series (1996–2000), but was unable to return as Superman (thus being replaced by Christopher McDonald in Batman Beyond and George Newbern in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited), as he was under contract to star in a remake of the 1960s TV drama The Fugitive. He reprised his role as Superman in the video game Superman: Shadow of Apokolips and the direct-to-video releases Superman: Brainiac Attacks, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and Justice League: Doom. Daly reprised his role as Superman in an animated remake of the trailer for the 2013 film Man of Steel by the Hub Network to celebrate the release of the film and to promote the network’s upcoming marathon of Superman episodes.
Daly heads Red House Entertainment. Movies produced through the company include Edge of America, which won a Peabody Award and a Humanitas Prize, and Daly’s directing debut, the independent film Bereft. Daly also created Wandering Bark Productions, based at Paramount Pictures, a company designed to develop and produce a variety of film, television and theater projects. The company’s producing credits include the Los Angeles premiere of Vincent J. Cardinal’s play A Colorado Catechism, starring Daly. The play received favorable reviews and earned Daly the Drama-Logue Award for Best Actor. Daly co-produced a documentary, PoliWood, about the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. The documentary, directed by Barry Levinson had its premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.
In 2014, Daly guest starred in recurring roles on The Mindy Project and Hot in Cleveland. From mid-2014 until 2019, he played Henry McCord, the husband of the title character on the TV series Madam Secretary.
In 2015, Daly reprised his role as Superman for Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, an interactive dark ride found at seven different Six Flags theme parks across the United States and Mexico.
Daly is an activist in various liberal political and social causes. In 2004, he became active in the presidential politics of the Democratic Party by joining “John Kerry for President,” an organization dedicated to John Kerry’s presidential candidacy for the 2004 election.
In the beginning of 2007, Daly became a member of The Creative Coalition (TCC), a nonprofit, (501(c)(3)) liberal, politically active group formed of members of the American film entertainment industry; since 2008, Daly has served as President of the Creative Coalition. As a member of TCC Daly has joined the National Task Force on Children’s Safety, a program co-founded by The Creative Coalition and Safety4Kids, “the first children’s media brand focused solely on safety and health.” According to the program website: “The Task Force is the first critical step in creating a national dialogue on safety and media literacy and determining next steps to ensure that the issues are prioritized in the minds of parents, educators and legislators.” “The Task Force is dedicated to awareness, education and lasting change by impacting national policy on safety education and media literacy.” In August 2007, Daly became one of the three chairs for the organization’s activity at the 2008 Democratic and Republican conventions. Along with actress Kerry Washington and writer/director Sue Kramer, Daly was responsible for leading “TCC’s Convention efforts designed to bring issues of importance to the forefront of the 2008 presidential campaign.” In November 2007, Daly interviewed Senator John Edwards, one of the Democratic presidential candidates.
In June 2008, Daly, together with Chandra Wilson, was named the 2008 ambassador for Lee National Denim Day – a fundraiser for breast cancer, benefiting the Women’s Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. In August 2008, Daly was named co-president of the Creative Coalition, a liberal group that works on issues such as health care reform and arts funding.
Daly married actress Amy Van Nostrand in 1982. They have two children, Sam and Emelyn. His daughter played as the niece of his character in Madam Secretary. She graduated from Barnard College in 2011 and was a Fulbright scholar to Brazil. In 2010, Daly and Van Nostrand divorced. He has been dating his Madam Secretary co-star Téa Leoni since December 2014.
In 2012, Daly climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. That same year, he and his sister Tyne endorsed the re-election campaign of Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama. Daly was in the Virgin America first-class lounge during the 2013 Los Angeles International Airport shooting. In January 2017, Daly broke both legs in a ski accident while on vacation in Sundance.
|1982||Diner||William “Billy” Howard|
|1984||Just the Way You Are||Frank Bantam|
|1987||Made in Heaven||Tom Donnelly|
|1990||Love or Money||Chris Murdoch|
|1989||The More You Know||Himself|
|1992||Year of the Comet||Oliver Plexico|
|1994||Caroline at Midnight||Detective Ray Dillon||a.k.a. Someone’s Watching|
|1995||Denise Calls Up||Frank Oliver|
|1995||Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde||Doctor Richard Jacks|
|1996||The Associate||Frank Peterson|
|1998||The Object of My Affection||Dr. Robert Joley|
|1998||The Batman/Superman Movie||Clark Kent / Superman||Voice role|
|1999||Seven Girlfriends||Jesse Campbell|
|2003||Basic||Colonel Bill Styles|
|2004||Against the Ropes||Gavin Reese|
|2004||Bereft||Uncle ‘Happy’||Also producer and director|
|2004||Return to Sender||Martin North||a.k.a. Convicted|
|2005||My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)||Professor Tatsuo Kusakabe (father)||Voice role (English version)|
|2006||Superman: Brainiac Attacks||Clark Kent / Superman||Voice role|
|2006||The Good Student||Ronald Gibb||a.k.a. Mr. Gibb|
|2009||The Skeptic||Bryan Becket|
|2009||Superman/Batman: Public Enemies||Clark Kent / Superman||Voice role|
|2010||Superman/Batman: Apocalypse||Clark Kent / Superman||Voice role|
|2010||Dilf||Jake Holt||Short film|
|2012||Justice League: Doom||Clark Kent / Superman||Voice role|
|2013||After Darkness||Raymond Beaty Sr.|
|2015||A Rising Tide||Tom Blake|
|1966||An Enemy of the People||Morten Stockmann||Movie|
|1981||Hill Street Blues||Dann||Episode: “Gatorbait”|
|1983||Ryan’s Four||Dr. Edward Gillian||Episode: “Ryan’s Four”|
|1984||I Married a Centerfold||Kevin Coates||Movie|
|1986||American Playhouse||Richard||Episode: “The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket”|
|1986||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Scott||Episode: “Enough Rope for Two”|
|1987||I’ll Take Manhattan||Toby Amberville||2 episodes|
|1988–1989||Almost Grown||Norman Foley||13 episodes|
|1989||Midnight Caller||Elliot Chase||Episode: “Watching Me, Watching You”|
|1989||Red Earth, White Earth||Guy Pehrsson||Movie|
|1990–1997||Wings||Joe Montgomery Hackett||172 episodes|
|1993||Alex Haley’s Queen||Colonel James Jackson Jr.||2 episodes|
|1993||In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco||David Koresh||Movie|
|1994||Dangerous Heart||Angel Perno||Movie|
|1994||Witness to the Execution||Dennis Casterline||Movie|
|1995||The John Larroquette Show||Thor Merrick||Episode: “Bad Pennies”|
|1996–2000||Superman: The Animated Series||Clark Kent / Superman / Bizarro (voice)||52 episodes|
|1998||From the Earth to the Moon||Jim Lovell||4 episodes|
|1998||Invasion America||Additional Voices||13 episodes|
|1999||Storm of the Century||Mike Anderson||3 episodes|
|1999||Execution of Justice||Dan White||Movie|
|1999||Intimate Portrait: Tyne Daly||Narrator||Movie|
|2000||A House Divided||Charles Dubose||Movie|
|2000–2001||The Fugitive||Dr. Richard Kimble||23 episodes|
|2002||Monk||Himself||Episode: “Mr. Monk and the Airplane”|
|2002||The Outsider||Johnny Gault||Movie|
|2003||Judging Amy||Monty Fisher||Episode: “Shock and Awe”|
|2003||Edge of America||Leroy McKinney||Movie|
|2003||Wilder Days||John Morse||Movie|
|2004–2007||The Sopranos||J.T. Dolan||4 episodes|
|2005||Eyes||Harlan Judd||12 episodes|
|2006||Commander in Chief||Cameron Manchester||Episode: “Happy Birthday, Madam President”|
|2006–2007||The Nine||Nick Cavanaugh||13 episodes|
|2007||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Reverend Jeb Curtis||Episode: “Sin”|
|2007||Grey’s Anatomy||Dr. Peter “Pete” Wilder||2 episodes|
|2007–2012||Private Practice||98 episodes|
|2013||Hawaii Five-0||Ray Harper||Episode: “A’ale Ma’a Wau”|
|2014||The Mindy Project||Charlie Lang||3 episodes|
|2014||Hot in Cleveland||Mitch||5 episodes|
|2014–2019||Madam Secretary||Henry McCord||120 episodes|
|1999||Execution of Justice||Executive producer, also actor|
|2003||Edge of America||Executive producer, also actor|
|2004||Bereft||Also director and actor|
|1987–88||Coastal Disturbances||Tina Howe||Leo Hart||Circle in the Square Theatre (February 14, 1987 – January 3, 1988)|
|2006||The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial||Herman Wouk||prosecutor Lt. Cmdr. John Challee||Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (May 7, 2006 – May 21, 2006)|
|1984||Fables For Friends||Trevor/Chris/Nicky/Victor/Eddie||Playwrights Horizons|
|1985||Oliver, Oliver||Paul Osborn||Oliver Oliver||Manhattan Theatre Club (Stage 73)
|1986||The Rise & Rise of Daniel Rocket||Peter Parnell||Richard|
|1986–87||Coastal Disturbances||Tina Howe||Leo Hart||McGinn-Cazale Theatre (Second Stage Theatre) (from November 19, 1986 – ran for 45 performances, then transferred to Broadway)|
|2003||Fear of Flying at 30||Erica Jong||Manhattan Theatre Club (May 2003)|
|2003||The Exonerated||Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen||Theatres at 45 Bleecker/Bleecker Street Theatre|
|1963||Jenny Kissed Me||Jean Kerr||Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, Pennsylvania|
|1978||Equus||Peter Shaffer||Alan Strang||Summer Stock (with Kevin McCarthy)|
|1981||The Fifth of July||Lanford Wilson||Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, Rhode Island|
|1981||Buried Child||Sam Shepard||Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, Rhode Island|
|1981||Of Mice and Men||John Steinbeck||Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, Rhode Island|
|1983||Mass Appeal||Bill C. Davis||Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, Rhode Island|
|1983||Bus Stop||William Inge||Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, Rhode Island|
|1983||The Cabaret||Williamstown Playhouse|
|1983||A Knife in the Heart||Susan Yankowitz||Donald Holt||Williamstown Playhouse|
|A Christmas Carol||Charles Dickens/Hall and Cumming adaptation||Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, Rhode Island|
|1985||Paris Bound||Philip Barry||Berkshire Theatre Festival|
|The Glass Menagerie||Tennessee Williams||Santa Fe Festival Theatre, Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|The Lion in Winter||James Goldman||Windham Repertory|
|1987||A Study in Scarlet||Sir Arthur Conan Doyle||Jefferson Hope||Williamstown Playhouse|
|Dugout||Mark Taper Forum Los Angeles|
|1993||The Colorado Catechism||Vincent J. Cardinal||Ty Wain||Coast Playhouse Los Angeles|
|Love Letters||A. R. Gurney||Andrew Makepiece Ladd III||Canon Theater Los Angeles|
|2000||Ancestral Voices||A. R. Gurney||George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, New Jersey|
|Love Letters||A. R. Gurney||Andrew Makepiece Ladd III||Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, Rhode Island|
|2004||Cabaret & Main||Darius de Haas||Williamstown Playhouse|
|2010||Six Degrees of Separation||John Guare||Flan Kittredge||Williamstown Theatre Festival, July 14–25|
|2016||The Ruins of Civilization|
|2017||Downstairs||Theresa Rebeck||Dorset Theatre Festival|
|2020||The Adventures of Superman||Clark Kent/Superman||DC FanDome|
Awards and nominations
|1987||Theatre World Awards||Best Debut Performance in a Broadway production||Coastal Disturbances||Won|
|1993||Drama-Logue Awards||Outstanding Actor||The Colorado Catechism||Won|
|2000||Golden Satellite Awards||Best Actor in a Television Series Drama||The Fugitive||Won|
|2001||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series||The Fugitive||Nominated|
|TV Guide Awards||Actor of the Year in a New Series||The Fugitive||Nominated|
|2005||TV Land Awards||Favorite Airborne Character(s)||Wings (shared with Steven Weber)||Nominated|
|Peabody Awards||Peabody Award Image||Edge of America||Won|
|2006||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Performer in a Children/Youth/Family Special||Edge of America||Nominated|
|2007||Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series||The Sopranos||Nominated|
|2008||Vail Film Festival||Excellence in Acting Award||an annual award||Won|