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Tahmoh Penikett

Tahmoh Penikett Canadian actor

Canadian actor
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Canadian actor
Countries Canada
Occupations Actor Film actor
Gender male
Birth 20 May 1975 (Whitehorse)
Star sign TaurusTaurus
Height: 1.905 m
The details

Tahmoh Penikett ([ˈtaʔmo] /ˈpɛnᵻkᵻt/; born May 20, 1975) is a Canadian actor. He is best known for playing Karl "Helo" Agathon on the SyFy Channel's television series Battlestar Galactica. He has starred in TV series Supernatural, Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, and the Showcase Time Travel Show Continuum.

Early life

Penikett was born in Whitehorse, Yukon. He is the son of former Yukon premier Tony Penikett, who moved to Victoria, British Columbia from England at age 12, and Lulla Sierra Johns, of the White River First Nation in the Yukon. He has two siblings, twin sisters Sarah and Stephanie. He graduated from the Victoria Motion Picture School and studied at the Lyric School of Acting in Vancouver.


In 2002, he had a brief appearance as one of the first Human-Form Replicators in the season 6 episode of Stargate SG-1, "Unnatural Selection". From 2004-2005, Penikett portrayed Ray Chase, who appeared in eleven episodes of the Canadian police drama, Cold Squad. He played a leading role as Noah Hamilton in the 2005 made-for-TV film Hush alongside actress Tori Spelling. He had a role in the video game Need for Speed: Carbon, as a street racer named Darius. He also appeared in four episodes of the television series Whistler as Elias Noth. Penikett also provided voice talent for antagonist Troy Hammerschmidt on the Adult Swim show Titan Maximum. In 2010, Penikett played the lead role of Matt Ellman on Syfy's miniseries Riverworld an adaption of the science fiction books written by Philip José Farmer of the same name. He starred in the first two episodes of Warner Brothers' Mortal Kombat: Legacy as Kurtis Stryker, which debuted in April on YouTube; he was replaced by Eric Jacobus for season 2.

Penikett in 2006

Among his early acting work were stints on assorted Canadian TV series such as Cold Squad. He also appeared on the TV show Smallville, in the episode "Resurrection" in Season 3 as Vince Davis, and in the Season 6 episodes "Nemesis" and "Prototype" as Sgt. Wes Keenan. He portrayed a police officer for a predominantly gay neighbourhood in the 2004 The L Word episode "Losing It", which starred Battlestar Galactica co-star Nicki Clyne in a related storyline.

In 2003, the 1978 science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica was "reimagined" as a three-hour miniseries on the SciFi Channel. The miniseries was filmed in Vancouver, Canada, and Penikett, a local actor, auditioned and was cast in the part of Karl "Helo" Agathon, an officer in the Colonial Fleet. The miniseries proved highly successful, and a Battlestar Galactica series was commissioned.

The role was not based on a character in the original series, and was meant to be confined only to the miniseries; in the miniseries Helo is shown giving up a spot on a spaceship fleeing the doomed planet of Caprica, with the implication that he was left to die. However, both the producers and test audiences were sufficiently impressed with the character, and Penikett's performance, that the decision was made to make Helo a recurring character on the show. A plot that took place over much of the show's first season was that the Cylons on Caprica kept Helo alive in order to have him fall in love with, and impregnate, a Cylon (Helo was chosen because his crew partner, Sharon Valerii, was in fact a Cylon, and another copy of the same model was sent to pretend to be her). By the second season, his character had returned to the Galactica; as the father of the only successful human-Cylon hybrid; this character and his family became central to the show's mythology.

Penikett in 2014

In 2009, Penikett was cast as Paul Ballard in Joss Whedon's science fiction drama television series Dollhouse, which aired on Fox network Friday nights at 9:00. During the first season, Ballard was the purported "good guy" cop who was trying to bring the Dollhouse down; however, an unhealthy fixation on Echo (the main character, portrayed by Eliza Dushku), as well as other factors, led to his expulsion from the FBI. In an attempt to both save Echo and himself, and in exchange for releasing former lover November (Miracle Laurie), Ballard joined the Dollhouse as Echo's handler during the second season, and worked insidiously from the inside in an attempt to set the dolls free from what he perceives as slavery and to bring down not just the Dollhouse but the power-hungry Rossum Corporation behind it.

During the post-apocalyptic future world shown in the "Epitaph" episodes ("Epitaph One" from season one and "Epitaph Two: Return" from season two), Ballard is displayed as having joined Echo as a freedom fighter working to restore order to the world and build a place referred to by the other free characters as "Safe Haven". He is killed without warning by a stray bullet in "Epitaph Two", though his personality is uploaded into Echo by the end of the episode.

Dollhouse was canceled at the end of its second season, and the series finale aired on Friday, January 29, 2010. In 2012, he guest-starred as a politician named Jim Martin in the first season of Showcase's Continuum. He returned as a recurring character in the second season of the show. In 2013, Penikett was cast on the CW TV series Supernatural as a fallen angel who claimed to be Ezekiel, appearing in the show's ninth season premiere. The character's real name was revealed as Gadreel in episode nine and Penikett reprised the role in episode ten. He has since reprised the roles in episodes eighteen, twenty-one and twenty-two. He also landed another recurring role on the mid-season drama Star-Crossed, which premiered in February, 2014.

In 2014, Penikett guest-starred in the 200th episode of Criminal Minds as Michael Hastings, an ex-CIA agent and leader of the terrorist group, The Regime Squad. Since 2014, he has also starred in the award-winning web series Riftworld Chronicles.

Personal life

Penikett currently lives in Vancouver with his family.

In support of the Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists Society, which is raising money for their friend and fellow Canadian actor Chula's cancer treatment, Penikett and his Battlestar Galactica colleague Kandyse McClure auctioned off the opportunity to have dinner with both of them in Vancouver in April 2008.

He trains in muay thai and has showcased his ability in various roles, including in Battlestar Galactica and most notably as Agent Ballard in the fight sequences in Dollhouse, where he choreographed most of his own moves.


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Go-Go Boy (Prelude) Aaron Fitz (Go-Go Boy) Short film
2005 Sandra Goes to Whistler Conrad Short film
2006 Stanley's Girlfriend Stanley Short film
2006 Trapped Ashes Young Leo Segment: "Stanley's Girlfriend"
2007 The Green Chain Brett Hall
2007 Taming Tammy Wilson
2007 Trick 'r Treat Henry
2010 The Hostage The Figure Short film
Also executive producer
2012 Big Time Movie Agent A
2013 Man of Steel Jed Eubanks
2013 Down River Chris
2014 The Portal Alar Short film
2015 Painkillers Major John Cafferty
2015 Justice League: Gods and Monsters Steve Trevor Direct-to-video
2016 Pure Pwnage Charles McBean


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Murder on the Iditarod Trail n/a TV movie
2001 24 Secret Service agent Season 1, various episodes
2002 Glory Days Eric Forester Episode:
"No Guts, No Glory"
2002 Dark Angel ND Cop Episode:
"Freak Nation"
2002 Wildfire 7: The Inferno Sheriff TV movie
2002 Stargate SG-1 Third Episode:
"Unnatural Selection"
2003 Under the Cover Jonas TV movie
2003 Just Cause Principal Joe Decker Episode:
"Blackboard Jungle"
2003 Battlestar Galactica (miniseries) Lt. Karl "Helo" Agathon Episodes:
"Episode 1.1
"Episode 1.2"
2004–07 Smallville Vince Davis/Wes Keenan Episodes:
2004–09 Battlestar Galactica (series) Lt./Capt. Karl "Helo" Agathon Series regular
2004 The L Word Sheriff Episode:
"Losing It"
2004–05 Cold Squad Det. Ray Chase Series regular; season 7 (13 episodes)
2006 Hush Noah Hamilton TV movie
2006 Lesser Evil Greg TV movie
2007 Robot Chicken Armpit/Karl C. Agathon/Scott Trakker Episode:
"Rabbits on a Roller Coaster"
2007 Battlestar Galactica: Razor n/a credit only
2007 Whistler Elias Noth Episodes:
"Passion Plays"
"Always a Bridesmaid"
"Last Run"
2009 Titan Maximum Troy Hammerschmiddtt (voice) Episodes:
"Went to Party, Got Crabs"
"To Eris, Human"
"Megamum Overdrive"
"Mercury Falling"
2009–10 Dollhouse Paul Ballard Series regular (27 episodes)
2010 Riverworld Matt Ellman TV movie
2010 Human Target Pete Episode:
"Ilsa Pucci"
2011 Mortal Kombat: Legacy Lt. Kurtis Stryker Episodes:
"Jax, Sonya and Kano: Part 1"
"Jax, Sonya and Kano: Part 2"
2011–12 The Killing Gregory "Greg" Casher (formerly Linden) Episodes:
"Beau Soleil"
"Ghosts of the Past"
2011 Jabberwock Francis TV movie
2011 Haven Simon Crocker Episode:
"Sins of the Fathers"
2011 Innocent Jimmy Brand TV movie
2012 Castle Cole Maddox Episodes:
"After the Storm"
2012–13 Continuum Jim Martin Episodes:
"The Politics of Time"
"Second Chances"
"Second Degree"
"Second Guess"
"Minute Man"
2012 Fairly Legal Mark Ellison Episode:
"Bait & Switch"
2012 Arrow Nick Salvati Episode:
"Muse of Fire"
2013 Bomb Girls Clifford Episodes:
"Fifth Column"
"Something Fierce"
"Romeo Foxtrot"
"Kings and Pawns"
"Blood Relations"
2013–14 Supernatural Ezekiel/Gadreel/Gadreel's vessel Episodes:
"I think I'm gonna like it here"
"Road Trip"
"Meta Fiction"
"King of the Damned"
"Stairway to Heaven"
"Do you believe in Miracles?"
2014 Star-Crossed SEU Officer Jack Beaumont Episode:
"These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends"
"Our Toil Shall Strive to Mend"
2014 Criminal Minds Michael Hastings Episode:
2014 Reign John Prevo Episode: Higher Ground
2014 Strange Empire Marshall Mercredi Recurring role
2015 Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles Steve Trevor Web series
2015 Angel of Christmas Derek TV movie
2015 Riftworld Chronicles Alar Web series
2016 Real Detective "Malice" Detective C.W. Jensen TV Series (1 Episode)
2016 Con Man Randy Lane Web series

Episode: "A Small Step for Manly"

2017 Incorporated Goran TV Series

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Need for Speed: Carbon Darius Voice and likeness

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