|Is||Actor Stage actor Television actor Film actor|
|From||Slovenia United States of America|
|Type||Film, Television, Stage and Radio|
|Birth||15 September 1957, Ljubljana, Slovenia|
Željko Ivanek (né Šimić-Ivanek; /ˈʒɛlkoʊ ɪˈvɑːnɪk/; [ˈʒɛːlkɔ iˈʋaːnək]; born August 15, 1957) is a Slovenian–American actor, known for his role as Ray Fiske on Damages, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award. Ivanek is also known for his role of Ed Danvers on Homicide: Life on the Street and Homicide: The Movie, Governor James Devlin on Oz, Andre Drazen on 24, Blake Sterling on the short-lived NBC series The Event, and Emile "The Hunter" Danko in Heroes. From 2014 until 2019, he starred as Russell Jackson in the CBS drama Madam Secretary. He also had a recurring role as F.B.I Special Agent Jim Racine in the Cinemax original series Banshee.
Early life and education
Ivanek was born Željko Šimić-Ivanek in Ljubljana, PR Slovenia, FPR Yugoslavia. In 1960, Željko, his mother and younger brother, Ivan, immigrated to Palo Alto, California, where his father was studying for his PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford University.
After a two-year stay, in 1962, the family moved back to Yugoslavia for five years and then returned to Palo Alto in 1967. Having performed in numerous community theater plays in the San Francisco Bay Area, he graduated from Ellwood P. Cubberley High School in Palo Alto in 1975. Ivanek graduated from Yale University majoring in theater in 1978 and afterward attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Ivanek has worked extensively on the stage. In 1982, he originated the role of Hally in Athol Fugard's play "Master Harold"...and the Boys. He appeared in the U.S. premieres of Cloud Nine (for which he earned the 1981 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play) and The Pillowman. He performs frequently on Broadway and has been nominated for three Tony Awards, for his performances in the original production of Brighton Beach Memoirs, in Two Shakespearean Actors, and in a revival of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, alongside David Schwimmer and Tim Daly.
However, Ivanek is perhaps best known for his supporting roles in a number of well-known television series. His first television role was as Sammie Wheaton on the ABC soap opera The Edge of Night. Other roles include Emile Danko in Heroes; Roland in The X-Files; prosecuting attorney Ed Danvers in Homicide: Life on the Street; Ray Fiske in Damages; J.J. in Big Love; the Magister in True Blood; Governor James Devlin in Oz; Serbian terrorist Andre Drazen in 24; and Blake Sterling, the Director of National Intelligence in the NBC drama series The Event.
Most recently, Ivanek played Russell Jackson, Chief of Staff, in the TV series Madam Secretary. He portrayed John Dickinson, the Pennsylvania representative to the Second Continental Congress, in the HBO miniseries John Adams. He has guest-starred on such shows as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and House. He has appeared several times on Law & Order as both one-off characters and as Ed Danvers, this last in crossover episodes with Homicide: Life on the Street.
In addition to his stage and television work, Ivanek has appeared in more than 20 feature films, including The Sender, in which he made his feature film debut as the unnamed title character, The Bourne Legacy, In Bruges, Dogville, Black Hawk Down, Donnie Brasco, Argo, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
In 2012, he portrayed Dr. Stafford White in the Fox drama The Mob Doctor. As of 2014, he has supporting roles in several shows on broadcast and cable television, including the NBC drama series Revolution, where he plays the recurring roles of Dr. Calvin Horn and an illusory nanotech avatar of Horn; the USA Network drama Suits; the Cinemax drama Banshee; and the FX series The Americans.
In the documentary That Guy... Who Was in That Thing, Ivanek states that his contract includes a rider to ensure that the first letter in his name, Ž, has its caron properly rendered in any credits sequence where his name appears.
Ivanek has received recognition for his on-screen work. In 2008, he was awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in the role of Ray Fiske on Damages.