Tom Cavanagh Biography

Tom Cavanagh photo

Born: October 26, 1963


Date of Birth: October 26, 1963

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Tom Cavanagh graduated with degrees in English, Biology, and Education before moving to New York City to study at the acclaimed HB Studio. He began his acting career in Canada in theater (including a 1989 Broadway-bound revival of Shenandoah starring Hal Linden that debuted in Toronto) and commercials, including several TV ads for Labatt's Blue that made him a familiar face in Canadian households. Appearing with long hair, sitting on a dock by a lake, he became famous for the phrase, "If I wanted water, I'd ask for water."

He made his film debut as a police officer in Who Shot Patakango (1989) starring Sandra Bullock, followed by guest appearances in Canadian TV shows such as Street Legal and Madison. In 1995 he landed a supporting role in the Global TV series Jake and the Kid, which lasted four seasons. In the meantime, he appeared on other series such as Cold Squad, Eyes of a Cowboy and The Outer Limits, as well as landing supporting roles in Canadian TV movies.

Like many Canadian actors, he traveled to Los Angeles in the spring to audition during "pilot season" and in 1999, struck it big when he landed a recurring role as Doug Boyce on the NBC drama Providence. The following year, he was cast as the star of Ed, about a man who gives up a successful career as a lawyer to return to his hometown, Stuckeyville, and buys the local bowling alley. The hour-long comedy made Cavanagh a household name in the U.S. and earned him a 2001 Family Television Award, a 2001 TV Guide Award and a 2002 Golden Globe nomination.

The series enjoyed four seasons, and since then Cavanagh has lent his talents to a number of projects, including playing Jeremy Stone in the ABC drama series Eli Stone from 2008 to 2009, and then Connor in the short-lived drama series Trust Me for Turner Network Television (TNT). He's also appeared in feature films such as Two Weeks (2005) opposite Sally Field, How to Eat Fried Worms (2006), the Canadian film Breakfast with Scot (2007) and the family film Yogi Bear (2010).

In his spare time, Cavanagh plays guitar and enjoys a number of sports, including basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer. Married in 2004 to Sports Illustrated photo editor Maureeen Grise, Cavanagh and his wife have two sons and a daughter.

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