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Dylan McDermott is a household name thanks to his roles in multiple movies and on the television shows The Practice and Dark Blue. However, the actor was born Mark Anthony McDermott on October 26, 1961, in Waterbury, Connecticut, to parents Richard and Diane McDermott. The couple were teenagers when McDermott was born and they divorced when he was seven years old. Perhaps the eventful childhood lived by this actor helped to generate the emotions that they would later express so well on screen and stage.

Dylan McDermott’s mother died in 1967 in what her boyfriend claimed was an accident involving his gun. His maternal grandmother assumed responsibility for raising McDermott and his sister Robin in Waterbury, Connecticut. As he entered his teens, he frequently visited his father in Manhattan and helped bartend and break up fights at his father’s bar, the West Fourth Street Saloon. His father’s third wife, Eve Ensler, was very close to the young teenager and adopted him when he was fifteen. She wrote parts for him in his plays and encouraged him to continue acting. In fact, Dylan’s stage name was chosen after his stepmother aborted a baby of the same name.

His heroes in the world of acting were Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart, and McDermott would try to imitate their behavior and mannerisms during his troubled teenage years. After attending Fordham University acting school, Dylan McDermott pursued the dream of acting in movies, earning roles in movies like Twister, Steel Magnolias, and In the Line of Fire, among many others. His Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning role as self-made attorney Bobby Donnell in The Practice fueled his rise to stardom. He has also appeared in multiple television shows and plays. His most recent work is seen in Christopher B. Landon’s avant-garde film Burning Palms.

On a personal note, McDermott was married to Shiva Afshar Rose, an actress and activist for social change. The couple have two daughters, Colette and Charlotte Rose. They divorced in 2009. Dylan McDermott has been sober for more than twenty years in his struggle with alcoholism. In an interview, he states that acting is a form of therapy for him, and the choices he makes in roles are his way of solving psychological problems. Some are dark and some are humorous depending on what stage of life you’re going through. McDermott’s rugged good looks have garnered the attention of People magazine, Men’s Health and GQ.

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