John Carroll Lynch

John Carroll Lynch (born August 1, 1963)[1][2] is an American character actor and film director. He first gained notice for his role as Norm Gunderson in Fargo. He is also known for his television work on the ABC sitcom The Drew Carey Show as the title character's cross-dressing brother, Steve Carey, as well as on American Horror Story: Freak Show and American Horror Story: Cult as Twisty the Clown. He returned to American Horror Story as a series regular, in American Horror Story: 1984, to portray Benjamin Richter, also known as Mr. Jingles, the main killer of the season.

John Carroll Lynch
Lynch in 2017
Born (1963-08-01) August 1, 1963
Alma materThe Catholic University of America
OccupationActor, film director, screenwriter
Years active1990–present
Brenda Wehle (m. 1997)

His films include Face/Off, Gran Torino, Shutter Island, Ted 2, The Invitation, and Zodiac. He also portrayed McDonald's co-founder Maurice McDonald in The Founder. He made his directorial debut with the 2017 film Lucky.

Early life

Lynch was born in Boulder, Colorado.[1] He attended Regis Jesuit High School in Denver. He studied theater at The Catholic University of America, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1986.[3]


Lynch was a member of the Guthrie Theater company. He starred in several productions, toured with the company and worked there for over eight seasons.[4][5]

Lynch made his feature film debut in Grumpy Old Men (1993). He gained notice starring as Norm Gunderson in the Coen brothers' film Fargo (1996). His other notable films are Face/Off (1997), Bubble Boy (2001), Gothika (2003), Things We Lost in the Fire (2007), Gran Torino (2008), Shutter Island (2010), Paul (2011) and Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011). He portrayed Arthur Leigh Allen in Zodiac (2007) and the first establisher of McDonald's, Mac McDonald, in The Founder (2016).

Lynch has also had an extensive career in television. He appeared in ABC sitcom The Drew Carey Show as the title character's cross-dressing brother, Steve Carey. He has also been a regular cast member on series such as Close to Home, Carnivàle, Body of Proof and seasons 4, 5, 7, and 9 of American Horror Story.

Personal life

Lynch has been married to actress Brenda Wehle (also a former member of the Guthrie Theatre Company) since 1997.[6]



1993Grumpy Old MenMoving Man
1995The CureSkipper #1Credited as John Lynch
1996Beautiful GirlsFrank Womack
FargoNorm Gunderson
Feeling MinnesotaCop
1997VolcanoStan Olber
Face/OffPrison Guard Walton
1998Mercury RisingMartin Lynch
The Naked ManSticks' Driver
RestaurantJohn English
1999Anywhere but HereJack Irwin
The Minus ManBartenderuncredited
Pushing TinDoctor Freeze
Freak WeatherEd
2000Gone in 60 SecondsImpound ManagerUncredited Cameo
2001Bubble BoyMr. Livingston
2002The Good GirlJack Field
BugWallace Gregory
Three Days of RainDinner Guest
2003GothikaSheriff Ryan
ConfidenceLeon Ashby
2004Catch That KidMr. Hartmunn
2005Mozart and the WhaleGregory
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim WorldStewart
2007Full of ItMr. Leonard
ZodiacArthur Leigh Allen
Things We Lost in the FireHoward Glassman
2008Gran TorinoBarber Martin
2009Love HappensWalter
2010Sympathy for DeliciousEvangelist Carroll
Shutter IslandDeputy Warden McPherson
2011PaulMoses Buggs
Crazy, Stupid, LoveBernie Riley
2012Lay the FavoriteDave Greenberg
2013The Pretty OneFrank
2014Camp X-RayCol. James Drummond
2015Hot PursuitCaptain Emmett
Ted 2Tom Jessup
The InvitationPruitt
2016Miracles from HeavenPastor Scott
JackieLyndon B. Johnson
The FounderMac McDonald
2017LuckyN/ADirectorial debut
Anything Early Landry
2018Private LifeCharlie
White OrchidSheriff Mann
2019The HighwaymenLee Simmons


1996FrasierActor playing FranklinEpisode: "The Show Where Diane Comes Back"
Murder OneOfficer Carl BickleyEpisode: "Chapter Thirteen"
The ClientFrankEpisode: "Damn Yankees"
Voice from the GraveProsecutor O'GaneTelevision film
A Friend's BetrayalMr. FranksTelevision film
1996, 1997Life's WorkDistrict Attorney Agee / Crazy Larry2 episodes
1997–2004The Drew Carey ShowSteve Carey72 episodes
1997The PracticeDr. Robert LarsonEpisode: "Search and Seizure"
The VisitorJoe YorkEpisode: "Going Home"
1998From the Earth to the MoonRobert R. Gilruth2 episodes
1999Star Trek: VoyagerGerald MossEpisode: "11:59"
Late Last NightSgt. Van WyckTelevision film
Tuesdays with MorrieWalter MoranTelevision film
2000The FugitiveRaynorEpisode: "Pilot"
The West WingJackEpisode: "Galileo"
2001Gideon's CrossingSonny GreenEpisode: "The Race"
2002Live from BaghdadJohn HollimanTelevision film
2003The Brotherhood of Poland, New HampshireMayor Garrett Shaw7 episodes
2005–2006Close to HomeSteve Sharpe21 episodes
2005CarnivàleVarlyn Stroud12 episodes
American Dad!Mr. Simms (voice)Episode: "Stannie Get Your Gun"
2007–2008K-VilleCaptain James Embry11 episodes
2007Big LoveOfficer Chuck Tuttle2 episodes
2009Lie to MeMr. ReedEpisode: "Truth or Consequences"
MonkKurt PressmanEpisode: "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk"
CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationBuddy ArnoldEpisode: "Bloodsport"
2010–2012The GladesMike Ogletree2 episodes
2010How to Make It in AmericaLarryEpisode: "Keep on Truck'n"
2011–2013Body of ProofBud Morris26 episodes
2013Do No HarmWill Hayes10 episodes
2013–2014Comedy Bang! Bang!Ned Dooley2 episodes
2014House of LiesGil Selby2 episodes
The AmericansFred6 episodes
ManhattanDaniel Ellis2 episodes
Us & ThemEdEpisode: "Coeds & Carburetors"
2014–2015American Horror Story: Freak ShowTwisty the Clown5 episodes
2015–2016American Horror Story: HotelJohn Wayne Gacy2 episodes
2015The Walking DeadEastmanEpisode: "Here's Not Here"
2016–2017Turn: Washington's SpiesJames Rivington6 episodes
2016BillionsMr. GilbertEpisode: "The Punch"
2017American Horror Story: CultTwisty the Clown2 episodes
Channel Zero: The No-End HouseJohn Sleator6 episodes
2018The Handmaid's TaleDanEpisode: "Unwomen"
One DollarBud Carl
2019VeepLloyd Hennick3 episodes
American Horror Story: 1984Benjamin Richter / Mr. Jingles9 episodes

Awards and nominations

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResultRef.
201642nd Saturn AwardsBest Guest Starring Role on TelevisionThe Walking DeadNominated[7]
2017Fangoria Chainsaw AwardsBest Supporting ActorThe InvitationNominated[8]
CamerimageDirectors' Debuts CompetitionLuckyNominated[9]
Chicago Film Critics AssociationMost Promising FilmmakerNominated[10]
Haifa International Film FestivalCarmel Award for Best FilmNominated[11]
Fedeora Award - Directors of TomorrowWon[12]
Locarno FestivalGolden LeopardNominated[13]
Prize of the Ecumenical JuryWon
22nd Satellite Awards Special Achievement Award for Best First Feature Won [14]
Los Angeles Film Festival Special Mention for Acting Anything Won [15]


  1. "John Carroll Lynch". Rovi. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014 via The New York Times.
  2. "[S]ome sources cite May 11, 1961", per "John Carroll Lynch Biography (1963?-)". Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  3. "Alumni Relations: Arts & Entertainment". The Catholic University of America. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  4. "John Carroll Lynch lands juicy role in 'Freak Show'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  5. "John Carroll Lynch". Guthrie Theater. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  6. "Brenda Wehle Biography ((?)-)". Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  7. Bryant, Jacob (February 24, 2016). "'Star Wars,' 'Mad Max,' 'Walking Dead' Lead Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  8. "Never mind Oscar, here's the 2017 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Nominees Ballot!". FANGORIA®. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  10. ""Lady Bird," "Call Me By Your Name" win big for Chicago film critics". Chicago Film Critics Association. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  11. "Carmel Competition - International Film Competition 2017".
  12. "Best Israeli Feature Film Award – "The Testament"".
  13. "Locarno Festival on Twitter". Twitter.
  14. Pond, Steve (28 November 2017). "'Dunkirk,' 'The Shape of Water' Lead Satellite Award Nominations".
  15. Kilday, Gregg (June 22, 2017). "Los Angeles Film Festival Unveils Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
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