John Shea

Primetime Emmy Award winner John Shea, one of the most versatile actors of his generation, has continually received critical acclaim for fleshing out a wide range of fully dimensional characters for stage, film, and television.  After his film debut in Hussy opposite Helen Mirren, Shea burst onto the international scene in Costa-Gavras’ 1982 Academy Award winning political thriller Missing, which won the Palme D’Or at Cannes. He began a tradition of working with talented leading actresses in forty films shot around the world. Since his Broadway debut starring as a Yeshiva boy in Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singers’ Yentlas at age 27, he has starred in twenty productions of new and classic plays On and Off-Broadway and in London’s West End, where did Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart. Shea’s television work includes starring in five series, including international hits Lois and Clark, The New Adventures of Superman as Lex Luthor, Mutant X for Marvel, and the original Gossip Girl as Harold Waldorf.

An award-winning filmmaker, he co-wrote, directed, and acted in the drama Southie. Shea also wrote, directed, produced, and acted in the romantic thriller Grey Lady set on Nantucket, both films distributed internationally by Lionsgate Films; he produced the soundtrack for both films. Shea trained at Bates College, where he played football and was captain of the debate team. Accepted debate team captain an actor at the Yale School of Drama, he graduated with an MFA in Directing. In New York, he worked with mentors Lee Strasberg at the Actor’s Studio, Joseph Papp at the Public Theatre, and Robert Kalfin at The Chelsea Theatre. While at Bates, Shea got his professional start at The Theatre Workshop of Nantucket.  Many years later, he returned toirect, and act ions as Artistic Director, helping restore the TWN as a collaborative creative force.  As Artistic Director Emeritus, recent work includes acting in Terms of Endearment, James Gallagher, and directing and playing Ahab for twelve seasons in Orson Welles’ Moby Dick Rehearsed. Shea is married to the artist and sculptor Melissa MacLeod.