Robert John Burke

Robert John Burke

  • Born on
    • September 12th, 1960
A born-and-bred New Yorker, Robert John Burke made his film debut while in his early 20s with a small part in the drama "The Chosen" (1981), based on the Chaim Potok story. He went on to study acting at SUNY Purchase where he met aspiring filmmaker Hal Hartley, who cast him as one of the leads in his debut feature "The Unbelievable Truth," an offbeat indie tale where he played a man trying to escape his troubled past. Working with Hartley again on the charming brother-centric dark comedy "Simple Men," Burke caught a major break when Hollywood producers decided that his chiseled jawline was the right one to replace Peter Weller's in the sci-fi/action sequel "RoboCop 3." Despite Burke's efforts, the movie tanked, and he went on to smaller roles in major films, including the lauded Western "Tombstone" (1993) and the prison-break movie "Fled" (1996). Burke landed his second chance in a Hollywood starring role with the Stephen King adaptation "Thinner" (1996), but the macabre tale, which featured him under heavy makeup to depict a callous man who magically loses weight, was deemed almost universally unlikable.Though Burke's leading-man days were mostly behind him, his beastly role in Hartley's "No Such Thing" (2001) aside, he soldiered on, and began increasingly working on television with recurring roles on the grim prison drama "Oz" and the police procedural "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). Appearing in George Clooney's first two movies as director, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002) and "Good Night, and Good Luck." (2005), Burke nonetheless became more familiar to TV audiences, particularly when he signed on to play Mickey Gavin, the ex-priest cousin of Denis Leary's lead character on the firefighter series "Rescue Me," a part that dovetailed with Burke's real-life second job as a New York State fireman.Often cast as a tough guy, the ruggedly handsome and tall actor continued to play imposing figures such as Major General James "Chaos" Mattis in the Iraq War miniseries "Generation Kill" (HBO, 2008) and Bart Bass, the controlling billionaire father of Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) on the soapy drama "Gossip Girl." Before long, he was juggling his ongoing "Law & Order: SVU" part with regular spots on the military drama "Army Wives" (Lifetime, 2007- ) and the tense crime show "Person of Interest" (CBS, 2011- ), while still finding time for supporting turns in films, including the Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg action movie "2 Guns" (2013).

Starring Robert John Burke on Plex


Acting (36 Credits)

2018Boarding School as Mr. Holcomb
2018BlacKkKlansman as Chief Bridges
2015True Story as Greg Ganley
2014Ned Rifle as Chet
20132 Guns as Jessup
2012Safe as Captain Wolf
2011Limitless as Pierce
2009Brooklyn's Finest as State Trooper #1Watch Free
2008Miracle at St. Anna as General Ned Almond
2006The Oh in Ohio as Binky Taylor
2006The Ex as Colonel
2006Kidnapped as BellowsWatch Free
2005Hide and Seek as Steven
2005Good Night, and Good Luck. as Charlie Mack
2004Speak as Mr. Neck
2004Connie and Carla as Rudy
2002Confessions of a Dangerous Mind as Instructor Jenks
2001No Such Thing as Monster
1998A Bright Shining Lie as Frank Drummond
1997Cop Land as Officer B
1996Thinner as Billy Halleck
1996Fled as Pat Schiller
1996If Lucy Fell as Handsome Man
1995Flirt as Men's Room Man #2
1995Killer: A Journal of Murder as R.G. Greiser
1993RoboCop 3 as RoboCop
1993Heaven & Earth as Paul
1993A Far Off Place as Paul Parker
1993Tombstone as Frank McLaury
1992Dust Devil as Dust Devil
1992Simple Men as Bill McCabe
1991Rambling Rose as Dave Wilkie
1989The Unbelievable Truth as Josh
1986Nightmare Weekend as Dave
1981The Chosen as Levi Saunders
1977Looking for Mr. Goodbar as Patrick


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