Robert John Burke

Robert John Burke

  • Birthday: 1960-09-12
  • Place of birth: New York City, New York, USA
  • Also know as: John Burke

Biography

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).

Filmography

Thinner

1996

As Billy Halleck

Dust Devil

1992

As Dust Devil

RoboCop 3

1993

As RoboCop

Simple Men

1992

As Bill McCabe

Midnight Flight

1998

As Paul Bacon

No Such Thing

2001

As The Monster

Where There's Smoke

2017

As Captain Frascone

Being

2020

As Sheriff Campbell

Bait

2015

As Uncle Mack

Mayday - Flug in den Tod

1997

As Tom Hutton

Piggie

2003

As Jim

Intrusion

2021

As Detective Steven Morse

Triggered

2022

As David

Ned Rifle

2015

As Chet

Somewhere in the City

1998

As Frankie

A Bright Shining Lie

1998

As Frank Drummond

Flirt

1993

As Men's Room Man

A Far Off Place

1993

As Paul Parker

Fled

1996

As Pat Schiller

Safe

2012

As Captain Wolf

Killer: A Journal of Murder

1996

As R.G. Greiser

Nightmare Weekend

1984

As Dave

True Story

2015

As Greg Ganley

If Lucy Fell

1996

As Handsome Man

Rambling Rose

1991

As Dave Wilkie

Speak

2004

As Mr. Neck

Future '38

2017

As General Sportwood

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

2002

As Instructor Jenks

The Oh in Ohio

2006

As Binky Taylor

Hide and Seek

2005

As Steven

Limitless

2011

As Pierce

2 Guns

2013

As Jessup

The Chosen

1981

As Levi Saunders

The Retaliators

2022

As Captain Briggs

Boston Strangler

0000

As Eddie Holland

Connie and Carla

2004

As Rudy

Boarding School

2018

As Mr. Holcomb

Heaven & Earth

1993

As Paul

BlacKkKlansman

2018

As Chief Bridges

Crazy for a Kiss

1995

As Steve

Flirt

1995

As Men's Room Man #2

Miracle at St. Anna

2008

As General Ned Almond

Gangster Wars

1981

As Officer Reardon

Good Night, and Good Luck.

2005

As Charlie Mack

The Ex

2006

As Colonel

Brooklyn's Finest

2010

As State Trooper #1

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

1977

As Patrick

Tombstone

1993

As Frank McLaury

Cop Land

1997

As Officer B

Munich

2005

As Belligerent American

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