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Neal stars as "Dr. Stephen Conor" on NBC's series "Medical Investigation." McDonough is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Deputy District Attorney David McNorris in the acclaimed NBC drama series “Boomtown.” He was critically praised for his performance and was acknowledged by the Television Critics Association with a nomination for Individual Achievement in Drama. Born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts, McDonough attended Syracuse University and later trained at the London Academy of Dramatic Arts and Sciences. He got his start as an actor in Arthur Allan Seidelman’s “Grace and Glory” opposite Diane Lane. His stage credits also include Jim Sheridan’s “Always Alone,” for which he received a Dramalogue Best Actor award. Best known to film audiences for his role opposite Tom Cruise in Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report,” and most recently “Walking Tall” with The Rock, McDonough was also featured in Spielberg’s Golden Globe-winning limited series “Band of Brothers” in which he played Buck Compton, a rugged World War II hero. McDonough’s other film credits include Antonia Bird’s “Ravenous,” Jonathan Frakes’ “Star Trek: First Contact," and Jeff Hare’s “A Perfect Little Man” for which he earned the Best Actor Award at the 2000 Atlantic City Film Festival. Neal was born February 13, 1966 and he currently resides in Los Angeles.
More fun facts about Neal McDonough
Height 6' (1.83 m)
Attended Barnstable High School in Massachusetts
Decided to give up on acting until his manager got him a meeting and audition for "Band of Brothers". His work on that led to Steven Spielberg casting him in "Minority Report".
Has two brothers called Kieran, and Bob.
His father is Irish.
Engaged to Ruve Robertson from South Africa, where they will marry at Christmas 2003.
Was named Mr. BHS his senior year at Barnastable High School. (a male spoof on the Junior Miss Pageant).
His character Lieutenant Hawk in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) was originally written as the first openly gay character in any Star Trek series or movie, but all references to his sexual orientation were written out of later drafts of the screenplay. The character was later confirmed as having been gay in the Star Trek tie-in novel Section 31: Rogue by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin.
The real Neal
Talented, handsome, and yes…Neal McDonough is a gentleman too. You may have seen him in Spielberg’s and Hanks’ HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, or in Spielberg’s Minority Report for 20th Century Fox, in which he plays opposite Tom Cruise. He will also be seen in the recently picked-up show for NBC, Boomtown, as well as in Richard Donner’s upcoming project Timeline.
Although McDonough’s decade-plus acting career has had him playing everything from a killer to a family guy to an idiot, lately he’s found himself taking on a variety of roles of a similar nature — namely the All-American, dependable, tough-guy type of character. “In the last couple of years I’ve been lucky to find out what I’m really good at, and I’m really good at playing that dependable guy, that almost John Wayne-y, Lee Marvin-y type of guy, but, you know, a little more flawed, more realistic. Every time I play one of these dependable guys there’s some twist that happens near the end, or some kind of emotional challenge to these characters. ”
Neal McDonough stars in 'Medical Investigation'
Neal McDonough (NBC’s “Boomtown”) and Kelli Williams (“The Practice”) return to series television as members of a mobile medical team from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who are summoned in a heartbeat to scope out -- and hopefully snuff out -- outbreaks of unexplained and fearful diseases. These specialists drop out of the sky anywhere and have government carte blanche to take charge when people start dying, which requires them to medically re-construct grisly events to prevent the next epidemic, plague or contagion.
McDonough stars as Dr. Stephen Connor, the leader of the team whose take-charge attitude has enabled him to save the lives of millions, but in the process, has sadly cost the separated Connor his family. Williams portrays Dr. Natalie Durant, who specializes in pathology and epidemiology and works under the supervision of Connor, a man whom she respects, but is willing to stand up to in any life-threatening situation.
The elite team also includes Troy Winbush (“John Q.”) as specialist Frank Powell, a quiet but intense medical inspector who is friends with Connor. Likewise, Powell works well with Dr. Miles McCabe (Christopher Gorham, “Jake 2.0”), the newest and youngest member of the team who tries to prove his “wunderkind” reputation is deserved -- but struggles to mature and keep pace with his colleagues in the big leagues. Anna Belknap (“The Handler”) also stars as the NIH’s publicity liaison Eva Rossi, a woman who uses unconventional methods to keep the media at bay in the middle of a crisis.
"Medical Investigation" is executive-produced by Laurence Andries (“Boomtown”), Bob Cooper, Scott Vila (“The Simple Life”) and Marc Buckland (“Ed”). The series is created and co-executive produced by Jason Horwitch (“The Pentagon Papers”). The pilot episode was executive-produced by Andries, Cooper, Vila, Buckland and Michelle Ashford ("Boomtown"); was written by Horwitch and Ashford; and directed by Buckland.
And how close is his real personality to that kind of character? “I’m pretty darn close to that type of guy,” admits McDonough. “I’m the kind of guy where, if my friend is having a problem with another guy at a bar, I’ll be the first knucklehead to jump in and knock the other guy out…or take one in the nose for my friend.” So basically he’s the loyal type. “Yeah, I guess I’m like a big Labrador retriever type of person.”
When acting, McDonough tends, to a large degree, to mirror in his own life the emotional aspects of his characters. “For Band of Brothers,” he gives as an example, “I knew my character was going to have a very big emotional breakdown, and we were shooting the project for 10 months. So I knew it was coming and it was very difficult to live with that all the time. As it got closer and closer to that time, I became a little bit more detached about things, and a little more melancholy about things. My girlfriend could tell you all about that,” he laughs.
Though McDonough looks forward to playing his first lead role, his main focus for the future is broader. “I want to always keep striving to tell the truth in whatever character I play, and for those types of roles. I’ve had a great run for the first 10 years, and I hope the next 10 years are as great as the first — and that I can spend as much time back in Cape Cod with my family as possible.”
Stars Give Mass. Film Bureau a Lift
Matt Damon is due in Boston on Friday to participate in fund-raising activities for the Massachusetts Film Bureau, which recently lost government funding and is now seeking private donations in order to keep operating, the Boston Globe reported today (Wednesday). Among the events planned for the $1,000-per-ticket affair is the local premiere of director Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile, starring Susan Sarandon, and a celebrity auction in which one of the items on the block will be a walk-on role in the new NBC TV drama Boomtown, starring Boston natives Neal McDonough and Donnie Wahlberg.