Zach Gilford

Recent Role:

Star on Devil's Due


1/14/1982, Evanston, Illinois, USA

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  • Credits
  • Biography
  • American actor Zach Gilford, recognized for his portrayal of the soft-spoken Dillon Panthers quarterback Matt Saracen on the small-town drama Friday Night Lights, grew up in Chicago, Illinois with his father Steve, mother Anne, and two sisters. He attended Evanston Township High School, where his mom also works, and graduated in 2000. Zach then majored in Performing Arts and Education at Northwestern University, where he got involved in theater acting and production. Among the plays he performed in are Equus, SubUrbia, The Laramie Project, and Women and Wallace. In 2003, he also starred in a romantic-comedy short film called Handbook to Casual Stalking. After finishing his degree in 2004, he moved to New York to pursue a professional acting career. For some time, Zach was employed at an outdoor clothing and gear outlet and was earning about $11 an hour while he was looking for acting jobs. His television debut came when he guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2005. When a New York audition was held for the casting of a new NBC series Friday Night Lights, Gilford initially read for the part of Tim Riggins. In a later Los Angeles audition, he was asked to read the part of Matt Saracen, which he eventually got. During his young career, Zach has also appeared in the thrillers, Last Winter (2006) co-starring Ron Perlman and FNL castmate Connie Britton and Rise (2007) alongside Lucy Liu. In 2009, he played the role of Army Lieutenant Charlie Lowell in the first part of the season five finale of Grey's Anatomy. That year, Zach also teamed up with Emmy Rossum and appeared as Johnny Drake in the film drama Dare.moreless

    Birth Name:

    Zachary Gilford



    Birth Place:

    Evanston, Illinois, USA

    Also Known As

    Zachary Gilford

  • Photos (9)
  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (15)

    • Zach Gilford: (on his dream role) It'd be cool... to be the next 'Bourne'. It'd be cool to be an action hero, but I want to be that kind, where it's like more realistic. As much as I wouldn't mind fighting robots in Transformers, I think it would be more fun to do the thing where it technically is realistic. No CGI. Like Taken was such a cool movie.

    • Zach Gilford: I played a ton of sports. I'm not the most physically built person so I wasn't going to be the big athlete, and all my friends were. I played basketball, football, volleyball, baseball and all that growing up. I love it, I still play anytime I can. I love playing basketball.

    • Zach Gilford: I'm a late-night person, but not because I party. I've just always had trouble sleeping. When I was unemployed and living in New York, I couldn't shut my brain off. I'd think about girlfriends, rent, whether I had money to go home to Evanston, Illinois, for Thanksgiving.

    • Zach Gilford: I'm not the kind of person to follow any one person, but I have plenty of people I admire in performances; it could be a TV actor or just someone I saw playing a great part in a movie and then wonder what else they are up to. And then it makes you curious as to what they are like in real life. Are they nice or are they a jerk?

    • Zach Gilford: I know it's lame but I'm a big procrastinator. I am totally the kind of person who waits till the last minute and I just get it done. And I get annoyed because when I do actually put the time into getting things done ahead of time, it turns out really well. I'm a clean person and I let things pile up until I finally go "oh this has got to stop" and I go and literally take the toaster off the counter and start scrubbing.

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    Trivia (16)

    • Zach is obsessed with the TV series Lost. Some of the other shows he watches are 24, Dexter, and reality shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, Hell's Kitchen, America's Next Top Model, and Survivor.

    • Among his favorite actors are Edward Norton and Paul Newman. He listens to a wide variety of music from The Killers to hip-hop to Ray LaMontagne to classic rock.

    • A Chicago native, Zach is a huge fan of basketball and the Chicago Bulls. "Pip 33", which was tattooed on his calf by a high school friend, is in honor of former Bulls forward Scottie Pippen. He also has a dog named Pippen.

    • Zach is 5'9" tall. He has natural brown hair and green eyes.

    • Gilford has been dating former Seattle Seahawks cheerleader and The Price is Right model Amber Lancaster. (March 2009)

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