Bradley Whitford


Bradley Whitford Trivia


  • Trivia

    • In 2015, Bradley won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series playing Marcy on Transparent.

    • Like his West Wing co-star, Martin Sheen, Bradley is a Democrat and in 2000, Bradley campaigned for Al Gore. Initially coming out for Senator Clinton in the 2008 Democratic nominee race, he put his support behind Barack Obama's Presidential candidacy.

    • In 2005, Bradley and his wife Jane hosted a charity dinner for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    • Bradley contributes a blog to The Huffington Post, an Internet newspaper. His entries have covered an IRS investigation into his Church (All Saints Church in Pasadena) and on Equality.

    • Bradley was a pallbearer at the funeral of John Spencer, his co-star on The West Wing.

    • Bradley Whitford has appeared in several movies such as Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Adventures in Babysitting, Young Guns II, Scent of a Woman, and My Life.

    • Broadway and other Theatre Appearances include:

      A Few Good Men, as Lt. Daniel Kaffee (1990) and as Lt. Jack Ross (1990-1991).
      Boeing-Boening as Bernard (2008).

      Other Theatre Work
      Curse of the Starving Class, Three Days of Rain, Measure for Measure and Coriolanus (in the title role).

    • In 2001, Bradley Whitford reportedly made $70,000 per episode of The West Wing.

    • Bradley Whitford starred in The West Wing when it was a Broadway production.

    • Bradley Whitford is 5 feet 10 1/2 inches tall.

    • Bradley Whitford gave the commencement speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May of 2004.

    • Bradley Whitford's best friend and college roommate turned out to be the brother of Richard Schiff, with whom he starred in The West Wing.

    • Bradley Whitford founded the charity "Clothes off our Back" which runs online auctions after major awards shows where celebrities' gowns and tuxedoes, and other articles of clothing, are auctioned off. The proceeds go to children's charities such as Cure Autism Now and The Children's Defense Fund.

    • The character of Josh Lyman, played by Bradley Whitford, often makes jokes about his assistant Donna being from Wisconsin. Bradley Whitford is actually from Wisconsin.

    • Bradley Whitford's role of Josh Lyman in The West Wing takes its name from a Doonesbury strip from the mid-80s. He also worked in the White House. The West Wing. Lyman actually has the strip in his office.

    • Bradley Whitford used to wait tables at "Panarellas" which was on 84th & Columbus in New York City.

    • Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for The West Wing (2001) (won). Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for The West Wing (2003) (Nomination). Golden Globes Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for The West Wing (2001-2003) (Nomination). Q Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series for The West Wing (2000) (Nominated). Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for The West Wing (2001) (Won). Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for The West Wing (2002-2005) (Nominated).

  • Quotes

    • Bradley Whitford: Dulé Hill was such a joy to meet. My only fear for Dulé, and I keep telling him this, is he's such a young actor to have this experience. I just want him to know that it's not always like this. Boy, did his parents do a great job with him. He's tremendously positive and open. He's got incredible equilibrium. He's just terrific.

    • (On The West Wing)
      Bradley Whitford: Any one of these scripts I'd happily do as a play for months. It would be a lot easier for all of us if Aaron was not as good a writer.

    • (On The West Wing)
      Bradley Whitford: We're often asked if we aren't idealizing the motivations of these people and I honestly don't think we are. I think if you go and sit down with a bunch of people from the Clinton White House and a bunch of people from the Bush White House, whoever you might disagree with, I guarantee you that they're there because they believe it.

    • (On the reponse from Washington)
      Bradley Whitford: Well, it's interesting, 'cause we're actually going back... We've gotten some feedback from John Pedesta, who is the Chief of Staff - Clinton's Chief of Staff - who liked it a lot but was confused 'cause he thought everybody was too good looking and carried too many files. [laughs] But he liked the show a lot. And we're actually going back; we go back every month and a half or so to shoot exteriors. So now will be the first time that we're back since the show's been on, so we'll see what they say.

    • (On researching for his role on The West Wing)
      Bradley Whitford: I read a lot of books; the Stephanopolus book was a great bible because it was a very recent experience in the WW. I talked to Dee Dee Myers, who is our technical advisor who worked in the Clinton White House, and the wonderful and zany Pat Cadell, who worked in the Carter White House.

    • (On script writing with Aaron Sorkin)
      Bradley Whitford: Aaron is a very passionate, maniacal writer so the scripts really come from him, but he is very open to... y'know, we'll plan ideas and we'll certainly tussle about stuff when the script comes out. So, to a certain extent, he's very interested. If there's some problem or something that doesn't ring true, he wants to know why and he wants to correct it or fight for it.

    • (On Joshua Lyman)
      Bradley Whitford: I identify with this guy's frustration and inability to control his fury at moments. I even identify with the way that this guy covers up a lot with humour. So yeah, it's interesting. And the conflict that this guy always has about whether or not he's making concessions that he needs to make in order to get something done, or whether he is being spineless. That's something that comes up for me all the time, and it's certainly part of this guy's job. Luckily, my actions don't carry the consequences that this guy's job does.

    • (On Joshua Lyman)
      Bradley Whitford: I've been basically playing supporting parts in movies and you tend to get very, sort of, typecast. And I... 'cause I'm like sort of a balding white guy, I just play a lot of yuppie scum. [laughs] And so it's a relief to play a really rounded guy. This guy is... he's funny, he's passionate, he's flawed; you get to do a lot of very dramatic things, a lot of purely comic things. It's a great mixture.

    • (On The West Wing)
      Bradley Whitford: I am an old, old friend of Aaron Sorkin's, who is the executive producer and writer. He had been talking about doing a political show for a long time and I had been interested in it for a long time. The moment I became available, he called me last year and asked me if I wanted to do it and then I just had to audition for the powers that be, and I got it.

    • (On running for office)
      Bradley Whitford: You know, I've been asked to run for stuff before. People have talked to me about it. I truly would not want to do it if I couldn't be financially free. I don't know. Listen, I have thought about it. But it's tough. It's a tough world. I get angry at politicians, but there's a level of cynicism. It's like show business or a ministry, it attracts either really interesting and well intentioned people or total charlatans.

    • Bradley Whitford: I want to see Bob Dylan do sketch comedy. I'm a huge Bob Dylan fan.

    • (On Donna, The West Wing)
      Bradley Whitford: On The West Wing my relationship with Donna never would have happened if somebody had planned out the year. It was from Aaron [Sorkin] watching the dailies and thinking "Hey, they like each other."

    • (On Aaron Sorkin and Studio 60)
      Bradley Whitford: Yeah, more than that it's just that it's good storytelling. That was the thing that made West Wing work more than any political point of view. Aaron is a really good writer, and he comes up with good characters and it's funny. And as an actor you're either in a comedy where you feel this relentless artificial need to be funny every five seconds. Which is soul sucking, or you're in a drama where you feel this relentless artificial need to be totally irony deficient for an hour. Which is equally soul sucking. Aaron's writing on West Wing was funny, it was smart, it was about something. There were interesting personal issues going on, very complicated personal stuff. There was sex. At least there were sex thoughts in my head. And that's the same thing here, and you don't get that everywhere. You might get it occasionally. But to live in town, to be an actor not have to leave town and work 10 minutes from home, and be able to be home on the weekends. It's pretty good.

    • (On McCain)
      Bradley Whitford: Right. McCain has caved on tax cuts. I don't know what his plan is for Iraq. I heard an Israeli speaking on Palestinian human rights issues, an interesting guy, and he said "There's no military solution to terrorism. If there were, Israel would be the safest place in the world. But there's no military solution."

    • (On Politics)
      Bradley Whitford: I have to think that I think it's always been a horse race between this administration's temporary political acumen and their completely, utterly, totally bankrupt policies. And they're coming home to roost. It was always a question of time. These guys aren't conservative. These guys are radicals. They're a disaster. I'm furious that they're attacking my kids' future. It's really upsetting.

    • (On writing)
      Bradley Whitford: John Wells let me write a couple of West Wings, which was an incredible gift. I loved it once I got past the brain injury part of it, and so I'm working on a couple of things that are far from fruition, but what I want to pursue.

    • (On playing character Joshua Lyman on The West Wing for seven years)
      Bradley Whitford: It's hard but ... first of all, it's not like you're on ER, and after the third year you can be pretty confident that a gurney is going to be flying through the door too. In this show, the dynamics change with every moment of the presidency. This show started with me being green in the White House, and ended with me running a presidential campaign. It was always different. And this show happened at a time when Gore was running against Bush, the overwhelming zeitgeist politically was that it just didn't matter.

    • Bradley Whitford: Say what you will, but at the end of the day, show business just grounds you.

    • (On John Spencer)
      Bradley Whitford: he was the connection. Him and Martin [Sheen]. Unfortunately in television there aren't many central middle-aged characters (whispers) -- I'm hoping to change that -- but he was a meticulously prepared professional. Nobody was more comfortable with the joy of knowing that for how long he had been an actor, how fortunate it was to be on a show with a bunch of great theater actors, saying words that weren't humiliating. He knew it was a miracle, and he appreciated it every day. It was very, very hard. I'd known him since Presumed Innocent.

    • (On The West Wing)
      Bradley Whitford: On one hand it's a miracle it went seven years. On the other hand, I feel it's been underreported that this show went seven years, it had a cultural impact, it made a lot of people a lot of money, and we did it without really having a lead-in. So the emotional trauma of a show ending, and I hesitate using that word because it"s not like we had leukemia. It's just a big show ended.

    • (On Filming the final episode of The West Wing)
      Bradley Whitford: It was tremendously disorienting and sad. Because doing a TV show, especially a one hour drama that had the big-ass aspirations of this show, it's like being in a cult. The hours are insane...

    • (on why he and his wife Jane started the "Clothes Off our Backs" charity)
      Bradley Whitford: It was in the wake of 9/11 and there was this ridiculous discussion about whether [the industry] should have awards shows, and there was an idea floating around that we should go ahead and have them. You know, you realize when you're in the public eye that you can raise money, and Jane and I were in this bewildered state where you're walking down a red carpet and people are asking you what you're wearing. We thought that was an opportunity (to use) the celebrity culture we seem to be in. The intention is to advocate for children using some of the ridiculousness that is show business.

    • (on writing episodes for The West Wing)
      Bradley Whitford: It was completely surreal. It happened so quickly the first time. It was completely surreal. It was so strange to have never written anything and then three weeks later, you are watching Allison Janney do a monologue you wrote.

    • (on the future for his children)
      Bradley Whitford: I grew up in a family where the internalized understanding was that the kids were going to grow up into a better world. I worry, because I don't think my kids are going to have that. The world is very scary. The world would be scary without the choices the current administration made, but they just exacerbated it. And it ticks me off. I want my kids to have a good life.

    • (on running for office)
      Bradley Whitford: I truly would not want to do it if I couldn't be financially free. I don't know. Listen, I have thought about it. But it's tough. It's a tough world. I get angry at politicians, but there's a level of cynicism. It's like show business or a ministry, it attracts either really interesting and well intentioned people or total charlatans. Hollywood is bullshit, but Washington is bullshit with consequences.

    • (on why he recommends anyone who aspires to be an actor gain some life experience first)
      Bradley Whitford: When you act, you're always playing a version of yourself. You can't bring more to the role than what you are.

    • (his advice on anyone wanting to work in the entertainment industry)
      Bradley Whitford: Whatever you do, make sure you want to write more than you want to be a writer. Make sure you want to act more than you want to be an actor. That is what will sustain you.

    • (a highlight of Bradley's Commencement address in May 2004 to University of Wisconsin-Madison graduates)
      Bradley Whitford: Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen ... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.