Zeljko Ivanek's career began as a New York stage actor. He had his Broadway debut in 1981 as a hitchhiker in "The Survivor" and his film debut in the movie "Tex" in 1982. Since then, he had starring and supporting roles in many plays and movies with occasional…more
In 2008, Zeljko won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series playing Ray Fiske on Damages.
He refuses to change his name, out of respect for his parents.
He met writer Tom Fontana in 1978 and credits him for being his first mentor.
He made his Broadway debut in The Survivor. He made his feature film debut in Tex. He made is television debut on The Edge of Night. He got his first producer credit with the film Laud Weiner.
He won the 1982 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play. He won for Cloud Nine.
He is 5'7" (1.70 m).
His name is correctly pronounced Zhel-ko Ee-Vah-nek.
In interviews he often says he's a born American, when he was born in Slovenia.
He has been nominated for a Tony Award on three occasions:
-1983 Tony Award nominee for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He was nominated for Brighton Beach Memoirs.
-1992 Tony Award nominee for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He was nominated for Two Shakespearean Actors.
-2006 Tony Award nominee for Best Actor in a Play. He was nominated for The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.
He has appeared in the following plays:
-The Glass Menagerie
-A Map of the World
-Mater Harold...and the Boys
[On how he prepares for a play]
Zeljko Ivanek: I do a vocal warm-up on stage. I like an empty theater. Alone on stage, before anyone's there, I take a few quiet moments to erase the regular world and get into one. I figure out what my first moment is about. I can't prepare for the whole play; that sort of charts itself out. If you start in the right place, nine times out of ten you'll end in the right place. It's just clearing the space for that moment to happen.
Zeljko Ivanek: Change my name? Why? I'm a born American. I like my name.
[On which Tom Fontana show he enjoyed working on the most]
Zeljko Ivanek: Oz was probably the more enjoyable. My function was to stir things up, upset everybody and waltz out the door.