Jay Karnes

Jay Karnes


6/27/1963, Omaha, Nebraska

Birth Name


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Jay Karnes played 'Detective Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach,' a recently divorced, by-the-book detective partnered with Claudette Wyms in The Shield.
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Karnes planned on being a lawyer when he grew up. He attended the University of Kansas at Lawrence majoring in Political Science. The summer…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Jay Karnes: (on his character on The Shield) He does have a socially awkward kind of way about him. You constantly spin that; you're not liking him and over time you realize he's kinda the moral everyman of the show.

    • Jay Karnes: (about the ending of The Shield) What I find compelling is that it's a timeless tale -- you could put it almost anywhere. It's "Macbeth." Here is Vic Mackey, a confident man who decides he's going to break the rules, and not the small rules. He's going to kill somebody, he's going to lie to the people he's close to. And ultimately he and those people pay for that.

    • Jay Karnes: (about the onscreen relationship between him and CCH Pounder) You don't often see that on TV, especially on cop shows, where there's that [typical] partner dynamic. [The relationship] is so needy on his part, and that's not something you see very often. But it's not a maternal thing, he hasn't turned her into a mommy figure. But he really needs her approval and her input. And at the same time they don't turn him into putty.

    • Jay Karnes: I've been friends with Shawn Ryan for a really long time. When I read the pilot, I just thought it was phenomenal. But looking back on it – seeing the consistency of the storytelling and being aware from other shows how difficult that is – there's a part of me that's like, 'Really? Shawn did this?[The Shield] My buddy Shawn? It's a remarkable thing.

    • Jay Karnes: I have a legitimate case to be made for me as the worst student in the history of Kansas. The worst student who went to class and actually participated.

    • Jay Karnes: (about his character on The Shield) It's not as though he fits in exactly. People know who he is, and I think there's a begrudging acknowledgment that he is good at what he does, even if what he does - detective work - is not as highly valued as what Mackey does, breaking down doors and all that.

  • Being in The Shield has really worked out for Jay Karnes as it brings forward how amazing and talented he is.

    I've been watching The Shield for a while now, and I can't deny that my favorite actor on the show is no other than Jay Karnes. I was reading up about him and turns out that he was in a few plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival down in Ashland. I've been there a million times and the fact that he acted down there before he got famous makes him that much more awesome in my book. I really appreciate his acting abilities with his character Dutch on The Shield, and I find myself pushing for him every episode. I hope to start and acting career someday and I'm starting it in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Jay Karnes is really an inspiration for me and my generation. Keep it up!moreless