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 of his senior year, as he began studying for the LSAT in preparation for law school, he decided to audition for the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival.
Karnes was cast in "A Midsummer Nights Dream", and "Hamlet". It was his first paid acting job. He then shelved his law school plans and turned his focus and sights on the theatre.
Producer Joe Stern (Law & Order, Judging Amy) saw Karnes playing Mercutio in a Shakespeare L.A. production of "Romeo & Juliet" and cast him in The Matrix Theatre Company's production of "The Tavern", where he met his future wife, actress Julia Campbell.
After deciding to settle in Los Angeles to be with his wife, Jay began working steadily in film and television. His film work includes playing Martin Landaus son in "The Joyriders", and "The Next Best Thing" playing opposite Rupert Everett and Madonna. Jay has guest starred in numerous television shows including "Judging Amy", "Nash Bridges", "Ally McBeal", "Chicago Hope", "The Pretender", and "Star Trek, Voyager".
He has continued his work with The Matrix Theatre Company in productions of "The Seagull and Dangerous Corner". Jay most recently starred as Stanley Webber in The Matrixs production of Harold Pinters enigmatic "The Birthday Party".