Jeffrey Donovan

Jeffrey Donovan


5/11/1968, Amesbury, Massachusetts, USA

Birth Name



Also Known As

Jeff Donovan
  • Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen on Bur...
  • Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen on Bur...
  • Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe and Jeffrey Do...
  • Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen, Jeffrey...
out of 10
User Rating
403 votes


Jeffrey started acting while he was in high school. He actually created the drama department in his local high school.

Jeffrey Donovan made his film debut in 1995 in an independent film entitled Throwing Down. The film received the top Jury prize (the Goldfish Star) and received…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Donovan has just finished a run at the Royal George Theatre, Chicago, where he appeared in the acclaimed theatrical production Don't Dress for Dinner.

    • Under the new agreement with his Burn Notice bosses, Donovan will be paid $125,000-$150,000 an episode, a big bump from the $55,000 he used to make.

    • Opening in Chicago August 2007, Come Early Morning stars Jeffrey Donovan, along with Ashley Judd, and Diane Ladd. It is written and directed by Joey Lauren Adams.

    • Jeffrey performed in The Glory of Living directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and co-starring Oscar winner Anna Paquin.

    • Jeffrey appeared in Amy Freed's Pulitzer Prize runner-up play Freedomland, which was first shown off Broadway.

    • His mother has always been very supportive of his desire to be an actor. She told him " follow his dreams and follow his heart and don't let anybody else disappoint him."

    • Jeffrey's mother, Nancy Matthews, and his two brothers brought him up. He has said that the close-knit family were "incredibly poor."

    • After graduating Donovan headed to New York with $75 in his pocket and dreams of acting. He entered New York University's graduate school for actors. Donovan had to compete with a thousand applicants to be admitted to the master's of fine arts program.

    • When Jeffrey first came to LA he was stuck up at gun point and robbed in broad daylight.

    • He says his best present was a BMX bike with killer wheels, when he was 13 years old.

    • His five favorite musicians are Jet, Incubus, Miles Davis, Radiohead, and Beth Orton.

    • In 2003 at the Method Fest, he won best supporting actor for his role in Sam and Joe.

    • Jeffery Donovan not only starred in, but also produced Searching for Certainty, Mike O'Malley's play, in Los Angeles

    • Jeffery Donovan appeared as Hamlet in the Wang Center's production on Boston Common in 2005 to rave reviews.

    • Jeffery Donovan made his film debut in Throwing Down, the grand prize winner at Hampton's International Film Festival.

    • In 1994, Jeffrey made his Broadway debut in the play An Inspector Calls.

    • Jeffrey was on his high school's football and tennis teams.

    • Jeffrey was the first president of his high school's drama club.

    • In Jeffrey's high school yearbook, he wrote this about what he planned to do after graduating: "Go to college and get a degree in acting, perform in the theater, and make a lot of money."

    • Jeffrey was on the cover of "Entertainment Weekly" Issue 564 for his part in the movie "Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows"

    • Jeffrey attended UMass Amherst and Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. When Jeffrey attended college, he drove the campus bus in the mornings to help pay his way.

    • As of 2006, Jeffrey lives in Los Angeles.

    • He graduated from New York University's Graduate Acting Program, where he received an MFA.

    • He is 6' 1" (1.85 m).

  • Quotes

    • On his diy skills
      Donovan:I actually do my own renovations. I designed and built a 100-foot split-cedar rail fence to enclose my property. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Don't recommend doing it alone. I also built a 100-square-foot back porch. Again, don't recommend doing it alone.

    • On the danger of acting on stage
      Donovan: ...there's no hiding. And if you're supposed to be funny and you get no laughs-there's instant feedback for you.

    • On his January 2009 stage appearance in Chicago
      Donovan:I've always wanted to do theater in Chicago. Chicago is a big theater town-and, in some ways, I think this city is savvier and smarter than New York. Sometimes, I think it's a little too chic to go to theater in New York these days.

    • (On being asked what inspired him to be an actor)
      Jeffrey: I loved the attention as a child and thought, "what a great way to make a living."

    • Jeffrey: What would surprise a lot of people about me… I'm a gardener! I have a green thumb. I really like to get into the shrubs, the bushes, and really cultivate.

    • (On what is his favourite role to date).
      Jeffrey: It'd have to be this. I mean, in Burn Notice I get to play a spy, I get to be funny, I get to have hot chicks all around me. And I get to be really smart, which is a stretch, but I pull it off.

    • Jeffrey: The most fun I've had on Burn Notice, I think it would have to be working with China Chow and Lucy Lawless.

    • Jeffrey: Believe it or not, I don't own a TV. Crazy huh? I'm not a big movie-goer either. I just feel like I'm watching work. I am always outside and couldn't care less about what's on TV these days.

    • Jeff: (On whether he likes film, stage or TV work the best.) Stage is my favorite, but I can't live on wood alone.

    • Jeffrey: I could never say I'm going to do bigger and better things because that would negate what I've already accomplished, and I don't want to do that.

    • Jeffrey: (On a play he was in.) All I do is say the lines. I couldn't be funny without the rhythm, timing, and talent of every actor on that stage.

    • Jeffrey Donovan: I don`t think an actor`s job is to be recognized. I think an actor`s job is to facilitate the writing in a way that changes the way people think. No other business does that.

    • Jeffrey Donovan: It is so important to me how different I am in the plays I do. I never want people to go, 'Oh, that`s him again.' I want them to go, 'I loved the guy who played Marco in A View From the Bridge,' then come see this and go, 'I loved the guy who played Gene,' and not know it`s the same guy. That`s what I want.

  • Brilliant show. I found TV not much worth watching on the most part, however, I am "stuck"...

    Memorized with this show Burn Notice. My son wants to dress up as Micheal and he should look just like the character Micheal for his next piano recital. Running around looking for aviator glasses and a dark beige suit. We've got the shirt and the personality so far...
  • What a fine actor!

    7 seasons of Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen and i hadnt have enough of him. Terrific actor, charming and athletic, hes the perfect guy for the show and it wont have lasted that long without him. Saw some of his interviews before and he seems like a modest, down-to-earth and easy going guy. Will really miss him as well as the show.