Ken Olin





7/30/1954 , Chicago, Illinois, USA

Birth Name




Actor, Director, Producer, Ken Olin has had a diverse and long career in Television and in film. Known as the star of the award winning Television drama Thirtysomething, which aired on ABC from 1987 - 1991. Ken's wife Patricia Wettig also starred in the show.

Raised in the affluent Chicago suburb of Highland Park, with a father who was the president of a pharmaceutical company, he attended boarding school in Vermont where he starred in baseball. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and got a degree in English literature. He studied acting in New York, and was in plays such as "Steamers" and "Major Barbara".

He met his wife Patricia Wettig on a train to Portsmouth NH, in 1982 were they were both on their way to star in a play of "A Street Car Named Desire", he as Stanley and she as Stella. They married and had a son Clifford, (b 1983) and a daughter Roxanne (b 1986).

A handsome, and moving actor who played Off-Broadway in his stage debut "Taxi Tales", in 1978. His film debut was in "Ghost Story" (1981), playing John Houseman as a young man. He played Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1982). He made his TV debut playing a cadet judging the future status of "Women at West Point" (CBS, 1979), and, in 1983, was a ballplayer in the short-lived Steven Bochco NBC series "Bay City Blues". and before his recurring role on two seasons of NBC's "Hill Street Blues, cast as Detective Garabaldi and on CBS' "Falcon Crest" playing a priest who has an affair with one of his parishioners, a role he once said in an interview 'was to pay the bills'.

Ken's other film credits include playing Liz Taylor's agent in "There Must Be a Pony" (ABC, 1986). He starred in the miniseries "I'll Take Manhattan" (CBS, 1987). Later Ken played Charles Stuart in "Good Night, Sweet Wife: A Murder in Boston" (CBS, 1990), based on the true story of the Boston man who killed his pregnant wife. HIs feature film debut was in "Queen's Logic" (1991).

Ken Olin began directing with in 1989 in an episode of thirtysomething. He directed 6 episodes in all for the show. His love and talent for directing continued after "thirtysomething" went off the air in 1991, by directing "The Broken Cord" (ABC, 1992), about a brain-damaged Lakota Indian. His credits also include directing for the first TV-movie produced by the Fox network: "Doing Time on Maple Drive" (1992), with Jim Carrey. In 1995, Olin directed Don Johnson in HBO's "In Pursuit of Honor", a drama about WWI. Ken moved on to his direct the feature film "White Fang 2: The Myth of the White Wolf" (1994).

He returned to series TV as a police detective in the gritty and short but highly acclaimed CBS drama series "EZ Streets" (1996-97) and again as a doctor in the medical drama "L.A. Doctors" (CBS, 1998-99).

He met the creator of Thirtysomething Marshall Herskovitz through their children's pre-school, when Ken's son Clifford became friends with Lizzie, Marshall's daughter. They went out to dinner and he and Patty were both cast in thirtysomehing, but not as husband and wife together in the cast. Olin is married to actress Patricia Wettig, who also starred on "thirtysomething" (though not as Olin's character's spouse). The duo has worked together in the TV-movies "Cop Killer" (ABC, 1988) and "Nothing But the Truth" (CBS, 1995). Olin was also one of the executive producers of "Kansas", a 1995 ABC TV-movie starring Wettig

His more recent successes include the short-lived but critically acclaimed drama Breaking News (2001) which was shown on BRAVO television. Ken broke ground in the gritty crime drama E-Z Streets in 1996 as well. He currently directs the show ALIAS. He has directed many television shows besides Breaking News and Thirtysomething, including Felicity, Judging Amy, and the West Wing.

His history, longevity, diversity and acclaim are all a testament to his talent and staying power.