Jeremiah "Jerry" O'Connell[1] (born February 17, 1974)[1] is an American actor, known for his roles as Quinn Mallory in the TV series Sliders, Andrew Clements in My Secret Identity, Vern Tessio in the film Stand by Me (1986), Frank Cushman in Jerry Maguire (1996), Derek in Scream 2 (1997), Charlie Carbone in Kangaroo Jack (2003), and Detective Woody Hoyt on the drama Crossing Jordan. He starred as Pete Kaczmarek in the CBS TV series The Defenders until its cancellation in 2011. He also had a starring role in the comedy horror film Piranha 3D (2010).

Early life and education

O'Connell was born in Manhattan, the son of Linda, an art teacher, and Michael O'Connell, an advertising agency art director.[1] His maternal grandfather, Charles S. Witkowski, was mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey.[2] He is of half Irish, one quarter Italian, and one quarter Polish, ancestry.[3] O'Connell was raised in Manhattan with his younger brother, actor Charlie O'Connell. As a teenager, he attended Manhattan's Professional Children's School. He attended New York University (NYU) from 1991–95,[4] majoring in film. While there, he studied screen writing and competed on the NYU fencing team, serving a stint as captain of the sabre squad. He graduated in 1995.[5]


O'Connell began his acting career at a young age. As a child, he did commercial work for Duncan Hines cookies.[6] Shortly after turning eleven, he landed his first feature film role, as the character Vern Tessio in Stephen King's Stand by Me. In 1987, O'Connell appeared on a commercial for Frosted Flakes. O'Connell starred in the Canadian science fiction sitcom My Secret Identity from 1988 to 1991 as the teen hero who develops superhuman traits. During a summer break from NYU, Jerry starred in the feature film Calendar Girl alongside Jason Priestley and Gabriel Olds. He also appeared in the short-lived ABC sitcom, Camp Wilder with Jay Mohr and Hilary Swank in 1992. In his Junior year, O'Connell auditioned for the TV pilot Sliders (also filmed in Canada). He was offered the role of Quinn Mallory in the series, which ran for three seasons on Fox and two seasons on the Syfy Channel. He served as producer during his fourth and final season, and is credited with writing and directing several episodes.

O'Connell has since gone on to star in such movies as Jerry Maguire, Body Shots, Mission to Mars, Tomcats, Scream 2, and Kangaroo Jack. O'Connell has also tried his hand at screenwriting and sold his first screenplay, for First Daughter, to New Regency in 1999. The film was released in 2004 by 20th Century Fox-based Davis Entertainment. O'Connell served as executive producer on the film, which starred Katie Holmes and Michael Keaton.

O'Connell starred as Detective Woody Hoyt on the NBC crime drama Crossing Jordan (2001) until its cancellation in May 2007, and was engaged to actress Rebecca Romijn. He starred opposite her in the Ugly Betty episode "Derailed". O'Connell played Hoyt in several episodes of Las Vegas. In 2004, he wore a diaper on Last Call with Carson Daly, during a mock commercial skit for the GoodNites bedwetting product.[7] The National Enquirer caught him filming the skit and printed a photo of him in his diaper.[8][9]

In 2005, O'Connell guest-starred in one episode of the animated series Justice League Unlimited. In the episode, titled "Clash", he played Captain Marvel. He reprised the role of Captain Marvel in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies short film Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam alongside George Newbern, who reprised the role of Superman, having done the voice for the animated series. Jerry's younger brother, Charlie has appeared in several productions in which his brother starred, such as in Sliders and Crossing Jordan. In 2007–08 O'Connell starred in ABC's Carpoolers, which ran from October 2, 2007 to March 4, 2008. In early 2008, O'Connell participated in a widely circulated Internet video parody of the leaked Tom Cruise video on Scientology. Cruise was O'Connell's co-star in Jerry Maguire.[10]

O'Connell co-wrote and appeared in a video parody called "Young Hillary Clinton", satirizing Hillary Clinton's 2008 primary campaign.[11] On February 2, 2008, O'Connell hosted VH1's Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash, which aired the night before Super Bowl XLII and featured musical guests Maroon 5 and Mary J. Blige.[12][13] On April 28, 2008, he appeared as a guest star on ABC's Samantha Who?. In late 2008 O'Connell starred in Fox's Do Not Disturb, co-starring Niecy Nash, but Fox cancelled the show after only three episodes.[14][15]

O'Connell appeared in the 2009 thriller film Obsessed as "Ben", the best friend and co-worker of the film's protagonist Derek Charles (Idris Elba). He appeared in Eastwick on ABC, on which his wife, Rebecca Romijn, starred in the series.[16] He portrayed Derrick Jones in Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D,[17] which also stars Adam Scott and Elisabeth Shue.[18]

O'Connell co-starred with David Tennant in the pilot for legal drama Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, which was not picked up for production.[19] In 2010, O'Connell starred with Jim Belushi in the CBS comedy-drama The Defenders, which was cancelled on May 15, 2011 after one season.

O'Connell appeared on Broadway at the Golden Theatre in Seminar, written by Theresa Rebeck. The play, directed by Sam Gold, opened on November 20, 2011, starring Alan Rickman, Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater and Hettienne Park. On June 4, 2012, it was announced that O'Connell would play Herman Munster in a reboot of The Munsters, titled Mockingbird Lane; the remake series was never picked up for production.[20] On May 15, 2013, it was announced that O'Connell would play Stuart Strickland on We Are Men, alongside Tony Shalhoub.

In April 2015, O'Connell returned to Broadway as a ghostwriter in the comedy Living on Love, with Renee Fleming, Anna Chlumsky and Douglas Sills. It closed after 37 performances.

Personal life

On July 14, 2007, O'Connell married actress and former model Rebecca Romijn.[21][22][23]

After weeks of officially stating that the couple were "trying" to get pregnant, a publicist for the pair confirmed that Romijn was pregnant with twin girls. When talking about having children, O'Connell said "I am excited I am having girls. I know guys are supposed to say, 'I want a boy. I want to play baseball,' but I think I'm going to be good raising girls...I can't wait. They're going to be tough chicks. They're only having sex when I'm dead. If they don't date boys at all and just want them to be infatuated with their father, that's what I'm really going for."[24] The girls, Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip O'Connell, were born on December 28, 2008.[25][26] Dolly is named for singer Dolly Parton and Charlie is named for O'Connell's brother.[27]

O'Connell enrolled in Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in August 2009[28] but dropped out to return to acting full-time.[29]



Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result Work
1987 Young Artist Awards (shared with River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman) Won Stand by Me
1989 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actor in a Family Syndicated Show Nominated My Secret Identity
1990 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actor in an Off-Primetime Family Nominated My Secret Identity
2004 Kid's Choice Awards Favorite Fart in a Movie Won Kangaroo Jack



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jerry O'Connell Biography (1974-). Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved on April 29, 2015.
  2. Hammel, Sara. "Rebecca Romijn's Marital Advice: Do It Backwards", People, July 27, 2007. 
  3. Nassour, Ellis (March 14, 2012). The Pluck of the Irish. Retrieved on April 29, 2015.
  4. Mollie Lobl. "He Might Be on Television, but Don't Be Intimidated — He Also Went to NYU", Columbia Spectator, November 29, 2007. 
  5. O'Connell reference, NYU News, October 2, 2013.
  6. Jerry O'Connell Biography. Internet Movie Database.
  7. THAT ALL DEPENDS .... People (November 8, 2004). Retrieved on January 27, 2008.
  8. In-Depend-Ence. Jerry O'Connell Fansite (November 27, 2004). Retrieved on January 27, 2008.
  9. Photos from Last Call with Carson Daly. Jerry O'Connell Fansite (November 29, 2004). Retrieved on January 27, 2008.
  10. Jerry Connell Parody of Tom Cruise Scientology Video
  11. Minnesota Monitor. Retrieved on April 29, 2015.
  12. Breaking News - Mary J Blige, Maroon 5 Touch Down in Glendale, Arizona to Perform at 'The VH1 Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash' Premiering on Saturday, February 2 at 9 PM*. Retrieved on April 29, 2015.
  13. Live Review: Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash with Mary J. Blige, Maroon 5,]
  14. FOX 2014/2015 Schedule. Retrieved on April 29, 2015.
  15. Cancellation of Do Not Disturb
  16. Natalie Abrams. "Death, Jerry O'Connell Come to Eastwick", TV Guide. 
  17. Jerry O'Connell Goes Wild on the Set of Piranha. DreadCentral.
  18. Hot Chicks in Bikinis Going 'Wild, Wild' with Jerry O'Connell on the Set of 'Piranha'!. BloodyDisgusting.
  19. Michael Ausiello. Exclusive: 'Rex Is Not Your Lawyer' DOA at NBC?. Entertainment Weekly.
  20. Jerry O'Connell cast as Herman Munster in NBC's 'Mockingbird Lane'.
  21. Ulrica Wihlborg. "Rebecca Romijn Weds Jerry O'Connell", People, July 15, 2007. 
  22. Webshots. Webshots - Young Leopard, Sabi Sands Conservancy, South Africa. Retrieved on April 29, 2015.
  23. Lawrence Kestenbaum. The Political Graveyard: Polish ancestry Politicians. Retrieved on April 29, 2015.
  24. Celebrity Babies and Kids – Moms & Babies – Retrieved on April 29, 2015.
  25. Laudadio, Marisa (January 5, 2009). Rebecca Romijn Welcomes Twin Girls – Babies, Rebecca Romijn. People. Retrieved on March 14, 2010.
  26. Marisa Laudadio. Rebecca Romijn Welcomes Twin Girls. People.
  27. Gina Serpe (January 5, 2009). Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell Welcome Twins. E!. Retrieved on October 20, 2010.
  28. "Jerry O'Connell Enrolls in Law School", US magazine, August 13, 2009. 
  29. Jerry O’Connell quits law school to play Vegas ‘Defender’. New York Post. Retrieved on April 29, 2015.

External links

Links to authority control.