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For the footballer, see Josh Charles (footballer). For other people, see Josh Charles (disambiguation).

Joshua Aaron "Josh" Charles (born September 15, 1971) is an American stage, film and television actor. He is best known for the roles of Dan Rydell on Sports Night, Will Gardner on The Good Wife, which earned him two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and his early work as Knox Overstreet in Dead Poets Society.

Early life

Charles was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Laura (née Heckscher), a gossip columnist for The Baltimore Sun newspaper, and Allan Charles, an advertising executive.[1][2][3] He began his career performing comedy at the age of nine. As a teenager, he spent several summers at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Center in New York, and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts.


Charles's film debut was in fellow Baltimore native John Waters' Hairspray in 1988. The following year, he starred alongside Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke in the Oscar-winning Dead Poets Society. Subsequent film roles have included Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Threesome, Pie in the Sky, Muppets from Space, S.W.A.T, Four Brothers, After.Life, Crossing the Bridge, and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

On television, Charles played sports anchor Dan Rydell in Aaron Sorkin's Emmy Award-winning Sports Night, which ran for two years (1998–2000) on ABC and earned Charles a Screen Actors Guild nomination. In 2008, Charles played the role of Jake in Season 1 of HBO's In Treatment. In 2009, he returned to network television in the CBS drama The Good Wife. For his work on the series he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2011 and 2014.

In 1986, Charles headlined a production of Jonathan Marc Sherman's Confrontation. In 2004, he appeared on stage in New York in a revival of Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here, which received a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble Cast. In January 2006 he appeared in the world premiere of Richard Greenberg's The Well-Appointed Room for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, and followed this with a run at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, portraying the cloned brothers in Caryl Churchill's A Number. In 2007, he appeared in Adam Bock's The Receptionist at the Manhattan Theatre Club. In 2011, Charles was the narrator for NFL Network's A Football Life's debut episode on New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.[4]

Personal life

In September 2013, Charles married ballet dancer and author Sophie Flack.[5][6] On December 9, 2014, Flack gave birth to the couple's first child.[7]

Charles is of Jewish heritage on his father's side, and has described himself as Jewish.[8][9] He is a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens.



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Hairspray Iggy
1989 Dead Poets Society Knox Overstreet
1991 Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead Bryan
1992 Crossing the Bridge Mort Golden
1994 Threesome Eddy
1995 Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Bruce Uncredited
1995 Coldblooded Randy
1996 The Grave Tyn
1996 Crossworlds Joe Talbot
1996 Pie in the Sky Charlie Dunlap
1997 Cyclops, Baby Brush Brody
1997 Little City Adam
1999 Muppets from Space Agent Barker
2000 Meeting Daddy Peter Silverblatt
2003 S.W.A.T. T. J. McCabe
2004 Seeing Other People Lou
2005 Four Brothers Detective Fowler
2006 The Darwin Awards Paramedic
2007 The Ex Forrest Mead
2009 After.Life Tom Peterson
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Subject No. 2
2014 Bird People Gary Newman
2014 Adult Beginners Phil
2015 I Smile Back Bruce
2015 Freeheld Bryan Kelder
2016 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Chris
2016 Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer Taub Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Murder in Mississippi Andrew Goodman Television movie
1993 Cooperstown Jody Television movie
1996 Norma Jean & Marilyn Eddie Jordan Television movie
1997 The Underworld Ehrlich Television movie
1998–2000 Sports Night Dan Rydell 45 episodes
2002 Our America Dave Isay Television movie
2005 Stella Jeremy Episode: "Meeting Girls"
2007 Six Degrees Ray Jones 4 episodes
2008 In Treatment Jake 8 episodes
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sean Kelley Episode: "Confession"
2009–2016 The Good Wife Will Gardner 107 episodes
2014–2016 Inside Amy Schumer Various 4 episodes
2015 Masters of Sex Dan Logan 10 episodes
2015 Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Blake 6 episodes
2016 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Duke Episode: "Kimmy Finds Her Mom!"
2016 Drunk History Jay Gould Episode: "Scoundrels"
2017 Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later Blake


  1. ^ Sandler, Gilbert (July 16, 1996). "Baltimore Glimpses: the Hollywood trail". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 8, 2013. Josh Charles is the son of Laura and Allen Charles 
  2. ^ Josh Charles [MrJoshCharles] (October 12, 2012). "My grandpa, Wilbur Heckscher" (Tweet). Retrieved September 8, 2013 – via Twitter. 
  3. ^ Desmon, Stephanie (February 17, 2008). "Lillian 'Libby' Charles". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 13, 2015. her son Allan Charles, founding partner of Trahan Burden Charles ... grandson is actor Josh Charles 
  4. ^ Forsberg, Chris. "Belichick documentary set for NFL Network – New England Patriots Blog – ESPN Boston". Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  5. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (October 10, 2011). "A novel life: A former dancer's new career takes shape – Boston Globe". Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  6. ^ Webber, Stephanie (September 7, 2013). "Josh Charles Wedding: Good Wife Star Marries Girlfriend Sophie Flack!". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 8, 2013. Josh Charles ... married longtime girlfriend Sophie Flack on Friday, Sept. 6 
  7. ^ Marquina, Sierra (December 12, 2014). "Josh Charles, Wife Sophie Flack Welcome Their First Child Together – a Baby Boy!". Us Weekly. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ Feinberg, Scott (June 21, 2012). "Emmys 2012: Josh Charles on Falling in Love with 'The Good Wife' (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  9. ^ "Charles Gets Married". Jewz in the Newz. The American Israelite. October 2, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.