Paul Adelstein (born April 29, 1969) is an American television and film actor, best known for the role of Agent Paul Kellerman in the television series Prison Break and his role as pediatrician Cooper Freedman in the series Private Practice. In addition to supporting roles in films such as Intolerable Cruelty and Memoirs of a Geisha, he is also known for his current recurring role as Leo Bergen on Scandal, and as Jake in the current series Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.

Early life

Adelstein was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1969, to a Reform Jewish family.[1] Prior to his profesional acting career, Adelstein attended the progressive Francis W. Parker School, then Bowdoin College where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a degree in English.[2] He began his career in theatre, working with New Crime Productions, a company founded by John Cusack, and later with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.


Making his film debut in 1990 in The Grifters, Adelstein went on to appear in several television series which include Cupid, ER, Without a Trace and Scrubs and to have a number of significant supporting roles in films such as Bedazzled (2000), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), and Be Cool (2005).

In 2005, he received his most significant role to date as a member of the regular cast of the suspenseful television series Prison Break. Interestingly, though he played the role of mysterious government operative Paul Kellerman, he had originally auditioned for the role of protagonist Lincoln Burrows. When he left the show in 2007, he joined the regular cast of medical drama Private Practice where he stayed for the show's entire six season run. After the series finale in 2013, he has more recently had a recurring role on Scandal, which he has continued into 2014.

Currently his main role is as Jake, the husband of Abby McCarthy (Lisa Edelstein) in Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, which premiered in late 2014 as the first scripted original series for Bravo.[3]

Personal life

Paul moved to Los Angeles in 2003 at the age of 34. "I've fallen in love with the city. I found it difficult at first, but like I said I was doing it in pretty small doses. By the time I had my own place I was pretty comfortable here, and now I love it. There's really no place in the world like Los Angeles, love it or hate it."[4] Despite hailing from Chicago, Adelstein has been a fan and supporter since childhood of the NFL's Cleveland Browns.[5]

In November 2006, Adelstein married actress Liza Weil, who played Paris Geller on Gilmore Girls. They had their first child in April 2010, a girl named Josephine Elizabeth Weil-Adelstein.[6][7] Adelstein is also lead singer and guitarist of a band called Doris. The band was started in the late nineties and Adelstein has recorded several albums with them, singing and songwriting for the group. Adelstein is also a pianist and guitarist. His musical background was the cover story in the May/June 2012 issue of Making Music Magazine.



Year Title Role Notes
1990 The Grifters Sailor - Young Paul
1997 Peoria Babylon Brad Kessler
2000 Bedazzled Bob/Roberto/Beach Jock/Sportscaster
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Wrigley
2004 Lawrence Melm
Bandwagon Joe Rice
Collateral Fed #3
2005 Memoirs of a Geisha Lieutenant Hutchins
Be Cool Hy Gordon
2009 Land of the Lost Astronaut (voice)
The Missing Person Drexler Hewitt
Little Fish, Strange Pond aka. Frenemy Philly direct-to-DVD
2010 Happy Sushi short
2014 Return to Zero Aaron Main Role


Year Title Role Notes
1998–1999 Cupid Mike Television episodes (1x01, 1x02, 1x06, 1x07, 1x09, 1x11, 1x14)
1999 Turks Officer Cliff Fowler Television series
ER Hank Loman Television episode (6x09)
2002 R.U.S./H. Tom Epstein Television movie
ER Television episode (8x17)
Breaking News Julian Kerbis Television series
2002–2003 Hack Sergeant Aldo Rossi Television episodes (1x13, 1x14, 1x20, 2x04, 2x10)
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Steven Kellerman Television episode (4x14)
Partners and Crime Television movie
The Lyon's Den Snyder Television episode (1x09)
Without a Trace Dave Television episode (2x05)
2004 Las Vegas Alex Brooks Television episode (2x11)
2005 Medium Craig Television episode (1x14)
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Murro Television episode (3x02)
2005–2009 Prison Break Paul Kellerman Television series
Series regular
46 episodes
2006 Nobody's Watching Jeff Tucker Television series
Scrubs Dr. Stone Television episode (5x21)
2007 Grey's Anatomy Cooper Freedman Television episodes (3x22, 3x23)
2007–2013 Private Practice Cooper Freedman Television series
Series regular
111 episodes
2010 Glenn Martin DDS Earl (voice) Television episode ("Courtney's Pony")
2013-present Scandal Leo Bergen Television series
15 episodes
2014-present Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce Jake Television series
Series regular
13 episodes
2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Neil Alexander Television episode ("Decaying Morality[8])


  1. ^ Miller, Gerri. "Fall Tv Preview: Paul Adelstein". American Italian Life Magazine (September/October 2007). Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ Meet the cast - Paul Adelstein. Yahoo!7. Retrieved on January 14, 2006.
  3. ^
  4. ^ " Interview with Paul Adelstein". Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ Jones, Keith (18 June 2014). "‘Scandal’ actor Paul Adelstein talks Cleveland Browns". Cleveland Browns official website. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Dr. Cooper Freedman Would Breastfeed if He Could
  7. ^ Credits for Anyone But Me, episode 2.09, May 25, 2009
  8. ^ http:/