Christopher McDonald ’77 recently appeared in episode eight of “Boardwalk Empire,” the HBO series set in Atlantic City, N.J., during Prohibition. Based on the life of real-life criminal Enoch Johnson, the first episode was directed by Martin Scorsese, who remains an executive producer. In this latest episode, the central focus is on the Democratic National Convention where Warren Harding will be nominated for President. McDonald plays Harding’s chief-of-staff.
In a review on Screenology.com, Jack Moore includes McDonald’s appearance in his “Ten Awesome Things About This Episode of This Awesome Show.” McDonald is noted as No. 9: “Playing Warren Harding’s campaign manager, the illustrious Christopher McDonald was awesome. It always makes me happy to see that Shooter landed on his feet after his disastrous performance at the PGA championship a few years ago. I never thought he’d recover.”
Described by the New York Times as one of the hardest working and most prolific actors in Hollywood, McDonald brings “legendary” characters to life with consistent acclaim. From “Thelma and Louise” to “Quiz Show” to “Happy Gilmore,” McDonald has worked opposite actors such as Adam Sandler, George Clooney, Susan Sarandon and Diane Keaton, and for directors like Ridley Scott, the Coen Brothers, Robert Redford, and Carl Reiner.
McDonald attended Hobart from 1973 to 1977, where he played football, was goalie on Hobart’s varsity soccer team, was Song Master of the Kappa Alpha Society, and received his degree in English, cum laude. He studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the London Academy of Music and the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory in New York City.
On television McDonald has had starring roles on “Family Law,” “Veronica’s Closet” and “Cracking Up,” as well as many single appearance roles. He has more than 80 films to his credit and reprised his role as Billy Flynn in the Broadway production of “Chicago” in 2008. He was winner of the 1982 Drama-Logue Best Actor Award.
McDonald is a pilot and remains an avid athlete as a golfer, skier and motorcycle buff.
More information about the episode of “Boardwalk Empire” in which he appeared is online.