Robert John Burke

Robert John Burke


  • Known For: Acting
  • Birthday: 12-09-1960
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of Birth: New York City, New York, USA
  • Also Known As:

    John Burke
    Robert Burke

  • Popularity: 17.25
  • Homepage: N/A


A born-and-bred New Yorker, Robert John Burke made his film debut while in his early 20s with a small part in the drama "The Chosen" (1981), based on the Chaim Potok story. He went on to study acting at SUNY Purchase where he met aspiring filmmaker Hal Hartley, who cast him as one of the leads in his debut feature "The Unbelievable Truth," an offbeat indie tale where he played a man trying to escape his troubled past. Working with Hartley again on the charming brother-centric dark comedy "Simple Men," Burke caught a major break when Hollywood producers decided that his chiseled jawline was the right one to replace Peter Weller's in the sci-fi/action sequel "RoboCop 3." Despite Burke's efforts, the movie tanked, and he went on to smaller roles in major films, including the lauded Western "Tombstone" (1993) and the prison-break movie "Fled" (1996). Burke landed his second chance in a Hollywood starring role with the Stephen King adaptation "Thinner" (1996), but the macabre tale, which featured him under heavy makeup to depict a callous man who magically loses weight, was deemed almost universally unlikable.Though Burke's leading-man days were mostly behind him, his beastly role in Hartley's "No Such Thing" (2001) aside, he soldiered on, and began increasingly working on television with recurring roles on the grim prison drama "Oz" and the police procedural "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). Appearing in George Clooney's first two movies as director, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002) and "Good Night, and Good Luck." (2005), Burke nonetheless became more familiar to TV audiences, particularly when he signed on to play Mickey Gavin, the ex-priest cousin of Denis Leary's lead character on the firefighter series "Rescue Me," a part that dovetailed with Burke's real-life second job as a New York State fireman.Often cast as a tough guy, the ruggedly handsome and tall actor continued to play imposing figures such as Major General James "Chaos" Mattis in the Iraq War miniseries "Generation Kill" (HBO, 2008) and Bart Bass, the controlling billionaire father of Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) on the soapy drama "Gossip Girl." Before long, he was juggling his ongoing "Law & Order: SVU" part with regular spots on the military drama "Army Wives" (Lifetime, 2007- ) and the tense crime show "Person of Interest" (CBS, 2011- ), while still finding time for supporting turns in films, including the Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg action movie "2 Guns" (2013).




Year Movie Character
1996 Thinner as Billy Halleck
1992 Dust Devil as Dust Devil
1993 RoboCop 3 as Robocop
1992 Simple Men as Bill McCabe
1998 Midnight Flight as Paul Bacon
2001 No Such Thing as The Monster
1989 The Unbelievable Truth as Josh
2017 Where There's Smoke as Captain Frascone
2020 Being as Sheriff Campbell
2015 Bait as Uncle Mack
1997 Mayday - Flug in den Tod as Tom Hutton
2003 Piggie as Jim
2021 Intrusion as Detective Steven Morse
2022 Triggered as David
1998 First Love, Last Rites as Henry
2015 Ned Rifle as Chet
1998 Somewhere in the City as Frankie
2010 Years Later: The Unbelievable Truth and Its Consequences as Himself
1998 A Bright Shining Lie as Frank Drummond
1993 Flirt as Men's Room Man
1993 A Far Off Place as Paul Parker
1996 Fled as Pat Schiller
2012 Safe as Captain Wolf
1996 Killer: A Journal of Murder as R.G. Greiser
1984 Nightmare Weekend as Dave
2015 True Story as Greg Ganley
1996 If Lucy Fell as Handsome Man
2018 We Only Know So Much as Hal
1991 Rambling Rose as Dave Wilkie
2004 Speak as Mr. Neck
2017 Future '38 as General Sportwood
2002 Confessions of a Dangerous Mind as Instructor Jenks
2006 The Oh in Ohio as Binky Taylor
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck. as Charlie Mack
2005 Hide and Seek as Steven
2011 Limitless as Pierce
2013 2 Guns as Jessup
1981 The Chosen as Levi Saunders
2022 The Retaliators as Captain Briggs
2004 Connie and Carla as Rudy
2018 Boarding School as Mr. Holcomb
1993 Heaven & Earth as Paul
2023 Boston Strangler as Eddie Holland
2018 BlacKkKlansman as Chief Bridges
1995 Crazy for a Kiss as Steve
1995 Flirt as Men's Room Man #2
2008 Miracle at St. Anna as General Ned Almond
1981 Gangster Wars as Officer Reardon
2022 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as Smitty
2006 The Ex as Colonel
2010 Brooklyn's Finest as State Trooper #1
1977 Looking for Mr. Goodbar as Patrick
1993 Tombstone as Frank McLaury
1997 Cop Land as Officer B
2005 Munich as Belligerent American
Photo Name Department
2013 Golden Boy (1 episode) as Andrew Lightstone
1997 Oz (1 episode) as Special Agent Pierce Taylor
2000 Witchblade (1 episode)
2007 Gossip Girl (27 episode) as Bart Bass
2006 Kidnapped (13 episode) as Bellows
2002 CSI: Miami (1 episode) as Jim Resdon
2010 Blue Bloods (3 episode) as Jyle Hogan
2011 Person of Interest (11 episode) as Officer Patrick Simmons
2009 White Collar (1 episode) as Patrick O'Leary
2015 Allegiance (8 episode) as Special Agent Brock
1999 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (21 episode) as Ed Tucker
1985 The Equalizer (1 episode) as O'Toole
2014 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (1 episode) as IAB Lieutenant Ed Tucker
1990 Law & Order (1 episode) as Lt. Colonel Milton Danbury
2019 Project Blue Book (7 episode) as William Fairchild
1998 From the Earth to the Moon (2 episode) as Bill Anders
1990 Law & Order (1 episode) as Arthur "Buzz" Palley
1999 The Sopranos (1 episode) as Officer Zmuida
1990 Law & Order (1 episode) as FBI Agent Ron Innes

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