Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Cotter Smith

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Occupation  Actor
Name  Cotter Smith

Role  Film actor
Children  Madeline Smith
Cotter Smith Cotter Smith IMDb

Full Name  Joseph Cotter Smith
Born  May 29, 1949 (age 66) (1949-05-29) Washington, D.C., United States
Spouse  Heidi Mueller (m. 2001), Mel Harris (m. 1988–1996), Christina Egloff (m. 1972–1980)
Parents  John Lewis Smith, Jr., Madeline Smith
TV shows  Night Stalker, Equal Justice, Orleans, Courthouse
Movies  X2, K‑9, Burning Blue, Cameron's Closet, Lady Beware
Similar People  Mel Harris, DMW Greer, Karen Arthur, Rod Daniel, David Hume Kennerly

64 - Cotter Smith, Actor

Cotter Smith discusses the Tony Awards!

Cotter Smith (born May 29, 1949) is an American stage, film, and television actor.



He was born Joseph Cotter Smith in Washington, D.C., the son of Madeline (née Cotter) and John Lewis Smith, Jr., who was a federal judge. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 1968. In 1972, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in literature at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.


He began his acting career in New York City in 1978, studying with Stella Adler and at the Actors Studio. He is currently in production on David Fincher's new Netflix series "Mindhunter". His New York theater credits include the Broadway premiere productions of "Next Fall," which was a 2010 Tony Award nominee for Best New Play, Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter) and Lanford Wilson's "Burn This." He also co-starred with Judd Hirsch in the National Tour of the Tony Award winning play 'Art. His numerous Off Broadway appearances include the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of "The Tempest' with Sam Waterston; Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive with Molly Ringwald; Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier's Play with Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson; Michael Weller's "Side Effects" with Joely Richardson; Athol Fugard's The Blood Knot" with Danny Glover; Horton Foote's "The Old Friends" with Betty Buckley; and the American Premiere of the Olivier Award-winning "Cockfight Play", among many others. He was also a ten-year member of the Circle Repertory Company in New York working exclusively on the premiere productions of new American plays.

He is a co-founder of The Matrix Theatre Company in Los Angeles, where he has appeared in The Seagull, The Homecoming, Endgame, Mad Forest, and Habeas Corpus. Other Los Angeles performances include Romeo and Juliet, Love Letters, and Raft of the Medusa, as well as the West Coast premieres of "A Soldier's Play' and How I Learned to Drive at the Mark Taper Forum.

With his wife, Heidi Mueller Smith, he co-founded and served as Artistic Director from of the Cornerstone Theatre Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 2001-2007. Among his directing credits for the company are Edward Albee's The American Dream, Harold Pinter's Night School, and Lanford Wilson's The Gingham Dog. His acting credits for the company include 12 Angry Men, Betrayal, Long Day's Journey into Night, and Educating Rita.

Smith has been nominated four times by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, receiving the Outstanding Performance Award in 1996 for George M. Cohan's "The Tavern". He has received four Drama-Logue Awards and two Ovation Award nominations.

His television and film work ranges from his debut co-starring as Robert Kennedy (opposite Robert Blake's Jimmy Hoffa) in the mini-series Blood Feud, to his role as the President of the United States in the 20th Century Fox film, X2: X-Men United. Over the years he has appeared in many television shows, from his regular roles on the ABC series Equal Justice and Night Stalker to his more recent appearances on "The Americans", "[[Madam Secretary}}", "Person of Interest" and "The Good Wife".

Smith is also an acting teacher, for the past six years at The New School for Drama in New York, where he also served as the Department Head of the MFA Acting Program from 2015-2017. Prior to that he taught for several years at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Personal life

Cotter Smith has been married to Heidi Mueller Smith since 2001. He was previously married to actress Mel Harris, with whom he has a daughter, Madeline, who is currently working on her PhD in History at the University of Chicago. He also has four stepchildren: Brianne, Christopher, Evan and Byron.


Cotter Smith Wikipedia