Hollywood's resident Golden Boy in the '90s, Chris O'Donnell has portrayed everything from a blind man's sitter to the sword-bearing ally of the Three Musketeers to the Dark Knight's sidekick and even to Ernest Hemingway himself. Although his celebrity status took quite a plunge in the early 2000's when he focused his time and energy towards building a family, O'Donnell has masterfully resurrected his acting career, this time by conquering the world of television. Audiences worldwide would fondly remember him as veterinarian Dr. Finn Dandridge in the third season of the the ABC hit medical drama Grey's Anatomy and NCIS Special Agent G. Callen from the Los Angeles branch of the naval crime unit on NCIS: Los Angeles. Just as in the case of some of his Hollywood contemporaries, Chris' career has come full circle and has made another significant stride in establishing himself as one of the top leading men in the industry.
Chris O'Donnell, his two brothers, and four sisters were raised by their mother Julie, a realtor, and William, Sr., a radio manager, in a devout Catholic home environment. He was enrolled in Catholic schools like Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois where he graduated from high school in 1988. Chris then earned his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Boston College, where he also met his wife Caroline Fentress, the sister of his college roommate. While his acting career began appearing in commercials and getting modeling gigs even at the age of 12, O'Donnell made his feature film debut when he was 20 as the rebellious son of Jessica Lange in the 1990 drama Men Don't Leave. He followed that up with a cameo on the Academy-award-nominated film Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) and as the Anti-Semitist roommate of Brendan Fraser in School Ties (1992).
In 1992, Chris landed his breakthrough role as Charlie Simms, the aide and eyes of Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. His brilliant performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination, a testament to the versatility and talent O'Donnell possessed as a young actor. The following year, he teamed up with the trio of Charlie Sheen, Oliver Platt, and Kiefer Sutherland as the swashbuckling swordsman D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers. He appeared in three romantic dramas (Blue Sky, Circle of Friends, and Mad Love) before he donned his cape and tights as Robin the Boy Wonder and partnered with Gotham City's premier crime fighter in Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997). His other notable film roles included the young aspiring lawyer Adam Hall in courtroom suspense drama The Chamber (1996), Ernest Hemingway in the World War I drama In Love and War (1996), and the title character, Jimmie Shannon in the romantic comedy The Bachelor (1999).
After more than a dozen films throughout the '90s, O'Donnell took a break from the business and tended to his growing family. In the fickle world of show business, Chris had difficulty repositioning himself in the film industry as he attempted his return. In 2003, he instead took on the role of Brad Stanfield, a man accused of murdering his pregnant wife and unborn son, in a four-episode arc during the beginning of The Practice's 8th season. His comeback bid came in full swing when in 2006, O'Donnell was cast as animal doctor Dr. Finn Dandridge on Grey's Anatomy, where he played rival to Seattle Grace neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd (played by Patrick Dempsey) for the affection of intern Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo). He also portrayed the idealistic and naive CIA agent Jack McAuliffe in the 2007 TNT three-part miniseries presentation, The Company, which starred veteran actors Alfred Molina and Michael Keaton. In 2009, Chris was hired as NCIS Special Agent G. Callen in back-to-back episodes of NCIS, which served as the setup for the series spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles.… Expand