Happy Birthday Cyrus ! A Birthday Tribute to Steppenwolf Founder Jeff Perry

jeff perry hs

Today we celebrate a very special birthday to everyone in the Chicago theatre community. It is one of the founders of the world famous Steppenwolf Theatre, Jeff Perry. Jeff is a world class and world famous actor. Currently he can be seen on ABC’s smash hit “Scandal” as Presidential henchman , Cyrus Beene. Join us as Chitownstarconnections celebrates the actor and one of our favorite “gladiators.”

Born August 16,1955 in Highland Park , Illinois. Jeff’s father was a teacher at Highland Park High School. He had an early interest in drama. One day, his late sister , Jo took him to the Ravinia Festival here in Chicago where he auditioned for a ACT production of “Six Characters in Search of an Actor” . He nailed the audition and got the role.  This also initiated what would be the start of the award winning Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Few people know the humble beginnings of Steppenwolf. It was founded by Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney, and Perry and the first plays were done in a corner of the Highland Park HS cafeteria and later in the Immaculate Conception Church also in Highland Park.



Jeff has been a pillar in the Chicago theatre committee . He has been nominated for two Jeffy awards. (local Chicago theatre award) He has also acted in such plays as “True West” , “August Osage County” and “The Grapes of Wrath.

jeff in august osage county  tracy lettsHere is Jeff in rehearsal for” August Osage County” before it went to Broadway in 2008. The play originated at Steppenwolf.

founders-of-steppenwolfHere is Jeff , Terry Kinney, and Gary Sinise formerly of CSI NY , the founding members of the Steppenwolf Theatre Co. They have also opened a Steppenwolf West in LA as well. The company boasts such actors as John Mahoney, Gary Cole, John Malkovich, Joan Allen, and Laurie Metcalf. (Perry was married to the Roseanne actress and they have one daughter, Zoe. Currently he is married to the casting director of “Grey ‘s Anatomy”Linda Lowy  and has another child by her.

nash bridges

Jeff has appeared on many series in the course of his career. They include “The West Wing”, “Prison Break”, “The Practice”, “Thirtysomething” “ER” and “Chicago Hope” Here he is on the former CBS show “Nash Bridges” as Inspector Harvey Leek

my so called lifeHere he is in the late ABC series “My So Called Life” as  gay drama teacher, Richard Katinski. He also directed an episode of the series.

america-dadJeff has also been immortalized in cartoon form. Here he is on an episode of the Fox series “American Dad”  Doesn’t that really look like him?

greys-bailey-mer-lexieHere is one of Jeff’s best known roles. He has come back to the halls of the Seattle hospital several times as Thatcher Grey, the father who left Meredith . In the episode “PYT” , he has returned with a twenty something girl friend much to the dismay of his two daughters.

scandal  jeff tony and kerryBut here is the role he is currently known for Cyrus Beene, President Grant’s Chief of Staff on “Scandal” Here he is with stars Kerry Washington as Olivia and Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant as they endure another stressful day in the White House

cyrus-james-and-ellaHere is Cyrus with the love of his life , James and their daughter,Ella on the day of her christening. Tragically James was shot while on the trail of exposing corruption. Now Cyrus must raise their daughter alone. Will Cyrus love again?

jeff-todaySo lift your wine glass , grab some popcorn and join us as we say Happy Birthday Jeff!!! Chitownstarconnections is so  proud of our hometown boy!!

Note: This is a repost of a previous article from August…


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