In portraying the quintessential blue-collar Irish-Catholic, veteran character actor Jack McGee has brought an authenticity to his roles that's tough to match. For inspiration, he has needed to look no further than his own background. Born and raised in New York City, McGee was one of eight children in a working class family in the South Bronx. As if that wasn't tough enough, he was the youngest, which may have led him to work that much harder to get noticed. By high school, he was a football player and also president of his senior class. He soon developed an interest in performing, and one of his first efforts was as a background vocalist for the 1960s rock band, "The Young Rascals." In order to make ends meet as an actor, McGee became a firefighter for New York City in 1977. As it happened, his first part was in the 1987 firefighter movie, "Turk 182," starring Timothy Hutton. Moving to Hollywood in 1986, he went on to appear in hundreds of films, television movies and regular series. His classic working stiff features landed him countless roles as cops, carpenters, and the occasional bartender. Notable movie roles include a mischievous Santa Clause in the 1994 remake of "Miracle on 34th Street," a baseball pitcher in "Coyote Ugly' (2000) and infamous Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in "Thirteen Days" (2000). On television, McGee did his share of "L.A. Law," "Murphy Brown," and "X-Files" appearances, before landing a semi-regular part on ABC's "NYPD Blue" as a desk sergeant. After that, he appeared in studio fare such as "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blond," and the edgy independent drama, "Crash," from writer-director Paul Haggis. But McGee's most memorable role has promised to be Chief Jerry Reilly on FX's edgy firefighter drama, "Rescue Me." The cutting edge show, produced by and starring Denis Leary, focused on the personal lives of the men - and woman - of the beleaguered engine company in post 9-11 New York City. McGee, as "the Good Chief," brought his customary thoughtfulness to the character.
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