John Lithgow as Harold Harper | The Old Man on FX

John Lithgow

Harold Harper

John Lithgow stars as "Harold Harper." Intelligent and tough with deep reservoirs of compassion and ruthlessness, Harper is called back to service by the FBI after suffering a terrible personal loss. He has a complicated past with rogue fugitive Dan Chase, which makes him uniquely suited for hunting him down.

Career Highlights

Lithgow’s roots are in the theater. In 1973 he won a Tony® Award three weeks after his Broadway debut in David Storey’s The Changing Room. Since then, he has appeared on Broadway 20 more times, earning five more Tony nominations, another Tony win, four Drama Desk Awards and induction into the Theater Hall of Fame. His Broadway performances have included major roles in My Fat Friend, Trelawny of the ‘Wells,’ Comedians, Anna Christie, Bedroom Farce, Beyond Therapy, M. Butterfly, The Front Page, The Retreat from Moscow, All My Sons, The Columnist and the musicals Sweet Smell of Success (his second Tony) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Lithgow has acted in England with both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, playing “Malvolio” with the first and the title role in The Magistrate with the second. Lithgow returned to the New York stage in 2014, first as “King Lear” for The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park and then on Broadway in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. In April 2018 Lithgow appeared as “Voltaire/Dr. Pangloss” in the Carnegie Hall presentation of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.

In 2008, Lithgow devised the one-man show John Lithgow: Stories by Heart for the Lincoln Center Theater Company and performed it in 35 cities around the country over the next 10 years, arriving on Broadway in 2018 for a warmly received three-month engagement at the Roundabout Theatre. Lithgow recently returned to Broadway alongside Laurie Metcalf in Hillary and Clinton, a new play by Lucas Hnath, which premiered in April 2019.

In the early 1980s Lithgow began to make a major mark in film. At that time, he was nominated for Oscars® in back-to-back years for The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment. In the years before and after, he has appeared in over 45 films. Notable among them have been All That Jazz, Blow Out, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Footloose, 2010, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Harry and the Hendersons, Memphis Belle, Raising Cain, Ricochet, Cliffhanger, Orange County, Shrek, Kinsey, Dreamgirls, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Campaign, This Is 40, Interstellar, Love Is Strange, The Accountant, Miss Sloane, Beatriz at Dinner and Daddy’s Home Two. Lithgow starred in Mindy Kaling’s comedy Late Night alongside Kaling, Emma Thompson and Hugh Dancy, The Tomorrow Man opposite Blythe Danner, as well as Paramount+’s remake of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Lithgow also played Roger Ailes in Bombshell, the Charles Randolph project about the Fox News culture, alongside Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney.

Upcoming, Lithgow will be seen starring with Julianne Moore in thriller, Sharper, for Apple TV+ and in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

Lithgow has been nominated for 13 Emmy® Awards for his work on television. He has won six: one for an episode of Amazing Stories, one for his 12-episode arc on Showtime’s Dexter, one for his supporting role as Winston Churchill in Netflix’s original series The Crown and three for his work on the hit NBC comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun as the loopy character of the alien High Commander, “Dick Solomon.” During the show’s six-year run, Lithgow also won a Golden Globe®, two SAG Awards, an American Comedy Award and, when it finally went off the air, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Additionally, his diabolical turn as the “Trinity Killer” in the aforementioned Dexter won him his second Golden Globe.

Lithgow won his latest Emmy for his transformative role as Winston Churchill in The Crown. Both the series and Lithgow have received numerous accolades. In addition to his Emmy, Lithgow received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor, won a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor and won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor.

Recently Lithgow starred in the HBO series Perry Mason alongside Matthew Rhys. Lithgow was nominated for a Critics Choice Award and an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for this role.

He also starred in the NBC comedy series Trial & Error, playing an eccentric poetry professor accused of murdering his wife.

Since 1998 he has written nine New York Times best-selling children’s picture books, most recently Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo. He has performed concerts for children with major American orchestras and has released three kids’ albums, “Singin’ in the Bathtub,” “Farkle & Friends” and the GRAMMY®-nominated “The Sunny Side of the Street.” Lithgow has been honored with the New Victory Theater Arts Award for his work “bringing kids to the arts and the arts to the kids.”

In 2011 HarperCollins published Lithgow’s memoir, Drama: An Actor’s Education, presenting his life and career up to the age of 35. The book vividly portrays the worlds of New York, London and American regional theater in the 1970s and relives his collaborations with renowned performers and directors of that era. In 2019 Lithgow released the New York Times bestseller Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse, a collection of original poems and drawings chronicling the recent history of Donald Trump’s presidency. Dumpty was such a success that Lithgow released a second book in the same vein called Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown: Verses for a Despotic Age. The book, which was released in October of 2020, became a New York Times bestseller. Lithgow rounded out this theme as a trilogy by releasing A Confederacy of Dumptys Portraits of American Scoundrels in Verse in October 2021.

Lithgow was born in Rochester, New York, but grew up in Ohio. He graduated from high school in Princeton, New Jersey, attended Harvard College and studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art on a Fulbright Grant. He has been honored with the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Harvard. On that last occasion, he became the first actor to ever deliver Harvard’s Commencement Address.

Lithgow has three grown children, two grandchildren and lives in Los Angeles and New York. He has been married for over 30 years to Mary Yeager, an Emerita Professor.

Amy Brenneman headshot wearing collar shirt and sweater

Amy Brenneman

as Zoe McDonald

Picking up the pieces after a bruising divorce, Zoe rents a room to Dan Chase not knowing he’s on the run.