Ben McKenzie is turning 39 today. He has been a regular on series television for nearly fifteen years. In 2003, at a time when he had only had a couple of TV guest spots, he was cast as Ryan Atwood, the troubled teen who was a central character on The O.C.; he appeared in every episode of the series four-year run. Two years after that gig ended, he was cast as rookie cop Ben Sherman on TNT’s Southland (the series originally aired on NBC).
McKenzie’s film career has largely been in supporting roles, in films such as Junebug (his feature film debut) and Goodbye World. A couple of exceptions have been in his portrayal of Joe Bonham in the one-man show adaptation of Johnny Got His Gun, and, in a bit of casting that was subsequently ironic, as Bruce Wayne/Batman in an animated adaptation of Batman: Year One. For the past three years, he has been starring as James Gordon on Fox’s Gotham.