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Steven James "SteveZahn (/ˈzɑːn/; born November 13, 1967) is an American actor and comedian.

Early life

Zahn was born in Marshall, Minnesota, the son of Zelda, who worked for the YMCA, and Carleton Edward Zahn, a retired Missouri Synod Lutheranpastor.[2][3][4] Zahn spent part of his childhood in Mankato, Minnesota, attending Kennedy Elementary School, and later moved to the suburbs of Minneapolis. After attending Robbinsdale Cooper High SchoolGustavus Adolphus College, and the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, his first professional acting role was in Biloxi Blues, a Minnesota production at the Old Log Theater; but his first big break came in 1994, when he was noticed by actor/director Ben Stiller, who cast him in his picture, Reality Bites.


Zahn's early roles were split between movies, touring companies of Broadway shows, and TV shows. In 1992-1993, he toured as Hugo with the Barry Weissler production of Bye Bye Birdie with Tommy TuneAnn Reinking, and Marc Kudisch. He played Phoebe Buffay's husband Duncan in a 1995 episode of Friends. Zahn appeared in several films in the mid-1990s, including Tom HanksThat Thing You Do! and Nora Ephron's You've Got Mail. These films garnered him enough respect that he was offered the starring role in the critically acclaimed indie film Happy, Texas (1999). Some of Zahn's most popular movies have been his later ones, including National Security (2003), Daddy Day Care (2003) and Sahara (2005). Zahn received his strongest critical acclaim for his performance in Riding in Cars with Boys, in which he co-starred with Drew Barrymore as her dim-witted, drug addicted husband. Roger EbertRichard Roeper and the BBC stated that the performance was deserving of an Oscar nomination. He also voiced Runt of the Litter in Chicken Little. He also gave dramatic performances in Rescue Dawn and the television mini-series Comanche Moon.

Typically typecast into comic relief sidekick roles, Zahn was asked if he minded, his reply was that it was a "pleasure" and a "privilege", saying: "to be typecast and make money and make people happy and people dig what you do, what a great thing, man."[1]

Zahn also plays the character of Davis McAlary in HBO's Treme. Davis is a New Orleans native and local music lover, as well as one of Treme's biggest partiers, and advocates. Zahn also recorded a song for the show, and is featured on the show's soundtrack. The track, "Shame, Shame, Shame", criticizes George W. Bush and the American government's response to the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the city of New Orleans.

Personal life

Zahn is married to Robyn Peterman, an actress and the daughter of entrepreneur John Peterman, whom Zahn met on a touring production of Bye Bye Birdie. They have a son, Henry James Zahn, born on April 3, 2000, and a daughter, Audrey Clair Zahn, born on April 25, 2002. Zahn is also a University of Kentucky sports fan, often seen at games and events.[5]



Year Title Role Director Notes
1992 Rain Without Thunder Jeremy Tanner Gary Bennett
1994 Reality Bites Sammy Gray Ben Stiller
1995 Crimson Tide William Barnes Tony Scott
1996 Race the Sun Hans Kooiman Charles T. Kanganis
SubUrbia Buff Richard Linklater
That Thing You Do! Lenny Haise Tom Hanks
1998 The Object of My Affection Frank Hanson Nicholas Hytner
Out of Sight Glenn Michaels Steven Soderbergh
Safe Men Eddie John Hamburg
You've Got Mail George Pappas Nora Ephron
1999 Forces of Nature Alan Bronwen Hughes Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy/Romance
Freak Talks About Sex Freak Paul Todisco
Happy, Texas Wayne Wayne Wayne Jr., aka David Mark Illsey Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male

Special Dramatic Jury Prize for Best Comedic Performance Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Stuart Little Monty the Mouth Rob Minkoff voice
2000 Chain of Fools Thomas Kresk Pontus Löwenhielm

Patrick von Krusenstjerna

Hamlet Rosencrantz Michael Almereyda
2001 Chelsea Walls Ross Ethan Hawke
Dr. Dolittle 2 Archie Steve Carr voice
Joy Ride Fuller Thomas John Dahl
Riding in Cars with Boys Ray Hasek Penny Marshall
Saving Silverman Wayne Dennis Dugan
2002 Stuart Little 2 Monty the Mouth Rob Minkoff voice
2003 Daddy Day Care Marvin Steve Carr
National Security Hank Rafferty Dennis Dugan
Shattered Glass Adam Penenberg Billy Ray
2004 Employee of the Month Jack Mitch Rouse
Speak Mr. Freeman Jessica Sharzer
2005 Chicken Little Runt of the Litter Mark Dindal voice
Sahara Al Giordino Breck Eisner
2006 Bandidas Quentin Cooke Joachim Ronning

Espen Sandberg

2007 Rescue Dawn Duane Werner Herzog Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor

Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male

2008 The Great Buck Howard Kenny Sean McGinly
Management Mike Flux Stephen Belber
Strange Wilderness Peter Gaulke Fred Wolf
Sunshine Cleaning Mac Christine Jeffs
Unstable Fables: 3 Pigs and a Baby Sandy Pig Howard E. Baker

Arish Fyzee



2009 Night Train Pete Dobbs Brian King
A Perfect Getaway Cliff Anderson David Twohy
2010 Calvin Marshall Coach Little Gary Lundgren
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Frank Heffley Thor Freudenthal
Salesmen Marvin Raul Inglis
Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers 2 Policeman Voice
2011 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Frank Heffley David Bowers
2012 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Frank Heffley David Bowers
The Knights of Badassdom Eric Joe Lynch pre-production
2013 Escape from Planet Earth Boomer Cal Brunker Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1990 All My Children Spence Episode #5303


1993 South Beach Lane Bailey Episode: "Pirates of the Caribbean"
1995 Friends Duncan "The One with Phoebe's Husband"
Mike & Spike Nick Pickles (voice) Episode: "Person to Clothes"
Picture Windows Crook Episode: "Armed Response"
1997 Liberty! The American Revolution American Sergeant 4 episodes
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Astronaut Elliot See Miniseries

Episode: "Can We Do This?"

2008 Comanche Moon Augustus "Gus" McCrae 3 episodes
Phineas and Ferb Swampy/Sherman Voice

Episode: "Dude, We're Gettin' the Band Back Together!"

2009 Monk Jack Monk, Jr. Episode: "Mr. Monk's Other Brother"
WWII in HD Nolen Marbrey Voice
2010– present Treme Davis McAlary Regular, 31 episodes