digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Richard Schiff
Richard Schiff 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Schiff at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Knife Fight
Born (1955-05-27) May 27, 1955 (age 58)
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Alma mater City College of New York
Occupation Actor
Years active 1983–present
Political party
Spouse(s) Sheila Kelley (1996–present)
Children Gus Schiff,
Ruby Schiff

Richard Schiff (born May 27, 1955) is an American actor. He is best known for playing Toby Ziegler on the NBC television drama The West Wing, a role for which he received an Emmy Award. Schiff made his directorial debut with The West Wing, directing an episode entitled "Talking Points."

Early life[edit]

Schiff was born in Bethesda, Maryland, the second of three sons of Charlotte, a television and publishing executive, and Edward Schiff, a real estate lawyer.[1]

Schiff dropped out of high school, but later obtained an equivalency diploma. In 1973, he studied briefly at The City College of New York (CCNY) but did not graduate. He moved to Colorado where he found employment cutting firewood. Returning to New York in 1975, he began to study acting at CCNY and was accepted into their theater program.


Schiff initially studied directing. He directed several off-Broadway plays, including Antigone in 1983 with a just-graduated Angela Bassett. In the mid-1980s Schiff decided to try his hand at acting and landed several TV roles. He was seen by Steven Spielberg in an episode of the TV drama High Incident and was cast in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). His career began an upward climb that led to his co-starring role as White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler on Aaron Sorkin's award winning television series The West Wing. Schiff became known for his introverted and intense approach to his craft as well as his low-key delivery style.[citation needed]

1995 saw Schiff playing the lawyer to Kevin Spacey's "John Doe" in the hit Se7en. In 1996, Schiff guest starred on the TV series ER (Season 2 - Episode 17), and appeared in NYPD Blue the following year. In 1996 he played a corrupt probation officer in City Hall along with Al Pacino and John Cusack. Schiff played a doctor alongside Eddie Murphy in the 1998 Dr. Dolittle remake. He also played Col./Brig. Gen. Robert Laurel Smith in the 1998 HBO TV movie The Pentagon Wars, based on the real-life development of the US Army's Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. That same year, Schiff appeared in the movie Deep Impact, in which he played Don Beiderman. Schiff appeared in one episode of Becker during its first season. In 2001, he acted in the movie What's the Worst That Could Happen? starring Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito. He played the part of the tough Mr. Turner in I Am Sam opposite Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer and co-starred in People I Know with Al Pacino.

Schiff appeared in the 2004 film Ray as Ray Charles's producer, Jerry Wexler, shaving his beard for the role. After working on The West Wing for six seasons, Schiff chose to leave the series, fulfilling his contractual obligations by appearing in half of the following season's episodes. When NBC chose to end the series, Schiff continued his appearances until the end of the show's run in May 2006, though he appeared only briefly in the series finale. That same year he starred along with Peter Krause in the thriller Civic Duty.

Schiff in May 2009

Schiff had a cameo appearance as himself in the second season finale of Entourage. The scene has Schiff at lunch with his agent Ari Gold, where he declares a desire to act in action movies. In early 2006, Schiff returned to his stage roots, starring in the premiere run of Underneath the Lintel, a one-act, single-character play by Glen Berger, at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In February 2007, he appeared in the West End production of Underneath the Lintel in the Duchess Theatre [2] in London, England, and appeared on BBC Radio Five Live and talked at length to Simon Mayo about his experiences acting in The West Wing and his new West End production. In 2007, he appeared as Philip Cowen in the season finale of Burn Notice. A radio version of Underneath the Lintel, performed by Schiff, was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on January 5, 2008. Schiff starred in Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey in the fall of 2008, as accountant Matt Friedman, opposite Margot White as Sally Talley. Later that year Schiff co-starred in Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson and Another Harvest Moon with Ernest Borgnine and appeared in the season finale of Eli Stone.

Schiff played Charles Fischer in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in the Season 2 episode "Complications". The character was a collaborator of Skynet and a traitor to the resistance. He was sent back in time to the present as a reward for his service to Skynet. He played an Orthodox rabbi on an episode of In Plain Sight with former The West Wing co-star Mary McCormack. In 2009, he co-starred in the movies Imagine That, with Eddie Murphy, and Solitary Man, with Michael Douglas and Susan Sarandon. Later in 2009, he went back to London to shoot two other movies: The Infidel,[3] in which he starred opposite Omid Djalili, and Made in Dagenham, with Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins. Schiff also appeared as a hypnotist in one episode of Monk's seventh season.

He starred in Fox's short-lived 2010 series Past Life. He also had a recurring role in CBS´s spinoff-series Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior as FBI Director Jack Fickler, the boss of Forest Whitaker´s character. Schiff also had a recurring role in the NBC series The Cape.[4] He also has guest starred on Any Human Heart with Jim Broadbent playing the role of a psychiatrist and on White Collar's second season episode 15. He also played the role of an ex-CIA agent in a terrorist organization in Johnny English Reborn. In April 2011, Schiff returned to the London West End in the play Smash!.[5] He played opposite Rob Lowe in the drama Knife Fight, and starred opposite Josh Duhamel, Rosario Dawson and Bruce Willis in Fire with Fire. Schiff played an important plot character in three episodes of CBS's NCIS, bridging seasons 9 and 10, as Harper Dearing, the replacement of Osama bin Laden on the Most Wanted Wall "for attacks against the United States Navy".

Schiff has been cast to star in the new Showtime series House of Lies, starring Kristen Bell and Don Cheadle. He also stars in the TV movie Innocent with Bill Pullman. He has an recurring guest role in the TV series Once Upon A Time and has joined Helen Hunt and former West Wing star Bradley Whitford in the movie Decoding Annie Parker. Schiff stars in the political series Chasing The Hill.

He played Erie Smith in a revival of the Eugene O'Neill play, "Hughie", at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., February–March 2013.

He portrayed Dr. Emil Hamilton in Zack Snyder's 2013 Superman film, Man of Steel.

Richard Schiff has joined three different movies in 2013; Kill the Messenger, The Automatic Hate, and Explosion.

Personal life[edit]

Schiff met his wife Sheila Kelley during auditions for Antigone in 1993, and they married in 1996. They have a son, Gus, and a daughter, Ruby.[6]

Schiff is a member of the Democratic Party; he supported Barack Obama in the 2008 US Presidential Election. Previously, he had endorsed Senator Joe Biden, before Biden dropped out.

His brother is film-producer Paul Schiff.


  1. ^ Richard Schiff Biography (1955-)
  2. ^ Caesar, Ed (8 February 2007). "Richard Schiff: Life after 'The West Wing'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "The film that changed my life: Richard Schiff". The Guardian (London). 25 April 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  4. ^ What's Behind the Cape? on Parallel Universe on MSN: Features. Last accessed 28th November 2013
  5. ^ "Richard Schiff stars in the new West End play Smash!". BBC Website (BBC News: Entertainment and the Arts). April 13, 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Richard Schiff at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Schiff — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
447451 videos foundNext > 

'West Wing' Actor Richard Schiff On Landing The Role Of Toby Ziegler

Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Schiff discusses what's behind the success of "The West Wing" television show. "It was a perfect storm of good luck, I think...

KPCS: Richard Schiff #152

Award winning actor, known for his work in ?The West Wing?, which we?re assuming you watched, because you?re smart.

Richard Schiff wins 2000 Emmy Award for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Richard Schiff wins the 2000 Emmy Award for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance as Toby Ziegler on The West Wing.

Former 'West Wing' Co-stars Reunite

Rob Lowe and Richard Schiff, who played presidential speech writers on 'The West Wing,' team up on a new political movie called 'Knife Fight.' The duo talks ...

The west wing Toby Ziegler ad rant

One of Toby Ziegler's best rants.

celebrity poker showdown - Allison Janney is Richard schiff's lucky charm

celebrity poker showdown - Allison Janney is Richard schiff's lucky charm.

Richard Schiff After Dinner Speaker

Multi award winning actor and director, Richard Schiff is also an accomplished after dinner speaker. His speech covers subjects such as acting, politics and ...

Richard Schiff on Dustin Hoffman

Actor Richard Schiff recounts working with Dustin Hoffman, and Hoffman's passion for acting.

The West Wing's Richard Schiff talks to 5 live

Richard Schiff (aka The West Wing's Toby Ziegler) talks to Richard Bacon about the possibility of a West Wing movie, how the show predicted the US presidenti...

Richard Schiff talking about Hughie on Let's Talk Live, ABC7

31 Jan. 2013 © Allbritton Communications Company.

447451 videos foundNext > 

297 news items


Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:52:30 -0700

He produced and co-starred in "Before I Disappear" with Emmy Rossum and Richard Schiff, where he helped make creative decisions. "I loved it. For me it was an incredibly gratifying experience." The movie won the Audience Award at this year's South by ...
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:53:45 -0700

Directed by friend Shawn Christensen, who won last year's Oscar for “Live Action Short,” Before I Disappear co-stars Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Richard Schiff (The West Wing), and Shawn himself. The film won the Audience Award at the recent South by ...
Screen International
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:14:20 -0700

Before I Disappear director Shawn Christensen based the film on his 2013 Academy Award-winning live action short Curfew and stars alongside Fatima Ptacek, Emmy Rossum, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman and Richard Schiff. ICM Partners and Verve represent ...
Celebrity Baby Scoop
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 05:33:45 -0700

This is a Steven Bochco show, with a remarkable cast (Taye Diggs, Kathleen Robertson, Tom Felton, James Cromwell, Richard Schiff); it follows one case over the entire season. I am really proud to be a part of it, and am looking forward to folks hearing ...

Boston Globe

Boston Globe
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:17:08 -0700

The panelists: Bradley Whitford (right), currently appearing in ABC's “Trophy Wife,” who played White House deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman; Janel Moloney (on screen at top, via Skype), who played Donna Moss, Lyman's assistant; Richard Schiff (by ...
CBS News
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 03:07:30 -0700

He's in the process of recruiting more celebrities like Richard Schiff, who played Toby on "The West Wing," and screenwriter Mark Boal, who wrote "Zero Dark Thirty." The campaign coincides with Strauss' campaign for a third term as the District's ...


First Showing
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:44:37 -0700

At the same time, Dr. King (Helen Hunt) upends scientific doctrine when she discovers the BRCA1 gene mutation, which revolutionizes understanding and treatment of certain types of breast cancer. Bradley Whitford, Rashida Jones, Alive Eve, Richard ...


Sat, 29 Mar 2014 08:03:59 -0700

新浪娱乐讯3月29日,英国演员汤姆-费尔顿(Tom Felton)在微博上晒出一张与理查德-希夫(Richard Schiff)的合照,并附上扑朔迷离的文字“这是真的。我和Richard S.。。”,疑似公布自己的同性恋取向,二者相差32岁。但也有消 ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Richard Schiff

You can talk about Richard Schiff with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!