(born April 28, 1954) is an American
film and stage actor
. He is perhaps best known for a supporting role on the sitcom Mad About You
Pankow was born in St. Louis, Missouri
, the son of Marion, a homemaker, and Wayne Pankow, who worked in magazine advertising sales. He is the brother of James Pankow
, trombonist and founding member of the band Chicago
. He grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois
, and attended Maine South High School
, and later Northeastern Illinois University
for a short period of time.
Pankow began in his career in the theater but worked mostly in TV and films from 1981 to 2002. As of late 2004, he has returned to his roots as a stage actor, on Broadway
in a revival of the play Twelve Angry Men
. He is probably best known for his role as Ira Buchman, Paul Reiser
's cousin on the sitcom Mad About You
In 2011, Pankow replaced Thomas Haden Church
in the role of Merc Lapidus on the Showtime/BBC show Episodes
as an American television executive.
Pankow has been married to actress Kristine Sutherland
(best known for playing Buffy's mother Joyce Summers
on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
) since 1985 and together they have a daughter named Eleanore.