John Pankow

John Pankow

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John Pankow

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John Pankow (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 (1993–1999).


Early life

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.

Personal life

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.


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