Silas Weir Mitchell is an American character actor. He has a signature style of an unsettling stare that suits the intense and volatile characters he mostly plays. Silas is best known for his power-packed performances in 'Prison Break' (2005–2007) and 'Grimm' (2011–2017). Silas forayed into the entertainment industry with brief character roles and was later featured in recurring guest roles in '24,' 'Numb3rs;' 'My Name Is Earl,' 'Cold Case,' 'CSI: Miami,' 'CSI: NY,' 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'Burn Notice,' 'Monk,' 'Six Feet Under,' 'X-Files,' 'The Closer,' 'Boomtown,' and 'The Shield.' The Pennsylvanian actor has a few film credits, too. However, he gained prominence after being cast as ‘Charles "Haywire" Patoshik’ in 'Prison Break.' His popularity grew with 'Grimm.' Even though he has appeared mostly in recurring roles than in regular ones, Silas has still managed to create an impact with his acting skills. Irrespective of the length of his roles, Silas has played each of them with utmost sincerity. Silas has been active in the theater circuit and has been part of a few popular plays.
Childhood & Early Life
Silas was born Silas Weir Mitchell Neilson, on September 30, 1969, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Silas has three sisters and a brother.
Silas went to 'The Montgomery Country Day School' for his formative education, and in 1987, graduated from 'St. Paul's School,' a college-preparatory boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire. Silas was in third grade when he got his first acting job, as ‘Hansel’ in a school production of 'Hansel and Gretel.'
Silas is a major in theater and religion from 'Brown University' in Rhode Island. He moved to New York after graduating from 'Brown' and worked in a few minor theater productions in basements. He, however, was not satisfied with the kind of work he was doing in New York. Thus, Silas decided to move to Los Angeles in the hope of earning some TV gigs. However, he primarily hoped to enter the theater scene there.
Silas was then selected for the 3-year MFA program in theater at the 'University of California, San Diego.’ The program gave him enough exposure and eventually helped him get auditions and significant roles.
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Silas made his acting debut in 1995, with single-episode appearances in the 'CBS' crime drama 'Silk Stalkings' (as ‘Peter Raymond Wicker’) and the 'ABC' action–drama 'The Marshal' (as ‘Willy’). Subsequently, he had brief roles on TV shows such as 'The Big Easy,' 'Caroline in the City,' and 'Dark Skies.'
Silas got his first two films in 1997, although they were not too significant. He had brief roles in the biographical comedy 'Private Parts' and the drama film 'Julian Po.' Silas was seen as ‘Bryan Adams,’ a prominent role, in the horror TV movie Quicksilver Highway.'
Silas played two different characters, ‘Luis’ and ‘Marcus Hainey,’ in two episodes (1997, 1998) of the 'NBC' medical drama ‘ER.' Similarly, he played ‘Tony’ and ‘Luke’ in the 'ABC' police-procedural drama 'NYPD Blue.' Silas was cast to play the character ‘Pogue’ in the 1998 action–drama film 'The Patriot.'
Silas played ‘Agent Paul Danning’ in the 1998 crime movie 'Route 9.' He had a prominent role, as ‘Jesse Hogan,’ in the 1999 action flick 'Inferno.' Continuing with TV, in 2002, Silas was seen as ‘Eli Stram’ in five episodes of the 'Fox' action–drama series '24.'
One of Silas's notable TV roles has been the recurring guest character ‘James Hogan’ in the ‘CBS’ police-procedural drama ‘Cold Case.’ The mentally unstable character was seen in two episodes of the show: ‘Sherry Darlin' (2003) & 'Kensington' (2005).
Silas was cast in 13 episodes in the 'Fox' drama 'Prison Break,' which became his first recurring role in a series. The series featured him as ‘Charles "Haywire" Patoshik,’ a prisoner serving a 60-year sentence at ‘Fox River's ‘Psych Ward’ for killing his parents, from 2005 to 2007. This was the second time, after ‘Cold Case,’ that Silas was seen playing a psychotic character. ‘Charles’ was shown suffering from schizoaffective disorder with bipolar tendencies.
Similarly, Silas played an insane prisoner named ‘Donny Jones’ in six episodes of the 'NBC' sitcom 'My Name Is Earl.' In between all these TV projects, he made appearances in movies such as the 2006 psychological thriller 'The Phobic' (as ‘Vladimir Narcijac’).
Silas portrayed the younger version of real-life serial killer, rapist, and cannibal Albert Fish in his 2007 biopic 'The Gray Man' (formerly 'Wysteria: The Horrible Story of Albert Fish'). The following year, he made an appearance in the seventh and final season of the 'FX' crime drama 'The Shield.' Silas played a killer named ‘Ken Olson’ in the ‘Showtime’ crime drama 'Dexter.’ ‘Ken’ was shown copying the murder style of the antagonist ‘Bay Harbor Butcher.’
In 2009, Silas appeared in the short 'A Fork in the Road,' written and directed by Jim Kouf, who would later consider him for 'Grimm,' an 'NBC' fantasy police-procedural drama. In October 2011, he was finally announced as part of the cast of ‘Grimm,’ as one of its main characters, ‘Monroe.’
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'Grimm' gave a new direction to Silas's career. He delivered an incredible performance as a creature helping the protagonist, ‘Nicholas "Nick" Burkhardt’ (played by David Giuntoli), with his cases. However, due to his tight schedule for the show, Silas could not do much of theater. Still, he took out time for a play at the 'Circle X Theatre Company' in Los Angeles.
Silas left the show for a month and rehearsed for the opening night of the play 'The Chinese Massacre' (annotated) by Tom Jacobson.
Silas is the founder and president of the production company 'Phantom Limbs Plays & Pictures.'
He directed the short ‘Song in a Convenience Store’ and produced the documentary ‘Cat Dancers’ and the short ‘Ant.’
Family & Personal Life
Silas is married to KK Dodds. He is quite secretive about his personal life and does not share anything about his wife on social media. The two, however, are often seen together at various events.
Silas's father was a stockbroker. He is a descendant of the 19th-century physician and author Silas Weir Mitchell.
Silas had initially auditioned for the character ‘Nick Vera’ in ‘Cold Case’ but was cast as ‘James Hogan.’
On the DVD commentary for 'Prison Break,' Silas had mentioned that he had initially auditioned for the character ‘Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell,’ a cunning, violent, and manipulative psychopath, later played by Robert Knepper. He had also auditioned for the lead role, ‘Lincoln Burrows,’ played by Dominic Purcell.
The title of his MFA thesis was 'What We Make Is Not Ours.'
An avid animal lover, Silas owns two cats and a dog. He has a blue Doberman named Atticus.