Emmy Award winner, ABC’s The Good Doctor, known for NBC’s West Wing, upcoming in short film Swipe NYC
Initially, Richard Schiff had a strong disliking to acting, rather seeing himself behind the scenes as a director. After studying directing at CCNY he went on to direct several off-Broadway plays including Antigone staring a fresh faced Angela Bassett.
In the mid-1980s Schiff decided to conquer his fear of acting which proved to be an inspired decision because he quickly landed roles. He moved to Los Angeles and joined Tim Robbins' acclaimed Actor's Gang, racking up more stage credits before making his feature debut with a starring role in the independent gangster comedy MEDIUM STRAIGHT (1988), but soon moved on to smaller roles in bigger films, including a 1990 appearance in YOUNG GUNS II. In 1992, he appeared in several features, including THE BODYGUARD and MALCOLM X before landing a role in THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, playing ‘Eddie Carr’, an equipment specialist outfitting the research team led by Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm. While Carr meets his end relatively early on in the film, Schiff's multifaceted portrayal was one of the more engagingly true-to-life aspects of Spielberg's fantastical sequel, and audiences especially responded to his efforts and struggle. On the heels of JURASSIC PARK Schiff appeared in several more popular films including DEEP IMPACT, DR. DOLITTLE, LIVING OUT LOUD and FORCES OF NATURE.
The actor's work in television was comparably prolific, guesting on many popular series and co-starring in several TV-movies. Schiff made his TV debut with 1989's TRENCHCOAT IN PARADISE (CBS) and was featured on HBO's KORMAN'S KALAMITY, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, L.A. LAW, PICKET FENCES and MURPHY BROWN. Schiff landed a regular role on the critically acclaimed romantic drama RELATIVITY which offered him some powerful if limited screen time. After a few more memorable TV gigs including David E Kelley's legal series THE PRACTICE (ABC) and ALLY MCBEAL (Fox), Schiff returned to series television full-time with a regular role on NBC's THE WEST WING, a Washington, DC set ensemble drama, co-starring such luminaries as Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe. The actor brought a playful cynicism to his characterization of White House communications director ‘Toby Ziegler’, an overworked and slightly shaken man who battles his anxiety-laden profession with a dose of dry humor. As Ziegler, Schiff earned another Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series.
When THE WEST WING concluded Schiff went on to star in a variety of additional film and television series including; PAST LIFE, HOUSE OF LIVES and MURDER IN THE FIRST. He currently recurs as ‘Dr. Aaron Glassman’ on ABC’s hit medical drama THE GOOD DOCTOR, and will be seen in the upcoming short AMERICAN MORNING.
In addition to his acting Schiff is a proud advocate of the Jewish religion and cancer research. Richard grew up in New York and completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre at City College of New York (CCNY). He is currently married, with two children and living in Los Angeles. He’s a huge fan of baseball, particularly the Yankees, and enjoys playing golf.