John Pankow

John Pankow

Highest Rated: 100% Before/During/After (2021)

Lowest Rated: 11% Bride Wars (2009)

Birthday: Apr 28, 1954

Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

John Pankow was an American actor who was best known for his long-running TV roles on the popular shows "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99) and "Episodes" (Showtime, 2011-17). Born in St. Louis and raised in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Pankow grew up in a big German-Irish family; he was the sixth of nine siblings. He lived a relatively normal middle-class childhood, and never had any intention on becoming a professional actor. That all changed, however, when he saw an early version of David Mamet's iconic play "The American Buffalo" performed at the St. Nicholas Theater in Chicago. Upon leaving the theater Pankow knew immediately that he wanted to become a professional actor, and soon after signed up for a two-year acting training program at the St. Nicholas Theater. Before long Pankow was appearing in plays both in Chicago and off-Broadway, and by the mid-80s was making a substantial living for himself as a film actor. Among the more notable movies he appeared in during this time included "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985), "The Secret of My Success" (1987), and "Talk Radio" (1988). Pankow continued acting mostly in movies well into the early 1990s, until landing his first big break in 1993 when he was asked to join the cast of the NBC sitcom "Mad About You." Pankow played Ira Buchman, brash cousin of star Paul Reiser's Paul Buchman, on 143 episodes of the Emmy Award-winning series. After "Mad About You" ended its run in 1999, Pankow spent the next decade working steadily in both films and TV, before returning to TV full-time once again in 2011 on the Showtime comedy "Episodes." He played Merc Lapidus on the Emmy Award-nominated series, which premiered its fifth and final season in August of 2017.

Highest rated movies

To Live and Die in L.A.
Talk Radio
Mortal Thoughts
Morning Glory
Monkey Shines
The Object of My Affection
The Hunger




100% 71% Before/During/After Jim Lonergan (Character) - 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Unorganized Crime Fr. Anthony Corso (Character) - 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Arrangement Herman Mackey (Character) - 2013
No Score Yet 62% Putzel Sid (Character) - 2012
55% 51% Morning Glory Lenny Bergman (Character) $31.0M 2010
41% 37% The Extra Man George (Character) $453.1K 2010
11% 51% Bride Wars John (Character) $58.7M 2009
No Score Yet No Score Yet Advice and Dissent Jeffrey Goldman (Character) - 2002
53% 51% The Object of My Affection Vince McBride (Character) $29.1M 1998
22% 38% A Stranger Among Us Levine (Character) $12.1M 1992
29% 26% Year of the Gun Italo Bianchi (Character) $1.2M 1991
60% 36% Mortal Thoughts Arthur Kellogg (Character) $17.8M 1991
55% 40% Monkey Shines Geoffrey Fisher (Character) $4.8M 1988
82% 80% Talk Radio Dietz (Character) $3.3M 1988
51% 58% The Secret of My Success Fred Melrose (Character) $65.3M 1987
85% 79% To Live and Die in L.A. John Vukovich (Character) $16.6M 1985
53% 66% The Hunger 1st Phone Booth Youth (Character) - 1983


No Score Yet 79% Madam Secretary Glenn, NASA Administrator (Guest Star) 2014-2016 2019
No Score Yet 88% Blue Bloods John Romano (Guest Star) 2018
No Score Yet 90% Chicago P.D. Judge Tommy Wells (Guest Star) 2017-2018
80% 89% Episodes Merc Lapidus (Character) 2012 2014-2015 2017
88% 73% Lucifer Unknown (Guest Star) 2016
78% 89% Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lenny Simmons (Guest Star) 2015
95% 89% Elementary Edgar Knowles (Guest Star) 2012
93% 91% The Good Wife Judge Cyril Handley (Guest Star) 2011
No Score Yet 96% Law & Order Unknown (Guest Star) 1992 2008
No Score Yet 84% Law & Order: Criminal Intent Unknown (Guest Star) 2006
No Score Yet 66% Without a Trace Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
No Score Yet 87% Mad About You Ira Buchman (Character) 1993-1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet Spenser: For Hire Unknown (Character) 1987
71% 91% Miami Vice Unknown (Guest Star) 1984