Robert John Burke - Rotten Tomatoes

Robert John Burke

Highest Rated:   100% Rambling Rose (1991)
Lowest Rated:   0% State Property (2002)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Tall, chiseled-face character actor Robert John Burke has been acting since the 1970s, but he is best known to art house audiences as a regular member of New York-based director Hal Hartley's stock company of decidedly non-Hollywood actors. Born on Long Island, Burke studied acting at S.U.N.Y. Purchase in the early '70s. After he graduated from college, Burke began acting in TV, appearing on such shows as As the World Turns and Happy Days. Though he made his feature film debut in The Chosen (1981), Burke devoted his energies in the early '80s to an experimental teaching program designed to involve students directly in the arts. Burke returned to movies and TV in the latter half of the 1980s with roles in actioner Wanted Dead or Alive (1986), TV movie comedy Pass the Ammo (1989), and late-'80s dance trend vehicle Lambada (1989). Burke's fortunes began to change when he was cast in the lead role of an enigmatic ex-con who returns to his Long Island hometown in the then-unknown Hartley's first feature, The Unbelievable Truth (1990). Shot on a shoestring budget in 11 days, The Unbelievable Truth garnered positive notice for Hartley's distinctly offbeat, dark comic sensibility and his stars' deadpan, wry performances. Burke followed The Unbelievable Truth with a supporting part in the Oscar-nominated 1930s coming of age film Rambling Rose (1991) and a high-profile starring role replacing Peter Weller as the imposing eponymous cyborg law enforcer in Robocop 3 (1992). Burke stayed busy from then on, alternating between independent movies and Hollywood projects. Working with Hartley again, Burke starred as one of a pair of brothers searching for their ballplayer-turned-anarchist father in the quirky yet appealing Simple Men (1992); he played a smaller role in Hartley's troubled romance triad Flirt (1995). Burke also acted more than once with the far less celebrated independent filmmaker Eric Schaeffer, appearing in Schaeffer's industry insider comedy My Life's in Turnaround (1993) and self-indulgent romantic comedy If Lucy Fell (1996). Outside of the New York independent scene, Burke played Reese Witherspoon's African gamekeeper father in the children's adventure A Far Off Place (1993), joined the distinguished cast populating Tombstone (1993) (the Kurt Russell version of the Wyatt Earp Western legend), appeared in Oliver Stone's third Vietnam movie, Heaven and Earth (1993), and starred as the cursed obese lawyer in Stephen King's horror yarn Thinner (1996). Continuing to show his versatility in both comedy and drama, Burke joined the supporting cast of the light-hearted buddy chase movie Fled (1996) and starred as Natasha Gregson Wagner's father in the bayou love story First Love, Last Rites (1997). Burke returned to TV in the late '90s in two acclaimed HBO productions, the ambitious miniseries From the Earth to the Moon (1998) and the wrenching Vietnam War docudrama A Bright Shining Lie (1998). At the start of the 2000s, Burke reunited with Hal Hartley for the Cannes Film Festival entry No Such Thing (2001). Drawing upon his varied experience, not to mention his formidable mien, Burke played the mammal/lizard Beast to Sarah Polley's Beauty in Hartley's singular reworking of the fairy tale romance.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Future '38
  • General Sportwood
2017
75% Future '38
  • Actor
2016
44% True Story
  • Greg Ganley
$3.5M 2015
77% Ned Rifle
  • Chet
2015
64% 2 Guns
  • Jessup
$73.5M 2013
57% Safe
  • Captain Wolf
$17.2M 2012
70% Limitless
  • Pierce
$79.3M 2011
43% Brooklyn's Finest
  • State Trooper #1
$26.8M 2010
33% Miracle at St. Anna
  • General Ned Almond
$7.8M 2008
19% The Ex
  • Colonel
$3.1M 2007
22% The Oh in Ohio
  • Binky Taylor
2006
93% Good Night, And Good Luck
  • Charlie Mack
$31.6M 2005
13% Hide and Seek
  • Steven
$51.1M 2005
43% Connie and Carla
  • Rudy
$8M 2004
No Score Yet Speak
  • Mr. Neck
2004
79% Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
  • Jenks
2003
60% Piggie
  • Jim
2003
29% No Such Thing
  • Monster
2002
0% State Property
  • Bob
$2.1M 2002
No Score Yet Somewhere in the City
  • Frankie
1998
40% First Love, Last Rites
  • Henry
1998
No Score Yet A Bright Shining Lie
  • Captain Frank Drummond
1998
No Score Yet Doomed Flight
  • Actor
1998
73% Cop Land
  • Officer B
1997
No Score Yet Entangled
  • Actor
1997
15% Stephen King's 'Thinner'
  • Billy Halleck
1996
No Score Yet Killer: A Journal of Murder
  • R.G. Grieser
1996
80% Flirt
  • Men's Room Man No. 2
1996
13% Fled
  • Pat Schiller
1996
18% If Lucy Fell
  • Handsome Man
1996
42% Heaven & Earth
  • GI Paul
1994
73% Tombstone
  • Frank McLaury
1993
3% RoboCop 3
  • RoboCop
1993
40% A Far Off Place
  • Paul Parker
1993
29% Dust Devil
  • Dust Devil
1992
90% Simple Men
  • Bill McCabe
1992
100% Rambling Rose
  • Wilkie
1991
100% The Unbelievable Truth
  • Josh
1990
No Score Yet Lambada
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Pass The Ammo
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet My Life's in Turnaround
  • Actor
1988
25% Wanted: Dead or Alive
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet Nightmare Weekend
  • Dave
1986

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
2014
  • Appearing
  • 2017
  • 2015
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
  • Sgt. Tucker Capt. Ed Tucker Ed Tucker Lt. Tucker Lieutenant Tucker Capt. Tucker Lt. Ed Tucker Sgt. Ed Tucker
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2008
  • 2003
  • 1999
47% Allegiance
2015
  • Special Agent Brock
  • 2015
84% Nurse Jackie
2009-2015
  • Actor
  • 2014
58% Golden Boy
2013
  • Andrew Lightstone
  • 2013
92% Person Of Interest
2011-2016
  • Simmons Off. Patrick Simmons Officer Patrick Simmons
  • 2013
  • 2012
0% Gossip Girl
2007-2012
  • Bart Bass
  • 2012
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
No Score Yet Rescue Me
2004-2011
  • Mickey Mickey Gavin Father Mickey
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
No Score Yet Blue Bloods
2010
  • Hogan Jyle Hogan
  • 2010
No Score Yet Generation Kill
2008
  • Maj. Gen. James Mattis Maj. Gen. James "Chaos" Mattis
  • 2008
No Score Yet Law & Order
1990-2010
  • Lt. Col. Milton Danbury Contractor Arthur "Buzz" Palley Ron Innes FBI Agent Ron Innes
  • 2004
  • 2001
  • 1995
No Score Yet American Masters
2001
  • Narrator
  • 2003
No Score Yet CSI: Miami
2002-2012
  • James Resdon
  • 2003
No Score Yet Sex and the City
1998-2004
  • Walker Lewis
  • 2002
No Score Yet Homicide: Life on the Street
1993-1999
  • Jeffrey Andrews
  • 1998

Quotes from Robert John Burke's Characters