Jonathan Edward ‘Jon’ Bernthal is a popular American actor well-known for his portrayal of Shane Walsh in the television series ‘The Walking Dead’. Bernthal got his first break when he caught the attention of Harvard University's Executive Directorof the Institute for Advanced Theater Training in 2002. His first noteworthy role in a television series came through with ‘The Class’, a sitcom created by David Crane, a co-creator of the Friends series. Bernthal’s supporting role as Al Capone, the mobster in the 2009 comedy film ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’, got him wide recognition and landed him a role in ‘Eastwick’, a television series. His big break came through in 2010 with the portrayal of Shane Walsh in the popular television series ‘The Walking Dead’. Bernthal’s other notable characters include supporting roles in 2013 films ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Grudge Match’. He featured alongside Brad Pitt in the 2014 film ‘Fury’, a movie based on World War II. Bernthal is a playable character in ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’, a video game since 2014. He was one of the nominees for Breakout Performance – Male at the Scream Awards 2011 for his role in ‘The Walking Dead’.
Childhood & Early Life
Jonathan Bernthal was born on September 20, 1976 in Washington D.C, USA, into a Jewish family, His father, Eric Lawrence "Rick" Bernthal, is a lawyer by profession and his mother is Joan Lurie.
Bernthal is an alumnus of Skidmore College, New York but dropped out midway to pursue a course in theatre art at Russia’s Moscow Art Theatre. While in Moscow, he played semi-professional baseball as a catcher.
Bernthal returned to the US to pursue a course at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. He completed his studies as a non-degree student in 2002, before pursuing a career in theatre.
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Jonathan Bernthal’s career as an actor began with plays. He has nearly 30 plays to his credit since he started professional acting in 2002. In the same year, he starred in ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ as Lane Ruddock in an episodic role. His first film appearance was in 2002 with the film Mary/Mary, wherein he essayed the role of Manny. The portrayal of Donnie Pitron in the 2008 film ‘Bar Starz’ garnered huge appreciation for Bernthal and landed him plump roles in noteworthy movies and television series.
Over the years he acted in episodic roles across television series and movies, before he got a major break in 2009 with the film ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ in the role of Al Capone. His most noteworthy film role till date remains his 2013 film ‘The Wolf of Wallstreet’.
Bernthal’s most popular role in television came through in 2010, when he started playing Shane Walsh in ‘The Walking Dead’. He was a regular on the series until 2012, when his character ended.
In 2015, Bernthal signed the role of Frank Castle / The Punisher in the second season of ‘Daredevil’, a superhero series that premiered on Netflix. He will reprise his role in another Netflix series titled The Punisher.
In 2017, he worked in ‘Wind River’, the directorial debut of Taylor Sheridan and ‘Baby Driver’ by Edgar Wright. ‘Wind River’ received wide accolades during its premier at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. He also worked in ‘Pilgrimage’, an Irish action thrillerco-starring Tom Holland and Richard Armitage.
His other films ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ and ‘Widows’ are currently in the post-production stage. These films will release in 2018.
Jonathan Bernthal’s other prominent films include ‘World Trade Center’, ‘The Ghost Writer’, ‘Fury’, ‘The Accountant’, ‘The Escape’, ‘Sweet Virginia’, etc., amongst others.
His prominent television series include ‘CSI: Miami’, ‘How I Met Your Mother’, ‘Harry’s Law’, ‘The Pacific’, ‘Robot Chicken’, ‘Show Me a Hero’, ‘SuperMansion’ and ‘Mob City’ amongst others.
His prominent theatre appearances include the award winning play ‘Small Engine Repair’, wherein he essayed the role of Terence Swaino.
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Over the years, he has acted in more than 30 plays in the US and other countries.
He owns the award winning theatre company Fovea Floods, which has produced many of his plays.
Awards & Achievements
In 2011, Jon Bernthal’s play ‘Small Engine Repair’ won the Ovation Award for Acting Ensemble of a Play and the actor received a nomination in the Lead Actor in a Play category.
His role of Brad Bodnick in the 2013 film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ earned him a nomination in almost every film award ceremony in 2013. He received nominations in the Best Ensemble Cast category Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award, Gold Derby Award, Critics' Choice Movie Award, Detroit Film Critics Society Award, Seattle Film Critics Award and Georgia Film Critics Association Award.
His first award came in the year 2014 for the film ‘Fury’, which won the National Board of Review Award for Best Cast. He portrayed the role of Grady "Coon-Ass" Travis in the said movie.
Jonathan Bernthal married Erin Angle in 2010 and has two sons and a daughter with her. His sons are Henry and Billy and his daughter is Adeline. Erin is a niece of Kurt Angle, the renowned professional wrestler. Adam Schlesinger, who is a bass player with Fountains of Wayne band, is a cousin of Bernthal.
One of Bernthal’s brothers, Thomas Bernthal, is a three-time Emmy Award winner and a former producer for NBC. Thomas is also the founder-CEO of the business-consulting firm, Kelton Global.
His another brother Nicholas Bernthal works with ULCA as an orthopedic surgeon and runs a non-profit organization with Jonathan Bernthal.
He currently lives in Venice, California, along with his family and a pet dog named Boss.
Jonathan Bernthal and his brother Nicholas Bernthal jointly run ‘Drops Fill Buckets’, a non-profit organization. They describe this venture as an impact-driven initiative to make a difference in the society through entrepreneurial approach.
Jon Bernthal is the first American born-actor since Thomas Jane and the first live action actor to play Frank Castle/The Punisher, born after the character was created.
He has reported a broken nose for around 13 times.
He portrays the role of Frank Castle in the televised version of ‘Daredevil’; he starred with Ben Affleck, Frank Castle of the movie version ‘Daredevil’ in the 2016 movie ‘The Accountant’.
His first regular television series ‘The Class’, renowned series ‘Eastwick’ and the cop-drama Mob City – all three series were instrumental in getting Bernthal noticed though none of the three garnered enough popularity to warrant a second season.
Jonathan Bernthal’s estimated net worth is two million US dollars. He reportedly received a sum of US$ 80,000 per episode of the television series ‘The Walking Dead’.