J.K. Simmons is an American actor best known for his television roles as Dr. Emil Skoda, a police psychiatrist who has appeared on three of the four incarnations of Law & Order; as the sadistic Vern Schillinger on the prison drama Oz; and as Assistant Police Chief Will Pope on The Closer.
Simmons has appeared in diverse projects spanning feature films, television and stage performances on and off Broadway. Before achieving success in acting, Simmons studied to become a composer at the University of Montana.
Simmons' feature film credits include Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, Hidalgo, The Ladykillers, The Mexican (with Brad Pitt), For Love of the Game, The Gift, Off the Map, Thank You for Smoking, The Astronaut Farmer, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Rendition and Juno.
He also appeared in The Vicious Kind, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, New in Town with Renee Zellweger, and I Love You, Man with Paul Rudd.
Other films include An Invisible Sign of My Own, Men Who Stare at Goats and Jennifer's Body, the script from Diablo Cody (Juno).
In addition to feature films, Simmons has appeared in several guest-starring roles on award-winning TV series including Arrested Development, Nip/Tuck, ER, Spin City and Law & Order.
He also played Vern Schillinger in Tom Fontana's Oz for six seasons on HBO.