Denis Leary currently stars as Tommy Gavin, a tough, no-nonsense, New York City firefighter struggling to cope with the stress of his many years on the job in the TV series Rescue Me.
A Massachusetts native and graduate of Emerson College, where he also taught for five years, Denis Leary got his start in stand-up comedy with appearances on MTV’s Remote Control in 1987.
It was Leary’s 1991 one-man show No Cure for Cancer at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival in Scotland that provided his big break and led to an appearance on Showtime in 1992.
On television, Leary starred in and produced the The Job, a half-hour comedy series about a New York City police detective. In addition, he starred in the series Comics Come Home and Paramount City and appeared in the telefilms The Second Civil War and Favorite Deadly Sins.
Leary’s feature film credits include The Secret Lives of Dentists, Lakeboat, The Thomas Crown Affair, Monument Ave, Wag the Dog, The Ref, The Sandlot, and National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon. He lent his voice to the animated films Ice Age, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown and A Bug’s Life, produced Blow starring Johnny Depp, and wrote the documentary In Search of Ted Demme.
A recipient along with Rescue Me producers Peter Tolan, Jim Serpico and Kerry Orent of the Producer’s Guild of America’s 2005 Visionary Award, Leary received a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Tommy Gavin.
He founded The Leary Firefighters Foundation in response to a deadly 1999 warehouse fire that killed six firefighters, including his first cousin. In the wake of September 11, 2001, the foundation created The Fund for New York’s Bravest.
Denis Leary as Tommy Given in Rescure Me