Paul McCrane is an American actor and director best known for his role as bigoted, racist Dr. Robert Romano on the television hospital drama series ER, from 1997-2003.
McCrane was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Eileen, a nurse, and James J. McCrane, Jr., an actor and writer.
His family moved to Richboro, PA, where he lived until he moved to New York City after graduating from Holy Ghost Preparatory School.
He has a brother, Jim, and three sisters, Maureen, Barbara, and Deirdre.
McCrane's roles include Emil Antonowsky in RoboCop, Montgomery MacNeil in Fame, Astronaut Pete Conrad in From the Earth to the Moon, cancer-absorbing mutant Leonard Betts in The X-Files and Dr. Robert Romano on ER.
More recently, he has guest-starred in 24 (as Jack Bauer's brother Graem), and Ugly Betty.
McCrane has been known to take roles where his characters experience horrible pain and injury or violent death:
Emil Antonowsky in RoboCop had toxic waste spilled on him and he was run over
Robert Romano in ER had his arm chopped off by the anti-torque rotor of a helicopter and was later crushed to death by another chopper
Leonard Betts from The X-Files was decapitated in an ambulance crash, only to regrow his head and soon get blown up in a car later in the episode.
In the 5th episode of 24 Day 6, after his character is reunited with his brother (federal agent Jack Bauer), Jack suddenly punches him, binds his hands, and proceeds to place a plastic bag over his head. After Jack interrogates him by torturing him with a neurological inflammatory, he confesses to being behind the deaths of David Palmer, Tony Almeda, and Michelle Dessler and admits that this wasn't the first time he tried to kill Jack. The episode ends with their father secretly injecting a fatal air embolism into McCrane's character.
The notable exceptions to this pattern were McCrane's role as Montgomery MacNeil in Fame, a sensitive aspiring actor coming to terms with his homosexuality; and his role as the historical Apollo Astronaut Pete Conrad in the HBO Mini-Series From the Earth to the Moon.
Following his acting departure from ER, McCrane directed several episodes of the show, and has also directed episodes of Without A Trace, The West Wing and Law & Order: SVU.
He married Dana Kellin, a jewelry designer, in 1998. They have two children, William Thomas, and Noa Catherine.