John C. McGinley
Board Member, International Spokesperson, Global Down Syndrome Foundation
John C. McGinley is an actor, most notable for his roles as Perry Cox in Scrubs, Bob Slydell in Office Space, and Sergeant Red O’Neill in Oliver Stone’s Platoon. He has also written and produced for television and film.
McGinley, who is one of five children, was born in the Greenwich Village section of New York City, the son of Patricia, a schoolteacher, and Gerald McGinley, a stockbroker. He studied acting at Syracuse University, and later at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Upon completing his education, McGinley worked Off Broadway and in Broadway productions, as well as a two-year stint on the soap opera Another World.
McGinley has had a prolific career, primarily as a supporting character actor. He worked continually throughout the 1990s, appearing in films such as Point Break (1991), Highlander 2 (1991), Article 99 (1992), Wagons East! (1994), Se7en (1995), The Rock (1996), Nothing to Lose (1997) and Office Space (1999) (McGinley improvised several takes about his character’s fondness for Michael Bolton).
In 2007, he had a role as Chuck in the film Are We Done Yet? He also had a small role as a gay highway patrolman in the film Wild Hogs. In 2001, McGinley began work as a regular on the NBC sitcom Scrubs as the acerbic Dr. Perry Cox. More recently, he was cast in the movie adaptation of the comic book Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, where he plays the classic Superman villain, Metallo.
Apart from acting, McGinley is actively involved in building awareness and being an advocate for people with Down syndrome. McGinley went after Scrubs because he wanted to stay in LA and be with his son, Max, who happens to have Down syndrome. While McGinley advocated for Max, and for his community, he took on a more public role and was recognized as “Parent of the Year” by ivillage.com. In 2011 John received the Foundation’s Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award for his work related to people with Down syndrome and people with developmental disabilities in general.
McGinley is a board member and international spokesperson for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, and a key advocate for the Special Olympics campaign: “Spread the Word to End the Word.” The campaign educates against the use of the “R” word. McGinley’s written commentary on the “R” word was published by the Huffington Post and is one of the most compelling arguments written about the subject to date.
McGinley lives in California with his wife, Nichole Kessler, their two daughters and McGinley’s son, Max.