Terrance Quinn (born July 15, 1952), known professionally as Terry O’Quinn, is an American actor. He played John Locke on the TV series Lost, the title role in The Stepfather and Stepfather II, and Peter Watts in Millennium, which ran for three seasons (1996-1999). He has also hosted Mysteries of The Missing on The Science Channel.
O’Quinn was born at War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, one of 11 siblings, and grew up in nearby Newberry, Michigan. He is of Irish descent, and was raised Roman Catholic. He attended Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He changed his surname from Quinn to O’Quinn as another registered actor already had the name Terrance Quinn.
In the 1970s he came to Baltimore to act in the Center Stage production of Tartuffe. He remained at Center Stage for some years and often appeared with the late Tana Hicken, most notably as Benedick to her Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. His first movie role was in Heaven’s Gate.
O’Quinn began acting in the 1970s during his time at Central Michigan University. He not only was an actor but also playwright/director. He wrote and directed the musical Orchestrina. This musical featured five main characters: The Man (played by Jeff Daniels), The Boy (Harold Downs), The Woman (Ann O’Donnell), The Girl (Debbie Penwarden), and The Drunk (James Hilliker), plus a female and a male chorus. He was roommates at CMU with actor Brad Slaight.
Starting in 1980, O’Quinn has appeared in various feature films such as Silver Bullet, Tombstone, Heaven’s Gate, Young Guns, alongside Rutger Hauer in Blind Fury, and as Howard Hughes in The Rocketeer.
O’Quinn also appeared in the Canadian horror movie, Pin (1988) alongside British-born Canadian actor, David Hewlett.
His early television roles include guest appearances on Miami Vice (episode “Give a Little, Take a Little”), Moonlighting, Star Trek: The Next Generation (episode “The Pegasus”), The Twilight Zone (1985 revival; episode “Chameleon”), Homicide: Life on the Street (episode “Hate Crimes”), a recurring role on Earth 2, another recurring role as Captain (& later Rear Admiral) Thomas Boone on JAG, as well as Colonel Will Ryan in episode 15 of season 1 on the JAG spin-off series NCIS (episode “Enigma”).
Around 1995, O’Quinn made guest appearances in The X-Files and Harsh Realm, produced by Chris Carter, who also cast him in the film The X-Files: Fight The Future and then once again in the final season. In 1996 O’Quinn started acting in the television series Millennium as Peter Watts, also produced by Chris Carter. O’Quinn held this role for all three seasons of the series. O’Quinn holds the distinction of having played four different characters within the extended X-Files/Millennium continuum (the two shows being classed together since both Lance Henriksen’s character of Frank Black and Charles Nelson Reilly’s character of Jose Chung have appeared in both shows).
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