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Creator / Željko Ivanek

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Imagine the lawyer/prosecutor/accountant you'd most dread seeing across the table from you. Okay, got it? It's this guy, isn't it? I know-freaky, right?

Željko Ivanek (born August 15, 1957 in Ljubljana, Slovenia) is a Slovenian-American actor and graduate of Yale who is usually the best thing in whatever he appears in. He initially started off typecast as a nice guy, most notably Ed Danvers in Homicide: Life on the Street. Tired of playing good guys, he asked his agent to get him more villainous roles. The agent was more than obliging.

A very familiar face on television due to his long-term portrayals of characters such as Governor James Devlin in Oz and Andre Drazen in the first season of 24, he's enjoyed a profile boost after winning an Emmy for his portrayal of Ray Fiske on the critically-acclaimed Damages. He tends to make even the smallest role somehow memorable, and has had recurring stints on Heroes, True Blood, and Big Love, not to mention his role as a regular on The Event. Although the show suffered from many problems, including the lack of any resolution whatsoever and most of the questions posed at the beginning going completely unanswered, Ivanek was a compelling presence.

And in case you're curious, his name is pronounced "Zhelko".


Live-Action Television:



  • Bald of Evil: He's balding and his characters tend to be pretty vile people.
  • Hate Sink: His general roles are characters who completely lacking in any redeeming traits and take any hatred that can't be directed at the more sympathetic characters.
  • Insistent Terminology: His contracts specifically state that the caron (also called hacek) has to be over the Z in his name in any credits on a show or movie.
  • Jerkass: He's an expert at playing slimy, arrogant, humorless, condescending and just all around unpleasant people.
  • Kavorka Man: He's short, skinny and balding and his characters tend to be unbearably arrogant, snide and awful to be around (and those are usually their good qualities). But it never stops them from success with women and he even has a few fangirls in real life.
  • Nice Guy: Believe it or not, his early roles had him mostly play these kind of characters to the point that he eventually got sick of it and asked his agent to get him more villainous roles. The rest is history.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Far from his usual roles, he plays an experienced special forces soldier who is unambigiously on the side of good in Black Hawk Down and does so very convincingly.
    • Though he played the character far before his type was established, his role as the heroic prosecuting attorney Ed Danvers in Homicide: Life on the Street is vastly different from the sleazy villains he usually plays.
  • Production Posse: He's appeared in nearly every film directed by Martin McDonagh, and has appeared in four films directed by Ridley Scott across thirty years.
  • Smug Snake: His trademark role. No one can sell unbearable arrogance, misplaced confidence and smugness like this guy.
  • Typecasting: He's Hollywood's go-to guy for smarmy, unethical and generally loathsome bureaucratic types who aren't anywhere near as smart as they think they are.