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Callum Keith Rennie (born 14 September 1960) is a British-born Canadian television and film actor. He started his career in Canadian film and television projects, where his portrayal of Stanley Raymond Kowalski in the TV series Due South was his first international success. After years acting in over ninety Canadian and international projects he became widely known for his portrayal of the Cylon Leoben Conoy in Battlestar Galactica, and following that, his role as record producer Lew Ashby in the Showtime TV series Californication

Regularly cast as a bad guy in movies and even more often in his numerous guest appearances in television series, Rennie's participation in Canadian productions gives him an opportunity to show a broader range of his acting abilities, which have been recognized by several awards.

Personal life[]

Rennie was born to Scottish parents in Sunderland, County Durham in North East England. When he was four years old, the family emigrated to Canada. Rennie was brought up in middle class Edmonton, Alberta, as the second of three boys.[1][2][3] He graduated from Strathcona High School, where he met and befriended Bruce McCulloch from The Kids in the Hall.[4][5] He dropped out from college and took up all sorts of odd jobs instead, leaving Edmonton for brief stays in Vancouver and Toronto before eventually settling in Vancouver.[4][5] After a serious bout with alcoholism in his youth, Rennie managed to get his addiction under control at the age of 33 and was finally able to commit to acting.[1][6]

He likes painting and admires abstract expressionist artists such as Basquiat, Motherwell and Pollock (the Champion spark-plug logo tattoo on his right arm is a homage to Stuart Davis).[1] An enthusiast mountain climber in his youth,[7] Rennie still practices various sports. He loves a game of hockey[2] but is above all an avid golfer.[3] He resides alternately in Vancouver and Los Angeles.


Early work[]

Working at the campus radio of University of Alberta led Rennie to discover acting at the age of 25. He started his career on stage, performing at the A.B.O.P. Theatre in Edmonton in Amerika, a play adapted from Franz Kafka's novel and followed with the critically acclaimed American Buffalo during the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. After attending Bruhanski Theatre Studio in Vancouver, he had his first professional theatrical performance in 1989 in Sally Clark's Lost Souls and Missing Persons, a Touchstone Theatre production. This earned him an invitation to work at the Shaw Festival where he appeared in Man and Superman and in Pinero's Trelawny of the Wells (1990).[1]


Rennie's first appearance on screen was in the indie Canadian film Purple Toast, filmed in 1990 and released in 1993. Also in 1993 he began to take small roles in television (Highlander, Forever Knight, and the revamped version of The Outer Limits). Rennie's profile within the Canadian industry was heightened during this period by leading roles in the made for TV films "Paris or Somewhere" (1994) and "For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down" (1996). The former has Rennie in near Micheal J. Fox mode in a small town tale of teen angst. "...Wounded" is at the other end of Rennie's range as he takes on the first of many troubled anti hero roles. Due to several disagreements during the production of the film, Rennie vowed "never to work for the CBC again", though he has remained a staunch supporter of the Canadian industry as a whole. After his first appearance in The X-Files he was offered the role of Alex Krycek but turned it down because he did not want to commit to a television series at that time.[5] His career gained momentum quickly and larger roles in Canadian films followed (the independent short film Frank's Cock by Mike Hoolboom, and Mina Shum's Double Happiness as Sandra Oh's love interest, for which he was nominated for a Genie Award as best supporting actor). He also had more important roles in television series, as in a two-parter for La Femme Nikita.

His most prominent early roles were as guitar player Billy Tallent in Bruce McDonald's Hard Core Logo (1996) and as detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski in the third and fourth seasons of CTV series Due South, which aired in over 150 countries. The Canadian band Billy Talent is named after his Hard Core Logo character.[8] As for his part in Due South, it has been said that his "disaffected intensity and hungover good looks" added an edge to the series.[5] 

Rennie was then seen in the recurrent roles of the convenience store guru Newbie in Don McKellar's cult television series Twitch City and of detective Bobby Marlowe in the award-winning series Da Vinci's Inquest

His interpretation of sex marathoner Craig Zwiller in Don McKellar's Last Night earned him his first Genie Award (1999). After a role in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ (1999), his first  international success on the big screen was his appearance as the thug Dodd in Christopher Nolan's Memento (2000). The same year, he impersonated a chilling yet seductive drifter in Suspicious River.


With the father characters of Falling Angels (2003) and Flower and Garnet (2002), Rennie expanded to playing more mature roles, rather than young, self-destructive rebels. He also impersonated self-controlled Inspector Wood in the period drama Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story (2002) and appeared as the quiet dyslexic painter of Wilby Wonderful (2004). 

A hard working actor, he continues to alternate between television series and Canadian or US movies. He has played guest roles in episodes of various television series like Mutant X, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Supernatural, The L Word, Bionic Woman and more recently Harper's Island. During the same time, he has interpreted contrasting characters in movies such as The Butterfly Effect, H20: the Last Prime Minister, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Blade: Trinity (2004), Lucid (2005), Unnatural & Accidental (2006), The Invisible, Tin Man, Normal, Silk (2007), and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008). 

His recurring role as the Cylon Leoben Conoy in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (2003–09) and his portrayal of the record producer Lew Ashby throughout the second season of Californication (2008) have earned him a new wide and international recognition.

In 2009–10, Rennie played a character named Jeff Slingerland aka Dr. Maurice Raynaud in ABC series FlashForward. Before the series was cancelled, David Goyer who previously directed him in Blade and The Invisible mentioned he'd be back and was slated to appear in the second season.[9] He also appeared as Russian mobster Vladimir Laitanan in the eighth season of 24.[10]

In Fall 2010 he played the lead role of Detective Brian Sullivan on Shattered, a series about a detective who suffers from multiple personality disorder. It aired in Canada on Global TV, followed by airings in other countries, though not the United States.[11] Rennie received critical acclaim for his performance, and in 2011 won the Gemini and Leo awards for the role.[12][13] Shattered was not renewed for a second season.

His 2010 appearances on the big screen included the Canadian film Gunless, a Western comedy starring Paul Gross, as a bounty hunter on the trail of Gross' Montana Kid.[14][15] He also reprised his role as Billy Tallent for a short appearance in Trigger. Trigger is part of several films set in the same universe as Hard Core Logo, directed again by Bruce McDonald; this one, starring Molly Parker and Tracy Wright, written by Daniel MacIvor, is about the reunion of two women who used to be in an alternative rock band together.[16] Rennie also served as one of Trigger's executive producers. Another film, Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage,[17] based on Canadian playwright Josh MacDonald's play Halo, has been completed and is waiting for release.

Rennie made a number of television appearances in 2011, including a supporting role on The Killing as Rick Felder, Detective Sarah Linden's fiancé. He also guest starred on Alphas, CSI: Miami, and Rookie Blue.

Rennie was also cast as a series regular in the NBC series, The Firm. He plays Ray McDeere, the brother of the principal character, Mitch McDeere, played by Josh Lucas.[18]  It began airing as a midseason replacement for the 2011–12 season.[19]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Purple Toast Tom Struck
1994 Valentine's Day Astronaut
1994 Still Boyfriend Short film
1994 Frank's Cock Narrator Short film
1994 Double Happiness Mark
1994 Timecop Stranger
1994 Template:Sortname Floor Director
1995 Curtis's Charm Jim
1996 Unforgettable Drug Dealer
1996 Hard Core Logo Billy Talent / William Boisy
1996 Letters from Home Short film
1997 Masterminds Ollie
1997 Excess Baggage Motel Manager
1997 Men with Guns Mamet
1998 Last Night Craig Zwiller
1999 eXistenZ Hugo Carlaw
1999 Template:Sortname Martin Maclean
2000 Template:Sortname Telemarketer (uncredited)
2000 Template:Sortname Jake
2000 Memento Dodd
2000 Suspicious River Gary Jensen
2001 Picture Claire Laramie
2002 Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice Palmberg Direct to video
2002 Now & Forever Carl Mackie
2002 Flower & Garnet Ed
2003 Falling Angels Jim Field
2003 Paycheck Jude – Guard
2004 Template:Sortname Jason Treborn
2004 Wilby Wonderful Duck MacDonald
2004 Blade: Trinity Asher Talos
2005 Lucid Victor
2005 Whole New Thing Denny
2005 Shooting Gallery Michael Mortenson Direct to video
2006 Snow Cake John Neil
2006 Unnatural & Accidental Norman
2007 Code Name: The Cleaner Shaw
2007 Shattered Det. McGill AKA, Butterfly on the Wheel
2007 Template:Sortname Det. Brian Larson
2007 Normal Walt
2007 Silk Schuyler
2008 Sleepwalking Will
2008 Template:Sortname 2nd Abductor – Janke Dacyshyn
2009 Case 39 Edward Sullivan
2010 Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage Donald McCullen
2010 Gunless Ben Cutler
2010 Trigger Billy
2013 Template:Sortname Father Post-production

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Highlander: The Series Neal Episode: "An Eye for an Eye"
1994 Paris or Somewhere Christy Mahon TV film
1994 Lonesome Dove: The Series Harry Price Episode: "Long Shot"
1994 Template:Sortname Konichek Episode: "Security"
1994 Template:Sortname Tommy Episode: "Lazarus"
1995 Template:Sortname Cemetery Groundskeeper Episode: "Fresh Bones"
1995 Little Criminals Kostash TV film
1995 Falling from the Sky: Flight 174 Pumper TV film
1995 Template:Sortname Cal Episode: "Protection"
1995 Template:Sortname Carlito Episode: "Corner of the Eye"
1995 When the Dark Man Calls Bob Levesh TV film
1995 Template:Sortname Big Hat TV film
1995 Template:Sortname Driver TV film
1995 Forever Knight Bruce Spencer Episode: "Outside the Lines"
1995 Side Effects Armando Episode: "Snap, Crackle, Pop!"
1995 Highlander: The Series Tyler King Episode: "The Innocent"
1995–1996 My Life as a Dog Johnny Johansson 22 episodes
1996 For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down Jerry Bines TV film
1997 Viper William T. Lennox Episode: "Wheelman"
1997 La Femme Nikita Gray Wellman Episode: "Gray"
Episode: "Choice"
1997 Tricks Adam TV film
1997–1999 Due South Det. Stanley Raymond Kowalski 26 episodes
1998–2000 Twitch City Newbie 8 episodes
1999 Strange World Vince Episode: "Lullaby"
1999 Foolish Heart Ross Episode: "Breathless"
1999–2001 Da Vinci's Inquest Det. Bob Marlowe 7 episodes
2000 Murder Seen Det. Keegan TV film
2000 Nature Boy Eden Abez TV short
2001 Trapped Anthony Bellio TV film
2001 Dice Egon Schwimmer TV miniseries
2002 Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story Inspector Wood TV film
2002 Bliss Mike Episode: "Six Days"
2002 Dark Angel Sheriff Lamar Episode: "Exposure"
2002 Mutant X Zack Lockhart Episode: "Ex Marks the Spot"
2002 Template:Sortname Max Cassidy Episode: "Dinner with Dana"
2002 Template:Sortname Mark Mitchum Episode: "The Source"
2003 Tru Calling Elliot Winters Episode: "Pilot"
2003 Battlestar Galactica Leoben Conoy TV miniseries
2004 Touching Evil Mike Espy Episode: "Memorial"
2004 Kingdom Hospital Earl Candleton Episode: "Finale"
Episode: "Butterfingers"
2004 H20 Don Pritchard / Lt. Daniel Holt TV film
2004 Template:Sortname Eddie's Father TV film
2004–2009 Battlestar Galactica Leoben Conoy 20 episodes
2005 Whiskey Echo Dr. Rollie Saunders TV film
2005 Supernatural Roy Episode: "Wendigo"
2005 Painkiller Jane Mitchell TV film
2006 Template:Sortname Quin Hunter TV film
2006 Template:Sortname Danny Wilson 3 episodes
2006 Smallville Tyler McKnight Episode: "Fragile"
2007 Men in Trees Jeff Episode: "Chemical Reactions"
2007 Bionic Woman Victor Booth Episode: "The List"
2007 Tin Man Zero TV miniseries
2008 Of Murder and Memory Leonard TV film
2008–2012 Californication Lew Ashby Recurring role
2009 Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Leoben Conoy TV film (explores the Cylon's plan for humans; aired after the series ended)
2009 Harper's Island John Wakefield 4 episodes
2009 Harper's Globe John Wakefield Episode: "There Is Only One Way Out on Harper's Island"
Episode: "Surviving Harper's Island"
2009 FlashForward Jeff Slingerland / Dr. Maurice Raynaud Episode: "The Gift"
2010 FlashForward Jeff Slingerland Episode: "Course Correction"
2010 24 Vladimir Laitanan 3 episodes
2010–2011 Shattered Det. Ben Sullivan 13 episodes
2011 Alphas Don Wilson Episode: "Pilot"
Episode: "Anger Management"
2011 Rookie Blue Jamie Brennan 3 episodes
2011 CSI: Miami Jack Toller Episode: "Mayday"
Episode: "Countermeasures"
2011–2012 Template:Sortname Rick Felder 7 episodes
2012 Template:Sortname Ray McDeere 22 episodes

Awards and nominations[]

Year Award Category Production Result
1994 Genie Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Double Happiness Nominated
1997 Gemini Award Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series My Life as a Dog Won
1997 Gemini Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series Side Effects Nominated
1998 Gemini Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Miniseries For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down Nominated
1999 Gemini Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Due South Nominated
1999 Genie Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Last Night Won
2000 Canadian Comedy Award Film – Performance – Male Last Night Nominated
2001 Leo Award Best Performance of a Feature Length Drama Suspicious River Won
2003 Vancouver Film Critics Circle Best Actor – Canadian Film Flower & Garnet Won
2003 Leo Award Feature Length Drama: Best Lead Performance by a Male Flower & Garnet Won
2004 Leo Award Feature Length Drama: Best Lead Performance by a Male Falling Angels Nominated
2004 Vancouver Film Critics Circle Best Actor – Canadian Film Falling Angels Nominated
2007 Leo Award Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Feature Length Drama Unnatural & Accidental Won
2008 Leo Award Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Feature Length Drama Normal Nominated
2009 Genie Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Normal Won
2011 Gemini Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Shattered Won
2011 Leo Award Best Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series Shattered Won
2011 Genie Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Gunless Nominated


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External links[]

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