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Sean Mackenzie Bridgers (born March 3, 1968) is an American actor who portrayed Johnny Burns on HBO's Deadwood, and later reprised his role in Deadwood: The Movie.


Bridgers was born in 1968 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to Ben and Sue Ellen Bridgers. Ben was the tribal attorney for the Cherokee Indian tribe and published a memoir and books of poetry. Sue Ellen Bridgers is a novelist with seven published novels.[1]

He graduated from St. Andrew's-Sewanee School and Western Carolina University. In interviews, Bridgers has mentioned that as a screenwriter he is influenced by his favorite author Mark Twain and developed an interest in acting after seeing Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies when he was 14 years old. Bridgers started watching everything by Tender Mercies screenwriter Horton Foote, and Duvall and Foote became his biggest creative influences.[1]

Sean Bridgers's children are also actors. His son, Jackson, has acted in roles on Justified and Deadwood, as well as his daughter, Kate, who starred in Bridgers' 2012 short, The Birthday Present.[1]

He is best known for his role as Johnny Burns on the HBO series Deadwood and on the SundanceTV original series Rectify as Trey Willis. Additional to many roles in television and film since 1991, Bridgers received acclaim and awards for the independent film Paradise Falls, which he wrote and produced.[1]

He received praise for his lead role in Lucky McKee's horror film The Woman and another Moderncine film, Jug Face, as well as notable roles in Sweet Home Alabama and Nell. He played Old Nick in the 2015 film Room.[1]


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  • Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Smart Story as Ralph Welch (TV Movie, 1991)
  • Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice as Jedediah (1992)
  • Scattered Dreams (TV Movie, 1993)
  • Road-Kill U.S.A. as Josh (1993)
  • Getting In as Dumpster Hunter (1994)
  • Nell as Mike Ibarra (1994)
  • Death in Small Doses as Mr. Carter (TV Movie, 1995)
  • Her Deadly Rival (TV Movie, 1995)
  • Murderous Intent as Dennis (TV Movie, 1995)
  • Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored as Mr. Bob (1995)
  • Stolen Memories: Secrets from the Rose Garden as Teen #1 (Jeff) (TV Movie, 1996)
  • The Killing Secret as Aaron Clemens (TV Movie, 1997)
  • Close to Danger as Donna's Date (TV Movie, 1997)
  • Carolina Low as Henry Bancroft (1997)
  • ATF as Smitty (TV Movie, 1999)
  • After Diff'rent Strokes: When the Laughter Stopped as Robert (TV Movie, 2000)
  • Clover Bend as Tyler (2002)
  • Lullaby as Diesel (2002)
  • Sweet Home Alabama as Eldon (2002)
  • 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story as Neil Bonnett (TV Movie, 2004)
  • Jake's Closet as Peter (2007)
  • Witless Protection as Norm (2008)
  • Cold Storage (2009)
  • House Rules as Cameron Drummer (TV Movie, 2009)
  • The Woman as Chris Cleek (2011)
  • Jug Face as Dawai (2013)
  • The Best of Me as Tommy Cole (2014)
  • Dark Places as Runner Day (2015)
  • Room as Old Nick (2015)
  • Trumbo as Jeff Krandall (2015)
  • Blue as Sheriff Hawkes (2015)
  • Legs as Ford (2015)
  • Midnight Special as Frederick (2016)
  • The Whole Truth as Arthur Westin (2016)
  • Free State of Jones as Will Sumrall (2016)
  • The Magnificent Seven as Fanning (2016)
  • And Then I Go as Little Kid's Dad (2017)
  • Thank You for Your Service as Sergeant Mozer (2017)
  • The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot as Mr. Gardner (2018)
  • Deadwood: The Movie as Johnny Burns (TV Movie, 2019)
  • Deathcember as Uninjured (2019)

TV Series[]

  • American Gothic as Policeman #1 / Deputy #1 (1995, 1998)
  • Legacy as William Winters (1998-1999)
  • Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family as Brian (2000)
  • Deadwood as Johnny Burns (2004-2006)
  • Criminal Minds as James Charles (2006)
  • Cold Case as Ty Sugar (2006)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Art Schuster (2007)
  • 12 Miles of Bad Road as Lyle Hartsong (2008)
  • Private Practice as Frank Dawson (2008-2009)
  • Saving Grace as Carl Lafong (2009)
  • Bones as John Collins (2009)
  • Lie to Me as Harold Clark (2009)
  • The Mentalist as Ranger Tisdale (2010)
  • Justified as Virgil Corum (2010)
  • True Blood as Big Bobby (2010)
  • Hart of Dixie as Leon Mercy (2011)
  • Raising Hope as Jack (2011-2012)
  • Rectify as Trey Willis (2013-2016)
  • Arkansas Traveler as John Bones (2017)
  • Midnight, Texas as Sheriff Livingstone (2017)
  • Get Shorty as Louis Darnell (2017-2019)
  • The Alienist: Angel of Darkness as Sheriff Early (2018)
  • The Blacklist as Nyle Hatcher (2020)
  • The Underground Railroad as Fletcher (2021)
  • Women of the Movement as Sidney Carlton (2022)
  • The Thing About Pam as Mark Hupp (2022)

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