A square-jawed blonde with steely blue eyes, actor Neal McDonough had essayed every role from psychopath to dunce before roles in HBO's Band of Brothers and Minority Report (2002) found him gaining a reputation as the man to cast if a script called for a dependable, all-American tough guy. Though his screen presence has been growing steadily in the first years of the new millennium, it wasn't long ago that McDonough was considering abandoning his career as an actor. A native of Dorchester, MA, easygoing McDonough attended Barnstable High School before graduating from Syracuse University and later training as an actor at the London Academy of Dramatic Arts and Sciences. Taking to the stage following his graduation, it wasn't long before McDonough was appearing in such productions as Waiting for Lefty and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and in 1991 he took home a Best Actor Dramalogue Award for his role in Away Alone.
McDonough began his move into film with a minor role in 1990's Darkman, and the same year appearances in such popular television series as China Beach and Quantum Leap ensured that his face would remain a familiar one to audiences. Following a turn as Lou Gehrig in the 1991 made-for-television feature Babe Ruth, McDonough's television career began to take off, and through the mid-'90s he found frequent work on the small screen with the exception of such features as Angels in the Outfield (1994). A childhood dream came true for the lifelong Star Trek fan when he was cast in the Star Trek: First Contact (1996), and that same year McDonough voiced Dr. Bruce Banner in the animated television series The Incredible Hulk. His career shifting increasingly toward feature work in the late '90s, McDonough took on memorable roles in such features as Circles (1998) and the quirky pseudo-horror film Ravenous (1999). Though the frustration of never receiving a truly gratifying role caused him to reconsider his chosen career, McDonough's big break was just around the corner.