Gordon Clapp grew up in the ski resort town of North Conway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He developed an interest in acting at an early age when he was cast in a production of THE HAPPY TIME at a local summer theater. He attended Williams College where he majored in English but spent most of his time with the Drama department. It was there he met John Sayles who was to cast Gordon in four films over a twenty-year span including the cult favorite, RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS SEVEN. During his Senior year at Williams he was part of the inaugural class at the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Center.
Post college years found him performing for three seasons with a touring children’s theater, and summer stock in the very hometown theater where he began as a 12 year old. The 70’s and 80’s found him in several regional theaters in Canada, and the States, forging a path into film and television. His work included five seasons at Canada’s National Arts Centre, a number of CBC movies, a regular on a sitcom called CHECK IT OUT with Don Adams and two John Sayles films, MATEWAN and EIGHT MEN OUT. He finally took the Hollywood plunge in 1989, and soon landed a starring role along side Farrah Fawcett in the mini-series SMALL SACRIFICES. From there, numerous guest roles in such favorites as CHEERS, NIGHT COURT, WINGS and WONDER YEARS led to an audition for a guest role on NYPD BLUE where an impulsive character choice landed him 12 seasons in the role of Detective Greg Medavoy.
Awards include a 1998 Emmy Award for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and the first SAG Award for Ensemble in a Drama Series. Since then, numerous film and television roles, including recurring roles on DAMAGES and CHICAGO FIRE notwithstanding, he has returned to his first love, theatre.
In 2005 he received a Theatre World Award, A Drama Desk Ensemble Award, and a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Dave Moss in the All-star Broadway revival of GLENGARRY, GLEN ROSS. Off Broadway appearances include The New Group and 59E59. In the fall of 2019 he played J Edgar Hoover to Brian Cox’s LBJ in the Lincoln Center production of THE GREAT SOCIETY. But his home is in New England where he frequents Vermont’s Northern Stage, Lost Nation Theatre and Dorset Theatre Festival, Connecticut’s Ivoryton Playhouse, New Hampshire’s New London Barn and Peterborough Players and Boston’s Huntington Theatre, and Central Square Theatre.
What has stayed with him through all this time is his love of the poet Robert Frost. In 2008, he stumbled across a script titled THIS VERSE BUSINESS. He and playwright A.M. Dolan have been developing it and “barding” around the country with it ever since. In 2010 Gus Kaikkonen directed the first full production of the play at Peterborough Players taking it to new heights. In 2013 they played for three weeks at Lost Nation in Montpelier, Vermont and then skipped around the state in four other locations. The 2017 run at Northern Stage saw the 100th performance. He is married to Elisabeth Gordon.
Robert Frost: This Verse Business won “Best New Play” (Kaplan Award) at the Eventide Arts Festival in 2010, and “Best Production” at the United Solo Play Festival in NYC in 2013. Dolan's other plays are Five Live Poets and Dylan Thomas: In Country Heaven. He has acted with the Old Globe Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Harbor Stage, W.H.A.T., Texas Shakespeare Festival, Bar Harbor Theatre, Theatre at Monmouth, New Rep, New Century, and Stoneham Theatres, among others. He has an MFA from Southern Methodist University. He is married to Zoe Cardon.