Timothy Busfield keeps up his acting in ‘For Life’


Emmy-winning ‘thirtysomething’ alum co-stars in new ABC legal drama

Timothy Busfield

Timothy Busfield has been doing a lot of television directing lately, but he’s taking a different direction himself.

On the heels of appearing in Fox’s “Almost Family,” the Emmy-winning “thirtysomething” alum has another extended acting role in the fact-inspired ABC drama “For Life,” which counts Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson among its executive producers and premieres Tuesday, Feb. 11. Busfield plays an ex-politician and new mentor to an inmate (Nicholas Pinnock) who becomes a lawyer, trying to overturn his own life sentence while helping fellow prisoners.

“So much of the series is dealing with desperation,” says Busfield, who joins “For Life” in its second episode. “I play a character who, from the legal side, has sort of reached a point where — with DUIs, and he’s a former state senator – he has decided that service will probably be his only way to kind of redeem himself in his own mind. I think my character kind of helps focus on what lawyers might be feeling when their conscience takes over.

“I become (the convict’s) paralegal, and I’m here to help him in any possible way I can,” Busfield adds. “In the course of a career where I’ve done killer-cat movies and ‘Field of Dreams’ and good shows and bad shows, this one rolls out like a goodie. I saw the pilot, and I knew I wanted to be a part of the team.”

With an ABC “thirtysomething” revival – in which he’ll reprise the role of Elliot Weston – also on the horizon for him, Busfield reasons, “I’m happy to be working. Look, I’m an actor for hire, and I’ll go where they’re paying me.”


Birthdate: June 12, 1957

Birthplace: Lansing, Mich.

Current residence: New York

Marital status: Married to actress Melissa Gilbert; he has three children from two earlier marriages

Other television credits include: “Almost Family,” “The Loudest Voice,” “Designated Survivor,” “Secrets and Lies,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Mob Doctor,” “Childrens Hospital,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order,” “Entourage,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “The West Wing,” “Without a Trace,” “Ed,” “Champs,” “The Byrds of Paradise,” “thirtysomething,” “Family Ties,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Reggie”

Movie credits include: “23 Blast,” “Nightcomer,” “Save the Date,” “National Security,” “The Souler Opposite,” “First Kid,” “Quiz Show,” “Little Big League,” “Striking Distance,” “Field of Dreams,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Stripes”


Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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