Bob Gunton


Date Of Birth

November 15, 1945


American actor Bob Gunton was born on November 15, 1945 in Santa Monica, California. A graduate of the University of California, he once served for the United States Army, seeing service in Vietnam and eventually earning the Vietnam Service Medal and a Bronze Star. After returning home, he quickly made the jump to acting, beginning on stage. He eventually went on to win a Drama Desk Award in 1980 for his role in the musical Evita, and an Obie Award the same year for his role in the play How I Got That Story. He also took two Tony nominations throughout his career.

Gunton began acting for the screen in the 1980s, making his film debut in 1981’s Rollover. After roles in many other films, as well as guest roles in television shows such as Hothouse, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Law & Order, he rose to prominence in the critically-acclaimed film The Shawshank Redemption, where he played the primary antagonist, Warden Samuel Norton.

Gunton’s television career is diverse; although he mostly appears as figures of authority, the programs he was featured in varies. From traditional television shows (CSI, Peacemakers, Desperate Housewives) he also appeared in documentaries and news programs, often in recreations of scenes, such as his take on President Richard Nixon in a report for ABC’s Nightline. During the time, he continued appearing in films, taking roles in I Heart Huckabees, Fracture and Rendition. He also keeps up with a role on the action series 24, joining in 2007 as defense secretary—and now, chief-of-staff—Ethan Kanin.

Place of Birth

Santa Monica, California

Birth Name

Robert Patrick Gunton Jr.



Fun Facts

He served in the U.S. Army, earning the Vietnam Service Medal and a Bronze Star for valor.


He won a Drama Desk Award in 1980 for his role in the musical Evita.

He also won an Obie Award in 1980 for his role in the play How I Got That Story.


Rollover – Sal Naftari (1981)
Static – Frank (1985)
The Pick-up Artist – Fernando Portacarrero (1987)
Matewan – C.E. Lively (1987)
Cookie – Richie Segretto (1989)
Glory – Gen. Harker (1989)
JFK – TV Newsman (1991)
Sinatra – Tommy Dorsey (1992)
Demolition Man – Chief George Earle (1993)
The Shawshank Redemption – Warden Samuel Norton (1994)
Dolores Claiborne – Mr. Pease (1995)
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls – Burton Quinn (1995)
In Pursuit of Honor - Colonel John Hardesty (1995)
Broken Arrow – Pritchett (1996)
The Glimmer Man – Frank Deverell (1996)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – Finley Largent (1997)
Patch Adams – Dean Walcott (1999)
Bats – Dr. Alexander McCabe (1999)
Running Mates – Terrence Randall (2000)
The Perfect Storm – Alexander McAnally III, owner of the yacht the Mistral (2000)
61 – Dan Topping (2001)
I Heart Huckabees – Mr. Silver (2004)
Iron Jawed Angels – President Woodrow Wilson (2004)
Dead Silence – Edward Ashen (2007)
Fracture – Judge Gardner (2007)
Numb – Dr. Townsend (2007)
Rendition – Lars Whitman (2007)
The Lazarus Project – Father Ezra (2008)
Tenure - William Thurber (2009)
The Irishman (2010)




6' 1" (1.85 m)



Give a Positive or Negative Rating