American actor Joel Gretsch was born on December 20, 1963 in Albany, Minnesota. He studied acting at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, before moving to Los Angeles in 1989. He made appearances in several stage productions, notably productions of Tartuffe and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. He also quickly started his television career, making his screen debut through a bit role in the pilot episode of Freshman Dorm.
Since then, he has played several guest roles in television, starring in shows such as Married… with Children, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Melrose Place, Friends, JAG, Pacific Blue and Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. He made his first film appearance in 1999, playing a supporting role in the thriller Kate’s Addiction.
His first major television role came in 2002, when he was cast in Steven Spielberg’s television miniseries Taken. He plays Owen Crawford, a ruthless Air Force captain who will stop at nothing—even resorting to sacrificing his family—to find out the truths about visitors from outer space, a search that began when he chanced at the crash site at Roswell. His next major role is in the science fiction series The 4400, where he plays the series’ protagonist Tom Baldwin. His character is a former FBI agent who now works for the NTAC, and later develops a relationship with one of the 4400, Alana Mareva (Karina Lombard), who creates an alternate reality to make it possible.
Gretsch also has a notable film career, playing roles in films such as The Legend of Bagger Vance, Minority Report, The Emperor’s Club and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. He has also played guest roles in shows such as NCIS, CSI: NY and CSI: Miami. He played the father of the protagonist Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd) in Journeyman, and Lindsay Boxer’s (Angie Harmon) love interest in Women’s Murder Club.
In 2009, Gretsch was cast in ABC's V, a re-imagining of the 1983 miniseries created by Kenneth Johnson. On the show, he portrays Father Jack Landry, a Catholic priest and former U.S. Army chaplain who forms an alliance with Erica over their discovery of the Visitors' secret.
- He married Melanie Shatner on September 5, 1999, making him the son-in-law of William Shatner.
- He made appearances at Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.
2011: Commerce - Ken
2009-2011: V (TV series) - Father Jack Landry
2009: United States of Tara (TV series) - Dr. Holden
2009: Saving Grace B. Jones - Dan Jones
2009: Burn Notice (TV series) - Scott Chandler
2009: Push - Nick's Father
2009: Shrink - Evan
2008: Women's Murder Club (TV series) - Pete Raynor
2007: National Treasure: Book of Secrets - Thomas Gates
2007: Journeyman (TV series) - Frank Vasser
2004-2007: The 4400 (TV series) - Tom Baldwin
2006: Law & Order: Criminal Intent (TV series) - Jason Raines
2006: Glass House: The Good Mother (video) - Raymond Goode
2006: CSI: NY (TV series) - Dr. Keith Beaumont
2003: NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (TV series) - NCIS Special Agent Stan Burley
2003: CSI: Miami (TV series) - John Walker
2002: Taken (TV mini-series) - Owen Crawford
2002: The Emperor's Club - Older Sedgewick Bell
2002: Minority Report - Donald Dubin
2001: Jane Bond (short) - Handsome Man
2000: The Legend of Bagger Vance - Bobby Jones
2000: Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (TV series) - Dan
1999: Pacific Blue (TV series) - Mark Lewis
1999: Silk Stalkings (TV series)
1999: Kate's Addiction - Jack
1999: JAG (TV series) - Chief Hodge
1997: Renegade (TV series)
1995: The Bold and the Beautiful (TV series) - Ramone
1995: Friends (TV series) - Fireman Ed
1994: Family Album (TV movie) - John
1994: Melrose Place (TV series) - Mitch Sheridan
1994: Saved by the Bell: The New Class (TV series) - Mr. Hartley
1993: Married with Children (TV series) - Johnny
1992: Freshman Dorm (TV series) - Hunk
Reporter: What superpower would you like to have?
Joel Gretsch: I'd love to fly, especially with the gas prices right now.
Reporter: What's your favorite movie franchise out of Lord of the Rings, The Matrix and Star Wars?
Joel Gretsch: My first thought was Lord of the Rings, but I'd have to go with Star Wars.