Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Terry O'Quinn is an Emmy-winning actor who played two roles, John Locke and The Man in Black, who had taken the appearance of John.


Irish-American actor Terrance "Terry" O'Quinn (born Terrance Quinn) was born and raised in Michigan. He attended Central Michigan University and the University of Iowa.

Terry is a veteran actor with over 30 years of experience. He had notable roles in films such as The Stepfather in 1987 and Tombstone in 1993, though his movie credits extend to The Rocketeer (where he played Howard Hughes) and small roles in Old School and Primal Fear. His TV credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation, JAG, and The West Wing. He is good friends with Ten Thirteen Production's Chris Carter, having appeared in most of his work: as a guest star in two episodes of The X-Files (one of the roles was the "Shadow Man", an unstoppable killer who successfully pretended to be a friend), a supporting role in The X-Files: Fight the Future and recurring roles on Harsh Realm and Millennium. After acting in his recurring role on Alias, he was already well-known to director J.J. Abrams, who recruited him for his new show Lost. He is one of the few cast members who did not have to audition because J.J. began to imagine O'Quinn in the part of Locke before the actor was even offered it.


Terry moved from his Maryland home to Hawaii with wife Lori after shooting for Lost began.

The couple have 2 sons: Oliver and Hunter.

Following Lost, NBC picked up a pilot for a TV show entitled "Odd Jobs" starring Terry and his Lost co-star Michael Emerson.[1]

Media appearances[]


Ring Of Fire


O'Quinn on Star Trek: The Next Generation


Talk show[]

O'Quinn has appeared as a talk show guest in the following:


O'Quinn has been featured as the main topic of the following magazine articles:



  • September 22, 2007: Provided narration for The Lost Symphony with the Honolulu Symphony Toyota Pops.


Main article: Awards
  • Received Emmy Award nominations in 2005, 2007, and 2010 in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of John Locke. He won the 2007 award for his work in season 3, beating out, among other nominees, fellow Lost actor Michael Emerson.


  • Has been experienced in percussion since high school. He is also a talented guitarist and singer. However, he denies ever having played in a band. And neither has he ever been a bodyguard or a boxer.[2]
  • Also had a recurring role in "The West Wing" as General Nicholas Alexander. He can be seen with his moustache.
  • Guest-starred in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation named The Pegasus, where he portrayed an Admiral intent on recovering a secret experiment that caused the destruction of a ship twelve years before. As Admiral Pressman, he shows similar zeal in recovering the device as John Locke does investigating The Island. The device is located in the ship's main engineering- the ship was not destroyed but instead is fused with an asteroid, making the interior look somewhat similar to a certai underground hatch.
  • Portrayed a serial killer in "The Stepfather" series of movies. The killer's real name is never revealed and he behaves very much like Locke when he loses his temper or becomes upset.
  • He elongated his last name to "O'Quinn" from his real name of "Quinn" to distinguish himself from another person named Terry Quinn already acting in films.
  • Was not a bodyguard, contrary to what IMDB has said. Listen
  • He has been balding since his early 20s and has appeared with a partially or entirely shaved head in most of his films.
  • He is a particularly big Neil Young fan and can do a dead-on impression of him.[3]
  • In "Deus Ex Machina", Locke's parents were played by Kevin Tighe and Swoosie Kurtz, who are both only 8 years older than O'Quinn himself.
  • Although always friendly on set, he usually keeps private and mysterious habits apart from his younger "Lost" co-stars, who often get together for parties when not shooting. He keeps this enigmatic aura so they will regard him similarly to the way they regard his mysterious character Locke.
  • Played a part in JAG as Admiral Thomas Boone.
  • Two of the episodes of JAG he had screen time with François Chau (Dr. Pierre Chang).
  • Also played Col. Will Ryan on Donald P. Bellisario's JAG spin-off NCIS, making him one of five Lost cast members on that show: Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), William Mapother (Ethan), and Alan Dale (Charles Widmore) have also been on NCIS.
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