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Michael McGrady          

Motivational Speaker & Musician, Sonic Groove Band; Theater, Film & Television Actor Best Known for "Ray Donovan," "Beyond" & "Southland"

Michael Steven McGrady is an actor, artist, musician, and motivational speaker. McGrady has nearly four decades of experience in theater, film, and television, including roles in popular shows such as "Beyond," "24," "Murder She Wrote," "CSI: Miami," "Leverage," and "Prison Break." He is known for playing Tom Matthews in the TV show "Beyond" and Sal Salinger on the TNT drama "Southland," and had a recurring role as Frank Barnes on Showtime's "Ray Donovan." He has also given his voice and likeness to the video game "L.A. Noire" as Rusty Galloway and made a cameo in the movie "Iron Man."

McGrady was raised in the Washington State area of the Pacific Northwest. He studied Business Administration at the University of Washington and planned to attend law school. However, after overcoming malignant melanoma at the age of 19, the same cancer his late father had, he decided to focus on his passion for acting. With the support of his family, he moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and has been a mainstay in Hollywood since.

McGrady has worked with several notable actors in various roles throughout his career. Noteworthy performances include starring in "Low Winter Sun" for AMC as Brendan McCann, playing Detective John Gentile in "The Frozen Ground," and appearing as Detective Philip Vanatter on FX's "American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson."

Apart from acting, McGrady is a collected fine artist specializing in easel works in oil. He has painted large-scale murals in celebrity and sports stars' homes, as well as commercial and residential buildings. He is the founder of the Los Angeles-based Actors Workshop, where he offers guidance on acting both behind and in front of the camera.

Moreover, McGrady is a public speaker, focusing on topics like overcoming adversity, achieving a balance in life and work, and fatherhood. He is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and the front singer of The Sonic Groove Band, which occasionally invites celebrity artists to join their sets. His philanthropic efforts include the establishment of the Tynan McGrady Foundation, a nonprofit scholarship and funding organization for STEM endeavors, created in honor of his late son.

When not working, McGrady spends time with his wife, Ilka, either at the McGrady Fine Art Gallery or performing with his band, Michael McGrady's Sonic Groove Band, around Los Angeles. He is also a keen outdoor enthusiast, enjoying activities such as sailing, surfing, riding his Harley, or soaring his hang glider above the mountains of beautiful Santa Barbara. He divides his time between Thousand Oaks, California, and his vacation home on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.

Speech Topics

Be a Thriver not just a Survivor

Michael McGrady speaks on overcoming obstacles, cancer, and other health challenges. Cancer is not a death sentence, it is a LIFE sentence - the ultimate wake-up call. As a cancer survivor, McGrady has a thorough and empathic understanding of what the battle with cancer looks and feels like. He shares his journey of not only surviving the potential death sentence of cancer, but also learning how to use it to thrive in life.

Achieve things you didn't think possible without the power of a cancer diagnosis.

The Actors Workshop

Practical advice and teaching on the acting profession. What does it take to be a professional actor. The pre-flight checklist: A failproof method of approaching your work as an actor and an effective means of breaking down scenes for auditions, entire movies or television roles, and plays. Get the role and rock it!

McGrady founded and ran the successful Actors Workshop in Los Angeles for 14 years and speaks to the acting profession from both behind and in front of the camera.

Michael McGrady: Other Popular Speaking Topics

  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Beating The Odds
  • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
  • Setting and Accomplishing Value-Driven Goals
  • Fatherhood
  • Motivation & Goal Setting


Life After Melanoma: Michael McGrady Seeks to Inspire Survivors with His Story
In a talk to people affected by melanoma, actor Michael McGrady described reassessing his values after cancer and how it changed the course of his life.

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