Early life, family, educational background
Actor Jeffrey Lane Hephner was born on 22 June 1975, in Madison Heights, Michigan USA. He grew up in Sand Creek, a small town near Adrian, Southern Michigan, raised by parents Tom Hephner and Patti Vanooven. According to his Facebook photos, he has a brother, but neither his name nor age have been disclosed. It is also unknown whether or not he has any other siblings.
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Growing up, Jeff was known to be an athletic boy, playing football and basketball throughout his high school years. After matriculating from Sand Creek High School, he was added to the all-state team for class C-D for the 1993-1994 season.
For two years, he played basketball for and attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1999, he moved to Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan and remained there for two years. He was the captain of the University’s basketball team.
When Jeff told his parents that he wanted to become an actor, the news came as a shock, as his passion for sports made them sure that that was his life plan. Additionally, his basketball scholarship to college assured them that he had a natural talent for the game. Unfortunately, in Jeff’s last year of college he severely tore his calf muscle, making him unfit to continue a career in basketball. For him, the incident confirmed his dreams to become an actor. In an interview with “Chicago Tribune” he shared, ‘So I have about seven months of rehabilitation.
And it was then I quit school and said, “I’m going to go do this!”’ Jeff would often vacation in Jacksonville, Florida US with his family, where he noticed a few small theatres, and joined them. The theatre groups were so small that he was usually the only guy in the group, so he would easily get the male roles. After living in Florida for a while, he moved to New York, where he came across an audition line for a commercial, but even though he waited in line, he wasn’t allowed to audition because he did not have an agent or a headshot. He decided to get part-time jobs, as a bartender and a construction worker – working at a bar led him to meet his now-wife.
Family’s personal life
At some point in Jeff’s life, his parents divorced, and both remarried – his stepfather is Dr Marinus Vanooven, and his stepmother is Donna Hephner.
In 2000 he made his first film appearance in the dramatic war film, “Tigerland” as Colin Farrell’s stand-in. Director Joel Schumacher then gave him a small role in the movie as McManus; this role earned Jeff his SAG card. In 2002, he had a small part in “Maid in Manhattan.”
In 2006, he starred as famous author Pat Conroy in a remake of the 1974 film “The Water Is Wide,” produced by the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV, and based on Pat’s book “Conrack”. In 2014, he appeared in “Interstellar,” which was directed by Christopher Nolan, and the following year co-starred alongside Jennifer Garner in “Peppermint,” an action-thriller film.
He appeared in two movies in 2019 – in January he co-starred in “An Acceptable Loss”, and later in the year played Charlie Allen in “Love Takes Flight.” He has been announced to be part of the cast in 2020’s “The Shuroo Process.”
He is best known for his role as Jeff Clarke in NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med”.
In 2004, he starred as Keenan O’Brien in Fox’s legal drama series, “The Jury”, his first major recurring role. In 2005, he guest-starred in season four, episode 21 of “The Unblinking Eye” in NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” Through this appearance, he secured the primary role as Matt Ramsey in Fox’s “The O.C.”
In October 2008, he starred in four episodes of the C.W.’s “Easy Money”, before the network cancelled the series – the final four episodes aired in 2009. Later that year he guest-starred in an episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, and then had a short recurring role in four episodes of NBC’s medical drama, “Mercy”. In 2010, he appeared in an episode of “NCIS”, and replaced Ben Browder’s recurring role as a football coach, Red Raymond in the C.W.’s “Hellcats.”
In 2011, he appeared in episodes of “Shotgun,” “Private Practice” and “Castle.” That same year, he was cast in NBC’s “The Playboy Club,” but before filming began, he was replaced by Eddie Cibrian.
In 2011, he began playing Ben Zajac in the Starz political drama, “Boss” through 2012, and from 2013 had a recurring role in the second season of NBC’s drama, “Chicago Fire,” which he fulfilled until 2014.
In 2015, he co-starred alongside Sharon Stone in TNT’s “Agent X.” In 2016, he appeared in the National Geographic’s “MARS”, followed by reprising his role in NBC’s medical spinoff of, “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” as Jeff Clarke until 2017. In the series, his character returns to university to study medicine – his first appearance in the show was in the final episode of season one “Timing”, and held his recurring role until his eventual departure in episode 22 of season two, “White Butterflies.”
In 2002 he married New York Pilates instructor, Heather Sylvia Adam. In an interview with “Chicago Tribune,” Jeff recalls their meeting in a New York bar, ‘It was the night before Columbus Day, she was a teacher, so they had that day off. The only people in the bar were her and her friends, me and my friends,’ They have three children together, one daughter and two sons.
To the best of his ability, Jeff likes to keep his personal life private.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
- He has appeared in all three of the CSI television series.
- He considers Frank Langella as a mentor
- In 2011, he was ranked #86 on BuddyTv’s “T.V.’s Sexiest Men of 2011.”
— ??I_love_Jesse Spencer?? (@happyhorsegurl) February 7, 2020
He has blond hair and brown eyes. He stands at 6ft 2ins (1.88m).
Net worth and salary
His net worth is estimated at around $2 million as of early 2020. His primary source of income is his acting career, and on average he makes about $50,000 for a movie, and $35,000 for a series.