Jonathan Edward “Jon” Bernthal is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Shane Walsh on the AMC television series The Walking Dead and as Joe Teague in the TNT series Mob City, as well as for his roles in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Fury (2014), and Sicario (2015). He will portray Frank Castle / The Punisher in the second season of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Netflix series Daredevil.
Bernthal was born and raised in Washington, D.C., the son of Joan Lurie (née Marx) and Eric Lawrence “Rick” Bernthal, a lawyer with Latham & Watkins LLP. His paternal grandfather was musician and producer Murray Bernthal. He has two brothers, Nicholas and Thomas. His parents are both Jewish (his maternal grandfather was from Germany, while Bernthal’s other ancestors emigrated from Austria, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia). He graduated from the Sidwell Friends School in Washington.
After high school, Bernthal studied at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, and later attended The School of Moscow Art Theatre in Russia. During his time there, he played catcher on a semi-professional baseball team. He was discovered by the executive director of Harvard University’s Institute for Advanced Theater Training at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduated in 2002 from the American Repertory Theatre with a Master of Fine Arts.
Since 2002, Bernthal has performed in over 30 plays regionally and Off-Broadway, including many with his own award-winning theatre company, Fovea Floods. He also had small guest roles in television series such as Boston Legal, CSI: Miami, and How I Met Your Mother. Bernthal booked his first regular role on a television series with the sitcom The Class, which was created by Friends co-creator David Crane. The show was cancelled after only one season. After this, he had roles in films such as World Trade Center and Day Zero. In 2009, Bernthal had a supporting role in the Ben Stiller comedy film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as mobster Al Capone. The same year, he became a series regular on the television series Eastwick, which was cancelled after only one season.
In 2010, Berthnal portrayed Sgt. Manuel Rodriguez on the HBO miniseries The Pacific. Bernthal portrayed Shane Walsh in Frank Darabont’s The Walking Dead, based on the comic book series of the same name. He was a regular on the show until 2012, when his character was killed off. He was nominated for the Breakout Performance – Male Award at the 2011 Scream Awards for his performance. That same year, he guest starred in an episode of NBC’s legal comedy-drama series Harry’s Law as Lucas Trassino. In 2013, he appeared in the crime drama film Snitch.
Bernthal reunited with Darabont for the TNT series Mob City, in which he portrayed Joe Teague, a police officer working in a corrupt 1940s Los Angeles. He also had supporting roles in the Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and the sports comedy film Grudge Match (2013). He played southerner Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis in the 2014 World War II film Fury, opposite Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, and Logan Lerman.
Bernthal appears as a playable character in the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in a downloadable game mode “Exo Zombies”. Bernthal next co-starred in Denis Villeneuve’s action drama film Sicario, opposite Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin. In June 2015, Marvel announced that Bernthal would portray Frank Castle / The Punisher in the second season of Netflix’s superhero series Daredevil, which will be released on March 18, 2016. He will then star in the Irish action thriller film Pilgrimage, alongside Tom Holland and Richard Armitage.