After making his debut in Adrian Lyne's twisty film "Jacob's Ladder" in 1990, Scott Cohen became an archetypal versatile character actor. Throughout the 1990s, he became a familiar face (if not name) with roles in movies such as "The Mambo Kings" and the Angelina Jolie vehicle "Gia," as well as guest spots in TV series such as HBO's "Oz." Scott's star rose dramatically in 2000 when he began the roles of half-man-half-beast Wolf on the fairy tale miniseries "The 10th Kingdom" and English instructor Max Medina, the love interest of Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) on the critically-acclaimed comedy-drama "Gilmore Girls" (The WB/The CW 2000-07). Scott's celebrity at the time was such that he was came third on People magazine's list of most beautiful people in 2000. Rather than consolidate his status as a pin-up, Scott continued on his chosen career path as a character actor.
A native New Yorker, Scott was born in The Bronx in 1961. His father, Jack Cohen, was a jazz musician. Scott's initial ambitions were towards a career in music. While that did not pan out, he became a talented pianist. While studying at the State University of New York at New Paltz, Scott took a course in clowning, at which he was surprisingly proficient. Encouraged by this, Scott set his sights on a career in acting. Returning to New York City after college, Scott embarked on the typical career path of many a young actor looking for jobs in the Big Apple: waiter, toy demonstrator, messenger, and even substitute teacher. Scott married Vogue model turned actress and playwright Anastasia Traina in 1989; their son Liam was born in 1995.
Scott made his big screen debut as a doctor in Adrian Lyne's nightmarish "Jacob's Ladder" in 1990. His musical talent was put to good use when he played a member of 1950s-era Cuban big band "The Mambo Kings" (1992) alongside Antonio Banderas and Armand Assante. He moved into television with a recurring role in the soap opera "One Life to Live" in 1994, returning to film with a supporting role in the Peter Falk comedy "Roommates" the following year. In 1996, Scott landed his biggest role thus far as the protagonist of the groundbreaking PC videogame "Ripper". A point-and-click interactive movie that came on a then-unprecedented 6 CDs, "Ripper" had an all star cast including Christopher Walken, Karen Allen, and Paul Giametti; Scott played main character Jake Quinlan, a reporter for an online newspaper investigating a series of Jack The Ripper-like murders in the New York of 2040. The game was a big commercial and critical success, but proved notoriously difficult to play; many gamers complained that they couldn't finish it and were still in the dark about the murderer's identity.
Scott reteamed with Assante in 1996 for the HBO TV movie "Gotti," playing the drug-trafficking brother of infamous Gambino crime boss John Gotti. Cohen returned to HBO for a key supporting role in the biopic "Gia" (1998); the critically-acclaimed drama based on the tragic true story of supermodel Gia Marie Carangi, who died from AIDS in 1986 at the age of 26, made a star of a then-unknown Angelina Jolie in the title role. Scott's own profile rose dramatically with the broadcast of Hallmark's contemporary fairy tale series "The 10th Kingdom" in 2000. Scott played the sardonic Wolf, who serves as the foil and love interest of a young woman named Virginia (Kimberley Williams) transported from Manhattan to a magical world known as The Nine Kingdoms. The critically-acclaimed miniseries developed a devoted cult audience, proving to become enduringly popular after its initial broadcast.
Scott's romantic leading man status was cemented when he appeared as Max Medina, Rory's charmingly rumpled English teacher and the eventual romantic interest of her mother Lorelai in the popular comedy-drama series "Gilmore Girls" in 2000. Scott's popularity on the show was such that he was named on People magazine's list of most beautiful people that year. Scott was dismissive of the pin-up tag, however, and claimed he never considered himself good-looking. "I don't think I ever had the confidence to feel pretty," he told The New York Times in 2001. Nevertheless, many did not share Scott's opinion; that same year, he co-starred in the indie romantic comedy "Kissing Jessica Stein" opposite the film's leading lady and co-screenwriter, Jennifer Westfeldt.
Although Scott returned occasionally as Max in the second and third seasons of "Gilmore Girls" he sought out harder-edged roles that expanded his range as an actor. He played parole officer James Liberti, a performance he claimed was based on New York's then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani, on Showtime's gritty crime drama "Street Time" (2002-3), followed by another co-starring role as Detective Chris Ravell on the procedural spin-off "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (2005-6). In 2008, Scott reteamed with "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino on her short-lived situation comedy "The Return of Jezebel James," in which he co-starred opposite Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose.
While continuing an active stream of guest roles on various TV series, Scott maintained his film career by appearing in the Holocaust thriller "Iron Cross" (2009), the romantic comedy-drama "Love and Other Drugs" (2010), and the Mel Gibson-led crime thriller "Get the Gringo" (2012). On television, Scott took on the co-starring role of Nico Careles, the former Navy SEAL turned "fixer" and head of security for the fictional football team The New York Hawks, in the USA Network sports drama "Necessary Roughness" (2011 - ). In 2013, he began a recurring role on the 1980s-set "Sex and the City" prequel "The Carrie Diaries."
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