Site Banner

Terry O'Quinn Biography

Terry O'Quinn

Birth name: Terrance Kevin Quinn
Date of birth: July 15, 1952
Place of birth: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
Current residence: Baltimore, Maryland, and Oahu, Hawaii
College: University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, and Central Michigan University
Siblings: 10. He was the 7th born of 11 children.
Spouse: Lori Quinn (1979–present)
Children: Hunter and Oliver
Grandchildren: One
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 190 lbs
Hair: None
Eyes: Green

Early Life, Education, and Career

Terry O'Quinn was born in War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, on July 15, 1952. He lived with his parents in Rudyard, Michigan, until he was 7. He then moved to Newberry, Michigan, and lived in the Upper Peninsula until college. He also lived in Colorado for a few years. He and his wife, Lori, met in Maryland while she trained him how to ride horses for his first movie role in Heaven's Gate. They lived in Maryland for 25 years, sold their house in Reisterstown in 2005, and purchased a home in Hawaii, where LOST is filmed. In 2006, Terry sold his house in Hawaii and purchased another home in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Terry broke into acting while attending Central Michigan University in the early seventies, when he was dared by a friend to audition for a part in Henry IV. He landed the part. He's said that it's hard to imagine doing anything other than acting, but he might have considered music.


Terry started his acting career in the late seventies. He performed on CENTERSTAGE in Baltimore, Maryland, where he appeared in such plays as The Runner Stumbles and Ashes, The Shadow Box, Watch on the Rhine, The Front Page, and Much Ado About Nothing. Terry also performed on Broadway in Foxfire and The Curse of the Aching Heart, as well as in the off-Broadway play Richard III.

Terry went on to become quite an accomplished actor in both television and film. He is best known for his role as John Locke on the hit show LOST, for which he won a 2007 Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actor. Terry is also well known for his roles as Peter Watts in Millennium, F.B.I. Assistant Director Kendall in Alias, Captain Thomas Boone in JAG, and General Omar Santiago in Harsh Realm. He has an extensive list of guest appearances on television shows, including The West Wing, Law and Order, and The X-Files.

Although his movie career started in 1980 with the failed movie Heaven's Gate, Terry went on to star in many successful movies. Perhaps his most famous was the cult classic The Stepfather, in which he portrayed psycho killer dad, Jerry Blake. He's also well known for films such as Young Guns, The Rocketeer, and The X-Files Movie.

The summer following the third season of LOST, Terry starred in the short-lived science fiction TV show Masters of Science Fiction, in the episode "Awakenings."

Terry Received an Emmy nomination in 2005 for his role as John Locke on Lost.

Terry's advice to aspiring actors is to get involved in local theatre, or an acting group, and to take any opportunity possible.


Terry added the "O" to his name when he joined his first actors' union, Actors' Equity, because someone was already using his real name, Terrance Quinn. Terry Quinn was taken as well. Even after the name Terrance Quinn became available, he was encouraged by his family to keep the "O." However, he has used Terrance Quinn in JAG and The X-Files.

Terry enjoys playing the guitar for fun and often joins his fellow LOST castmates for a sing-along. He also enjoys hiking, biking, and swimming. His favorite artist is Neil Young.

Terry has played a role in more than 30 films and television shows. As a result, he has been in more films and television shows than any other cast member on LOST. Because of his having previously worked with TV producer J. J. Abrams on the hit show Alias, he is one of the few cast members of LOST who did not have to audition. He has stated on numerous occasions that John Locke is his favorite role thus far. He has also stated that he did not do any research for the part of Locke, nor has he studied up on the philosopher John Locke, whom his character is based on. However, he has learned a lot about him from members of The Fuselage, the official LOST forum, which he regularly visits.

There are rumors that Terry O'Quinn once worked as a bodyguard, was a golden gloves boxer, has a black belt in karate, and served in the military. He has discredited all of these rumors in communications with his fans at The Fuselage

Compiled by Katya W. Sullivan

TerryOQuinn.org is an UNOFFICIAL fansite. It is no way affiliated with Terry O'Quinn, ABC, LOST, Warner Bros., or any other corporations. We do not know Terry O'Quinn, nor do we represent him. No copyright infringement intended. Unless noted as such, the pictures in the gallery do not belong to us, they have been either donated or acquired from other sites. We do not claim ownership of these photoshoots. This site is intended for fan purposes only.