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Jon was raised in Washington D.C., and went to study at The Moscow Art Theatre School in Moscow, Russia. He played professional baseball for the European Professional Baseball Federation. While in Moscow, he was noticed by the director of Harvard University's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at the American Repretory Theatre, and was invited to obtain his M.F.A. there. After graduating in 2002, he performed in over thirty plays regionally and off-Broadway, including many of his own award-winning company, Fovea Floods.
He currently resides in Venice, California with his dog, Boss, wife and son. His film resume includes Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), Ghost Writer (2010), Snitch (2013), and Fury (2014). Most recently Jon was cast as Frank Castle aka Punisher and is set to appear in the second season of the Netflix show Marvel's Daredevil.
Involvement in The Walking Dead
Bernthal and Andrew Lincoln, who was eventually cast as protagonist Rick Grimes, auditioned for the show together and were the first to be chosen for the regular cast.
Series creator Frank Darabont originally had all actors audition for the role of Rick, including Bernthal, and then brought back the actors under close consideration to audition for Shane and other roles. Bernthal, however, wanted to portray the part of Shane from early on and fought for the part, despite knowing that the character would die early in the series.
- The Wolf of Wall Street
- Grudge Match
- Mob City
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
- Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- The Class
- Baby Driver
- The Punisher
- He is the nephew-in-law of professional wrestler Kurt Angle.
- Bernthal went to college with Michael Zegen, the actor who portrayed Randall.
- Bernthal is the 2nd Main Cast member of the show to appear in a Call of Duty game, the first was Michael Rooker, who appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops and its sequel.
- Bernthal is the third cast member of the show to play a Marvel character (Michael Rooker is Yondu in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Norman Reedus voiced the Punisher in Iron Man: Rise of Technovore and was also in Blade II), however, he is the second to play a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.