Dylan McDermott never seems to age. Besides being insanely gorgeous, he’s a fantastic actor with a huge resume and now he’s on the hit TV show Stalker. Whether you fell in love with him in the 1908s in movies like Jersey Girl and Steel Magnolias or drooled over him when he starred on TV show The Practice, there’s one thing that’s certain – he never fails to entertain. What some may not know is that his mother was murdered when he was 5 years old and he actually helped solve the case over four decades later. Read on for all the facts on his role on new TV show Stalker, his past love life, how he aided in finding his mother’s killer, and his relationship with his adoptive mother.
1. He Plays Detective Jack Larsen on Stalker
McDermott plays the character Detective Jack Larsen opposite Maggie Q on Stalker and McDermott dished on the background of his character to Hollywood Life saying:
I’m a former detective from New York, and I go to Los Angeles to find my wife and kid, and then I get involved with a stalker unit there there so it’s interesting because I’m, in some degree, stalking my ex-wife and child because they fled from me — that’s kind of the twist on the show, and I thought that was really interesting. And his whole backstory on why he left and what he’s trying to change, all those things, I think that I relate to in a way. I don’t want to get to deep, but as we evolve, we’re trying to change, and I think he probably knows that he’s probably messed up in his life and he wants to change.
The show focuses a lot on cyber-stalking, which is such a big issue nowadays. Check out a clip from the show above.
2. His Mother Was Murdered by a Known Gangster
McDermott was born when his mother Diane was 15 years old and his father Richard was only 17 on October 26, 1961. The couple divorced by 1967, the same year the Diane was killed. McDermott was just 5 years old when his mother was shot to death in their home. Though McDermott was the only witness, he was outside on the cold night of the murder because his mother’s boyfriend had kicked him out of the house. At the time, McDermott, his sister, and mother were living with their grandmother Avis. Diane’s boyfriend was John Sponza, a heroin addict associated with organized crime.
The police ruled the death as accidental and Sponza was found in the trunk of a car in a Massachusetts grocery store parking lot in 1972. Over four decades later, it was proven that Sponza had murdered McDermott’s mother. The Daily Mail gave some background on Sponza, writing:
John Sponza was a violent man, who associated and worked with gangsters, and who should have been in prison long before the death of Diane McDermott. His first offense, involving theft and drugs was when he was just 15 years old. He once pistol-whipped a man in a medical clinic and also allegedly shot someone in the face by sitting on them first to pin them down.
A witness once revealed that Sponza was verbally and physically abusive to McDermott’s mother. He would make her lift up her dress in front of his friends and choke her when she didn’t get his cigarettes for him fast enough. McDermott was even traumatized by Sponza as a child when Sponza would yell at him and flash his gun.
3. McDermott Helped Solve His Mother’s Murder 45 Years After It Was Covered Up
Decades after the death of his mother, McDermott was filled with questions and he contacted the police, requesting that the case be re-opened. By doing this, McDermott aided in the case of his mother’s death being solved. Superintendent Michael Gugliotti, Detective Richard Baxter and Lieutenant Gary Pelosi from the Waterbury Police Department were on the case and Daily Mail reported in 2012 that:
By re-interviewing protected informants and reviewing press clips, Gugliotti and his co-workers began to unravel the mystery and deduced that Sponza had murdered Ms McDermott. And, shockingly, they discovered that police covered up Sponza’s involvement in the crime and ruled the death accidental … Sources hinted that Sponza had valuable connections. His father was a jailer in New Haven and repeatedly got his son out of trouble. Another source labelled Sponza as a police informant. Initially, the gangster told police that he’d been cleaning a .32 calibre pistol in the kitchen while Ms McDermott was preparing supper. He then told the lead investigator, chief inspector Henry Byrnes, that Diane McDermott had committed suicide by taking the gun into the pantry with her. Although the wound was to the left-hand side of the back of her head and Ms McDermott was right-handed so such a death would have been impossible.
4. Actress Shiva Rose Is his Ex-Wife
Shiva Rose is the ex-wife of Dylan McDermott, an Iranian-American actress, activist, and blogger. The two were married from 1995 until 2009 and have two daughters, Colette and Charlotte. On September 27, 2007, People magazine confirmed that Rose and McDermott had separated. About eight months later, McDermott filed for divorce on May 21, 2008. Without either using lawyers, the two split amicably with joint custody of their kids.
5. Playwright Eve Ensler Adopted McDermott When She Was 23 and He Was 15 Years Old
Dylan McDermott was born Mark Anthony McDermott. His father’s third wife was playwright Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues, which prominently featured the birth on one of McDermott’s two daughters, Colette. Ensler actually adopted McDermott when he was 15 and she was 23 years old. Ensler and McDermott’s father are no longer together, but she has remained close with her adopted son nonetheless. She was actually the one who encouraged McDermott to pursue an acting career, and wrote roles for him into her plays. When Ensler suffered a miscarriage, McDermott took on the name Dylan, which was the name planned for her unborn child.