No one could have imagined any reason to root for a serial murderer until Michael C. Hall played one with an unprecedented heroic charm on one of the most killer original series from Showtime. Of course, even bloodthirsty sociopaths are nothing without the company they keep and rest of the stellar cast members from Dexter were definitely worth keep around, even if not all their characters managed to survive.
Developed by former The Sopranos writer James Manos Jr., Dexter is based on a series of novels told from the point of view of a forensic analyst who spends his spare time using his homicidal tendencies as a force for good, butchering the worst criminals imaginable. The dark drama, which lasted eight seasons from 2006 to 2013, sees Dexter struggle to keep his second life as one of Miami’s most prolific killers a secret from his family, his colleagues in law enforcement, and the despicable personalities he targets (until they become his prey, that is).
Whether or not you particularly enjoyed the controversial series finale, it is hard to deny that the show was home to some criminally good performances throughout. So, where has the Dexter cast of lent its talents to since? Find out here in this career update of the following 11 actors behind some of the most memorable roles on Dexter.
Michael C. Hall (Dexter Morgan)
Following up his Emmy-nominated role on Six Feet Under, Michael C. Hall landed the title role of Dexter, for which he won a Golden Globe in 2010, and seems to have been active to outgrow the character ever since. His first big acting effort after the seres' end was as the lead of the 2014 Broadway run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and followed by notable big screen appearances, like Game Night, and a few projects for Netflix, namely the feature-length In the Shadow of the Moon and miniseries Safe.
His next big TV role is post-World War II crime drama Shadowplay and, in an intriguing role reversal, he will play victim in the thriller John and the Hole, which has no set theatrical release yet.
Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan)
Best known for playing this Miami homicide detective, Jennifer Carpenter also had a real relationship with Michael C. Hall that ended in amicable divorce while playing adoptive siblings (even though Debra's admission to having romantic feelings for Dexter made it not such a stretch after all). Outside frequent collaborations with Brawl in Cell Block 99 director S. Craig Zahler, the 40-year-old actress' best known work since Dexter has also been on the small screen, such as upgrading to the FBI for Limitless on CBS and downgrading to a traitorous former CIA agent on NBC's short-lived The Enemy Within. She more recently lent her voice to an animated Mortal Kombat movie her upcoming drama A Mouthful of Air is expected for 2021.
James Remar (Harry Morgan)
Playing one of the more unusual characters in the series was James Remar as Harry Morgan, a detective who inspired his adoptive son, Dexter, to use his homicidal tendencies for good at a young age before becoming his "conscience" of sorts after death. The 66-year-old veteran actor has continued turn in stellar performances of a wonderful variety, including voicing Tonraq on The Legend of Korra, a cast member from Bounty Law in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, and an ally to the titular hero of Arrow spin-off Black Lightning.
David Zayas (Angel Batista)
Quickly after retiring his role as detective turned lieutenant Angel Batista on Dexter, David Zayas did a 180 as Sal Maroni, one of the Batman's most notorious mob enemies, on Fox's Gotham. However, the Puerto Rican actor would go back to playing good guys more frequently not long after, such as on the Netflix original crime drama Bloodline and in a few of the several gigs he has lined up, including Eli Moran, in which he plays a coach and mentor to a young basketball prodigy.
Julie Benz (Rita Bennett)
The series would also became a romantic tragedy thanks to Julie Benz, whose stint as the Dexter's wife, and the mother of his child, Rita, ended with her character's murder in Season 4. Ironically, one of her first notable post-Dexter roles was as Patrick Wilson's dead wife in medical drama A Gifted Man, followed by playing mayor to a post-apocalyptic society in the Syfy original series Defiance, a police inspector in Hawaii Five-0, and other TV roles that were, indeed, "defiant" to her past efforts. Benz most recently returned to Showtime in a recurring role opposite Kirsten Dunst on the '90s-set comedy On Becoming a God in Central Florida.
C.S. Lee (Vince Masuka)
The sex-obsessed Vince Masuka, played by South Korean-born C.S. Lee, was also one of the greatest threats to Dexer's secret life, being the very accomplished and very clever lead forensic investigator at Miami Metro. He would play a similarly threatening (but far more difficult to get along with) version of that character on Chuck, who leans a bit more in the opposite direction of the adulterous recovering alcoholic he played on Season 4 of Chicago Med. Also known for playing a state attorney in Season 2 of True Detective, Lee's most likable role to date may also be his most recent performance as a priest in the Netflix original coming-of-age drama All Together Now, which also stars Moana's Auli'i Cravalho.
Luna Lauren Velez (Maria LaGuerta)
Speaking of unlikable people, Maria LaGuerta's job may be upholding the law, but her true role is one of Dexter's main antagonists - a persona that actress Luna Lauren Velez would, thankfully, not have to repeat for her recurring spot on How to Get Away with Murder or in the Academy Award-winning animated comic book movie masterpiece Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in which she voiced the role of Miles Morales' mother, Rio. In addition to landing a role in 2018's The First Purge, Velez returned to playing a cop in the pilot for a reboot of the '90s crime drama New York Undercover, which has yet to be picked up, and also plays a police captain in the upcoming TV movie Murder opposite Michael Chiklis.
Desmond Harrington (Joey Quinn)
Prior to and since playing Detective Joseph Quinn, Desmond Harrington has led a career of great variety, especially on the small screen, which has seen him reunite with several of his Dexter co-stars - including Jennifer Carpenter on Limitless and C.S. Lee on Sneaky Pete. More recently, the star of Nicolas Winding Refn's 2016 thriller The Neon Demon played FBI Head Louis Freeh on the second season of Manhunt, a retelling of the same story that inspired Clint Eastwood's Richard Jewell, and will play prolific novelist Jack Kerouac in the John Kennedy Toole biopic Butterfly in the Typewriter, which is currently in pre-production.
Erik King (James Doakes)
While certainly not a bad guy, Sgt. James Doakes (portrayed unforgettably by Erik King) could be appropriately referred to as an enemy to Dexter Morgan and was even the first character on the series to identify him as The Bay Harbor Butcher. The actor would take on a whole different profession in his recurring role on the fourth season of brutal Cinemax crime drama Banshee and would pull another 180 playing a church pastor on yet another crime thriller, the 50 Cent-produced Crackle original The Oath, which also stars Sean Bean. He also appeared in the 2018 music drama Vox Lux, opposite Natalie Portman, and more recently scored a recurring role on CBS All Access exclusive The Good Wife spin-off, The Good Fight.
Yvonne Strahovski (Hannah McKay)
Also known for pulling a few 180's in her day is Yvonne Strahovski, best known as secret agent Sarah Walker on Chuck and the voice of Miranda Lawson in the Mass Effect games before joining the cast of Dexter in Season 7 as Hannah McKay, a fellow sociopathic murderer whom Dexter falls for. The Australian model and actress would go on to play a cult escapee in the Netflix original miniseries Stateless following her Emmy-nominated turn as Serena Joy Waterford in The Handmaid's Tale. She will next join Chris Pratt and Betty Gilpin in the futuristic combat thriller The Tomorrow War, which is expected to release in 2021.
John Lithgow (Arthur Mitchell)
Those who might have doubted that John Lithgow could give an Emmy-winning performance as the Trinity Killer on Dexter must have forgotten about his sinister roles in Cliffhanger and Raising Cain. With the exception of his charming role as struggling attorney Elias Jonathan on HBO's revamp of Perry Mason, the former Third Rock from the Sun star has been leaning into that sinister side much more frequently, from helping a desperate father raise hell in the 2019 Pet Sematary remake to playing disgraced former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in Bombshell. Lithgow is continuing that streak with the upcoming FX crime miniseries The Old Man.
What do you think? Have we covered all of your favorites actors from Dexter, or did you want to hear more about Jadon Wells (who played Dexter’s son Harrison Morgan in Season 8) and the CrossFit videos he is known for these days? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional news related to the hit crime drama, as well as even more updates on the cast members from your favorite movies and TV shows, here on CinemaBlend.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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