Date of Birth 27 May 1955, Bethesda, Maryland, USA Height 5' 10" (1.78 m) Richard Schiff is an American actor, best known for playing Toby Ziegler on the NBC television drama The West Wing, a role for which he has won an Emmy Award. Schiff also made his directorial debut with The West Wing, directing an episode entitled "Talking Points." Richard Schiff is the middle of three sons born to a real estate lawyer and a cable TV and publishing executive. His parents divorced when he was twelve. He dropped out of high school, but obtained an equivalency diploma. He studied briefly at The City College of New York (CCNY) in 1973, but had no interest. After not bothering to show up for finals, he headed to Colorado where he cut firewood and lived a life typical of a young person in the free society of the 70s. He returned to New York in 1975 and started studying acting at CCNY and was eventually accepted into their theater program. He initially disliked acting and studied to be a director. He directed several off-Broadway plays, including "Antigone" with a then just-graduated Angela Bassett in 1983. He met present wife, Sheila Kelley, during auditions for this play. The two married many years later – in 1996. In the mid-1980s, Schiff says he conquered his fears and decided to take a stab at acting. He got several TV roles, and was seen by Steven Spielberg in an episode of the TV drama High Incident. Spielberg then cast him in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and his career has been on an upward climb ever since that has led to his co-starring role in The West Wing. Schiff played a doctor alongside Eddie Murphy in the 1998 "Dr. Dolittle" remake. In 1998, Schiff played Col./Brig. Gen. Robert Laurel Smith in the HBO TV movie "The Pentagon Wars," based on the real-life development of the US Army's Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Schiff was also in the 1998 movie blockbuster Deep Impact, in which he played Don Beiderman. In 2004, Schiff appeared in Ray as famed musician Ray Charles's producer, Jerry Wexler. In this movie, he shaves off his trademark beard. After starring on The West Wing since 1999, Schiff chose to leave the series in its seventh season (2005–2006), and was contracted to appear in half of the season's episodes. However, with NBC choosing to end the series, Schiff continued to appear until the end of the show's run in May 2006, though he did not appear in the series finale. Schiff had a memorable cameo in the second season finale of Entourage where he played himself. In the scene, Schiff is at lunch with his agent Ari Gold, and declares his desire to act in action movies. In early 2006, Schiff returned to his stage roots, starring in the premiere run of Underneath the Lintel, a one-act, single-character play by Glen Berger, at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In February 2007, he appears in West End production of Underneath the Lintel in the Duchess Theatre in London, England, and also appeared on BBC Radio Five Live and talked at length to Simon Mayo about his experience of acting in the West Wing and his new West End production.