Military Wiki
Goran Višnjić
Visnjic at Rome Film Festival in 2014
Visnjic at Rome Film Festival in 2014
Born 9 September 1972(1972-09-09) (age 50)
Šibenik, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia (now Croatia)
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Croatian
  • American (since 2013)[1]
Alma mater Academy of Dramatic Art
Occupation Actor
Years active 1988–present
Spouse(s) Eva Visnjic (m. 1999)
Children 4

Goran Višnjić (/ˈvɪʃnjɪ/ VISH-nyitch; Croatian pronunciation: [ɡoran ʋiʃɲitɕ]; born September 9, 1972) is a Croatian–American actor who has appeared in American and British films and television productions. He is best known in the United States for his roles as Dr. Luka Kovač on the NBC television series ER and Garcia Flynn on Timeless. For ER, he and his cast were nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He is the son-in-law of Croatian film director and former head of Croatian Radiotelevision (1991–95), Antun Vrdoljak.[2] He moved to the United States in the late 1990s.[3]

Early life

Višnjić was born in Šibenik. He has one sibling, an elder brother, Joško. His father, Željko, was a bus driver, and his mother, Milka, worked in a market.[4] He appeared in plays throughout his childhood and made his screen debut at age 16 in the controversial Yugoslav film, Braća po materi (1988), playing a young Ustaša.

In 1990, at the age of 18, Višnjić was drafted to serve his one-year military obligation in the Yugoslavian army, and volunteered as a paratrooper. Only weeks after his military discharge in 1991, as Yugoslavia began to dissolve, he joined the nascent Croatian Ground Army. After leaving the army, he moved to Zagreb to study at the Academy of Dramatic Art.[5][6]


Višnjić was the youngest actor to be chosen for the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Dubrovnik Summer Theatre Festival. Originally cast as Laertes and understudy to Hamlet, he took over the role when the star dropped out of the production shortly before the first performance. He portrayed the doomed prince from 1994 to 2000, winning several Orlando Awards (the equivalent of the Tony Award).[7] During an episode of ER, he demonstrated his expertise in the part of Hamlet, by reciting an excerpt from the "To be or not to be" soliloquy in Croatian.[8][9]

Višnjić in 2012

Prior to ER, he found work in local TV productions and landed a Tuborg beer commercial that aired in Europe.[10] Višnjić also had small speaking roles in films such as The Peacemaker, Committed and Practical Magic. In 1998, he appeared in Madonna's music video "The Power of Goodbye", and had a cameo in the movie Rounders. It was his role as Risto, the Bosnian driver in Welcome to Sarajevo that led then-producer Jack Orman to offer him a role as a doctor to replace the departing George Clooney in the sixth season of ER in late 1999, eventually becoming the show's male lead by the start of season 12, having taken over from the departing star Noah Wyle, who left after the finale of Season 11. By season 14, however, he was only making a limited number of appearances, before completely leaving the show early in season 15 (15x03: "The Book of Abby").[11]

While starring on ER, Višnjić worked on other projects. He starred in the British film Close Your Eyes (2002), alongside Shirley Henderson and Miranda Otto. He co-starred in The Deep End; voiced Soto in Ice Age, and starred in Posljednja volja and Close Your Eyes. In 2004, he starred in the television miniseries Spartacus and the Croatian movie and television series Duga mračna noć. He appeared with Jennifer Garner in Elektra (2005). In 2005, Višnjić was one of four finalists for the role of James Bond, eventually losing out to British actor Daniel Craig, with whom he would appear in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.[11]

In 2008, Višnjić starred in the film Helen, alongside Ashley Judd[12] as Judd's character's husband David in the drama, which made its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.[13] He appeared alongside Carla Gugino in a segment of the 2009 film New York, I Love You, an anthology set in New York. Višnjić's segment was directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev.[14] The segment was cut from the theatrical release of the film[15] but was included in the DVD version.

Višnjić appeared in the historical drama The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, about a young Polish woman who saved the lives of many Jewish children in wartime Warsaw, filmed in Riga, Latvia. It was produced for Hallmark Hall of Fame and aired on CBS on April 19, 2009.[16] He completed a role in Mike Mills' independent film, Beginners.[17] In late 2009, he was cast as "Samson" in the miniseries The Deep, shown on BBC One in 2010.[18]

He appeared as Andrija Hebrang in the historical drama Tito on Croatian television. He later appeared in the unsold 2010 pilot of ABC's Boston's Finest, playing a disgraced cop who works with a female officer to solve crimes while trying to clear his name.[19] He recently appeared in the two-episode season three finale of the television series Leverage, as international crime financier Damien Moreau, his first guest appearance on an English-language television program.[11] In 2011, he played Dragan Armansky, the head of a security agency, in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and he has signed on to play this role for the entire film trilogy produced and distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment.[20] He was featured on a four-episode arc of the American television series Pan Am; he played a Yugoslavian attaché to the United Nations.[11]

In 2014, Goran played John Woods, the husband of Molly Woods, in Extant, produced by Steven Spielberg. Although the series was renewed in late 2014, Višnjić left the series early in the second season.[21][22][23]

From 2016 to 2018, he played former NSA asset Garcia Flynn in NBC's time travel television series Timeless,.[24][25][26]

He played Nikola Tesla in the twelfth series of Doctor Who, appearing in the fourth episode, Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror, first broadcast on January 19, 2020.


Višnjić was named People magazine's Sexiest Import in 1999 and "One of TV's Sexiest Men" in the June 5–11, 2005 TV Guide. He was ranked #18 in Croatian-based monthly film magazine Hollywood in Best Croatian Male Movie Stars of All Time list in November 2005. He was also named as the Best Croatian actor in 2004 according to the votes of the visitors of internet magazines, for his role in the movie Duga mračna noć, according to the votes of Croatian newspaper Večernji list.[27]

Personal life

Višnjić in 2012

Višnjić has been active in the American and European animal rights movements, and appeared in photographs alongside his dog Bugsy in PETA's first Eastern European anti-fur campaign.[28] He is currently a representative for both the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Animal Friends Croatia, as well as providing assistance to a number of small animal-rescue organizations in California.[29] He has supported a number of medical institutions in Croatia through the donation of money and equipment. In 2008 he appeared on the nationally broadcast American benefit program Stand Up to Cancer.[30][31][32] He served as one of the faces of ER on NBC's long-running The More You Know campaign, appearing in public service announcements discussing topics such as family time and tolerance.[33]

His wife, Eva (born Ivana Vrdoljak), is an artist and sculptor, and the daughter of film director Antun Vrdoljak, who controversially headed Croatian Radiotelevision from 1991 to 1995. The couple have two adopted children and one biological child.[34][35] They reside in Los Angeles, California and also have a home on the Croatian island of Hvar. Višnjić acknowledged paternity of a daughter, Lana Lourdes Rupić, whom he fathered in 2006, from an affair with a Croatian woman, Mirela Rupić.[36]

In his spare time, Višnjić enjoys swimming, diving and fencing.[37] In September 2015, Goran and his wife announced that they had sold their home in Los Angeles for a sum of about $5 million.[38] He supported HDZ candidate Mato Franković for Mayor of Dubrovnik in the 2017 elections.[39]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Braća po materi Ustaša
1993 Paranoja Short film
1995 See You Maks
1997 Puška za uspavljivanje Devetka – '9'
Welcome to Sarajevo Risto Bavić
The Peacemaker Bazta Sergeant
1998 Rounders Maurice
Practical Magic Jimmy Angelov
2000 Committed Neil
2001 The Deep End Alek 'Al' Spera
The Last Will Bepo Stambuk
2002 Ice Age Soto (voice)
Close Your Eyes Michael Strother
2004 Long Dark Night Ivan 'Iva' Kolar
2005 Elektra Mark Miller
2009 New York, I Love You Man
Helen David Leonard
2011 Beginners Andy
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Dragan Armansky
2012 Execution Style The Chemist
Dark Hearts Armand
K-11 Raymond Saxx Jr.
2013 95 Decibels Dr. Corry Short film
The Counselor[40] Michael
2014 Asthma Ragen
The Journey Home Muktuk
2017 Never Here S
The Tribes of Palos Verdes Joe
2019 General Ante Gotovina


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Michele va alla guerra Soldier
1995 Night Watch U.N. Security Officer Television film
1998 Teško je reći zbogom Davor
1999–2009 ER Dr. Luka Kovač
2003 American Masters: Robert Capa: In Love and War Robert Capa Voice role
2004 Spartacus Spartacus
2005 Duga mračna noć Ivan Kolar
2006 Naša mala klinika Man on the telephone Episode: "Bijeli miševi"
2009 The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Stefan Zgrzembski
2010 Boston's Finest Angus Martin Unsold pilot
Tito Andrija Hebrang
The Deep Samson Mini-series
Leverage Damien Moreau 2 episodes
2011–2012 Pan Am Niko Lonza 4 episodes
2013 Red Widow Nicholae Schiller
2014 Extant John Woods Main, season 1; Recurring, season 2
2015 Crossing Lines Marco Constante Main, season 3
2016–2018 Timeless Garcia Flynn Series regular
2019 Santa Clarita Diet Dobrivoje Poplovic 4 episodes[41]
Dollface Dr. Colin Brooks Recurring
2020 Doctor Who Nikola Tesla Series 12; guest[42]
The Boys Alistair Adana Recurring season 2

Music videos

Year Artist Title Notes
1998 Tony Cetinski "Život" ("Life") Croatian music video
1998 Madonna "The Power of Goodbye" Višnjić makes an appearance
2007 Unkle "Burn My Shadow" Appears in the accompanying "making of" video released with the music video[43]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film/TV Show Result
1997 Orlando Award Best Drama Achievement Won
2000 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series ER Nominated
2001 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series ER Nominated
2002 Golden Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama The Deep End Nominated
2004 Pula Film Festival Best Actor Long Dark Night Won
Paris Film Festival Award Best Actor Doctor Sleep Won
2011 Gotham Award Best Ensemble Cast Beginners Won


  1. "Croatia's Most Famous Hollywood Export Gets U.S Citizenship". Croatia Week. April 30, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  2. "Goran Visnjic Profile - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  3. Allen, Ted. "Who Is Goran Visnjic and What Does He Want?", Esquire Magazine, March 2001.
  4. "Goran Visnjic - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  5. Višnjić profile,, December 17, 2000; accessed May 26, 2015.
  6. Allen, Ted. "Who Is Goran Visnjic and What Does He Want?"], Esquire Magazine, March 2001.
  7. "Goran Visnjic biography and filmography - Goran Visnjic Movies". Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  8. "Goran Visnjic- Croatian Hamlet". YouTube. Retrieved March 11, 2016. [dead link]
  9. "ER: Secrets and Lies Episode Trivia". Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  10. "Goran Visnjic Biography -". StarPulse.,_Goran/Biography/. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Goran Višnjić at the Internet Movie Database
  12. Dawtrey, Adam (September 28, 2007). "BBC celebrates Fry's birthday". Variety. 
  13. "Sundance Festival 2009". Archived from the original on March 21, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  14. Perry, Byron (April 27, 2008). "Carla Gugino, Goran Visnjic". Variety. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  15. "Scarlett Suffers Direct Blow". New York Post. May 2, 2009. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  16. "Culture". Retrieved January 21, 2013. 
  17. McNary, Dave (November 8, 2009). "Visnjic added to 'Beginners' cast". Variety. 
  18. BBC Press Office (December 17, 2009). "James Nesbitt, Minnie Driver and Goran Visnjic star in new BBC One drama serial, The Deep",; retrieved December 17, 2009.
  19. "Goran Visnjic among latest pilot castings". The Hollywood Reporter. October 13, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  20. "Interstitial". August 23, 2010. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  21. "'ER' Star Cast as Halle Berry's Husband in CBS' 'Extant'". The Hollywood reporter. January 29, 2014. 
  22. "They're still Extant! Halle Berry celebrates series renewal as she gives co-star Goran Visnjic a sweet hug after lunch". Daily Mail Online. October 10, 2014. 
  23. "'Extant' Season 2 Spoilers: Goran Visnjic Leaves Series, But Will Make an Appearance at Start of Upcoming Season". Latin Post. June 2, 2015. 
  24. "Goran Visnjic Joins NBC's Time Travel Drama Pilot as the Big Bad". TV Line. March 8, 2016. 
  25. "NBC's ‘Time’ Travel Pilot from Eric Kripke, Shawn Ryan Casts Goran Visnjic". Spinoff Online. March 8, 2016. 
  26. "Goran Visnjic To Co-Star In NBC’s ‘Time’ Travel Pilot From Eric Kripke & Shawn Ryan". Deadline. March 8, 2016. 
  27. Basara, Emina (February 18, 2005). "Trinaest veličanstvenih!" (in Croatian). Večernji list. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  28. "ER Doc Goran Visnjic Goes to the Dogs in Anti-Fur Ad". Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  29. "Goran Visnjic". Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  30. "Stand Up To Cancer - "Just Stand Up" Star-Studded Charitable Single Sets Pace For SU2C Fundraising Campaign"". Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  31. "Goran Visnjic Photos - Stand Up to Cancer - Arrivals - Zimbio". Zimbio. September 5, 2008. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  32. "Stand Up to Cancer - Arrivals/Getty Images". Getty Images. September 5, 2008. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  33. "NBC's 'The More You Know' Launches Its 16th Season of Public Service Announcements with New Theme and New Look". The Futon Critic. November 15, 2004. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  34. "Vigo Leo Visnjic". July 30, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  35. "Vivien Sofia Visnjic". November 7, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  36. "'ER' Star Admits Paternity of Croatian Baby Girl". BuddyTV. November 28, 2007. Retrieved June 10, 2010. 
  37. "Goran Visnjic Biography". BuddyTV. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  38. "Goran Visnjic Lists Mediterranean Villa Above Sunset Strip". Variety. September 16, 2015. 
  39. "Višnjić snimio video u kojem podržava HDZ-ovog kandidata za gradonačelnika Dubrovnika". Večernji list. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
  40. "Goran Visnjic Joins 'The Counselor'". Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  41. "Santa Clarita Diet Full Cast & Crew". Retrieved April 4, 2019. 
  42. Boucher, Geoff (22 November 2019). "‘Doctor Who’: Goran Višnjić, Robert Glenister To Join Stephen Fry As Guest Stars In Upcoming Season". Retrieved November 23, 2019. 
  43. Kabi (February 26, 2004). "Unkle – War Stories". Retrieved November 6, 2011. 

External links

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