John Allen Nelson
Strawberry-haired and impishly handsome, John Allen Nelson is a prolific television actor who was positioned as a suave, roguish type in several ambitious but thoroughly low-budget movie efforts during the 1980s and early '90s. He broke out on the TV scene with a regular role on the sunny, California-set soap "Santa Barbara," playing the callow womanizer Warren Lockridge throughout the show's first few years. Upon seeing his swinging approach, film producers envisioned him as a comically adept heartthrob and cast him in several late-'80s larks, including the nerd-to-stud transformation farce "Hunk," the campy cult horror-comedy "Killer Klowns from Outer Space," and the sword-and-sorcery adventure movie "Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell." He never quite caught on in that capacity, but he soon found a well-suited, rejuvenating role on the iconic beach-patrol melodrama "Baywatch." While playing a lifeguard who eventually exited the show due to incipient and irreversible blindness, he momentarily branched off into a side role writing and producing steamy action dramas like 1995's "Criminal Passion." By the beginning of the 2000s, however, he had returned almost exclusively to television acting. Avid sitcom fans might recognize him best from his appearance as the deceptively debonair Paul "The Wine Guy" on the pilot episode of the quintessential 30-something comedy "Friends," but some of the highest praise of his career came for his role as the ruthless White House Chief of Staff Walt Cummings on the action-packed series "24."