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Why Wayne Bisbee From Blue Miracle Looks So Familiar

Netflix's feel-good family film "Blue Miracle," about a man in Mexico who tries to save an orphanage by winning a fishing competition, has some bona fide star power with cast members like Dennis Quaid as marlin fisherman Captain Wade Malloy and Jimmy Gonzales ("Godzilla: King of the Monsters") as orphanage supervisor Omar Venegas. But if you're wondering where you saw the guy who plays local businessman and founder of the Black & Blue fishing tournament Wayne Bisbee before, you've come to the right place. 

Wayne is played by actor Bruce McGill, an entertainment industry veteran whose on-screen credits go all the way back to the late 1970s, although he started out as a theater actor. That means you've probably had multiple chances to have seen him in something familiar. He's had high-caliber guest-starring and recurring roles in television shows from "American Playhouse" and "Quantum Leap" to "The Good Wife." "NCIS," and Blue Bloods." His movie roles as a prominent supporting actor have included "Shallow Hal," "The Sum of All Fears," "Cinderella Man," "Matchstick Men," "The Legend of Bagger Vance," "Timecop," "Elizabethtown," and "Deep Core." In fact, we're hard-pressed over here to limit this list, because he's been in so many productions you might know. Here are just a few of the major roles he's had over the past few decades.

One of his very first roles was in National Lampoon's Animal House

It's been decades, but McGill's most recognizable role may still be from the 1978 movie "National Lampoon's Animal House," which was a film that cost $2.1 million to make yet grossed $141.6 million, according to the New York Times. The movie featured John Belushi as its breakout star and had a cast that included Kevin Bacon (in his debut role), Tim Matheson, and Donald Sutherland as well. It followed some rowdy frat brothers on their adventures in a raunchy comedy that would come to define the on-screen college experience for many. 

McGill, who said he was in an unemployment office when he read the script, said that the film "taps into that time when your body is grown but you've not yet reached maturity. It wasn't just a Universal picture — it was a universal picture." He played the character Daniel Simpson "D-Day" Day — which was originally a role written for Dan Akroyd — famously performing "The William Tell Overture" on his windpipe during one scene. Behind the camera, McGill's hotel room was apparently the location of all the parties the cast had.

In 1979, McGill reprised the role in a short-lived sitcom that paid him well but was too expensive to shoot. "I didn't earn any money on 'Animal House,' and I felt very strongly that, while somebody wrote D-Day, I invented him visually and physically, and I didn't want to pass that on to anybody, because I really liked him. I really liked the character, and I liked the world that he was in, and ... it was time. It was time to make a little money," the actor told The A.V. Club.

He played Sheriff Dean Farley in My Cousin Vinny

Here's a movie everyone knows, which means you may very well have seen McGill in this film. "My Cousin Vinny" from 1992 starred Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Mitchell Whitfield, and Fred Gwynne in a film about an inexperienced lawyer who takes on a robbery/murder case for his college-aged cousin. McGill's role wasn't huge in this film, but it was important — the sheriff ends up being the witness whose testimony exonerates the protagonists, causing the judge to dismiss all charges in dramatic Hollywood fashion.

While McGill credits his getting the role to then-casting assistant David Rubin, he told The A.V. Club that Pesci himself gave him the rubber stamp for the role. "The first thing Joe Pesci said — and I knew Joe from New York, and I see Joe a lot out here on the golf course — and in a very 'Godfather'-ly manner, 'Yeah, y'know, I approved you for that role.' I said, "Oh, thank you, Godfather, thank you!" I'm sure he did, and I'm glad he did," the actor said.

He played Stanford 'Stan' Marks in Legally Blonde 2

If you recall the sequel to "Legally Blonde" from 2003, called "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde," you know that Reese Witherspoon's Elle Woods moved to Washington, D.C. after discovering that her pup Bruiser's mom is owned by cosmetics company C'est Magnifique. To stop testing on animals, she starts working for congresswoman Victoria Rudd (Sally Field). But she needs allies within the Capitol building to assist in her effort to pass Bruiser's bill, and that's where Alabama Rep. Stan Marks, played by McGill, comes in — if she can change his mind. Once the two discover that their male dogs are enamored with one another, Marks realizes that he loves his Rottweiler Leslie no matter his sexual orientation. 

"I treated it in my playing of the scenes about that, as if I had to come and tell my conservative constituency that my son is gay," McGill said in a making-of video, which was originally part of the DVD release and was posted to Video Archive's YouTube page. "I didn't differentiate in the emotional impact that I felt or the need I felt — my character felt, anyway — to present this to the public, but you know, it's a dog. It's pretty funny."

He played Vince Korsak in Rizzoli & Isles

The 2010-2016 TNT TV series "Rizzoli & Isles" featured Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander in the titular roles of a crime drama inspired by novels from Tess Gerritsen. McGill's character Vince Korsak is Jane Rizzoli's (Harmon) former partner, who seems to treat her like a daughter. McGill's animal-loving detective character was a regular on the show, eventually becoming a lieutenant in the fifth season and then, near the end of the series, buying a local bar. He's been divorced multiple times, but his character eventually married and retired in the final episode of the series, "Ocean—Frank."

McGill has said he has stayed away from regular television gigs in the past, but this series came along at "the proper time in my life," and with 15 episodes a season instead of the usual 22 for American shows, the amount of downtime was also perfect. He told A.V. Club, "It appealed to me for a lot of reasons. And the writing was sharp ... It's a great little world to swim in, and I'm really enjoying having a television show."

He got to show off his singing skills during the course of the series, and even got to make a small nod to his previous career. In the first season of "Rizzoli & Isles," someone asks his character where he went to school, and he says, "I didn't. I just watched 'Animal House' a few times."