Michael O'Neill is an American actor who portrayed Nick Ford in Bates Motel.
O'Neill was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. He attended Capitol Heights Junior High and Robert E. Lee High School, graduating in 1969. In high school he played basketball and was elected class beau and a class favorite. He graduated from Auburn University in 1974. After attending Auburn, he spent time under the tutelage of actor Will Geer and one of Geer's daughters, the actress Ellen Geer, at Theatricum Botanicum in Los Angeles before moving to New York to pursue his career there.
With a career stretching through three decades, he usually portrays senior law enforcement or military officers. He played Special Agent Ron Butterfield, the head of President Josiah Bartlet's Secret Service detail, on The West Wing, and CTU Administrative Director Richard Walsh in the first two episodes of 24. He played Sgt. Maj. Ron Cheals in CBS' action drama series The Unit. He starred in the Season 6 two-part finale of Grey's Anatomy as the broken widower who holds the hospital hostage with a 9mm while pursuing the doctors responsible for unplugging his wife. His most notable film performances occur in Seabiscuit, Secondhand Lions, Transformers, Dancer, Texas Pop. 81, Traffic, Sea of Love, A Quiet Little Marriage, Nothing but the Truth, Green Zone, J. Edgar, directed by Clint Eastwood, and Dallas Buyers Club.