Thomas O’Rourke was a war baby, born in New York City in Greenwich Village. He was raised in Indiana,until his parents divorced and he returned to New York City’s Upper Westside to live with his grandparents. He was ambitious and hardworking even at this young age. To help out with expenses, he bought a bike and delivered newspapers and laundry to the large, fancy apartments on Central Park West and Park Avenue. He always dreamed of someday living on Central Park West, and he was later able to achieve that dream, when he worked on a soap opera.
He joined the Army at age eighteen and became a Paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. He served in Germany in the Military Police. While in the Army, he hitchhiked all over Europe. Running out of money in Italy, he sold his American jeans on the Spanish Steps for an outrageous sum, and went back to Germany in style.
After the Army, he had many different jobs as he tried to figure out what to do with his life. But once he attended a performance of live theater, he knew exactly where he belonged.
He got a scholarship to Goodman Theater School, then a part of the University of Chicago. And before he even graduated, he was cast in David Merrick’s “Promises, Promises”, got his Equity card and was on his way as an actor.
He ended his tour in New York City. Here he did many commercials, more theater, met and married Marcy Casterline, a model with Eileen Ford, got cast on “The Guiding Light”, and made many wonderful friends.
After leaving the world of soap opera, Tom and his wife moved to Los Angeles, where his only son, Preston, was born on March 18, 1987. Here, also, he was lucky enough to work with many wonderful and talented people, and to call some of them friends.
Tom did many serious roles, but his wit and sense of humor were also widely appreciated. – IMDb Mini Biography By: Marcy Casterline O’Rourke
Tom’s amazing journey in life from paratrooper to successful actor on TV and in film is now available in easy to read format on Kindle, “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” “The Blue Flame”
He has played well-heeled defense attorney Peter Behrens on episodes of Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Trial by Jury. He also has a recurring role as Judge Mark Seligman on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, making him one of only a handful of actors to have appeared on all four Law & Order series. He played the same character (Peter Behrens) on three different series: Law & Order (1990), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001) and Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005).