Jake O’Neill Robards is the youngest son of two-time Oscar-winning actor Jason Robards and producer Lois (O’Connor) Robards and the grandson of silent film actor, Jason Robards, Sr.
Jake was raised in Connecticut, far from Hollywood but close to New York’s Broadway, where during Sunday matinees he would watch from the wings as his father performed revivals of The Iceman Cometh, You Can’t Take it with You, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
In college, Robards had his sights set on law school and a future in government, but during his senior year at Georgetown University, his French professor required students to act out parts in Molière’s The School for Wives. Perhaps it was inevitable with his upbringing, but it was at that moment that Robards fell in love with acting.
After graduation, Robards, like his father, briefly attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. He soon focused on New York independent theater playing a wide range of roles: an Australian drug smuggler in Beautiful Souls, a soldier suffering from PTSD in At War and Home Front, a suicidal loner in The Chekhov Dreams, young Adolf Hitler in 5 O’Clock, and most recently starring as a charming but flawed politician in the Off-Broadway political drama, Promising, which is currently being developed into a film.
Robards performed on Broadway with Paul Newman and Jane Curtin in Our Town, which was also filmed for Showtime. Other film & television credits include an assistant ME on “Law & Order SVU,” lead roles in the unsung independent features Alto and Honeysuckle, and roles in Lucky Them and Somebody’s Hero.
In late 2016 he moved to Los Angeles to focus more on film and television and immediately booked a recurring role on Showtime’s Billions playing Hedge Fund Manager Michael Arendt. He is in the pilot episode of Ryan Murphy’s Feud playing alongside Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange. He guest stars this season on ABC’s “Quantico” alongside Priyanka Chopra and Blair Underwood.
Robards’ love of theater extends to his duties as a board member of Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut. His other charity work includes his avid support of NextStep Fitness — a non-profit which provides workout facilities for people living with paralysis. To help them raise over $100,000, last fall Robards cycled from Denver to Los Angeles on the Snow2Sand ride.
Robards was married in 2006 to Rachel Bell. They have one son, Jake Jr.