With his barrel chest and oversized frame, British-born actor Dominic Purcell seemed almost tailor-made for a career as a character player. He remained in that sphere temporarily, but traveled a step beyond it in terms of complexity, playing not just one type time and again, but a broad array -- ranging from everyman heroes and monsters to occasional toughs. Consequently, Purcell shot rather quickly to top billing. After a scant few supporting turns, Purcell's first major starring role arrived with his lead portrayal in the series [[Feature~V274379~John Doe~johndoe[tvseries]]] (2002), a kind of cross between Coronet Blue and [[Feature~V262376~The Bourne Identity~thebourneidentity]] about a supremely intelligent fellow with knowledge about everything in the world except for his own identity. Unfortunately, that program only lasted a single season.
In 2004, Purcell signed for another lead, this one in [[Performer~P240251~Scott Ziehl~scottziehl]]'s post-noir crime thriller [[Feature~V305986~3-Way~3way]] -- as a rather shady widower who blackmails a couple of would-be kidnappers into cutting him into their plan. Yet that series also folded almost instantaneously. The next year, the actor finally found a lasting role on the hit Fox drama [[Feature~V334986~Prison Break~prisonbreak[tvseries]]], playing Lincoln Burrows, an incarcerated man whose brother gets deliberately thrown into prison to spring him out. Purcell landed his next major cinematic role in the natural horror picture [[Feature~V345718~Primeval~primeval]] (2007), about a news team in hot pursuit of a 25-foot crocodile. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi