Timothy Robert DeKay

Tim DeKay

Tim DeKay, recognized for his standout role as Peter Burke in the hit series “White Collar,” has a diverse acting portfolio that spans 19 films and nearly 50 television series. Beyond his on-screen endeavors, DeKay is frequently sought after for interviews, television appearances, and expert commentary. He also imparts his knowledge of the dramatic arts as a teacher.

What we know about this person

Full name:

Timothy Robert DeKay

Date of birth:

June 12, 1963

Zodiac sign:



Ithaca, New York, USA





Marital status:

Married to Elisa Taylor




6' 1" (1.87 m)


actor, director, film producer

Early life

Born Timothy Robert DeKay on June 12, 1963, in Lansing, New York, he was the eldest son of Jim DeKay and Jill Vaughn. He grew up with a younger sibling, Jamey. As a youngster, Tim showed a keen interest in athletics, particularly excelling in basketball and baseball. Following his high school graduation, he pursued higher education at Le Moyne College.

Initially focusing on business and philosophy, DeKay eventually redirected his ambitions towards the theater. He undertook specialized training at Syracuse University. His commitment to his craft led him to Rutgers University, where he completed his studies with a Master of Fine Arts degree, marking the beginning of his professional journey in acting.


Tim DeKay in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Tim DeKay’s acting journey kicked off in the mid-1990s, with his initial role in the television series “SeaQuest DSV,” which aired in 1995. He subsequently landed roles in “Seinfeld” and “Grace Under Fire.” By 1997, DeKay was cast in “Party of Five,” appearing in 12 episodes alongside actors such as Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell, and Lacey Chabert.

Another notable series for DeKay was “Carnivàle,” where he played Clayton Jones across all 24 episodes, from 2003 to 2005. This series also starred Nick Stahl, Clancy Brown, Michael J. Anderson, and Clea DuVall. The year 2005 saw DeKay in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” adding to his growing list of television credits.

However, DeKay’s most prominent role came with the TV series “White Collar,” where he portrayed FBI Agent Peter Burke for five years. The storyline follows the pursuit of a clever thief and conman, a chase led by DeKay’s character. The cast also included Matt Bomer, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Willie Garson, Hilarie Burton, and Sharif Atkins.

In addition to his television work, DeKay has appeared in several films, starting with “If These Walls Could Talk” in 1996. His film career includes titles like “Almost Heroes,” “Big Eden,” “Control,” “Peaceful Warrior,” and “Get Smart,” although some of his movie roles didn’t achieve widespread popularity.

Beyond screen acting, DeKay has a rich background in theater, where his career initially blossomed. Before his foray into film and television, DeKay was deeply involved in the theater scene, participating in a variety of plays up until 1995. Today, he frequently graces the stages of Broadway and other renowned venues across the United States, showcasing his versatile acting skills.

Timothy Robert DeKay Movies and TV Shows

  • 2016–2021

    Lucifer (episodes “Love Handles,” “A Good Day to Die”)

    Professor Jason Carlisle

  • 2015–2022

    The Expanse (episodes “Churn,” “Nemesis Games”)

    Admiral Sauveterre

  • 2013–2020

    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (episodes “A Fractured House,” “The Things We Bury”)

    Senator Christian Ward

  • 2009–2014

    White Collar

    FBI Agent Peter Burke

  • 2008

    Get Smart

    Secret Service Agent

  • 2006

    Peaceful Warrior

    Coach Garrick

  • 2001–2010

    Scrubs (episode “My Nah Nah Nah”)

    Rich Hill

  • 2001



  • 2000–2015

    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (episode “Spark of Life”)

    Neal Matthews

  • 1994–2004


    Marc (episode “The One Where Rachel Has a Baby: Part 1”)


Tim DeKay in Lucifer

Talk Shows

  • 2019


    Role: Guest

  • 2013–2014

    Home and Family

    Role: Guest

  • 2010

    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

    Role: Guest

Tim DeKay’s personal life and family

Tim DeKay found his life partner, Elisa Taylor, while both were studying at Rutgers University. Taylor ventured into acting as well, though her film appearances have been sparse. Their relationship blossomed during their university days, and they’ve remained closely bonded ever since. Together, they’ve welcomed two children into the world, who have now reached adulthood, affording Tim and Elisa more quality time to spend with each other.


Tim DeKay with wife Elisa DeKay


Tim Dekay and Matt Bomer

Tim DeKay now

In the wake of his success on “White Collar,” DeKay has enjoyed widespread acclaim. This recognition led to an opportunity to teach at a university located in Southern California. Today, DeKay balances his time between acting in television series, gracing the stage, and imparting his knowledge of acting to aspiring performers. His latest involvement was in the series “Here and Now,” released in 2018. With an increasing focus on theater and education, DeKay is dedicating more of his time to nurturing the next generation of actors.

Published: March 1, 2024
Updated: April 17, 2024