Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Dean McDermott - Biography

DeanMcDermott at a summer party in 2019© Getty Images
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
Updated: June 29, 2023
Share this:

Dean McDermott has spent his professional life in front of the camera since the late Eighties and, following his high-profile marriage to 90210 star Tori Spelling, much of his private life has been played out on the small screen, too.

When the couple appeared in their 2007 reality series Tori & Dean: Inn Love in which they ran a B&B in California and welcomed their first baby together many of Dean's new fan base didn't realise the extent of his acting CV. The pair's whirlwind marriage and fly-on-the-wall series had turned him into a big celebrity, but prior to that the handsome actor had been working steadily in showbiz for two decades.

Before romancing media mogul Aaron Spelling's daughter, he racked up over a hundred TV and film appearances - although he was mainly known to audiences in Canada. The Toronto native who was born on November 16, 1966 grew up play-acting and dipping into the dressing-up box with his three older sisters. At the age of 19 he found an acting agent and made a variety of commercials and guest appearances on TV shows before being cast in one of the most popular Canadian series of the Nineties, Due South. Dean was hired to play the character of intellectually challenged Mountie Constable Turnbull, who acted as a comic foil to show lead Constable Benton Fraser, portrayed by fellow Canadian Paul Gross. 

In 1997 the hunky 6' 3'' actor built on his success, receiving his first Gemini nomination for his role as a farmhand in the TV movie Lives Of Girls And Women based on the Alice Munro novel of the same name. The following year he landed another starring role as Mark Simpson, captain of a fictitious hockey team in Power Play, which ran from 1998-2000. A keen hockey fan in real life, the role was a dream come true. "I got the best job in the world," he said. "I get to play an NHL superstar and get paid to do it."

His other recurring roles have included Brenton Michaels in long-running sci-fi series Earth: Final Conflict and Alan Coyle in FBI drama 1-800-Missing from 2003-3004. He won a second Gemini nomination for his role in 2005 mini-series The Tournament.

Although best known for his TV work, Dean has also appeared in various silver-screen productions. His big Hollywood break came when Kevin Costner cast him as Doc Barlow opposite Robert Duvall and Annette Bening in the 2003 Western drama Open Range

Outside of Canada, Dean found wider fame when he began dating Tori Spelling after they met on the Ottawa set of the 2005 TV movie Mind Over Murder. The romance hit the headlines as both were still married to other partners at the time. Dean had met first wife, Canadian TV personality Mary Jo Eustace, in 1987 when they both shared the same agent. In November 1992 they fell in love and then wed nine months later. 

During their 12 years of marriage Mary Jo gave birth to their son Jack in 1998 and in July 2005 they adopted daughter Lola. That summer Dean became involved with Tori who was married to actor and writer Charlie Shanian and they filed for divorce from their spouses in September 2005. Dean proposed just a few months later on Christmas Eve and they eloped to Fiji in May 2006.

Speaking about their whirlwind relationship, Dean told one interviewer: "I've never had as much of a desire to get married and make a woman my wife as I've had with her. The feeling is overwhelming. We're soul mates." Dean has two tattoos expressing his love for his wife a portrait of her on his shoulder and a wrist tattoo declaring "Truly, Madly, Deeply, Tori". 

They welcomed their first child Liam Aaron McDermott on March 13, 2007, and their second, Stella Doreen McDermott, on June 9, 2008. Tori's first pregnancy and their intimate moments had been followed in detail during the making of their reality series Tori & Dean: Inn Love, for which they shared producing credits. Working together didn't seem to put pressure on their marriage, however. "In a weird co-dependent way, we just enjoy each other so much that, I mean we do everything together," she told one reporter. "He shops with me, he has manicures with me... we watch hockey together."

The couple continued to welcome five children together; their daughter Hattie was born in October 2011, while their son Finn followed ten months later in August 2012. Meanwhile, their youngest son, Beau, was born in March 2017.

Dean and Tori became the subject of split speculation in 2021, but in June 2023 the actor posted - then deleted - a divorce announcement with a "very very heavy heart" in June 2023. 

More Profiles

See more