Welcome to Zach McGowan Web, your online resource dedicated to the actor Zach McGowan. You may know Zach from his roles in "Black Sails", "The 100", "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D", and more. It is our aim to bring you all the latest news, photos, information and much more on Zach’s career. We hope you enjoy your stay!

Facts & Trivia

At a glance

Name: Zachary Brendan McGowan
Birthdate: May 5, 1980
Birthplace: New York City, NY
Parents: Brenda & Vincent McGowan
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Marital Status: Married to Emily Johnson McGowan (since 2008)


  1. Zach’s lineage is of Irish & Russian Jewish decent.

  2. Zach met his wife Emily at Carleton College where he majored in American Studies.

  3. He and his wife share two daughters named Elsie and Nellie.

  4. His eldest daughter, Elsie, was the first girl born into his family in 60 years.

  5. He is left handed.

  6. Zach began getting involved in theatre when he was a child. His first play was in the 4th grade.

  7. In June of 1997, during a soccer game, Zach found a four leaf clover. He saved it, and keeps it in a frame.

  8. He started growing his hair out, because he was too busy during his wife’s first pregnancy to get it cut. He says his long hair helped him get a lot of his roles.

  9. He collects the chair backs from the sets of his films/television shows. He also has a sword collection from Black sails, and kept his drums from Shameless.

  10. Growing up Zach wanted to be either a professional actor, a professional athlete, or a soldier.

  11. Zach has two older brothers, Matt McGowan and Doug McGowan.

  12. He has a rescued pitbull named Sophie.

  13. Zach is proof that milk does the body good. He drinks half a gallon of chocolate milk per day.

  14. Zach prepared for his nude scenes on Showtime’s Shameless by posing nude for art students.

  15. Before he was an actor Zach was a bartender, server, cook, and substitute teacher.

  16. Zach was a cook for the catering company Carmelized Productions. In 2006 he joined the owners of the company as a sous chef for an episode of Iron Chef America. Later in 2007 the company earned it’s own show on the Food Network called 2 Dudes Catering. Zach appeared on the show, but it was soon canceled.

  17. Zach has both Dyslexia and ADD.

  18. In preparation for his role as Captain Charles Vane on Black Sails he studied the history of pirates including the real life pirate whom his role was based on. He also read Treasure Island which comes after the timeline of Black Sails.

  19. While Zach was training for his role in Black Sails he refused to have a personal trainer or to use modern workout equipment. Instead he developed a workout routine that emulated what 18th century pirates would be doing.

  20. For 5 days a week his Black Sails workout regiment included a 10-13 mile run, 400 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 25 handstand push-ups, and as many inverted sit-ups as he could do.

  21. When Zach was younger he played both football and ice hockey.

  22. He was a running back at Fieldston Upper high school as well as at Carleton College.

  23. Zach is trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, and Muay Thai.

  24. His mother was a flight attendant.

  25. Zach’s father was a Marine who served in Vietnam. He later owned a bar in New York called McGowan’s Tavern.

  26. Zach attributes a lot of his success to his parents, and the way he was raised. They instilled a strong worth ethic, and can do attitude with their leading examples. He is raising his daughters with the same mindset. Teaching them that they can do anything if they try hard enough, and if you fall down you get back up again.

  27. His brother Doug followed in their father’s footsteps, and is also a Marine.

  28. Zach does his own stunt work.

  29. Ahead of President Clinton’s visit to Carleton College, Zach helped a group of friends paint a picture of the President on the school water tower. His role was to run interference with campus security, having them chase him all over while riding on a razor scooter. Carleton painted over it, but not before President Clinton was able to see it. The next day he publicly thanked the students who painted it.