Q: Can you tell me who played the cop in "House at the End of the Street"? He looked really familiar to me and I'm not sure why.

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

There are a number of reasons you might know Canadian-born actor Gil Bellows — either from one of his high-profile gigs or his multitude of smaller supporting roles — but you also might just feel that way because he's so comfortable in the sort of role he played in the 2012 horror flick "House at the End of the Street."

He's had a long and pretty varied career, with an impressive 112 film and TV roles to his credit. That means, of course, there are a whole lot of reasons you might know him, but two stick out: "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) and "Ally McBeal."

In "Shawshank," he played Tommy, who is incarcerated for burglary and reveals some key plot points to Andy (star Tim Robbins).

Shortly after that, Bellows landed a very different role on the feather-light legal-comedy series "Ally McBeal" as Billy Thomas, the ex-boyfriend with whom Ally is forced to work at Cage and Fish. He was a part of the sprawling ensemble cast for the first three seasons, returning a couple of times after that. He also appeared in a crossover with its sister series, "The Practice."

Along with "House at the End of the Street," there are a lot of authority-figure roles among the other 100-plus entries on his resume. For example, he played an FBI agent in 2016's "11.22.63" and the director of the NSA in the 2013 miniseries "Delete."

He's also popped up on some of the biggest procedural series of recent years — "Criminal Minds," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and, of course, "Law & Order," which coincidentally was his first TV role all the way back in 1991.


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