Jeremiah "Jerry" O'Connell (born February 17, 1974) is an American actor, best known for his roles in the TV series Sliders, Andrew Clements in My Secret Identity, Vern Tessio in the film Stand by Me, Charlie Carbone in Kangaroo Jack, and Detective Woody Hoyt on the drama Crossing Jordan. He starred as Pete Kaczmarek in the CBS TV series The Defenders until its cancellation in 2011. He also had a starring role in the horror films Scream 2 and Piranha 3D. O'Connell was born in New York City, the son of Linda (nee Witkowski), a Polish art teacher, and Michael O'Connell, an advertising agency art director. His maternal grandfather, Charles S. Witkowski, was the mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey. O'Connell is of Irish descent on his father's side and Polish ancestry on his mother's. O'Connell was raised in Manhattan with his younger brother, Charlie O'Connell, also an actor. As a teenager, he attended Manhattan's Professional Children's School.
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