Fans of the hit Netflix series Ozark will be thrilled to learn that a local boy had a direct hand in making the recently released third season the show's best yet.

Tom Pelphrey has earned critical and fan acclaim for his fantastic portrayal as Ben Davis, the troubled brother of Byrde family matriarch Wendy (Laura Linney.)

Pelphrey's Jersey roots run deep. He was born and raised right here in Monmouth County. He grew up in Howell, graduated from Howell High School, and later earned a Bachelor's degree from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Pelphrey had a number of small film and television roles before landing his first big break as Jonathan Randall on Guiding Light. Pelphrey's work on 154 episodes of the CBS soap opera earned him two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series in 2006 and 2008.

Series regular roles on Cinemax's Banshee and in the Marvel Universe as Ward Meachum in Netflix's Iron Fist also helped the Jersey Shore native earn some notoriety, but his turn on the wildly popular Ozark is likely to be the part that makes him a breakout star.

We won't spoil any of the plot points in Ozark's binge-worthy third season other than to say that even while surrounded by a talented cast, Pelphrey jumps off the screen. In a show known for drama and fireworks, Pelphrey's Ben Davis brings all of that and then some.

What's next for Pelphrey? He's set to star alongside Academy Award winner Gary Oldman in the upcoming David Fincher directed feature Mank.

The film is a biographical drama about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Oldman is slated to play the main character with Pelphrey as his brother Joseph Mankiewicz. The movie is currently in production and no release date has been set.

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