Franklin Shea Whigham, Jr. (born January 5, 1969), known professionally as Shea Whigham, is an American actor. He portrayed Elias "Eli" Thompson in the HBO drama series Boardwalk Empire. Whigham was born in Tallahassee, Florida, the son of attorney Frank and school librarian Beth. The family moved to Lake Mary, Florida when Wigham was five years old. He attended Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, and then transferred to the State University of New York at Purchase, New York, where he was part of a small acting program with only 31 students and a graduating class of eight seniors. After graduating, he co-founded New York City theatre troupe The Rorschach Group with his college roommate Kirk Acevedo, and served as an actor and artistic director with the troupe for three years.
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