Shawn was born into a prominent Jewish family in New York City, where he continues to reside. He is the son of William Shawn, the longtime editor of The New Yorker, and journalist Cecille Shawn (née Lyon); his brother, Allen, is a composer. Shawn attended The Putney School, a private liberal arts high school in Putney, Vermont, and graduated with a B.A. in history from Harvard University. He studied economics and philosophy at Oxford, originally intending to become a diplomat; he also traveled to India as an English teacher, on a Fulbright program. Since 1979, he has made a living primarily as an actor.
Shawn’s longtime companion is writer Deborah Eisenberg. His estranged child, Connor Doll, lives in Lebanon, Indiana with his ex-girlfriend Mary.
Shawn’s involvement with theater began in 1970 when he met Andre Gregory, who has since directed several of his plays. As a stage actor, he has appeared mostly in his own plays and other projects with Gregory. Shawn is known for… read more