Jefferson White is Jimmy Hurdstrom in Yellowstone and has cultivated a major Instagram following.
Now in its fifth season, Yellowstone has become a pop culture phenomenon for its no-holds-barred approach to life on a Montana ranch. Actors Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, and Luke Grimes comprise the Dutton family dynasty. The show has been a launching pad for creator Taylor Sheridan to spin it off into other projects and one of those will be with Jefferson White’s Jimmy Hurdstrom. It makes sense, considering the guy is an absolute scene-stealer.
Prior to the whirlwind success of Yellowstone on the Paramount Network, Jefferson White was a working actor who hadn’t achieved household name status. However, he has become a familiar face of the series for several seasons, and Jimmy is a favorite character among the show’s ardent fanbase.
As Jefferson White continues his path toward Yellowstone icon status, the actor has slowly become one of the most recognizable performers on television as of late.
Here is a look at the life and career of Jefferson White.
JEFFERSON WHITE IS 33 YEARS OLD AND WAS BORN IN IOWA
33-year-old Jefferson White was born in Mount Vernon, Iowa, a town on the eastern edge of the midwestern state. The town is celebrated as the home of Cornell College, which has become a stopover by political candidates vying for a White House bid. While in high school in Iowa, White pursued extracurricular activities that took him to the performing arts.
Jefferson White attended Iowa State University, where he excelled in acting classes and theater productions of Twelfth Night, Six Characters, and Hedda Gabbler. According to Script and Score Magazine, White notes, “The biggest thing that was instilled in me during my time at Iowa State was a certain work ethic and a desire to participate in a collaborative process and support other people’s work.”
After graduating with a degree in the performing arts in 2012, Jefferson White embarked on a new adventure in his acting career by moving to New York City. Originally intending to act on the Broadway stage, White found himself securing an agent and going out on auditions for a variety of mediums.
His first real audition was for the FX series The Americans with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, which he landed.
HE LANDED A ROLE IN THE AMERICANS
Jefferson White appeared on The Americans in two episodes but didn’t feel that his first television appearance was his big break. In 2015, White was cast in the WGN series Manhattan, playing Cole “Iowa” Dunlavey. Cole is a young Iowa kid, much like White, who gets involved with the Manhattan Project led by Robert Oppenheimer during World War II.
While not a ratings bonanza like his future Yellowstone gig, Manhattan featured many notable names like John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Rachel Brosnahan, William Petersen, and future Stranger Things actor David Harbour.
Jefferson White co-starred on the series for two seasons and counted the show as his significant breakout role. Manhattan was created by Sam Shaw, who worked as a writer within the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the two bonded over their shared connection to the state of Iowa.
From there on out, Jefferson White appeared on several television shows like Elementary and Blindspot. On Blindspot, White portrayed the terrorist character of Parker Lewis, who becomes second in command and is eventually killed off the series. He recurred on Blindspot from 2016-2020, even after the success of Yellowstone had taken up much of his shooting schedule.
2016 WAS A MAJOR TURNING POINT FOR HIS CAREER
In addition to the work he did on Blindspot starting in 2016, Jefferson White took several other acting roles within the same year. Contributing to the trajectory of a rising career in his 20s, White was cast as Phillip Jessup opposite Viola Davis in ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder. Appearing throughout Season 2 of the show, White played the murder suspect while simultaneously filming an episode of Blue Bloods starring Tom Selleck.
If costarring on Blindspot, How To Get Away With Murder, and Blue Bloods wasn’t enough in 2016, Jefferson White was also featured as the character Joshua Masterson in Netflix’s acclaimed series, House of Cards. Another terrorist character that White added to his growing resume of performances, Joshua Masterson helped to cap off Season 4’s finale and usher in Season 5 the following year.
Many of his scenes involved embattled lead actor Kevin Spacey prior to Spacey’s ousting from the series during the #MeToo era.
YELLOWSTONE MAKES JEFFERSON WHITE A STAR
Jefferson White initially wanted to audition for the role of Kayce Dutton on Yellowstone prior to Season 1 but believed he wasn’t the right fit for the role in the end. The part eventually went to actor Luke Grimes, who still plays the character. White successfully won the role of Jimmy via an audition tape, beginning with an appearance during the first season.
Jimmy Hurdstrom is introduced on Yellowstone as a low-level thief turned ranch hand for the Yellowstone ranch in Montana. His character goes through a series of ups and downs throughout four seasons, including an arc where he fails at being a rodeo star in order to attract the opposite sex.
A man with very little ambition, Jimmy became a fan-favorite of the series primarily due to Jefferson White’s natural portrayal of the unlucky character.
Yellowstone is a soap opera and crime drama that has accumulated high ratings for the Paramount Network since its debut in 2018. Jefferson White has appeared in the main role of Jimmy since the beginning of the series through Season 4. As Season 4 ended, it was revealed that Jimmy was sent to the 6666 Ranch in Texas to learn how to be a true cowboy.
Even though he is no longer a regular part of Yellowstone, Jefferson White will appear as the character Jimmy from time to time. TVInsider reports that the Paramount Network will be spinning off Yellowstone into a new series called 6666, but White has not yet been announced as a cast member for the show.
It is expected that he will be featured in the spin-off, but there has yet to be a timeline laid out for the series by Taylor Sheridan.
In the meantime, Jefferson White has been cast in the recurring role of Sean O’Neil in the NBC drama Chicago P.D. from creators Dick Wolf and Matt Olmstead. White began in the part in 2022 during the show’s 10th season and will progress in the role for the foreseeable future.
JEFFERSON WHITE IS A TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER ON INSTAGRAM
Unlike many celebrities who use their social media platforms to promote projects they are in, Jefferson White uses his Instagram account to show off his photography skills. Behind-the-scenes footage of Yellowstone on 35mm, iconic landscapes, and candid shots are a few examples of White’s work on the side when he isn’t acting.
Jefferson White’s Instagram account has amassed 287,000 followers and contains many images from his time on Yellowstone, the new iteration of The Twilight Zone, among others.
As Jefferson White continues his role on Chicago P.D., he seems to always be on the lookout for the next big part. He is featured in a supporting role in the movie Eileen alongside Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month. He has also wrapped production on Civil War for writer and director Alex Garland, which also stars actor Kirsten Dunst.