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My Favorite Weekend: Tim DeKay of 'White Collar'

The actor and Toluca Lake resident relishes dinner dates and baseball games with the family.

July 16, 2010|By Mark Sachs, Los Angeles Times

For an actor who managed to thrive for 15 years in the hit-and-run world of TV guest spots, returning for a second season with USA Network's "White Collar" series feels positively luxurious for Tim DeKay.

"It is quite different, but I love doing a series because you get to live with a character for a much longer amount of time," DeKay said. "And the other aspect of it is that you have a steady job."

Yet DeKay has worked steadily in TV, film and stage, including previous series stopovers with "Carnivàle" and "Party of Five." And then there was his iconic two-episode arc as Bizarro Jerry on "Seinfeld." Now on "White Collar," he plays FBI Agent Peter Burke opposite Matt Bomer's dashing white-collar criminal Neal Caffrey, who agrees to aid the FBI in exchange for his release from prison.

"Although these two guys are very different and can be at odds, they genuinely like each other," said DeKay, who lives in Toluca Lake with actress-wife Elisa Taylor and their two kids. "It reminds me of the chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in "Midnight Run." There was an underlying heart to that movie that's also in this show."

It's a date

About once a month or so, my daughter and I go out on what we call a Fancy Dinner Date, just the two of us. Here's the criteria we use to decide where to go: (1) There has to be a white tablecloth, and (2) there has to be flowers or candles on the table, or both. One place that fits the bill is Chez Nous on Riverside Drive, and it's also got a great menu and live music. We always share the steamed artichoke appetizer to start, then she orders whatever she wants, and definitely not from the children's menu.

Then we'll go to the restaurant's bakery next door and get something to go for my wife and son.

Postgame fete

My son plays baseball on weekends with his team, the Dirt Dawgs, and after the games we like to go to Angelino's on Lankershim and Moorpark, a great family place where the pizza and pasta dinners are great and there's always a special up on the chalkboard. And it's near the house, which is nice too.

In the evening, since I have a lot of friends in theater, we might take in a Deaf West production in North Hollywood, or, since I'm a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, they have screenings that are really great.

Blood, sweat and tears

For a good workout, I go to At One Fitness in North Hollywood, where my trainer, Jon Allsop, puts me through it all. I like it because it's a small gym and I've known the people for a long time. Jon will have me do cross-training where I'll lift weights, jump rope, throw around a medicine ball and I never get to stop. And then I want to beat him up, but that's not allowed.

Free-wheeling

Sometimes on a Sunday all four of us will go out on the Chandler Bike Path. There are little images on the ground to tell which path is for joggers and which is for bikers. The path runs across Burbank and much of the San Fernando Valley. It's busy on weekends, but it's easily accessible.

After biking, we'll stop off at the Coral Cafe on Burbank Boulevard or another good place, Patys in Toluca Lake. And the Studio Cafe has amazing pancakes, but that probably wouldn't be after biking, because it's more of a special-occasion type of place where you have to be a little more dressed up. I'd get pancakes, eggs, bacon, the works. I never get menu paralysis when it comes to breakfast.

mark.sachs@latimes.com

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