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Updated Feb 22, 2014 - 12:11 pm

Phoenix's Josh McDermitt lands role in AMC's 'Walking Dead'

Actor Josh McDermitt is seen as character Dr. Eugune Porter in AMC's "The Walking Dead." (Twitter photo/@JoshMcDermitt)

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man thinks he's found his big break in show business.

Josh McDermitt started in Phoenix radio at age 14 and later did stand-up comedy, making it to the semifinals as a contestant for NBC's "Last Comic Standing."

He has now joined the cast of AMC's popular television series "The Walking Dead." The drama is based on the comic book series of the same name. It follows a group of survivors finding their way in a post-apocalyptic world that is dominated by zombies. The show is in its fourth season, and has already been picked up for a fifth.

McDermitt talked about his role in the show during a live interview Saturday on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's "Arizona's Morning News Weekend" with Becky Lynn and Bob McClay.

"'The Walking Dead' was my favorite show. I never even thought I would get an audition, let alone get on it. When it came around, I went nuts," he said.

He plays Dr. Eugene Porter. The character was first seen last week, and will have a bigger role in the upcoming episode.

"We showed up in the last episode with Abraham Ford and Rosita Espinoza. We're kind of like a trio traveling. In the comics, they're trying to get Eugene to Washington, D.C.," McDermitt said. "Up to this point, no one on the show knows what caused the zombie outbreak. Eugene shows up and says, 'I not only know what caused it, but also what's going to stop it.'

"This is going to kind of give some hope to people. Right now, they've just been trying to survive, not just against the zombies, but surviving from each other."

"The Walking Dead" airs on Sunday nights on AMC. Its most recent episode garnered more than 13 million viewers, beating out the NBA All-Star Game that was broadcast the same evening.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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