A striking, blue-eyed, dark-haired actor of stage and TV, Czerny came to the attention of American reviewers with a chilling but all-too-human portrayal of a tormented clergyman who molests and terrorizes a young orphan in his charge in "The Boys of St Vincent" (CBC, 1993). This profoundly disturbing movie was made for Canadian TV, shown theatrically in selected US theaters and aired on A&E in 1995. Though quite handsome and youthful, Czerny (pronounced CHAIR-nee) convinces as a middle-aged man whose smooth respectable surface belies his deep internal corruption.
Czerny graduated from the National Theater School in 1982 and spent the next few years working in theater (Shakespeare, Chekhov) and TV (Canadian-lensed episodes of "Night Heat" and "Hot Shots", both CBS, 1986; "Top Cops", 1992; "Secret Service", NBC, 1992-93). He also appeared in the TV-movies "Deadly Matrimony" and "A Town Torn Apart" (both NBC, 1992) and the feature "Buried on Sunday" (1992) before fame hit with his showing in "The Boys of St Vincent" (1993). Czerny had small roles in two 1993 Canadian thrillers, "A Man in Uniform" and "Cold Sweat".
American audiences got an another taste of the actor's dark magic in "Ultimate Betrayal: The Rodgers Sisters Story" (CBS, 1994) wherein Czerny played a father who sexually abuses his daughters. Quickly snapped up by the William Morris Agency, Czerny made his Hollywood feature debut with a major supporting role in the Harrison Ford blockbuster "Clear and Present Danger" (1994). The film's casting director listed the attributes that made Czerny an apt choice to play a deviously tricky CIA operations chief: "Confident. Clean. Sincere. Totally commanding, and a wily coyote." Since that time, the actor has been dividing his efforts between TV-movies ("The Sound and the Silence", TNT, 1993; "Trial at Fortitude Bay", CBC, 1994; "Choices of the Heart", Lifetime, 1995) and movies. He co-starred in the political thriller "Jenipapo" (1995), the romantic drama "When Night is Falling" (Canadian, 1995), "Anchor Zone" (Canadian, 1995) and the Tom Cruise vehicle "Mission: Impossible" (1996).