Zachary Brendand McGowan was born 1981 in New York City, New York. He is an actor best kown for his role as Charles Vane on the television series Black Sails, and Jody Silverman on the television series Shameless. Other highlights include parts in the films Terminator Salvation, The Hunt for Eagle One, and the sequel The Hunt for Eagle One: Crash Point. He guest-starred in the television series Numb3rs, CSI: Miami, and Cold Case, with voice-over work for the Scream Awards, Animal Planet and the video games Tom Clany's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, and Iron Man.
Zach was born in New York City, New York, to Vincent and Brenda McGowan. HIs older brothers are Doug and Matt. He is of Irish and Jewish descent. Although they lived in New York most of their lives, the McGowans traveled extensively due to Brenda's employment at Untied Airlines. Before attending Carleton College, Zach attended Ethical Culture Fieldston School from kindergarten through senior year in high school, where he was the captain of the football and ice hockey teams and a member of the drama and theater societies.
In mid-2011, Zach joined the cast of the Showtime dramedy Shameless, as Jody, first as a guest star and then as a series regular. He said that modeling for art students helped him for the role but now "nudity is just part of the job."