Before he started acting professionally, Gilford, who grew up in Illinois, graduated from Northwestern University where he majored in theatre. His very first credited role was in an episode of Law & Order: SVU in 2005 until he caught his big break in 2006 when he landed the role that would keep him busy for years to come. He was cast as "Matt Saracen" on the NBC hit Friday Nights Lights and stayed on the main cast for three seasons and then had a recurring role for the fourth and the fifth and final season of the show.

Zach Gilford as "Matt Saracen" in 'Friday Night Lights'.

Zach Gilford: His time after Friday Night Lights

During the (very successful) run of Friday Night Lights, Gilford tried his hand at acting in features as well. He made his debut co-starring in the 2006 movie The Last Winter. In 2009, he co-starred with Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) in Post Grad and also in the romantic comedy Dare opposite Emmy Rossum. His biggest movie role to date was in the 2014 film The Purge: Anarchy alongside his wife, actress Kiele Sanchez.

Gilford and Sanchez met on the set of a pilot in 2010 and were married in 2012. Unfortunately, Kiele Sanchez suffered a late-term miscarriage in late 2015. By now, the couple have a healthy daughter who was born in 2017.

Zach Gilford: This is "Matt Saracen" today

But Zach Gilford never lost touch with his TV roots. In 2016, he was a series regular on the ABC show The Family and starred on the 2017 YouTube web series Lifeline. Ever since 2018, he's had a recurring role in the series This Close and he also stars as series regular "Ben Walker" in L.A.'s Finest, which is a TV spin-off of the Bad Boys movie franchise.