Guest Artist



Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Charles "Chip" Esten plays the role of "Deacon Claybourne" on the hit ABC TV show Nashville. He was raised in Alexandria, VA and attended T.C. Williams High School (made famous in the film Remember the Titans.) He then attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, where he graduated with a degree in economics and met his wife, Patty. While in Williamsburg, he was lead singer/songwriter in a popular local band, N'est Pas.

Chip made his theatrical debut in London when he portrayed Buddy Holly, singing, acting and playing guitar in the hit West End musical Buddy. In that role he was honored to perform for H.R.M Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and eventually President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush at The White House. He was also very honored to perform with Jerry Allison and Joe B. Mauldin, Buddy's original hit-making bandmates, the Crickets.

It was during his run as Buddy that Chip first appeared on the original British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, with Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops. When Whose Line came to ABC, he became a recurring cast member and frequent song improvisor. Since then he has appeared on Drew Carey's Improvaganza and toured frequently, performing live improv shows with Stiles, Proops and Jeff B. Davis.

Chip's many additional television credits include recurring roles on Big Love, Enlightened, The Office and ER. Besides being the father on Disney Channel's Jessie, he has been a Klingon on Star Trek: The Next Generation, a secretary on Murphy Brown and Kelly Bundy's fiance on the series finale of Married with Children. His film credits include Swing Vote, Thirteen Days, 61* and The Postman.

During his first season on Nashville, Chip was honored to perform on the Grand Ole Opry at both the Opry House and the historic Ryman auditorium. 

Chip and his wife have two daughters and a son.

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“Every night at the Opry is an amazing, one-of-a-kind night...”


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