Cold Case Wiki
Chip Esten of Nashville (cropped)
Esten in June 2016 concert
Charles "Chip" Esten
Full Name Charles Esten Puskar III
Date of Birth September 9, 1965
Place of Birth Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Status Active
Character played John "The Hawk" Hawkins (Episode Static)

Charles Esten Puskar III (born September 9, 1965), known professionally as Chip Esten, is an American actor, musician and comedian.

Esten is best known for his role as country singer Deacon Claybourne on the ABC/CMT drama Nashville from 2012 to 2018 which subsequently kickstarted his own musical career. He previously appeared on the improvisation show Whose Line Is It Anyway? regularly between 1999–2005.

John Hawkins

Chip Esten as the legendary DJ John "The Hawk" Hawkins in the episode Static

He was known in Cold Case as John "The Hawk" Hawkins, a legendary radio disc jockey in the episode Static who was believed to have committed suicide while playing the song Scarlet Rose on the air in 1958. However, he was actually murdered.


  • Esten was a real-life musician, which explains that his role in the episode "Static" was perfect for him as he knows how to interact with people and crowds.
  • Since April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Esten became a special online DJ at home, even interacting with some of his fans, possibly taking his role from Cold Case as an inspiration.