- Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels Born Jeffrey Warren Daniels
February 19, 1955
Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, musician, playwright Years active 1977–present Spouse Kathleen Treado
Jeffrey Warren "Jeff" Daniels (born February 19, 1955) is an American actor, musician and playwright. He founded a non-profit theatre company, the Purple Rose Theatre Company, in his home state of Michigan. He has performed in a number of stage productions, both on and off Broadway, and has been nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actor for the Broadway play God of Carnage (2009), along with his other three cast-mates.
He has had a thriving film career, from his debut in 1981 in Ragtime, through State of Play in 2009. For his film work, he has received three Golden Globe Award nominations, including as Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture—Comedy/Musical for Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) (hence the name of his theatre company). He has also received nominations by the Screen Actors Guild, Satellite Awards, and several others for his work in The Squid and the Whale (London Critics Circle Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Chlotrudis Awards and Gotham Awards). He played Debra Winger's husband in the 1983 Oscar-winning film Terms of Endearment.
Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia, and grew up in Chelsea, Michigan, where his father, Robert Lee Daniels, still owns the local lumber yard. He was raised Methodist. Daniels attended Central Michigan University and participated in their theater program. In the Summer of 1976, he attended the Eastern Michigan University (EMU) drama school to participate in a special Bi-Centennial Repertory programme where he performed in Hot L Baltimore and three other plays performed in repertoire. Marshall Mason was the guest director at EMU and he invited Jeff to come to New York to work at the Circle Repertory Theatre where he performed in The Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson in the 1977–1978 season. He also performed in New Mexico in The Shortchanged Review (1979) at Second Stage Theatre. It was the first show of the inaugural season for Second Stage Theatre.
Daniels has starred in a number of New York productions, on and off Broadway. On Broadway, he has appeared in Lanford Wilson's Redwood Curtain, A. R. Gurney's The Golden Age and Wilson's Fifth of July, for which he won a Drama Desk Award for Best Supporting Actor. Off-Broadway, he received a Drama Desk nomination for Wilson's Lemon Sky, and an Obie Award for his performance in the Circle Repertory Company production of Johnny Got His Gun. He returned to the stage in 2009, appearing in Broadway's God of Carnage with Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis and James Gandolfini.
In 1991, he founded the regionally-acclaimed Purple Rose Theatre Company, a non-profit stage company in his childhood and current home of Chelsea, Michigan. He is currently Executive Director of PRTC, and has written 11 plays for them.
Daniels made his screen debut in Miloš Forman's Ragtime in 1981. His next film would prove to be his breakthrough as Debra Winger's husband in the Oscar-winning film Terms of Endearment. Daniels then garnered a Golden Globe nomination as the star of Purple Rose of Cairo directed by Woody Allen.
Daniels earned his second Golden Globe nomination for starring in Jonathan Demme's dramedy Something Wild as an unassuming business man swept up into a wild night by a mysterious woman (Melanie Griffith). Daniels then starred in the horror-comedy Arachnophobia in 1990. The next year Daniels starred in two films (Love Hurts and The Butcher's Wife) and hosted NBC's legendary sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.
Daniel's next notable role was as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain in Gettysburg. Alongside Daniels were Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang and Sam Elliot. The two part film proved so popular on television that the 262 minute movie garnered a theatrical release. Daniels would reprise the role of Chamberlain ten years later in the prequel film Gods and Generals, with much of the same cast except for Sheen who was replaced by Robert Duvall.
In 1994 Daniels would have one of his most successful films commercially, starring in the Farrelly Brothers' hit Dumb and Dumber alongside Jim Carrey. It was a noted departure for Daniels, due to his status as a dramatic heavyweight. Also in '94 was the Keanu Reeves action blockbuster Speed. Daniels starred as Reeves' partner on the LAPD bomb squad, in a race against time to defuse a bomb planted on a bus, set to explode if the bus's speed falls below 50 miles per hour. Also starring Dennis Hopper and Sandra Bullock, Speed was an enormous hit, grossing over $350 million at the box office.
Daniels would then host Saturday Night Live a second time before the release of the 1996 Disney remake of 101 Dalmatians. Daniels starred as the owner of a litter of dalmatians stolen by the evil Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close). The film was a rousing success, grossing $320 million. Also in 1996 was the family hit film Fly Away Home with Daniels as the supportive single father of Anna Paquin's goose raising preteen. Daniels then had a critical and commercial misfire with 1997's Trial and Error alongside Seinfeld's Michael Richards.
Daniels would rebound however with 1998's Pleasantville as diner owner Bill Johnson who learns to act as an individual and rebel against the norm at the urging of Tobey Macguire's David. Also starring Reese Witherspoon, Joan Allen, and Don Knotts, Pleasantville was one of the best reviewed films of the year, nominated for three Academy Awards. Daniels would then star alongside Christopher Lloyd in the critical and commercial bomb My Favorite Martian. The film severely damaged Daniels' status as a box office star and he would proceed to work in increasingly less mainstream starring roles.
Daniels then starred in the TV films The Crossing, Cheaters and direct-to-video release Chasing Sleep. At this point, in the early 2000s Daniels began to focus more on his theater work at The Purple Rose Theatre in his hometown of Chelsea, MI.
Daniels' next major film role would be in Clint Eastwood's Blood Work. The film received mixed reviews and was a commercial failure. He would rebound later that year with Stephen Daldry's Academy Award-winning The Hours, alongside Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. The film was also a monetary success, grossing well over $100 million. Gods and Generals followed in 2003 as did the action film I Witness co-starring James Spader. Daniels then starred in Imaginary Heroes and the 2004 television film adaptation of fellow Michigander and friend Mitch Albom's best-seller The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
2005 proved to be a strong year for Daniels as he garnered notice as the star of the lauded Noah Baumbach film The Squid and the Whale. Daniels received his third Golden Globe nomination for the film, about a divorcing couple and the effect the split has on their children. That year Daniels also starred in the family film adaptation of Because of Winn-Dixie. He would round out the year with a supporting role in the Oscar-Nominated film Good Night and Good Luck directed by George Clooney.
Daniels then starred as the redneck comic foil to Robin Williams' uptight business man in the vacation comedy RV directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. He had a supporting role in the Truman Capote biopic Infamous, and in two other independent films Mama's Boy and The Lookout for which he was nominated for a Satellite Award.
Daniels then had a starring voice-over role as the villain Zartog in animated film Space Chimps. Daniels then took back-to-back supporting roles in political thrillers: Traitor with Don Cheadle and State of Play with Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams. Also in 2009 Daniels would appear in indie hit Away We Go. 2010 would prove to be a slow year for Daniels, as he continued his theater work and had a starring role in the little-seen indie Howl alongside James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.
He has focused on recording a number of songs that he has written throughout his life, apparently marking key moments. He has kept busy with frequent gigs and two full length albums, Grandfather's Hat and Jeff Daniels Live and Unplugged.. He is featured on the cover of the July/August 2011 issue of Making Music Magazine where there is an article about his experiences with music.
Daniels has been married to his high school sweetheart, Kathleen Rosemary Treado, since 1979. They married on Friday the 13th because he wore the number 13 on his baseball uniform.
In 1986, Daniels moved his home to Chelsea, Michigan, where the couple had grown up. They have three children: Benjamin (born 1984), Lucas (born 1987), and Nellie (born 1990).
He has written, directed, and starred in two films by Purple Rose Films, each set in Michigan: Escanaba in da Moonlight and Super Sucker. He was inducted into the Michigan Walk of Fame on May 25, 2006 in Lansing, Michigan. He delivered the winter commencement address at the University of Michigan on December 20, 2009, and was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts.
Year Title Role Notes 1981 Ragtime P. C. O'Donnell 1983 Terms of Endearment Flap Horton 1985 Marie Eddie Sisk 1985 The Purple Rose of Cairo Tom Baxter/Gil Shepherd Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy 1986 Something Wild Charles Driggs 1986 Heartburn Richard 1987 Radio Days Biff Baxter 1988 The House on Carroll Street Cochran 1988 Sweet Hearts Dance Sam Manners 1989 Checking Out Ray Macklin 1989 No Place Like Home Mike Television film 1990 Arachnophobia Ross Jennings Saturn Award for Best Actor 1990 Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael Denton Webb 1991 Love Hurts Paul Weaver 1991 The Butcher's Wife Dr. Alex Tremor 1992 Timescape (1992 film) also known as Grand Tour: Disaster in Time Ben Wilson International Fantasy Film Award for Best Actor 1992 There Goes the Neighborhood Willis Embry 1992 Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story Tom Noonan Television film 1993 Rain Without Thunder Jonathan Garson 1993 Gettysburg Colonel Joshua Chamberlain Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor 1994 Speed Harry Temple 1994 Dumb and Dumber Harry Dunne 1995 Redwood Curtain Lyman Fellers 1996 Fly Away Home Thomas Alden Nominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor 1996 2 Days in the Valley Alvin Strayer 1996 101 Dalmatians Roger Dearly 1997 Trial and Error Charlie Tuttle 1998 Pleasantville Bill Johnson Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy 1999 My Favorite Martian Tim O'Hara 1999 All the Rage Warren Harding retitled It's the Rage for American television 2000 The Crossing George Washington Television film 2000 Chasing Sleep Ed Saxon 2000 Cheaters Dr. Gerard Plecki Television film; HBO 2001 Escanaba in da Moonlight Reuben Soady 2002 Super Sucker Fred Barlow 2002 Blood Work Jasper "Buddy" Noone 2002 The Hours Louis Waters 2003 Gods and Generals Lt. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain 2003 I Witness James Rhodes 2004 The Goodbye Girl Elliot Garfield Television film 2004 Imaginary Heroes Ben Travis 2004 The Five People You Meet In Heaven The Blue Man 2005 The Squid and the Whale Bernard Berkman Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year
2005 Because of Winn-Dixie The Preacher 2005 Good Night, and Good Luck. Sig Mickelson 2006 RV Travis Gornicke 2006 Infamous Alvin Dewey 2007 The Lookout Lewis Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture 2007 Mama's Boy Mert Rosenbloom 2007 A Plumm Summer narrator 2008 Sweet Nothing in My Ear Dan Miller Television film 2008 Space Chimps Zartog voice only 2008 Traitor Carter 2009 State of Play Representative George Fergus 2009 The Answer Man Arlen Faber 2009 Away We Go Jerry Farlander 2009 Paper Man Richard Dunn 2010 Howl Professor David Kirk 2010 Planet Sheen Glonb Voice
Episode: "What's Up Chock?"
2010 The Adventures of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Santa Claus 2011 Right Angle Mickey
- ^ Preview Interview with Cast of Because of Winn-Dixie
- ^ Downstage Center interview broadcast April 20, 2007. Americantheaterwing.com (2007-04-20). Retrieved on 2011-11-02.
- ^ Gandolfini Stars on Broadway in God of Carnage The Associated Press, January 12, 2009
- ^ Live Professional Stage Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan at The Purple Rose Theatre. Purplerosetheatre.org. Retrieved on 2011-11-02.
- ^ Lichterman, Joseph (December 20, 2009). "Actor and Michigan native Jeff Daniels challenges graduates to make a difference at Winter Commencement". The Michigan Daily. http://www.michigandaily.com/content/2009-winter-commencement. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
- Jeff Daniels at the Internet Movie Database
- Jeff Daniels at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jeff Daniels at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Jeff Daniels Music Interview
- Jeff Daniels interview
Saturn Award for Best Actor
James Caan, Don Johnson (1974/75) · David Bowie (1976) · George Burns (1977) · Warren Beatty (1978) · George Hamilton (1979) · Mark Hamill (1980) · Harrison Ford (1981) · William Shatner (1982) · Mark Hamill (1983) · Jeff Bridges (1984) · Michael J. Fox (1985) · Jeff Goldblum (1986) · Jack Nicholson (1987) · Tom Hanks (1988) · Jeff Daniels (1989/90) · Anthony Hopkins (1991) · Gary Oldman (1992) · Robert Downey, Jr. (1993) · Martin Landau (1994) · George Clooney (1995) · Eddie Murphy (1996) · Pierce Brosnan (1997) · James Woods (1998) · Tim Allen (1999) · Hugh Jackman (2000) · Tom Cruise (2001) · Robin Williams (2002) · Elijah Wood (2003) · Tobey Maguire (2004) · Christian Bale (2005) · Brandon Routh (2006) · Will Smith (2007) · Robert Downey, Jr. (2008) · Sam Worthington (2009) · Jeff Bridges (2010)Note: The years are listed as per convention, usually the year of film release; the ceremonies are usually held the next year.
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