Jeff Daniels


Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels
Born Jeffrey Warren Daniels
February 19, 1955 (1955-02-19) (age 56)
Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, musician, playwright
Years active 1977–present
Spouse Kathleen Treado
(1979–present)
Website
JeffDaniels.com

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.

Contents

Early life

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.[1] 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.[2] It was the first show of the inaugural season for Second Stage Theatre.

Career

Stage career

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.[3]

In 1991, he founded the regionally-acclaimed[4] 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.

Film career

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.

Musical career

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.[citation needed]. 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.

Personal life

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 appeared as the TV spokesperson for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation promoting Michigan's effectiveness in bringing in new companies,[vague] featured on CNBC.

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.[5]

Filmography

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

References

External links


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