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|Also Known As:||Jeremy Merton Sisto||Died:|
|Born:||October 6, 1974||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Grass Valley, California, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor screenwriter|
While not a marquee name, actor Jeremy Sisto rightfully earned a solid reputation in dozens of supporting and leading man roles. Sisto made his feature film debut while still in high school, playing Kevin Kline's son in Lawrence Kasdan's ensemble drama, "Grand Canyon" (1991). He quickly racked up a number of supporting roles opposite Hollywood's most popular names in such high-profile films as "Clueless" (1995) and "White Squall" (1996). Recognized for a calm intensity he brought to his characters, he went on to win the title role of the messiah in the biblical drama "Jesus" (CBS, 2000), opposite the likes of Jacqueline Bisset and Gary Oldman. Sisto gained further recognition for his recurring role on all five seasons of "Six Feet Under" (HBO, 2001-05) as Billy Chenoweth, the emotionally troubled brother of Brenda (Rachel Griffiths). During that time he took the lead in another sweeping television biopic, this time as the Roman emperor "Caesar" (TNT, 2002). Equally convincing as world leaders and working stiffs, he was suitably detestable as Keri Russell's boorish husband in the winning dramedy, "Waitress" (2007) and always dependable as homicide detective Cyrus Lupo on the seminal crime drama, "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010). In one of his lighter roles, Sisto later starred as a fish-out-of-water single father on the quirky sitcom, "Suburgatory" (ABC, 2011-14). Adept at both intense drama and raucous comedy, Sisto enjoyed a robust acting career, as prolific as it was diverse.
Born on Oct. 6, 1974 in Grass Valley, CA into an artistic family, Jeremy Sisto began his career in earnest at age six, performing regularly in school plays and community theater. His mother, actress Reedy Gibbs, and his father, Dick Sisto, a jazz vibraphonist, raised their family in a stone house on a 20-acre farm in Northern California. When his parents divorced, Sisto moved with his mother to the north end of Chicago where she remarried. An unhappy child, Sisto was able to manage his pain best by disappearing into his imagination where he created his own characters and stories. By his teens, Sisto was landing TV commercials and appearing at Chicago's famed Goodman Theater in a performance of Tennessee Williams' "A House Not Meant to Stand" while still attending Francis Parker High School. Even at a young age, Sisto was well on his way to becoming an accomplished actor. Sisto continued his stint at The Goodman, starring opposite Brian Dennehy in Bertolt Brecht's "Galileo." He soon made his feature film debut, playing the son of Kevin Kline and Mary McDonnell in Lawrence Kasdan's ensemble drama "Grand Canyon" (1991).
After a supporting role in "Desperate Choices: To Save My Child" (NBC, 1992), Sisto relocated to Los Angeles post-high school graduation and shortly thereafter tackled the role of an epileptic, mentally-challenged teenager in a stage production of "The Care and Custody of Barbara Moon" - a choice made out inability to land onscreen work. A patient man, he passed time by studying his craft with esteemed acting instructor Howard Fine before finally breaking through with parts in the remake of "The Shaggy Dog" (1994) and the low-budget thrillers "The Crew" (1994), and the dismal "Hideaway" (1995). Both thrillers mined the dark side of Sisto's persona, with "The Crew" casting him as a sexually confused young man who holds six people at gun point on an isolated boat, while "Hideaway" saw him portray a satanic serial killer who is psychically connected to an antiques dealer (Jeff Goldblum). On a lighter note, he reunited with "Hideaway" star Alicia Silverstone to enjoy his first hit with Amy Heckerling's teen comedy classic, "Clueless" (1995), playing Elton, a spoiled brat who is set up with the misfit pal of a popular rich kid (Silverstone). Sisto next appeared as Gwyneth Paltrow's love interest in the female-driven "Moonlight and Valentino" (1995) before delivering another edgy performance as an angry teenager coping with his overbearing father in Ridley Scott's sea-going actioner "White Squall" (1996). Similarly, he appeared in the black comedy "Suicide Kings" (1997) as a morphine-addicted medical student who helps kidnap a local kingpin (Christopher Walken) and practices his surgical technique by removing one of the mobster's fingers.
In preparation for his role as long distance runner Frank Shorter in "Without Limits" (1998), Sisto trained several weeks before production with an Olympic coach. That year also offered him a comic turn as the pot-smoking gay lover of Andy Dick in the festival-screened "Bongwater." He gave a soulful performance in "This Space Between Us" (1999), playing a Hollywood screenwriter who returns to his quirky Northern California hometown following the untimely death of his wife. In NBC's two-part miniseries "The '60s" (1999), Sisto landed the role of Kenny Klein, an intense student activist whose zeal leads him to a tragic end. He had perhaps his highest profile role yet, however, in the title role of the CBS miniseries "Jesus" (2000). Despite having little time to prepare - he was on a plane the day after being cast - Sisto pulled off a performance that has proven difficult for other actors, one that was even blessed by the late Pope John Paul II.
Sisto continued to work regularly in supporting roles, appearing in films such as "Angel Eyes" (2001), before he made a major mark with a recurring stint on writer Alan Ball's dark, seriocomic HBO series "Six Feet Under" (2001-05), playing the mentally unstable Billy Chenoweth, the troubled brother of Brenda (Rachel Griffiths) who harbors an unhealthy obsession with his sister. Further appearances in unremarkable films were followed by a prominent role in the flawed historical miniseries "Caesar" (TNT, 2002), portraying the titular Roman dictator. His next major turn was in the harrowing teen angst film "Thirteen" (2003), playing Holly Hunter's uninvolved beau. Sisto followed with several low-budget films that were hardly released, including "Manifest" (2003), "In Enemy Hands" (2004) and "Dead and Breakfast" (2004) before he returned to commercial fare with a supporting role in the Ashton Kutcher-Amanda Peet romantic comedy "A Lot Like Love" (2005).
Following another trip to low-budget indie territory with a supporting role as the Handcuffed Man in the gripping thriller "Unknown" (2006), Sisto returned to regular television work with a leading role on the short-lived, "Kidnapped" (NBC, 2006-07), a serial drama that followed a private investigator (Sisto) trying to find the abducted teenaged son (Will Denton) of a wealthy couple. The series was canceled after airing only five episodes. Meanwhile, Sisto gave a fine performance in the late Adrienne Shelly's hopeful dark comedy, "Waitress" (2007), playing the loutish husband of a pregnant pie maker (Keri Russell) using her special talents to find the right recipe for love. "Waitress" premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival amidst praise and tears, as director Shelly had been murdered in her New York City apartment in November 2006, never knowing that her film would become a critical darling and festival hit.
In 2008 Sisto took another shot at regular series television when he became the second-to-last homicide detective to join the squad at the 27th as Det. Cyrus Lupo on the long-running police procedural "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010). Although a member of one of the strongest ensembles in the program's history, his tour of duty would end two seasons later when "Law & Order" finally closed its books for good. Meanwhile, he stretched his creative muscles with side efforts outside the restrictive confines of the weekly cop show. Sisto performed admirably as the voice of a '50s-era Batman in the direct-to-DVD release of "The New Frontier" (2008), an animated adaptation of writer-artist Darwin Cooke's acclaimed graphic novel. In a pair of modestly budgeted features he played a priest walking an ethical tightrope as he tries to save a suicidal prostitute (Kristin Chenoweth) in the dark, independent drama "Into Temptation" (2009) then skewered his Lupo character as a bumbling detective in the indie horror mash-up "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are UnDead" (2009). Back on the small screen, Sisto demonstrated his comedic abilities on "Suburgatory" (ABC, 2011-14), a witty and irreverent sitcom about a single dad from the big city (Sisto), who moves with his feisty daughter (Jane Levy) to the fictional suburb of Chatswin in search of some normalcy, only to find the well-manicured hamlet to be anything but.
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