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James Cromwell

James Cromwell

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Also Known As: James Oliver Cromwell, Jamie Cromwell Died:
Born: January 27, 1940 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: director, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Despite spending years honing his craft on stage and building a career on television and in film, actor James Cromwell spent the better part of two decades struggling to make his name in the shadow of his famous father, director John Cromwell. Though he found steady work on sitcoms like "All in the Family" (CBS, 1970-79) and on the big screen in films like "Murder by Death" (1976), Cromwell became so disillusioned trying to make it in show business that he spent 18 months trying to find himself; even hitchhiking across the Sahara Desert on his own. Cromwell began hitting his stride as a character actor in supporting roles in the 1980s, making his way in numerous made-for-television movies and miniseries, while earning some dubious acclaim as the nerdy father of an über-geek in "Revenge of the Nerds" (1984). He finally achieved critical acclaim and Academy Award recognition for his endearing performance in "Babe" (1995), which helped propel his career. But it was his portrayal of a murderous Machiavellian police captain in "L.A. Confidential" (1997) that made audiences aware of his diverse talents, which paved the way to more prominent roles in large-scale films like "The Green Mile" (1999), "The Sum...

Despite spending years honing his craft on stage and building a career on television and in film, actor James Cromwell spent the better part of two decades struggling to make his name in the shadow of his famous father, director John Cromwell. Though he found steady work on sitcoms like "All in the Family" (CBS, 1970-79) and on the big screen in films like "Murder by Death" (1976), Cromwell became so disillusioned trying to make it in show business that he spent 18 months trying to find himself; even hitchhiking across the Sahara Desert on his own. Cromwell began hitting his stride as a character actor in supporting roles in the 1980s, making his way in numerous made-for-television movies and miniseries, while earning some dubious acclaim as the nerdy father of an über-geek in "Revenge of the Nerds" (1984). He finally achieved critical acclaim and Academy Award recognition for his endearing performance in "Babe" (1995), which helped propel his career. But it was his portrayal of a murderous Machiavellian police captain in "L.A. Confidential" (1997) that made audiences aware of his diverse talents, which paved the way to more prominent roles in large-scale films like "The Green Mile" (1999), "The Sum of All Fears" (2002), "The Queen" (2006) and "W" (2008). He also landed high-profile television roles, most notably on "Six Feet Under" (HBO, 2001-05), which granted the ever-busy Cromwell the recognition he richly deserved.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Promise, The (2017)
3.
 Marshall (2017)
5.
 Still (2013)
6.
7.
 Hide Away (2011)
8.
 Memorial Day (2011)
9.
 The Artist (2011)
10.
 Secretariat (2010)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1974:
Played recurring role of Jerome 'Stretch' Cunningham on CBS sitcom "All in the Family"
1976:
Made TV miniseries debut in "Once an Eagle" (NBC)
1976:
Played featured role on ABC series "The Nancy Walker Show"
1977:
Appeared in various roles on several episodes of "Barney Miller" (ABC)
1984:
Played a corrupt deputy sheriff in James Garner-Shirley Jones film "Tank"
1985:
Played River Phoenix's dad in fantasy film "Explorers"
1986:
Cast as Dana Ivey's husband on NBC sitcom "Easy Street"
1996:
Played Dr. Zefram Cochrane in "Star Trek: First Contact"
1997:
Formed Koshari Films with then-wife Julie Cobb
1999:
Portrayed newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst in HBO movie "RKO 281"; received first Emmy nomination
1999:
Appeared as the judge presiding over a murder trial in "Snow Falling on Cedars"
2000:
Appeared in live CBS version of Cold War thriller "Fail Safe"
2000:
Performed on stage as British poet A.E. Housman in Tom Stoppard's "The Invention of Love"
2001:
Garnered an Emmy nomination for his role as a dying Catholic bishop on several episodes of "ER" (NBC)
2001:
Played title role on CBS drama series "Citizen Baines" as a former U.S. Senator
2002:
Co-starred in A&E miniseries "The Magnificent Ambersons"
2004:
Played Father Donald Callahan in TNT miniseries "Salem's Lot," based on novel by Stephen King
2005:
Cast as the Warden in remake of "The Longest Yard," starring Adam Sandler and Burt Reynolds
2007:
Guest starred on sixth season of "24" (Fox) playing Phillip Bauer, the estranged father of Jack (Kiefer Sutherland)
2007:
Cast as Captain Stacy, father of Bryce Dallas Howard's character in Sam Raimi directed "Spider-Man 3"
2009:
Acted alongside Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, and Ving Rhames in "Surrogates"
2009:
First executive produced feature, "A Lonely Place for Dying"
2010:
Played supporting role in family feature "Secretariat"
2011:
Cast in critically acclaimed black-and-white, nearly silent film "The Artist"
2015:
Cast as Jacob Wheeler on "Halt and Catch Fire"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Middlebury College: Middlebury , Vermont -
Carnegie Institute of Technology: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania -
The Hill School: Pottstown , Pennsylvania -

Notes

Cromwell was arrested for demonstrating during the American civil rights movement.

In July 2001, he was one of six animal rights activists arrested for protesting at a Wendy's restaurant in Virginia.

He once considered giving up theater and film early on in his career to become a probation officer.

"Institutions and I get on each other's nerves something fierce."---Cromwell talking about his college years People magazine, March 25, 1996.

"You grow with experience and the older one gets the more willing you are to be right in the moment. It is about coming to terms with the knowledge of who you are. I'm in the process of learning who I am."---Cromwell to Playbill, February 8, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Anne Ulvestad. Actor. Married in 1977; divorced in 1986; mother of Cromwell's three children.
wife:
Julie Cobb. Actor. Born in 1947; second wife; married in 1988; met in acting class in L.A.; has daughter Rosemary Morgan (born in 1983) from first marriage; daughter of actor Lee J Cobb.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Cromwell. Actor, director. Born in 1877; died in 1979; after stage success, began in films; directed "Of Human Bondage" (1934), "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937), "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (1940), "Since You Went Away" (1944), and "Anna and the King of Siam" (1946), among other films; married to Kay Johnson from 1928-48.
mother:
Kay Johnson. Actor. Born in 1904; died in 1975; John Cromwell's second wife, married 1928-48; Cromwell directed her in the films "Of Human Bondage" (1934), "This Man Is Mine" (1934), "Jalna" (1935), "A Village Tale" (1935) and "Son of Fury" (1942).
daughter:
Kate Cromwell. Born on June 5, 1977; mother, Anne Ulvestad.
son:
John Astrup Cromwell. Born on August 29, 1979; mother, Anne Ulvestad.
son:
Colin James Cromwell. Born on April 16, 1981; mother, Anne Ulvestad.
step-daughter:
Rosemary Cobb Morgan. Born on September 12, 1983.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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