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Leo Fitzpatrick

Leo Fitzpatrick

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Also Known As: Died:
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Birth Place: Orange, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, musician, skateboard shop worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In a depressing case of art imitating life, Leo Fitzpatrick was a morally corrupt, deliquent teenage skateboarder when he was picked by writer/director Larry Clark to play the conniving and recklessly disinterested star of his disturbing 1995 film "Kids." A native of Orange, New Jersey (population: 29,000), Fitzpatrick was a regular skateboarder in Manhattan by the age of 14. He hung around with other skateboard kids, mostly semi-vagrants who came from unhappy homes and looked to each other for a sense of family and belonging. In the early 90's, Larry Clark began hanging around this scene, taking pictures, asking questions and just getting to know the kids, sometimes skating himself. He asked Fitzpatrick if he would like to audition for a movie he was making and Fitzpatrick was cast as Telly, a vagrant skateboarding teen whose life of violence, crime and drugs is directed by one goal, the desire to have sex with very young virgins. Fitzpatrick and Clark shared a story credit on the film, which with its untrained actors and gritty real-life feel was often mistaken as a documentary. Fitzpatrick never had aspirations to be an actor and after "Kids" began working in a skateboard shop. Although his role...

In a depressing case of art imitating life, Leo Fitzpatrick was a morally corrupt, deliquent teenage skateboarder when he was picked by writer/director Larry Clark to play the conniving and recklessly disinterested star of his disturbing 1995 film "Kids." A native of Orange, New Jersey (population: 29,000), Fitzpatrick was a regular skateboarder in Manhattan by the age of 14. He hung around with other skateboard kids, mostly semi-vagrants who came from unhappy homes and looked to each other for a sense of family and belonging. In the early 90's, Larry Clark began hanging around this scene, taking pictures, asking questions and just getting to know the kids, sometimes skating himself. He asked Fitzpatrick if he would like to audition for a movie he was making and Fitzpatrick was cast as Telly, a vagrant skateboarding teen whose life of violence, crime and drugs is directed by one goal, the desire to have sex with very young virgins. Fitzpatrick and Clark shared a story credit on the film, which with its untrained actors and gritty real-life feel was often mistaken as a documentary.

Fitzpatrick never had aspirations to be an actor and after "Kids" began working in a skateboard shop. Although his role in the film had given him a certain level of recognition, he was not interested in pursuing any kind of entertainment career and continued to hang around with his old group of friends. He traveled the United States and briefly went to England where he participated in a reality tv series called "Desperately Seeking Stardom" in 1997. His return to acting came with in 1998 with a bit part in "Another Day in Paradise," Larry Clark's sophomore effort. Clark convinced Fitzpatrick to act in his film and, against his best intentions, Fitzpatrick soon found he had returned to acting.

He landed a series of small film and television roles over the next few years. Most notably, he played a mentally disabled man charged with murdering an eight-year- old on an episode of "The Practice" in 2000. In 2001 Fitzpatrick got a chance to work with one of his heroes, filmmaker Todd Solondz. Fitzpatrick played a creative writing student with cerebral palsy in "Storytelling." The film was characteristically dark and disturbing and some critics felt the film went beyond pushing the envelope, even for the misanthropic Solondz. But the role did showcase Fitzpatrick's talents and for once, this was a role he took very seriously. Solondz had originally wanted someone with cerebral palsy to play the part but ultimately decided Fitzpatrick was the best person for the role. Fitzpatrick worked with several people with cerebral palsy as well as spending time in C.P. clinics, marking the first time he had ever researched a role.

Fitzpatrick next teamed up once again with Larry Clark for 2001's "Bully." Based on the true story of a group of Florida teens who kill a local bully, Fitzpatrick played the "hitman" of the group. For this role, he found himself the oldest and unbelievably, the most responsible of the cast. The other actors had purposely been chosen by Clark because of their wild lifestyles and less than exemplary reputations. During filming co-star Brad Renfro was arrested for stealing a yacht and many of the young actors were frequently drunk on the set. Despite his own arrest for public nudity and drunkness, Fitzpatrick insisted he had gotten that kind of behavior out of his system and had distanced himself from the rest of the cast. 2001 also saw Fitzpatrick's segway into more mainstream ventures, with small parts in the comedy "Bubble Boy" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and the romantic comedy "Serendipity" starring John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale. In 2002, Fitzpatrick had several re-occurring roles on the HBO police drama "The Wire" and ended the year with a supporting role in "Personal Velocity," directed by Rebecca Miller.

Although all he ever wanted was his skateboard and a beer, it looks like this young actor may be maturing in spite of himself, both on screen and off.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Border Crossing (2016)
3.
 Doomsdays (2015)
4.
 Eye of Winter (2014)
5.
 Milkshake (2013)
6.
 Blue Caprice (2013)
8.
 NY Thing, A (2010)
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Milestones close milestones

1995:
Made feature acting debut in "Kids", playing Telly, the street tough whose idea of safe sex is to sleep with virgins; first screen collaboration with director Larry Clark
1998:
Had small role in the Clark-directed drama "Another Day in Paradise"
2000:
Had memorable guest appearance on "The Practice"
2001:
Starred with Selma Blair in the controversial "Storytelling", director Todd Solondz's follow-up to "Happiness"; featured in the section called "Fiction", playing a college student with cerebral palsy
2001:
Reteamed with Larry Clark for a pivotal role as 'The Hitman' in "Bully", inspired by a true life incident
2001:
Moved to the mainstream with a supporting role in "Serendipity", a romantic comedy starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale
2002:
Acted in the HBO series "The Wire"
2002:
Featured in "Personal Velocity: Three Portraits"; directed by Rebecca Miller, daughter of playwright Arthur Miller; film also starred Posy Parker and Kyra Sedgwick; won Grand Jury Prize at Sundance
2005:
Starred in Hal Hartley's "The Girl From Monday," about a time in the near future when citizens are happy to be property traded on the stock exchange
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Notes

Fitzpatrick is a member of the band The Whispers.

"The only difference between me and my friends is that they drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and I can have Guinness." --Fitzpatrick on how fame has changed him

Fitzpatrick was slated to be in the movie "The Last Castle" (starring Robert Redford and James Gandolfini) in 2001 but he was hit by a drunk driver while crossing a street in Los Angeles and suffered severe nerve damage causing him to be in bed for a month.

Fitzpatrick enjoys photography and has a collection of zines he's made which he plans on turning into a book.

"I have issues with being an actor. It's a stupid business. I want to quit every day and go work at McDonald's -- but I don't." --Fitzpatrick to Paper Magazine, Summer 2002

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