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Also Known As: Edward Allen Harris Died:
Born: November 28, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Tenafly, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Largely associated with stoic, hardened characters, actor Ed Harris went on to impress with a wide array of diverse performances in dozens of acclaimed films. Following a series of low-budget genre movies, Harris gained notoriety with his turn as legendary astronaut John Glenn in "The Right Stuff" (1983). Despite the accolades, it took several years before the actor landed another memorable role, which finally came when he was cast in James Cameron's ambitious undersea adventure "The Abyss" (1989). Reaping the rewards of his new A-list status, Harris vacillated between literary character work in such acclaimed endeavors as "Glengarry Glenn Ross" (1992) and rousing crowd-pleasers like the NASA docudrama "Apollo 13" (1995). The versatile actor proved just as at home with pyrotechnic blockbusters like Michael Bay's actioner "The Rock" (1996) as he was in more heady material, such as the Jim Carrey vehicle "The Truman Show" (1998). Harris later astounded audiences as both the director and star of the enthralling biopic "Pollock" (2000), which he followed with equally heralded supporting work in the dramas "A Beautiful Mind" (2001) and "The Hours" (2002). Incredibly dexterous, he played wildly divergent...

Largely associated with stoic, hardened characters, actor Ed Harris went on to impress with a wide array of diverse performances in dozens of acclaimed films. Following a series of low-budget genre movies, Harris gained notoriety with his turn as legendary astronaut John Glenn in "The Right Stuff" (1983). Despite the accolades, it took several years before the actor landed another memorable role, which finally came when he was cast in James Cameron's ambitious undersea adventure "The Abyss" (1989). Reaping the rewards of his new A-list status, Harris vacillated between literary character work in such acclaimed endeavors as "Glengarry Glenn Ross" (1992) and rousing crowd-pleasers like the NASA docudrama "Apollo 13" (1995). The versatile actor proved just as at home with pyrotechnic blockbusters like Michael Bay's actioner "The Rock" (1996) as he was in more heady material, such as the Jim Carrey vehicle "The Truman Show" (1998). Harris later astounded audiences as both the director and star of the enthralling biopic "Pollock" (2000), which he followed with equally heralded supporting work in the dramas "A Beautiful Mind" (2001) and "The Hours" (2002). Incredibly dexterous, he played wildly divergent characters in the small town drama "Empire Falls" (HBO, 2005) and the shocking "A History of Violence" (2005). He returned to the director's chair once more to helm the sweeping western "Appaloosa" (2008), cementing his reputation as a deft cinematic storyteller. One of the finest American actors of his generation, Harris' artistic reputation and professional résumé knew few equals.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Appaloosa (2008)
2.
  Pollock (2000) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Frontera (2014)
3.
 Cymbeline (2014)
4.
 Snowpiercer (2014)
5.
 Phantom (2013)
6.
 Pain & Gain (2013)
7.
8.
 Game Change (2012)
9.
10.
 That's What I Am (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Professional stage debut as King Arthur in "Camelot" at the Jewel Box Theater in Oklahoma City
:
Appeared in the West Coast productions, "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "The Grapes of Wrath"
1977:
TV-movie debut, "The Amazing Howard Hughes" (CBS)
1978:
Feature acting debut, "Coma"
1981:
First feature lead role, "Knightriders"
1983:
NY stage debut in the Off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love"
1984:
Credited as script consultant on the independent feature "A Flash of Green"; also starred
1984:
Met future wife Amy Madigan, starring opposite her in "Places in the Heart"
1985:
Delivered solid turn as Charlie Dick, husband of Patsy Cline in "Sweet Dreams"
1986:
Broadway debut in "Precious Sons"; received Tony nomination
1989:
First lead in a major feature, "The Abyss"; directed by James Cameron
1991:
Appeared in the Showtime movie "Paris Trout"
1992:
Co-starred opposite Diane Keaton in the poitically-themed "Running Mates" (HBO)
1992:
Co-starred in the feature version of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross"
1994:
Appeared in the ABC miniseries "Stephen King's 'The Stand'"
1994:
Returned to the New York stage in the Off-Broadway staging of Sam Shepard's "Simpatico"; co-starred Beverly D'Angelo and Marcia Gay Harden
1995:
Received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as NASA mission control flight director Gene Krantz in "Apollo 13"
1996:
Producing debut (as executive producer) of the TNT movie "Riders of the Purple Sage"; also co-starred with Madigan
1996:
Returned to Broadway in "Taking Sides"
1998:
Received critical acclaim and his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as the God-like Christof, the creator and director of "The Truman Show"
1998:
Co-starred with Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts in "Stepmom"
1999:
Cast as a disillusioned priest sent to investigate claims of miracles performed by a woman proposed for sainthood in "The Third Miracle"
2000:
Feature directorial debut, "Pollock"; also portrayed the artist; received first Best Actor Oscar nomination
2001:
Played a German assassin sent to kill a Russian marksman in "Enemy at the Gates"; premiered at the Berlin Film Festival
2001:
Cast as an American battalion commander in 1980s Germany in "Buffalo Soldiers"; (released theatrically in USA in 2002)
2001:
Had featured role opposite Russell Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind"; directed by Ron Howard
2002:
Co-starred with Meryl Streep in "The Hours"; received supporting role nominations for a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a SAG and an Oscar
2003:
Portrayed the ex-husband of Nicole Kidman's character in the film adaptation of Philip Roth's novel "The Human Stain"
2003:
Starred as a football coach in the southern drama "Radio"
2005:
Starred as Miles Roby in the HBO film adaptation of "Empire Falls," based on Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize winning novel; earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
2005:
Co-starred with Viggo Mortensen in David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence"
2006:
Portrayed Ludwig van Beethoven in Agnieszka Holland's "Copying Beethoven"
2007:
Played a Boston detective in Ben Affleck's feature directing debut "Gone, Baby, Gone"
2008:
Directed and co-wrote the Western "Appaloosa"; also co-starred with Viggo Mortensen
2010:
Played an American inmate in Peter Weir's "The Way Back"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Tenafly High School: Tenafly , New Jersey -
Columbia University: New York , New York - 1969 - 1971
Oklahoma State University: Norman , Oklahoma - 1972 - 1973
California Institute of the Arts: Valencia , California - 1975

Notes

"If the best acting is seamless, than Ed is one of the best." --Louis Malle

"My career has been based on playing characters, I don't have that star persona. I like to think of myself as an actor, not a personality." --Ed Harris quoted in Empire. November 1998.

"When I realized I couldn't play football, I was pretty lost. I needed something I could be good at. I wasn't even thinking about making a living. It was about survival. I was becoming an adult and I didn't have a way in. I needed to feel I belonged in the world. ...

"It was the closest thing I could think of to scoring a touchdown! Acting. It was physical and required great concentration and meant working with others in public. It was challenging, like sports. What was new was the creative and emotional side, because that hadn't been part of my life before. ... I wasn't thinking about making money. I was concentrating on what I would become, an actor, and I just got lost in it." --Harris to Parade Magazine, June 21, 1998.

"My motto is, 'If there is a problem, figure it out!'" --Ed Harris to Cindy Pearlman in the Chigago Sun-Times, May 31, 1998.

"Ed has this deeply moral, middle-American core. It's not an accident that he plays American icons." --Charles Haid who directed Harris and Madigan in the 1996 TNT movie "Riders of the Purple Sage" to Premiere, July 1998.

"He has this funny background, both New Jersey and Oklahoma. Which is a very odd discrepancy. So he has the kind of toughness of Oklahoma and, at the same time, this sort of intellectual bent of the East Coast." --Sam Shepard to Premiere, July 1998.

"I think that as the years go by I might want to direct, but I like acting. Being on location is a little less thrilling than it used to be. You get a little frozen in time and wonder if you're really maturing ... I'm not trying to discover new ways to act. I'm just trying, as my life goes on, to tell the truth better." --Ed Harris quoted in Premiere, August 1995.

"I didn't get into acting until I was twenty-one. By that time I didn't have any problem with it being a masculine thing or not. People whose work I admired seemed to be pretty secure in their manhood. It was interesting getting involved in the theater world and metting the kind of people that, five years prior in high school, you laughed at. And realizing that they were usually pretty cool people." --Harris quoted in Interview, March 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Amy Madigan. Actor. Met during a production of "Prairie Avenue" at the Lee Strasberg Institute in 1981; married in 1983 in Waxahachie, Texas during the filming of "Places in the Heart" (1984); also worked together in "Alamo Bay" (1985), "Riders of the Purple Sage" (TNT, 1996), and "Pollock" (2000).

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert L Harris. Bookseller, former singer. Sang with the Fred Waring chorus; while working in the bookstore at the Art Institute of Chicago in the mid-1980s, sent son two biographies of painter Jackson Pollock.
mother:
Margaret Harris. Travel agent.
brother:
Robert Harris. Older; born c. 1939.
brother:
Spencer Harris. Younger; born c. 1956.
daughter:
Lily Dolores Harris. Born on May 3, 1993; mother, Amy Madigan.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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