Jeff Daniels

Actor, Playwright, Guitarist
An all-American leading man with a flair for playing perplexed characters overtaken by unusual circumstances, actor Jeff Daniels first registered with the public with his performances as a mostly self-involved ... Read more »
Born: 02/18/1955 in Athens, Georgia, USA

Filmography

Actor (84)

The Martian 2015 (Movie)

Teddy Sanders (Actor)

The Newsroom 2011 - 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

Dumb and Dumber To 2014 (Movie)

Harry (Actor)

James Gandolfini: Tribute To A Friend 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Quad 2014 (Movie)

Dan Gilbert (Actor)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2012, 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Conan 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Looper 2012 (Movie)

Abe (Actor)

Howl 2010 (Movie)

David Kirk (Actor)

Paper Man 2010 (Movie)

Richard Dunne (Actor)

Away We Go 2009 (Movie)

Jerry (Actor)

State of Play 2009 (Movie)

Rep George Fergus (Actor)

The 63rd Annual Tony Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The Answer Man 2009 (Movie)

Arlen Faber (Actor)

A Plumm Summer 2008 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Space Chimps 2008 (Movie)

Voice of Zartog (Actor)

Traitor 2008 (Movie)

Carter (Actor)

Mama's Boy 2007 (Movie)

Mert Rosenbloom (Actor)

The 61st Annual Tony Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lookout 2007 (Movie)

Lewis Canfield (Actor)

Infamous 2006 (Movie)

Alvin Dewey (Actor)

RV 2006 (Movie)

Travis Gornicke (Actor)

Reel Comedy: RV 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Because of Winn-Dixie 2005 (Movie)

Preacher (Actor)

Good Night, And Good Luck 2005 (Movie)

Sig Mickelson (Actor)

The Squid and the Whale 2005 (Movie)

Bernard Berkman (Actor)

Imaginary Heroes 2004 (Movie)

Ben Travis (Actor)

Gods and Generals 2003 (Movie)

Lt Col Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Actor)

Super Sucker 2003 (Movie)

Fred Barlow (Actor)

Blood Work 2002 (Movie)

Buddy Noone (Actor)

I Witness 2002 (Movie)

Rhodes (Actor)

The Hours 2002 (Movie)

Louis Waters (Actor)

Escanaba in da Moonlight 2001 (Movie)

Reuben Soady (Actor)

Chasing Sleep 2000 (Movie)

Ed Saxon (Actor)

It's The Rage 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Crossing 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

My Favorite Martian 1999 (Movie)

Tim O'Hara (Actor)

Pleasantville 1998 (Movie)

Mr Johnson (Actor)

Canned Ham: Trial and Error 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Trial and Error 1997 (Movie)

Charles Tuttle (Actor)

Walt Disney World's 25th Anniversary Party 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

101 Dalmatians 1996 (Movie)

Roger (Actor)

2 Days in the Valley 1996 (Movie)

Alvin Strayer (Actor)

Fly Away Home 1996 (Movie)

Thomas Alden (Actor)

Dumb & Dumber 1994 (Movie)

Harry (Actor)

Gettysburg Journal 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Speed 1994 (Movie)

Harry (Actor)

Frasier 1993 (Tv Show)

Actor

Gettysburg 1993 (Movie)

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Actor)

Rain Without Thunder 1993 (Movie)

Jonathan Garson (Actor)

There Goes the Neighborhood 1992 (Movie)

Willis Embry (Actor)

The Butcher's Wife 1991 (Movie)

Alex (Actor)

Arachnophobia 1990 (Movie)

Ross Jennings (Actor)

Love Hurts 1990 (Movie)

Paul Weaver (Actor)

Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael 1990 (Movie)

Denton Webb (Actor)

Checking Out 1989 (Movie)

Ray Macklin (Actor)

Sweet Hearts Dance 1988 (Movie)

Sam Manners (Actor)

The House on Carroll Street 1988 (Movie)

Cochran (Actor)

The Visit 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Radio Days 1987 (Movie)

Biff Baxter (Actor)

Heartburn 1986 (Movie)

Richard (Actor)

Something Wild 1986 (Movie)

Charles Driggs (Actor)

MARIE: A True Story 1985 (Movie)

Eddie Sisk (Actor)

The Purple Rose of Cairo 1985 (Movie)

Gil Shepherd (Actor)

Terms of Endearment 1983 (Movie)

Flap Horton (Actor)

Catalina C-Lab 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Ragtime 1981 (Movie)

(Actor)

2014 MTV Video Music Awards (TV Show)

Presenter

30 for 30 (Tv Show)

Narrator

A Rumor of War (TV Show)

Actor

An Invasion of Privacy (TV Show)

Actor

Cheaters (TV Show)

Actor

Disaster in Time (TV Show)

Actor

Fifth of July (TV Show)

Actor

No Place Like Home (TV Show)

Actor

Redwood Curtain (TV Show)

Actor

Sweet Nothing in My Ear (TV Show)

Actor

The Goodbye Girl (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (3)

Super Sucker 2003 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Escanaba in da Moonlight 2001 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Escanaba in da Moonlight 2001 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (2)

Super Sucker 2003 (Movie)

(Producer)

Escanaba in da Moonlight 2001 (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (2)

Super Sucker 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Escanaba in da Moonlight 2001 (Movie)

(Director)
Music (1)

Mama's Boy 2007 (Movie)

("White Man's Scat") (Song Performer)

Biography

An all-American leading man with a flair for playing perplexed characters overtaken by unusual circumstances, actor Jeff Daniels first registered with the public with his performances as a mostly self-involved semi-intellectual who cheats on his cancer-stricken wife in "Terms of Endearment" (1983). Two years later, he solidified his status as the smug actor in the film-within-the-film who steps off the screen to woo Mia Farrow in "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1985), and had his defining role as the feckless hero in the offbeat comedy-thriller, "Something Wild" (1986). From there, he oscillated easily from quirky character pieces to big studio films like "Gettysburg" (1993) and the action thriller "Speed" (1994). Daniels was at his most hilarious as a good-natured doofus opposite Jim Carrey in "Dumb and Dumber" (1994) and starred in the live action version of "101 Dalmatians" (1996), before turning in an endearing performance as a diner owner-turned-painter in "Pleasantville" (1998). He had a series of supporting roles in "Blood Work" (2002), "The Hours" (2002), and "Gods and Generals" (2003), before delivering an acclaimed performance in the indie hit "The Squid and the Whale" (2005). The decidedly anti-Hollywood Daniels next played lead detective Alvin Dewey in "Infamous" (2006), a wise blind man in "The Lookout" (2007) and a Congressman in "State of Play" (2009). Whether quirky or serious or somewhere in between, Daniels proved himself to be a chameleon-like actor in a wide ranging number of roles.

Relationships

Robert Daniels

Father
Owned the local lumber yard in Chelsea, MI

Nellie Daniels

Daughter
Born in 1990; mother, Kathleen Treado

Benjamin Daniels

Son
Born in 1984; mother, Kathleen Treado

Lucas Daniels

Son
Born in 1987; mother, Kathleen Treado

Kathleen Treado

Wife
High school sweethearts High school sweethearts; married Friday the 13th (July 13) 1979

EDUCATION

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant , Michigan
Participated in their theater program before dropping out during his junior year to move to New York City

Milestones

2013

Won first Best Actor Emmy for his role as Will McAvoy on "The Newsroom"

2012

Starred on Aaron Sorkin's drama series "The Newsroom" (HBO) as veteran anchorman Will McAvoy

2012

Cast opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in sci-fi action "Looper"

2010

Played a struggling novelist who befriends a high school girl who gives him back his motivation in the independent feature "Paper Man"

2010

Cast as Professor David Kirk in "Howl," based on Allen Ginsberg's famous poem

2009

Returned to the stage for the Broadway production of Yasmina Reza’s "God of Carnage"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play

2007

Played Joseph Gordon-Levitt's blind roommate in the crime thriller "The Lookout"

2006

Starred in the Truman Capote biopic "Infamous"

2005

Co-starred in the George Clooney-directed "Goodnight, and Good Luck," a 1950s-era drama that chronicles broadcaster Edward R. Murrow’s campaign to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy

2005

Co-starred with Laura Linney in Noah Baumbach's "The Squid and the Whale"; earned Independent Spirit and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor

2004

Appeared with Sigourney Weaver in the family drama "Imaginary Heroes"

2003

Starred as Lt. Col. Joshua Chamberlain – the same role he played ten years earlier in "Gettysburg" – in the Civil War drama "Gods and Generals"

2002

Co-starred with Clint Eastwood in the detective thriller "Blood Work"

2002

Played small but pivotal role as Ed Harris' ex-lover in "The Hours"

2001

Feature directorial debut, "Escanaba in da Moonlight"; also scripted from his play and starred

2000

Portrayed George Washington in the A&E original film "The Crossing"

2000

Played a teacher who assisted his students in cheating in the HBO film "Cheaters"

1999

NYC debut as playwright, "Thy Kingdom's Come"

1998

Co-starred in Gary Ross' Academy Award-nominated film "Pleasantville"

1996

Co-starred with Glenn Close in the live action feature "101 Dalmatians"

1995

Reprised stage role in the CBS TV adaptation of "Redwood Curtain"

1994

Co-starred with Jim Carrey in the commercial hit "Dumb and Dumber"

1994

Played pivotal role as Keanu Reeves' partner in the hit action film "Speed"

1993

Returned to the Broadway stage in "Redwood Curtain"; penned by Lanford Wilson

1993

Starred as Lt. Col. Joshua Chamberlain in the Civil War ensemble "Gettysburg"

1990

Founded the regional theater Purple Rose Theater Company in Chelsea, MI

1989

Played guitar on Don Johnson's album Let It Roll

1986

Received critical praise for his turn in Jonathan Demme's "Something Wild"

1985

Played first full-fledged romantic lead in Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo"

1983

Landed first prominent film role as Flap, Debra Winger's cheating husband in James L Brooks' "Terms of Endearment"

1982

Played first leading role on TV in the NBC adventure pilot "Catalina C-Lab"

1982

Starred in one-person off-Broadway show "Johnny Got His Gun"

1981

Feature acting debut, a bit part in Miloš Forman's "Ragtime"

1980

Made Broadway debut reprising the role of Jed for "Fifth of July"

1980

Made TV acting debut in the CBS miniseries "A Rumor of War"

1978

Originated the role of Jed in "Fifth of July"; role written expressly for Daniels by playwright Lanford Wilson

1976

First NYC stage appearance, "The Farm"

Worked as an apprentice with the Circle Repertory Theater in New York City

Raised in Southeastern Michigan

Bonus Trivia

.

"Working with megastars is, well, kind of like working with spiders. I've always been the guy in the scene with Meryl or with Debra. I just know they are going to use the take in which she is great. She's the star. Same with the spider (300 of which he co-starred with in 1990's 'Arachnophobia'). When the spider crawled down and finally turned right, I'd better deliver the speech correctly because that's the one we're going to use. We're not going to wait twenty takes for Jeff to get it right." – Daniels quoted in Us Weekly, October 1991

.

"[Show business is] a business that gets rid of you and you don't even know you've been discarded. I want to be the one who says 'I'm done.'" – Daniels quoted in USA Today, Sept. 16, 1996

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