Date of Birth: April 9th 1954
With boyish good looks, an easy manner, and a lopsided grin, Dennis Quaid should have been an instant candidate for stardom. But this son of a Houston electrician worked as an amusement-park clown and a singing waiter before making his film debut in September 30, 1955 (1978). Quaid toiled in many movies-including I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977), Seniors (1978), Breaking Away (1979), Gorp (1980), The Long Riders (1980, a Western in which he appeared with brother Randy), All Night Long, Caveman, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (all 1981), Tough Enough (1982) and Jaws 3-D (1983) -before hitting pay dirt as astronaut Gordon Cooper in The Right Stuff (1983), which elevated him to leadingman status. His dimpled smile and insouciant manner have accounted for his success at least as much as his acting ability, which is considerable. He met his second wife, Meg Ryan, while costarring with her in Innerspace (1987); they were reteamed in D.O.A (1988).
His other starring vehicles include Dreamscape (1984), Enemy Mine (1985), The Big Easy (1987, one of his best parts, as a stylish New Orleans homicide detective), Suspect (also 1987), the underrated Everybody's All-American (1988), Great Balls of Fire! (1989, in which he played rocker Jerry Lee Lewis), and Come See the Paradise (1990). He also had a brief but memorable bit part in Postcards From the Edge (1990), playing a cocky Tinseltown type who beds a vulnerable Meryl Streep but gets a hilarious comeuppance. More recently, he's starred in Wilder Napalm, Undercover Blues, Flesh and Bone (all 1993, in the last with Ryan), and Wyatt Earp (1994, as Doc Holliday).
Also a musician, Quaid performs with his band, "The Eclectics," whenever his schedule allows.