Date of Birth: November 28th 1950
By transforming into his characters and pulling the audience in, Ed Harris has earned the reputation as one of the most talented actors of our time. Born in Tenafly, New Jersey, Harris grew up as the middle child. After graduating high school, he attended New York's Columbia University on a football scholarship. After viewing local theater productions, Harris took a sudden interest in acting. He left Columbia, headed to Oklahoma where his parents were living, and enrolled in the University of Oklahoma's theater department. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to find work. He started acting in theater and television guest spots. Harris landed his first leading role in a film in cult-favorite George Romero's Knightriders (1981).
Harris's first important film role was in Borderline with Charles Bronson. In Knightriders he played a motorcycle stunt rider in a role modeled after that of King Arthur. In 1983, he became a star, playing NASA astronaut John Glenn in The Right Stuff; in 1995 he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of NASA mission director Gene Kranz, in the film Apollo 13. Further Oscar nominations arrived in 1999, 2001 and 2003, for The Truman Show, Pollock and The Hours, respectively. More recently, he appeared as a vengeful mobster in David Cronenberg's A History of Violence. He also had a role alongside Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman in Gone, Baby, Gone, directed by actor Ben Affleck.
Two years later, he got his first taste of critical acclaim, playing astronaut John Glenn in Right Stuff, The (1983). Also that year, he made his New York stage debut in Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love", a performance that earned him an Obie for Outstanding Actor. Harris' career gathered momentum after that. In 2000, he made his debut as a director in the Oscar-winning film Pollock (2000).