Brendan Fraser

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Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser cropped.jpg
Fraser in November 2009
Born Brendan James Fraser
(1968-12-03) December 3, 1968 (age 46)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Nationality American
Canadian
Occupation Actor
Years active 1988–present
Spouse(s) Afton Smith (m. 1998–2007)
Children 3
Website
brendanfraser.com

Brendan James Fraser (/ˈfrzər/ FRAY-zər;[1] born December 3, 1968) is an American actor of Canadian descent.[2][3] He portrayed Rick O'Connell in the three-part Mummy film series (1999, 2001, and 2008) and is known for his comedic and fantasy film leading roles in major Hollywood films, such as Encino Man (1992), The Scout (1994), George of the Jungle (1997), Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) and Inkheart (2009). He also starred in numerous dramatic roles, such as Gods and Monsters (1998), The Quiet American (2002), Crash (2004) and Gimme Shelter (2013).

Early life[edit]

Fraser was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Canadian parents. His mother, Carol Mary (née Genereux), was a sales counselor, and his father, Peter, was a former journalist who worked as a Canadian foreign service officer for the Government Office of Tourism.[2][4][5] His maternal uncle, George Genereux, was the only Canadian to win a gold medal in the 1952 Summer Olympics.[6] Fraser has three older brothers: Kevin, Regan, and Sean.[7] His surname is properly pronounced /ˈfrzər/, not /ˈfrʒər/.[8] The correct pronunciation of his surname is a running gag in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, in which his character's surname is pronounced /frɛrəˈʒʊər/. His ancestry includes Irish, Scottish, German, Czech, and French Canadian.[7] His family moved often during his childhood, living in Eureka, California, Seattle, Ottawa, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Fraser attended the private boys' boarding school,[9] Upper Canada College, in Toronto. While on vacation in London, Fraser attended his first professional theatrical performance at the West End. He graduated from Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts in 1990.[4][10] He began acting at a small acting college in New York. He originally planned on attending graduate school in Texas but stopped in Hollywood on his way south and decided to stay in Los Angeles to work in movie productions.

Career[edit]

Fraser's first role was a brief appearance in an America's Most Wanted reenactment (1988), as a friend of murder victim Rodney Mark Peterson. He has appeared in over 30 films. He had his first lead role in Encino Man (1992) and starred with Matt Damon and Chris O'Donnell in School Ties. In 1994, he co-starred alongside Steve Buscemi and Adam Sandler in the comedy Airheads along with playing Steve Nebraska in The Scout and Montgomery "Monty" Kessler in With Honors. He went on to play supporting roles such as starring alongside Viggo Mortensen and Ashley Judd in Philip Ridley's The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995) and Jennifer Beals in The Twilight of the Golds (1997). He got his breakthrough role with the hit comedy film George of the Jungle (1997). He went on to appear in several comedy films such as Blast from the Past (1999), Bedazzled (2000) and Monkeybone (2001). He has starred in two films based on Jay Ward creations, George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right, but did not reprise his role in the former's sequel.

Fraser also played dramatic roles in Gods and Monsters (1998),[11] alongside Ian McKellen and The Quiet American (2002) alongside Michael Caine. Gods and Monsters was based on the life of the filmmaker James Whale (McKellen), who made the 1931 film Frankenstein. This film was written and directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and was a story about the loss of creativity, ambiguous sexuality and unlikely bonds between a heterosexual gardener (played by Fraser) and a homosexual, tortured and ailing filmmaker. His biggest commercial success came with the action adventure film (co-starring Rachel Weisz) The Mummy (1999) and its sequel The Mummy Returns (2001), both of which were hugely successful at the box office. He lent his voice for the unreleased animated film Big Bug Man. In 2004, he appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Crash. He has also made guest appearances on the television shows Scrubs, King of the Hill, and The Simpsons. In March 2006, he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame,[2] the first American-born actor to receive the honor. However, as of 2014, he does not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After a six year hiatus in the franchise, Fraser returned for the second sequel to The Mummy released in August 2008 and titled The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Filming started in Montreal on July 27, 2007 and also starred Jet Li as Emperor Han. His other releases in 2008 were the 3D film adaptation of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth and the fantasy film Inkheart (chosen personally for the lead role by the novel's author Cornelia Funke). In 2010 he starred in the drama Extraordinary Measures alongside Harrison Ford.

Fraser also starred as "Brick" in the West End production of Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in September 2001, directed by Anthony Page. Castmates included Ned Beatty, Frances O'Connor and Gemma Jones. The show closed on January 12, 2002, with Fraser garnering many excellent reviews.[12] Fraser recently starred in a Broadway production of Elling, but the play closed after 9 performances due to lackluster reviews.[13] After appearing in the critically panned Furry Vengeance in 2010, Fraser moved from being represented by William Morris Endeavor to the Creative Artists Agency.[14] He starred in Whole Lotta Sole directed by Terry George and is set to play William Tell in The Legend of William Tell: 3D, which will be directed by Eric Brevig.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Fraser met actress Afton Smith while attending a barbecue at Winona Ryder's house on July 4, 1993, after his arrival in Los Angeles.[4] Fraser married Smith on September 27, 1998, and they have three sons: Griffin Arthur Fraser,[1] born in 2002, Holden Fletcher Fraser, born in 2004, and Leland Francis Fraser, born in 2006. On December 27, 2007, Fraser's publicist announced the couple had decided to divorce.[16][17] In early 2013, Fraser petitioned the courts for a reduction of his alimony and child support payments, asserting that he was unable to meet the annual obligation of $900,000; his ex-wife, in turn, accused Fraser of hiding financial assets.[18] Fraser speaks fluent French,[19] and serves on the Board of Directors for FilmAid International.[20]

He is an accomplished amateur photographer,[2] and has used several Polaroids in movies and on TV shows, most notably on his guest roles on Scrubs. In his first appearance he used a folding pack camera; and on his second appearance he used a Holga with a Polaroid back, a Japanese-only model. The book Collector's Guide to Instant Cameras has a dedication to Fraser.

Fraser currently resides in Kent, Connecticut.

Filmography[edit]

Feature films
Year Title Role Notes
1991 Dogfight Sailor No. 1
1992 Encino Man Link Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor
1992 School Ties David Greene Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor
1993 Twenty Bucks Sam Mastrewski
1993 Younger and Younger Winston Younger
1993 Son In Law Link Cameo
1994 With Honors Montgomery 'Monty' Kessler
1994 Airheads Chester 'Chazz' Darby
1994 In the Army Now Link Cameo
1994 The Scout Steve Nebraska
1995 The Passion of Darkly Noon Darkly Noon
1995 Now and Then Vietnam Veteran Uncredited
1996 Brain Candy Placebo Patient Uncredited
1996 Mrs. Winterbourne Bill / Hugh Winterbourne
1996 Glory Daze Doug Cameo
1996 The Twilight of the Golds David Gold
1997 George of the Jungle George Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor – Action
1997 Still Breathing Fletcher McBracken Won – Seattle International Film Festival Award for Best Actor
1998 Gods and Monsters Clayton Boone Nominated – Chlotrudis Awards for Best Supporting Actor
1999 Blast from the Past Adam Webber
1999 The Mummy Richard 'Rick' O'Connell Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor – Action
1999 Dudley Do-Right Dudley Do-Right
2000 Bedazzled Elliot Richards / Jefe / Mary / Abraham Lincoln
2000 Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists Sinbad (voice)
2001 Monkeybone Stu Miley
2001 The Mummy Returns Richard 'Rick' O'Connell Nominated – Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Male Movie Star
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Film – Choice Actor
2002 The Quiet American Alden Pyle
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Himself Uncredited
2003 Looney Tunes: Back in Action DJ Drake / Himself /
Voice of Tasmanian Devil and She-Devil
2004 Crash Rick Cabot Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Won – Critics' Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Won – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Won – Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year
2006 Journey to the End of the Night Paul
2006 The Last Time Jamie Executive producer
2007 The Air I Breathe Pleasure
2008 Journey to the Center of the Earth Prof. Trevor Anderson Executive producer
2008 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Richard 'Rick' O'Connell Nominated – National Movie Award for Best Male Performance
2009 Inkheart Mortimer Folchart
2009 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Sgt. Stone Cameo
2010 Extraordinary Measures John Crowley
2010 Furry Vengeance Dan Sanders Executive producer
2012 Stand Off Joe Maguire Executive producer[21]
2013 Escape from Planet Earth Scorch Supernova (voice)
2013 A Case of You Tony
2013 HairBrained Leo Searly
2013 Pawn Shop Chronicles Ricky Baldoski
2013 Breakout Jack Damson Producer
Direct-to-DVD
2013 Gimme Shelter Tom Fitzpatrick
2014 The Nut Job Grayson (voice)
Television shows
Year Title Role Notes
1991 My Old School Chevy Short
1991 Child of Darkness, Child of Light John's friend Movie
1991 Guilty Until Proven Innocent Bobby McLaughlin Movie
1995 Fallen Angels Johnny Lamb Episode: "The Professional Man"
1997 Duckman Sammons Cagle (voice) Episode: "Dammit, Hollywood"
1998 The Simpsons Brad (voice) Episode: "King of the Hill"
2000; 05 King of the Hill David Kalaiki-Ali / Irv Bennet / Jimmy Beardon (voices) 2 episodes
2002; 04 Scrubs Ben Sullivan 3 episodes
2009 Wishology Turbo Thunder (voice) Movie
2015 Texas Rising Billy Anderson Miniseries

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Brendan Fraser's Looney Adventure". CBS. November 13, 2003. Retrieved August 24, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d "2006 Inductees – Brendan Fraser". Canada's Walk of Fame. 2006. Retrieved August 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ Beale, Lewis (November 1, 1998). "In The Know Brendan Up To Buff In 'Gods And Monsters'". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Lynch, Lorrie (October 26, 2003). "In tune with himself". USA Weekend. Retrieved December 27, 2007. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Brendan Fraser Biography (1968–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved November 2, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Daily Highlights – January 10 – Brendan Fraser Interview". Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. 
  7. ^ a b Rota, Kara (January 22, 2010). "Brendan Fraser on playing the real John Crowley in 'Extraordinary Measures'". Irish Central. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  8. ^ Dougherty, Margot. "Brendan Fraser Comes Up For Air". LA Mag. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ Diamond, Jamie (June 21, 1992). "UP AND COMING: Brendan Fraser; A Man Schooled for Success". New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2008. 
  10. ^ Halpern, Lisa (February 10, 2005). "Fraser's Edge". Cornish College of the Arts. Retrieved December 27, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Gods and Monsters Credits". Gods and Monsters Official site. Retrieved August 24, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Albemarle – Archive". Albemarle-london.com. Retrieved November 2, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Brendan Fraser Broadway debut shuts after one week". BBC. November 26, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  14. ^ Masarella, Linda (March 27, 2011). "Fraser finds 'Sole' in Ireland". Toronto Sun. Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Eric Brevig Re-Teaming with Brendan Fraser for ‘William Tell 3D’". TheFilmStage.com. September 7, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Brendan Fraser and Wife to Divorce". The Insider. December 27, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2007. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Mummy Star Brendan Fraser, Wife Split After Nine Years". US Magazine. December 27, 2007. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Brendan Fraser Broke, Can't Afford $900,000 Child Support Payment To Ex-Wife", Huffington Post, 15 February 2013, accessed 16 May 2013
  19. ^ "BBC – Films – Brendan Fraser". BBC. Retrieved February 27, 2008. 
  20. ^ "filmaid.org Newsletter". FilmAid International. 2006. Retrieved February 27, 2008. 
  21. ^ "TFF 2012: Spotlight". tribecafilm.com, Inc. March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 

External links[edit]