|Born||Frank Joseph Whaley
July 20, 1963
Syracuse, New York
|Spouse(s)||Heather Bucha (2001–present)|
Whaley was born in Syracuse, New York, the son of Josephine (née Timilione) and Robert W. Whaley, Sr. He is half-Irish and half-Sicilian and grew up in Syracuse. He has two sisters and an older brother. His father died in the 1990s of health problems related to alcoholism. Whaley graduated from Anthony A. Henninger High School in 1981 and later from University at Albany.
Whaley made his film debut in 1987's Ironweed, and performed mostly in made-for-TV movies until 1989, when he appeared in Field of Dreams alongside Burt Lancaster and Kevin Costner, and Born on the Fourth of July alongside Tom Cruise. This latter film began a long collaboration with director Oliver Stone, including 1991's The Doors, in which he played Robby Krieger, and, in the same year, JFK, in which he played a conspirator in the JFK assassination. In 1991, Whaley also starred in the John Hughes production Career Opportunities alongside Jennifer Connelly.
Over the next two years, he played supporting roles in movies such as Hoffa and Swing Kids. He appeared in his second leading film role in 1994's Swimming with Sharks, in which he starred opposite Kevin Spacey. During the same year, he played a supporting role as the doomed Brett, who was memorably killed by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta's characters in Pulp Fiction. Whaley also had a memorable cameo as himself in an episode of The State, singing "We Didn't Start the Fire".
In 1998, he started a regular role on the short-lived CBS series Buddy Faro. He has also appeared in episodes of The Dead Zone, Law & Order, and its spinoff Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He made his writing-directorial debut in his own independent film, Joe the King, in 1999, featuring his Doors costar Val Kilmer and longtime friend and colleague Ethan Hawke in starring roles. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and earned Whaley the prestigious Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. His second film as writer and director, The Jimmy Show, starred Whaley and Carla Gugino. This film also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Whaley's third film as writer and director, New York City Serenade, starring Chris Klein and Freddie Prinze, Jr., premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. The film received poor reviews and the New York Times said "the story is transparently banal." He starred as the villain in Screen Gems' 2007 horror film Vacancy alongside Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale, and guest starred on the April 10, 2007 episode of Boston Legal where he plays a man who tried to alter the crime scene of a murder his brother committed.
- Ironweed (1987), Young Francis Phelan
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Timmy
- Field of Dreams (1989), Archie Graham
- Little Monsters (1989), Boy
- Flying Blind (1990)
- Cold Dog Soup (1990), Michael Latchmer
- The Freshman (1990), Steve Bushak
- The Doors (1991), Robby Krieger
- JFK (1991), Oswald imposter
- Career Opportunities (1991), Jim Dodge
- A Midnight Clear (1992), Paul Mundy
- Hoffa (1992), Young trucker
- Swing Kids (1993), Arvid
- I.Q. (1994), Frank
- Swimming with Sharks (1994), Guy
- Pulp Fiction (1994), Brett
- Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald (1994), Lee Harvey Oswald
- The Outer Limits (1995), Henry Marshall
- Homage (1995), Karchie
- Broken Arrow (1996), Giles Prentice
- Retroactive (1997), Brian
- Glam (1997), Franky Syde
- Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five (1998), Skee-Ball Weasel
- When Trumpets Fade (1998), Medic Chamberlain
- Red Dragon (2002), Ralph Mandy (uncredited)
- School of Rock (2003), Battle of Bands Director (uncredited)
- The Twilight Zone (2002)
- "Future Trade", Martin Donnor
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2004)
- Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2004)
- "Chained", Jeffrey White
- Crazy Eights (2006), Brent Sykes
- World Trade Center (2006), Chuck Sereika
- Psych (2006)
- Vacancy (2007)
- Ruffian (2007) Bill Nack - A biography about the amazing thoroughbred racehorse Ruffian
- Boston Legal (2007)
- House (2007)
- "Mirror Mirror", Robert Elliot
- Drillbit Taylor (2008), Interviewed Bodyguards
- The Cell 2 (2009), Duncan
- Burn Notice (2010)
- Alcatraz (2012)
- "The Ames Brothers" (2012), Officer Donovan
- Ray Donovan (2013), Van Miller
- Blue Bloods (2013), Gary Hellman
- Rob the Mob (2014)
- "Frank Whaley Biography (1963-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
- Durbin, Karen (1999-10-17). "FILM; Picturing a Lost Boy, Drawing on Memory". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
- Frank Whaley biography, DVD extras, "Career Opportunities" DVD.
- Lee, Nathan (March 5, 2009). "'New York City Serenade' is directed by Frank Whaley - NYTimes.com".