Frank Whaley

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Frank Whaley
Born (1963-07-20) July 20, 1963 (age 51)
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, film director, screenwriter
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Heather Bucha (2001–present)

Frank Joseph Whaley (born July 20, 1963) is an American actor, director, and screenwriter. He is best known for his roles in independent films.

Early life[edit]

Whaley was born and raised in Syracuse, New York,[1] the son of Josephine (née Timilione) and Robert W. Whaley, Sr.[2][3] He is half Irish and half Sicilian.[citation needed] 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. The 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."[4] 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.

He has directed the 2014 film Like Sunday, Like Rain, starring Debra Messing, Leighton Meester and Billie Joe Armstrong.[5]

In 2015, Whaley will appear on Paramount Animation's first live-action/animation film, Monster Trucks, which also stars Jane Levy, Lucas Till, Amy Ryan, Holt McCallany, Danny Glover, Chad Willett, Barry Pepper, Thomas Lennon, Tucker Albrizzi, Adrian Formosa, and Rob Lowe.[6] Whaley co-stars with Candy Clark, Laura Cayouette, Josh Stewart and Christopher Lloyd in Cold Moon, a 2015 adaptation of Beetlejuice author Michael McDowell's Cold Moon Over Babylon, directed by Griff Furst.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Whaley has two sisters and an older brother. In 2001, he married Heather Bucha, an actress and writer, with whom he has two children. They reside in Redding, CT.[8] They collaborated on the NBC pilot Lloyd of the House, and continue to write together.



  1. ^ Frank Whaley biography, DVD extras, "Career Opportunities" DVD.
  2. ^ "Frank Whaley Biography (1963-)". Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  3. ^ Durbin, Karen (1999-10-17). "FILM; Picturing a Lost Boy, Drawing on Memory". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  4. ^ Lee, Nathan (March 5, 2009). "'New York City Serenade' is directed by Frank Whaley". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Yamato, Jen (September 19, 2013). "Leighton Meester, Billie Joe Armstrong, Debra Messing To Star In Frank Whaley’s ‘Like Sunday, Like Rain’". PMC. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  6. ^ "Frank Whaley, Danny Glover Joining Lucas Till in 'Monster Trucks' (Exclusive)". 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  7. ^ Miska, Brad (September 19, 2013). "Genre Vets Howl At ‘Cold Moon’". PMC. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  8. ^ "Democrats choose their slate". Retrieved 2014-06-11. 

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