Rainn Wilson

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Rainn Wilson
Rainn Wilson 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Wilson attending the premiere of The Union at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.
Born Rainn Dietrich Wilson
(1966-01-20) January 20, 1966 (age 49)
Seattle, Washington, United States
Alma mater Tufts University
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter, producer, art collector
Years active 1997–present
Religion Bahá'í
Spouse(s) Holiday Reinhorn (1995–present)
Children 1

Rainn Dietrich Wilson /rn ˈdtrɪk ˈwɪlsən/[1] (born January 20, 1966) is an American actor who is well known for his Emmy-nominated role as the egomaniac Dwight Schrute on the American version of the television comedy The Office. He also directed three episodes of The Office: the Season 6 "The Cover-Up", the Season 7 "Classy Christmas", and the Season 8 "Get the Girl". In addition to his involvement with The Office he also voiced the alien villain, Gallaxhar in Monsters vs. Aliens (2009).

Early life and education[edit]

Wilson was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Shay Cooper, a yoga teacher and actress, and Robert G. Wilson, a novelist, artist, and business consultant who wrote the science fiction novel Tentacles of Dawn.[2] Wilson has English and Norwegian ancestry.[3] He attended Central Middle School and Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Washington, where he played the clarinet and bassoon in the band.[4] He transferred to and graduated from New Trier High School after his family moved to Winnetka, Illinois, to serve at the Bahá'í National Center.[5] Wilson has a theatre background from Tufts University and the University of Washington, and he has taught acting classes.

Wilson holds an MFA from New York University's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts[6] and was a member of The Acting Company.[7] While acting in theatrical productions in New York City, he drove a moving van to make ends meet.[8]


In addition to his starring role on The Office, Wilson appeared as the eccentric Arthur Martin—the intern at Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home—on HBO's Six Feet Under. He has also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI, and Entourage, in the last portraying a sleazy entertainment journalist based on Harry Knowles[9] of Ain't It Cool News. Wilson guest-starred in an episode of Monk titled "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame" and as a virologist in "Vector, "an episode of NUMB3RS. He appeared in the "Coyote Piper" episode of Charmed as an alchemist named Kierkan. Wilson has made a guest appearance in two episodes of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim-bloc series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job. Wilson has also appeared on Reno 911.

Wilson at the Heroes for Autism event, Hollywood, California

On February 24, 2007, Wilson hosted Saturday Night Live, becoming the second cast member from The Office to host (after Steve Carell). During the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, Wilson appeared in ads for the 2007 United States women's national soccer team as public relations manager "Jim Mike."

In August 2010 Wilson appeared in the music video for Ferraby Lionheart's "Harry and Bess." Wilson was also in the music video for Andy Grammer's "Keep Your Head Up" as the "creepy elevator guy." and made the final cut for the role of Gob in Arrested Development, but was beaten out by Will Arnett for it.

His film credits include Almost Famous, America's Sweethearts, BAADASSSSS!, Galaxy Quest, House of 1000 Corpses, Sahara, The Last Mimzy, Juno (in which he played convenience store clerk Rollo), The Rocker, and My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Wilson starred in the Fox Atomic comedy The Rocker, released on August 20, 2008.[10] His 2009 films include Bonzai Shadowhands, which he co-wrote and co-produced;[8] Renaissance Men, which he co-wrote and co-produced;[11] the DreamWorks Animation film Monsters vs. Aliens, as the voice of the villainous alien overlord Gallaxhar,[12] and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, in which he played a university professor. In 2011, he played the lead role as the unhinged protagonist in Super.

Wilson wrote in-character as Dwight Schrute on his NBC blog, "Schrute-Space".[13] In June 2008, Wilson confirmed that he no longer writes the blog.[14]

In 2014, Wilson was cast as the lead role in the upcoming Fox crime-drama Backstrom, based on Leif G. W. Persson's Swedish book series of the same name. He plays Evert Backstrom, an offensive, self-destructive detective who is part of a team of eccentric criminologists.[15] Wilson also serves as the show's producer. In the same year starred in a leading role in The Boy, which premiered on SXSW.[16]


Wilson founded the website and YouTube channel SoulPancake. As of April 24, 2014, the channel has over 1,190,000 subscribers, and over 139,000,000 video views. Soul Pancake has been featured on Oprah Winfrey's Satellite Radio Show and Super Soul Sunday.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson is married to writer Holiday Reinhorn. They met in an acting class in college and married on the Kalama River in Washington. The couple have a son, Walter Mckenzie, born in 2004, and they currently reside in Agoura Hills, California. They have a home outside of Sisters, Oregon. They have three pit bulls, Oona, Barry, and Pilot.[18] He and his family are members of the Baha'i Faith.[19][20][21] A short film inspired by his character in The Office was selected and shown at the 2009 Dawn Breakers International Film Festival in Zurich.[22]

On Bill Maher's Real Time, Wilson described himself as a diverse independent, voting for Republican, Green Party, and Democratic candidates. Wilson's charitable works include fundraising for the educational organization The Mona Foundation.[23] Wilson and his father, both art collectors, buy and sell fine art and represent contemporary artists on their website.[24]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Galaxy Quest Lahnk
2000 Almost Famous David Felton
2001 America's Sweethearts Dave O'Hanlon
2002 Full Frontal Brian
2003 House of 1000 Corpses Bill Hudley
2003 BAADASSSSS! Bill Harris
2005 The Life Coach Dr. Watson Newmark
2005 Sahara Rudi Gunn
2006 My Super Ex-Girlfriend Vaughn Haige
2007 The Last Mimzy Larry White
2007 Juno Rollo
2008 The Rocker Robert 'Fish' Fishman
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens Gallaxhar Voice
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Professor Colan Cameo
2010 Super Frank D'Arbo / The Crimson Bolt
2011 Hesher Paul Forney
2011 Peep World Joel Meyerwitz
2013 The Stream Adult Ernest
2013 Uncanny Castle
2014 Cooties Wade Johnson
2015 The Boy William Colby


Year Title Role Notes
1997 One Life to Live Casey Keegan Unknown episodes
2000 The Expendables Newman Movie
2001 Charmed Kierkan Episode: "Coyote Piper"
2001 When Billie Beat Bobby Dennis Van De Meer Movie
2001 Dark Angel Phil Episode: "I and I Am a Camera"
2001 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Guy in Supermarket Episode: "The Strip Strangler"
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Janitor Episode: "Waste"
2003 Monk Walker Browning Episode: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame"
2003–2005 Six Feet Under Arthur Martin 13 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2005 Numb3rs Martin Grolsch Episode: "Vector"
2005 Entourage R. J. Spencer Episode: "I Love You Too"
2005–2013 The Office Dwight Schrute 201 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2007 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Rainn Wilson/Arcade Fire"
2008 Tim and Eric Nite Live! The Psychic Episode: "1.8"
2008; 2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Various 5 episodes
2009 Reno 911! Calvin Robin Tomlinson Episode: "Digging with the Murderer"
2010 Family Guy Dwight Schrute Voice, Episode: "Excellence in Broadcasting"
2012 Rove LA Himself Episode: "Rainn Wilson/Sarah Wayne/The Miz"
2013 The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange Dr. Po Voice; Episode: Orange James Orange (#2.5)
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Rainn Wilson Wears a Short Sleeved Plaid Shirt & Colorful Sneakers"
2014 Adventure Time Rattleballs, Peacemaster Voice; 2 episodes
2015 Backstrom Detective Evert Backstrom Series regular


  1. ^ "Rainn Wilson has faith in life after 'The Office'.". CNN. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Rainn showed the book and read from it on Jimmy Kimmel Live! March 22, 2011.
  3. ^ "Rainn Wilson on Jay Leno". OfficeTally.com. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Rainn Wilson on Myspace". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  5. ^ Estudillo, Terry (May 22, 2006). "From Shorecrest "loser" to "The Office" poser". The Seattle Times. 
  6. ^ "NYU Graduate Acting Alumni". 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  7. ^ Chung, Wing (March 1, 2006). "The B.J. Novak Interview". Television Without Pity. 
  8. ^ a b "Rainn Wilson leaves cubicle for the big screen". MSNBC.com. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Rainn Wilsons Talks About Entourage!". Entourage The Blog. July 17, 2008. 
  10. ^ The Rocker
  11. ^ "Rainn Wilson and Matt Ross are 'Renaissance Men'". Cinematical. August 25, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Monsters vs Aliens (2009)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ Schrute-Space
  14. ^ "Rainn Wilson Moves From 'The Office' to the Big Screen". AOL. August 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-25. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Rainn Wilson's Next Show is a CBS Crime-Drama Called Backstrom". Splitsider. March 2013. 
  16. ^ "The Boy". Dread Central. March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Rainn Wilson on Oprah's Radio Show". Oprah.com. March 9, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Rainn Wilson Book: Office Actor Releases Soul Pancake". thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  19. ^ Winters Keegan, Rebecca (March 8, 2007). "Rainn Wilson". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-24. Did being of the Baha'i faith help you understand the spirituality? As a Baha'i, I believe in all the spiritual beliefs: Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity. 
  20. ^ "Rainn Wilson Feeds The Internet Soul Pancakes: Online Video News «". Newteevee.com. 2009-03-11. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  21. ^ Bahai.org: "Rainn Wilson talks about Hollywood, his family and the Bahá'í Faith"
  22. ^ "First line-up". Dbiff.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  23. ^ MSNBC.com: "Charity's work aligns with Rainn Wilson's faith" (Q&A interview), January 3, 2008
  24. ^ "RainnWilson.net". 

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