Aidan Quinn

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Aidan Quinn
Aidan Quinn at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Quinn at the premiere of Handsome Harry at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.
Born (1959-03-08) March 8, 1959 (age 56)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1984–present
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Bracco (m. 1987)
Children 2

Aidan Quinn (born March 8, 1959) is an Irish-American actor. He made his film debut in 1984 in Reckless. His films include Desperately Seeking Susan, The Mission, Stakeout, Benny and Joon, Legends of the Fall, Frankenstein, The Handmaid's Tale, and Michael Collins.

He currently plays Captain Thomas "Tommy" Gregson in the CBS television series Elementary.

Early life[edit]

Quinn was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Irish parents.[1][2] He was brought up as a Roman Catholic[1] and raised in Chicago and Rockford, Illinois, as well as in Dublin and Birr, County Offaly, in Ireland. His mother, Teresa, was a homemaker, and also worked as a bookkeeper and in the travel business, and his father, Michael Quinn, was a professor of literature.[3][4] He has three brothers and a sister. His older brother, Declan Quinn, is a noted cinematographer while his younger sister Marian is an actress, director and writer.[5] Though a roofer by trade, Quinn got his start in the Chicago theater at age 19. He trained at the Piven Theatre Workshop.[6]


His first significant film role was in Reckless, followed by a breakthrough role in Desperately Seeking Susan as the character "Dez" (the love interest of the character played by Rosanna Arquette). Quinn next starred in the controversial television film An Early Frost, about a young gay lawyer dying of AIDS (it was broadcast on NBC on November 11, 1985 and co-starred Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara and Sylvia Sidney). He received his first Emmy Award nomination for the role which allowed him to gain recognition in Hollywood. He made a short impressive contribution as Robert De Niro's brother in The Mission. He played escaped convict Richard "Stick" Montgomery in the action comedy Stakeout opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez.

In 1983 Quinn lost the role of Jesus Christ when Paramount Pictures dropped the Martin Scorsese movie The Last Temptation of Christ. When Universal Pictures picked up the film, the role went to Willem Dafoe. In the meantime, Quinn starred as protagonist in the film Crusoe, finished in 1989.

During the 1990s, he appeared in Legends of the Fall, Benny & Joon, The Handmaid's Tale, Haunted and Practical Magic. He also starred in Michael Collins, Song for a Raggy Boy, This Is My Father, and Evelyn. He played a small cameo as the captain of a doomed Arctic vessel in the Francis Ford Coppola-produced adaptation of Frankenstein.

In 2000, Quinn portrayed Paul McCartney in the VH1 television drama, Two of Us.

Quinn appeared in the 2005 movie The Exonerated a true story about people on death row who had been freed in which Quinn played Kerry Max Cook.

Quinn played the main character on the NBC drama The Book of Daniel, in 2006. The show was canceled after the first three weeks of its run, and its last five episodes never aired. In 2007, Quinn received his second Emmy nomination for the television movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

In 2010, he played the important cameo role of William Rainsferd in the French-made film, Sarah's Key, a powerful story set during World War II, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas.

He starred as "Dermot" opposite Taylor Schilling (Abby) in the Canadian-Irish drama film Stay (2013).

Quinn currently co-stars in the CBS Television series Elementary.

Personal life[edit]

Quinn is married to the actress Elizabeth Bracco, sister of actress Lorraine Bracco. They have two daughters: Ava (b. 1989) and Mia (b. 1998),[7] who appeared as a ghost in the supernatural love story film The Eclipse.



Year Title Role Notes
1984 Reckless Johnny Rourke
1985 Desperately Seeking Susan Dez
1985 An Early Frost Michael Pierson 1986 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special (nominated)
1986 Mission, TheThe Mission Felipe Mendoza
1987 Stakeout Richard 'Stick' Montgomery
1989 Crusoe Crusoe
1990 Handmaid's Tale, TheThe Handmaid's Tale Nick
Lemon Sisters, TheThe Lemon Sisters Frankie McGuinness
Avalon Jules Kaye
1991 At Play in the Fields of the Lord Martin Quarrier
Lies of the Twins James McEwan / Jonathan McEwan
1992 Playboys, TheThe Playboys Tom Casey
1993 Benny & Joon Benjamin 'Benny' Pearl
1994 Blink Det. John Hallstrom
Frankenstein Cpt. Robert Walton
Legends of the Fall Alfred Ludlow
1995 Stars Fell on Henrietta, TheThe Stars Fell on Henrietta Don Day
Haunted Prof. David Ash
1996 Looking for Richard Richmond
Michael Collins Harry Boland
1997 Commandments Seth Warner
Assignment, TheThe Assignment Lt. Cmdr. Annibal Ramirez/Carlos
1998 This Is My Father Kieran O'Day Also Executive Producer
Practical Magic Officer Gary Hallet Blockbuster Entertainment Award (nominated)
1999 In Dreams Paul Cooper
Music of the Heart Brian Turner
2000 Songcatcher Tom Bledsoe Sundance Film Festival Award (won)
Two of Us Paul McCartney VH1 television film
2002 Stolen Summer Joe O'Malley
Evelyn Nick Barron
2003 Song for a Raggy Boy William Franklin
2004 Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius Harry Vardon
Shadow of Fear Detective Scofield
Return to Sender (alternate title: Convicted) Frank Nitzche IFTA Awards (nominated-4Xs)
Proud Commodore Alfred Lind
2005 Nine Lives Henry Gotham Awards (nominated)
2007 Dark Matter Reiser
32A Frank Brennan
2008 Wild Child Gerry Moore
2009 Shine of Rainbows, AA Shine of Rainbows Alec
Eclipse, TheThe Eclipse Nicholas Holden
Handsome Harry Porter
2010 Flipped Richard
Festival of Lights Adem
Jonah Hex President Ulysses S. Grant
Sarah's Key William Rainsferd
Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright Charlie Wright
The 5th Quarter Steven Abbate
2011 Unknown Martin B.
Stand Up, TheThe Stand Up Sandy Hardwick
2013 The Last Keepers John
Rushlights Cameron Brogden
Stay Dermot 2014 Genie Awards (nominated)
2015 The Gettysburg Address Theodore Parker (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Early Frost, AnAn Early Frost Michael Pierson NBC television film
Nominated for an Emmy Award
1987 All My Sons Chris Keller Television film
1989 Perfect Witness Sam Paxton HBO television film
1991 Lies of the Twins James McEwan/Jonathan McEwan Television film
1992 Private Matter, AA Private Matter Bob Finkbine HBO television film
1997 Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone Henry Morton Stanley Television film
2000 See You in My Dreams Joe F. Brown Television film
Prince and the Pauper, TheThe Prince and the Pauper Miles Hendon Television film
Two of Us Paul McCartney VH1 television film
2001 Night Visions Jeremy Bell Episode: "The Passenger List"
2003 Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor Gen. Benedict Arnold V A&E television film
2004 Plainsong Tom Guthrie CBS television film
Cavedweller Clint Windsor Showtime Network television film
Nominated for an Independent Spirit Award
Miracle Run Douglas Thomas Lifetime Movie Network television film
2005 The Exonerated Kerry Max Cook CourtTV television film
Empire Falls David Roby HBO miniseries
Mayday John Berry CBS television film
2004–05 Third Watch Lieutenant/Captain John Miller Episodes: "Alone Again, Naturally", "Last Will and Testament", The Hunter, Hunted", "The Greatest Detectives" and "Goodbye to Camelot"
2006 Book of Daniel, TheThe Book of Daniel Daniel Webster
2007 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Henry L. Dawes HBO television film
Nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Ben Nicholson Episode: "Savant"
2008 Canterbury's Law Matthew "Matt" Furey
2010 White Collar Criminology Professor George Oswald Episode: Copycat Caffrey
2011 Weeds Foster "Chuck" Klein Showtime original series: Season 7
Prime Suspect Lt. Kevin Sweeney NBC original series: Season 1
2012–present Elementary Captain Thomas "Tommy" Gregson CBS original series: Season 1-2, main cast


  1. ^ a b Tauber, Michelle (April 9, 2004). "Aidan Quinn: The quiet man". The Independent. Retrieved May 25, 2010. Quinn never abandoned his own religion, though, however much he despised its authorities. Quinn is, just, more American than Irish. [dead link]
  2. ^ Aidan Quinn Biography –
  3. ^ Fischer, Paul. "Aidan Quinn". Cranky Critic. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ October 06, 2009 (October 6, 2009). "Death Notice: TERESA QUINN - Chicago Tribune". Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Marian Quinn IMDB #
  6. ^ Piven Theatre Workshop – Alumni of the Workshop
  7. ^ The Mighty Quinn

External links[edit]