Gil Birmingham (born July 13, 1953) is an American actor known for his role as Tribal Chairman Thomas Rainwater in the Paramount Network's television series Yellowstone. He is also known for his portrayal of Billy Black in The Twilight Saga film series and recurring television roles as George Hunter in Banshee and Virgil White in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Birmingham was born in San Antonio, Texas. He identifies his father as being of Comanche descent. His family moved frequently during his childhood due to his father's career in the military. Birmingham learned to play the guitar at an early age and considers music to be his "first love." After obtaining a Bachelor of Science from the USC Price School of Public Policy, he worked as a petrochemical engineer, but later decided to become an actor.
In the early 1980s, a talent scout spotted Birmingham at a local gym, where he had been bodybuilding and entering bodybuilding contests. He was recruited for his first acting experience, in a music video for Diana Ross, for her 1982 hit song "Muscles."
After appearing in Ross' music video, Birmingham began to pursue acting as his primary career. He studied acting with Larry Moss and Charles Conrad. He portrayed the character of Conan the Barbarian in Universal Studios Hollywood's theme park attraction The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular.
In 1986, Birmingham made his television debut on an episode of the series Riptide. By 2002, he had a recurring role as the character Oz in the medical drama Body & Soul, starring Peter Strauss. In 2005, he was cast as the older Dogstar in the Steven Spielberg six-part miniseries Into the West.
He has appeared in a number of television series, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, 10 Items or Less, Nip/Tuck, Castle, The Mentalist, House of Cards Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and “The Siren.” He has also had roles in several television films, such as Gentle Ben (with Dean Cain) and Gentle Ben 2, Dreamkeeper, The Lone Ranger, and Love's Long Journey (with Erin Cottrell and Irene Bedard).
In 2001, Birmingham appeared in his first feature film, The Doe Boy, in which he portrayed Manny Deadmarsh.
The Twilight series has led to roles in other major film roles, including that of Sheriff Johnny Cortez in Love Ranch (with Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren), and Cal Bishnik in Shouting Secrets (with The Twilight Saga: New Moon castmate Chaske Spencer). In September 2011, Birmingham appeared in the film Crooked Arrows, cast in the role of Ben Logan.
Birmingham voiced Wounded Bird in the animated film Rango and has provided voice work for the television series The Wild Thornberrys (in which he voiced an Inuit elder) and the film Night at the Museum.
In the Chickasaw Nation production of Te Ata, Birmingham plays Thomas Benjamin 'T.B.' Thompson, Mary Frances 'Te Ata' (Thompson) Fisher's father. Birmingham attended the film's premiere in Moore, Oklahoma, on September 13, 2016.
In February 2021, it was announced that Birmingham was cast as Charlie Bass in the upcoming Netflix thriller series Pieces of Her, which is adapted from the Karin Slaughter novel of the same name.
|1987||House II: The Second Story||Featured Warrior|
|1996||Le Jaguar||Bodyguard of Kumare|
|2001||The Doe Boy||Manny Deadmarsh|
|2002||Skins||Sonny Yellow Lodge|
|2005||End of the Spear||Moipa||Uncredited|
|2007||Cosmic Radio||Tribal Council Leader|
|2008||Turok: Son of Stone||Nashoba (voice)|
|2008||No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker||Eaglesmith|
|2009||The Twilight Saga: New Moon|
|2010||The Twilight Saga: Eclipse|
|2010||Love Ranch||Sheriff Johnny Cortez|
|2011||Rango||Wounded Bird (voice)|
|2011||Shouting Secrets||Cal Bishnik|
|2011||The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1||Billy Black|
|2011||California Indian||Charles "Chi" Thomas|
|2012||Crooked Arrows||Ben Logan|
|2012||The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2||Billy Black||Credited only|
|2013||The Lone Ranger||Red Knee|
|2014||The Boxcar Children||Lonan Browning||Voice role|
|2016||Hell or High Water||Alberto Parker|
|2017||Wind River||Martin Hanson|
|2017||The Space Between Us||Shaman Neka|
|2017||Transformers: The Last Knight||Chief Sherman|
|2018||The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island||Lonan Browning||Voice role|
|2018||Saint Judy||Michael Bowman|
|TBA||The Marsh King's Daughter||Post-production|
|1986||Riptide||Cop||Episode: "Chapel of Glass"|
|1987||Falcon Crest||Deputy||Episode: "Desperation"|
|1997||The Legend of Calamity Jane||Additional voices||13 episodes|
|1997||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Peru Man||Episode: "Inca Mummy Girl"|
|1997||Night Man||Vargas||Episode: "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"|
|1997||Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman||Brave #1||Episode: "Safe Passage"|
|1999||The Wild Thornberrys||Jim's Dad (voice)||Episode: "Tamper Proof Seal"|
|2001||Family Law||Bernard||Episode: "Americans"|
|2001||V.I.P.||Roland||Episode: "Uncle from V.A.L."|
|2002||Gentle Ben||Pete||Television film|
|2002||Body & Soul||Oz||Recurring role, 8 episodes|
|2003||Gentle Ben 2||Pete||Television film|
|2003||The Lone Ranger||One Horn||Unsold television film|
|2005||Medical Investigation||Walter Shephard||Episode: "Tribe"|
|2005||Into the West||Older Dogstar||Television miniseries, 4 episodes|
|2005||Love's Long Journey||Sharp Claw||Television film|
|2006||Charmed||Indian Chief||Episode: "Payback's a Witch"|
|2006||Veronica Mars||Leonard Lobo||2 episodes|
|2009||Nip/Tuck||Shaman||Episode: "Budi Sabri"|
|2009||10 Items or Less||John Greene||Episode: "Dances with Groceries"|
|2010||Castle||Cacaw Te||Episode: "Wrapped Up in Death"|
|2010||The Mentalist||Markham Willis||Episode: "Aingavite Baa"|
|2012||The Lying Game||Ben Whitehorse||3 episodes|
|2012||Wilfred||Red Wolf||Episode: "Questions"|
|2012||Vegas||Don Simmons||2 episodes|
|2014||Banshee||George Hunter||5 episodes|
|2014||House of Cards||Daniel Lanagin||4 episodes|
|2015–17||Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt||Virgil||7 episodes|
|2016||Dr. Del||Crow||Television film|
|2017||Animal Kingdom||Pearce||Episode: "Betrayal"|
|2018-20||Siren||Sheriff Dale Bishop||14 episodes|
|2018–present||Yellowstone||Thomas Rainwater||Series regular|
|2019||NCIS: Los Angeles||Navy Captain Steven Douglas||Season Finale|
|2021||Pieces of Her||Charlie Bass||Recurring role|
|2022||Under the Banner of Heaven||Bill Taba||Main Role|
|1999||Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun||Ghostalker (voice)|
- 2001: The Doe Boy (in which Birmingham starred as Manny Deadmarsh) wins the Sundance International Filmmaker's Award
- 2002: First Americans in the Arts (FAITA) award for an Outstanding Performance in a Recurring Role as Oz in Body & Soul
- 2005: American Indian LA Film and Television Award for Outstanding Supporting Role as Sam in Dreamkeeper
- Fifteenth Census of the United States, #93 Gilbert Birmingham (father Frank), Wharton, Texas, May 27, 1930. Frank was a farmer. Retrieved from Ancestry.com
- Leydon, Joe (August 14, 2018). "Gil Birmingham". Cowboys & Indians. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
- "Billy Black actor talks of role on eve of visiting LaPush". Peninsuladailynews.com. July 16, 2010. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "Gil Birmingham adds 'Hell or High Water' to long resume". fresnobee.
- Pond, Roscoe (April 2, 2003). "Through the Kindess of Strangers; Actor Gil Birmingham Arrives". Indian Country Today. 22 (42): D1.
- Gire, Dann (June 24, 2010). "Daily Herald | A little bit of job advice, courtesy of two 'Twilight' stars". Prev.dailyherald.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Kimberly Sherman (June 10, 2009). "An exclusive chat with Billy Black actor Gil Birmingham - Twilight Moonlighter". Blogs.hellomagazine.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "Gil Birmingham Biography". Filmreference.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Ditzian, Eric (July 8, 2010). "'Breaking Dawn' Part Two Release Date Not Set For Summer 2012 - MTV Movie News". MTV. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Kilpatrick, Christine (April 1, 2011). "Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart Married in Breaking Dawn". People.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Rosenberg, Steven A. (August 11, 2011). "Local players add extra authenticity to movie about lacrosse - Boston.com". Articles.boston.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "Gil Birmingham". Te Ata. The Chickasaw Nation. October 9, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
- "Te Ata Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. IMDb. October 9, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
- "Te Ata". Facebook. September 13, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
- Petski, Denise (February 5, 2021). "'Pieces Of Her': Gil Birmingham, Terry O'Quinn & Calum Worthy Join Netflix Series As Recurring". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2021.