J. K. Simmons

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J. K. Simmons
JK Simmons 2009.jpg
Simmons in January 2009
Born Jonathan Kimble Simmons
(1955-01-09) January 9, 1955 (age 61)
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1986–present
Spouse(s) Michelle Schumacher
Children 2

Jonathan Kimble "J. K." Simmons (born January 9, 1955) is an American actor. He is known for the television roles of Dr. Emil Skoda on the NBC series Law & Order (and other Law & Order franchise series), neo-Nazi Vernon Schillinger on the HBO prison-drama Oz, and Assistant Police Chief Will Pope on TNT's The Closer; the film roles of J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider Man trilogy, and music instructor Terence Fletcher in 2014's Whiplash. He is also known for voicing Cave Johnson in the 2011 video game Portal 2, Lenny Turtletaub in BoJack Horseman, The Warden in Megamind, Kai in Kung Fu Panda 3, Stanford Pines in Gravity Falls, Tenzin in The Legend of Korra, and Mayor Lionheart in Zootopia. Simmons also reprised his role as J. Jonah Jameson in various Marvel animated series and video games. He has also appeared in a series of television commercials for Farmers Insurance.

Simmons' performance in Whiplash received widespread critical acclaim and earned him more than thirty accolades, including the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award, and the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Early life[edit]

Jonathan Kimble Simmons was born on January 9, 1955 in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit,[1][2] the son of Patricia (née Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a middle school music teacher.[3][4][5] In 1965, when he was 10 years old, his family moved to Worthington, Ohio.[1] In 1973, when he was 18, they moved to Missoula, Montana, where his father became director of the School of Music at the University of Montana.[1] The younger Simmons graduated from the University of Montana[6][7] in 1978 with a music degree. During his tenure, he was also part of the music-oriented fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.[8] Later, Simmons moved to Seattle and became a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre.[6]

Career[edit]

Broadway[edit]

On Broadway, Simmons played Benny Southstreet in the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls.[9] In 1994 he sang multiple roles in the Wagner opera satire, Das Barbecü.[6] He also played the role of Jigger in a revival of Carousel with the Houston Grand Opera and starred in the 1987 Off-Broadway musical Birds of Paradise.

Film and television roles[edit]

He is known for his roles as Dr. Emil Skoda, a police psychiatrist who has appeared on three of the four incarnations of Law & Order and New York Undercover, and as sadistic neo-Nazi inmate Vernon Schillinger on the prison drama Oz. He also stars as Ralph Earnhardt, the father of race-car driver Dale Earnhardt, in 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story. He plays Will Pope, Assistant Chief of the LAPD, in the series The Closer. In an interesting precursor to his joining the Law & Order cast as Skoda, Simmons appeared in Homicide: Life on the Street, portraying a criminal in a Law & Order cross-over episode. Other roles include that of an army general in the television sitcom Arrested Development, and Dan the Barber in the surreal Nickelodeon kid's show The Adventures of Pete & Pete in 1995.

He played B.R. in the film Thank You for Smoking (2005) and has been praised for his performance in Juno (2007) as "Mac" McGuff, the title character's father. In all three of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, Simmons played J. Jonah Jameson, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Daily Bugle (as well as in the expanded video game adaptation of Spider-Man 3). In 2008, he played a CIA superior in Burn After Reading and appeared in Postal as Candidate Wells. He also appeared in I Love You, Man.

Simmons starred in several films produced or directed by his friend Jason Reitman, including Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air and Jennifer's Body. In 2013, he had a small role as Mr. Jervis in Reitman's film Labor Day. He voices Tenzin, an Airbending master and the son of Aang and Katara, in the 2012 Nickelodeon series The Legend of Korra. He starred as blind lawyer "Mel Fisher" in Growing Up Fisher.[10] He has also most recently voiced the scientist Stanford Pines on the Disney cartoon series Gravity Falls.

In the 2014 drama film Whiplash, Simmons played Terence Fletcher, an intensely demanding conductor at the fictional Shaffer Conservatory of Music, who bullies and cajoles his student, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller). The wide acclaim for Simmons's performance includes an Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actor. Rolling Stone said "Beat the drums for an Oscar for Simmons." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times said "Simmons delivers one of the most memorable performances of the year."[11] Entertainment Weekly summed up the reaction by saying Simmons's performance "has been universally praised" and that he was "a leading contender for Best Supporting Actor."[12] On January 11, 2015, Simmons won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture[13] and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor on February 22, 2015.[14]

In January 2015, Simmons was cast in a leading role in the upcoming film Kong: Skull Island,[15] but he left with Michael Keaton.[16] Simmons performed a substantial number of voice-over roles alongside his live action work. Several of these have arisen from his J. Jonah Jameson character in Spider-Man films, including voices of two newspaper editors in episodes of the eighteenth season of The Simpsons. While unnamed, these characters are clearly meant to emulate Jameson (one, bearing Jameson's appearance, demands "pictures of Spider-Man," then on being reminded he works at a poetry journal, demands "poems about Spider-Man"). Likewise, Simmons voiced an editor-in-chief of a newspaper (with Jameson's appearance and mannerisms) for a 2013 episode of The Hub's Pound Puppies. In 2016, Simmons lent his voice to two animated films, voicing the antagonist Kai in Kung Fu Panda 3 and Mayor Lionheart in Zootopia.

Simmons reprised his role as the voice of J. Jonah Jameson in the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Avengers Assemble. He has also expressed interest in reprising the role in Sony and Marvel Studios' upcoming reboot of the Spider-Man film series, scheduled for a 2017 release.[17] Other voice-over work is heard in friend Reitman's film Young Adult, as the protagonist's boss via a series of voicemails. He also provides the voice of the yellow M&M in the product's commercials, as well as for the 3-D film I Lost My M in Vegas, playing at M&M's World in Las Vegas. He has also done voice-over work for Norelco razors. He also provided the voice of General Wade Eiling in Justice League Unlimited. He recorded an audiobook for Tom Clancy's Net Force: Point of Impact. He will also play James Gordon in the upcoming two-part film Justice League; the first part will be released in 2017 and the second in 2019.[18]

In the field of television commercials, Simmons is featured as Professor Nathaniel Burke of the University of Farmers in ads for Farmers Insurance Group, since 2010.[19]

Video games[edit]

Simmons appears as the anti-communist U.S. President Howard T. Ackerman in the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and for a series of promotional advertisements parodying the 2008 presidential elections. In these advertisements, he offers himself (as Ackerman) as an alternative to other, unnamed presidential candidates and uses the slogan "Vote for me, if you want to live."[20]

In April 2011, he appeared in Portal 2 as the voice of Aperture Science founder Cave Johnson,[21] a performance that was lauded as the "surprise star turn" of the game.[22] He reprised his role as Cave Johnson in the 2015 video game Lego Dimensions.

Personal life[edit]

Simmons and his wife, Michelle, have two children: Joe and Olivia.[23]

Simmons is an avid fan of the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. He threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Tigers on April 6, 2015 for Opening Day.[24]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Title of work Result Ref.
1995 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actor in a Musical Das Barbecü Nominated [25]
2006 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Closer Nominated [26]
2008 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Acting Ensemble Juno Nominated [27]
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Closer Nominated [28]
2009 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated [29]
Denver Film Critics Society Best Acting Ensemble I Love You, Man Nominated [30]
Denver Film Critics Society Best Acting Ensemble Up in the Air Nominated [30]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Ensemble Nominated [31]
2010 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Closer Nominated [32]
2011 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated [32]
2014 AACTA Award
(4th)
Best Supporting Actor Whiplash Won [33]
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Won [34]
African-American Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [35]
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Supporting Actor Won [36]
Austin Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [37]
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Won [38]
Boston Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Won [39]
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [40]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Supporting Actor Won [41]
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [42]
Denver Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Won [43]
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Won [44]
Florida Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Won [45]
Georgia Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [46]
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Won [47]
Houston Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Won [48]
Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Male Won [49]
International Online Film Critics' Poll Best Supporting Actor Won [50]
Iowa Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Won [51]
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Won [52]
London Film Critics' Circle Supporting Actor of the Year Won [53]
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [54]
National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Won [55]
New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Won [56]
New York Film Critics Online Best Supporting Actor Won [57]
North Texas Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [58]
Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Won [59]
Palm Springs International Film Festival Spotlight Award Won [60]
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award Won [61]
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Won [62]
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Won [63]
Southeastern Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [64]
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [65]
Toronto Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [66]
Utah Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [67]
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Won [68]
Village Voice Best Supporting Actor Won [69]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won [70]
MTV Movie Awards Best Villain Nominated [71]
Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Nominated [72]
San Diego Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Nominated [73]
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Nominated [74]
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated [75]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Detroit Free Press, "Tribute From The Heart", by Julie Hinds, February 24, 2015, page A1
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  3. ^ "J. K. Simmons Biography". filmreference.com. 
  4. ^ "Jonathan Kimble ("J. K.") Simmons". rootsweb.com. 
  5. ^ "Patricia 'Pat' Kimble Simmons". missoulian.com. 
  6. ^ a b c "J. K. Simmons Biography". Yahoo! Movies. 
  7. ^ "Wichita Eagle: Search Results". newsbank.com. 
  8. ^ "sinfonia.org". 
  9. ^ "J. K. Simmons". playbillvault.com. 
  10. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (February 21, 2014). "The Fun of Having a Single Parent". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Whiplash". 
  12. ^ "J.K. Simmons: The friendly face behind this year's scariest movie villain". 
  13. ^ "J.K. Simmons Wins Golden Globe for ‘Whiplash’ Role". 
  14. ^ McNary, Dave (February 22, 2015). "J.K. Simmons Wins Oscar for Best Supporting Actor". Variety (magazine). Retrieved February 22, 2015. 
  15. ^ "J.K. Simmons Reveals Kong: Skull Island Details; Keaton All But Confirms Involvement". 
  16. ^ "Michael Keaton And JK Simmons Exit Legendary’s ‘Kong: Skull Island’". 
  17. ^ VanMetre, Elizabeth (February 28, 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: J.K. Simmons Reacts to 'Spider-Man' Petition Calling for His Return: 'I’ll Never Close the Door on Anything'". Entertainment Tonight. Archived from the original on March 2, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  18. ^ "'Justice League' Adds J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon (Exclusive)". 
  19. ^ "University of Farmers Insurance". The Inspiration Room. 
  20. ^ Red Alert Universe > Factions > Factions, Units, & Characters, President Ackerman character information.
  21. ^ Miller, Greg (March 11, 2011). "PAX: Portal 2 Nabs J.K. Simmons". IGN. Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Edge Online - Video game features, reviews & industry jobs". Edge Online. 
  23. ^ Rick Porter (February 23, 2015). "J.K. Simmons' wife, Michelle Schumacher, is the star of his 2015 Oscars speech - Zap2it - News & Features". Zap2it. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
  24. ^ Tony Paul, The Detroit News (March 26, 2015). "Actor J.K. Simmons to throw out first pitch Opening Day". Detroit News. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
  25. ^ "J.K. Simmons Playbill". Playbill Vault. 
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  27. ^ "Coens land Critics' Choice Awards". BBC News. January 8, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2008. 
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  31. ^ "2009 WAFCA Awards". WAFCA press release. December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
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  37. ^ "2014 Awards". austinfilmcritics.org. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
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  39. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 7, 2014). "Boston Society of Film Critics names 'Boyhood' Best Picture of the year". HitFix. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  40. ^ Gire, Dann (December 16, 2014). "Chicago critics pick 'Boyhood' as best 2014 film". Daily Herald (Arlington Heights). Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  41. ^ Melas, Chloe (January 15, 2015). "J. K. Simmons Wins Best Supporting Actor At Critics’ Choice Awards". Hollywood Life. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  42. ^ Patches, Matt (December 15, 2014). "Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association winners include 'Birdman' as best film of 2014". HitFix. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  43. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (January 12, 2015). "Denver critics name Clint Eastwood's 'American Sniper' the year's best film". HitFix. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  44. ^ Graham, Adam (December 15, 2014). "Detroit critics name ‘Boyhood’ the year’s best film". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  45. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 19, 2014). "Florida critics spring for 'Birdman,' Linklater, Keaton, Pike, Simmons and Arquette". HitFix. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton among Georgia Critics’ 2014 winners". Hitfix. January 9, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  47. ^ Anousha, Sakoui (January 11, 2015). "J. K. Simmons Wins Golden Globe for ‘Whiplash’ Role". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  48. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (January 12, 2015). "'Boyhood,' Larry McMurtry and the 'Grand Budapest' poster win Houston critics awards". HitFix. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  49. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (February 21, 2015). "2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards winners and nominees". HitFix. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  50. ^ "Winners of the 2013 – 2014 International Online Film Critics’ Poll Announced". Monsters and Critics. January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
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  52. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 18, 2014). "'Birdman' and genre love from Las Vegas film critics". HitFix. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  53. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (January 18, 2015). "London critics award 'Boyhood,' 'Under the Skin'". HitFix. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  54. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 7, 2014). "'Boyhood' named 2014's best film by Los Angeles Film Critics Association". HitFix. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  55. ^ "National Board of Review Announces 2014 Award Winners". National Board of Review. December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  56. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 1, 2014). "New York Film Critics Circle votes 'Boyhood' best film of the year". HitFix. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  57. ^ "New York Film Critics Online Name 'Boyhood' Best Picture". The Hollywood Reporter. December 7, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  58. ^ "'Boyhood,' Gyllenhaal, Pike tops with North Texas film critics". Hitfix. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  59. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 16, 2014). "'Birdman' comes away with six Phoenix film critics awards including Best Picture". HitFix. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  60. ^ Feinberg, Scott (November 18, 2014). "Palm Springs Film Fest: J. K. Simmons Nabs Spotlight Award for 'Whiplash'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  61. ^ "Virtuosos Award honoring Chadwick Boseman, Ellar Coltrane, Logan Lerman, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, J. K. Simmons and Jenny Slate" (Press release). Santa Barbara International Film Festival. December 12, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  62. ^ Pond, Steve (February 16, 2015). "Satellite Awards: Complete Winners List". TheWrap. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  63. ^ Steiner, Amanda Michelle (January 26, 2015). "J. K. Simmons Wins the SAG Award for Male Actor in a Supporting Role". People. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  64. ^ "'Grand Budapest Hotel' named year's best by Southeastern Film Critics Association". Hitfix. December 22, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  65. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 15, 2014). "St. Louis critics award 'Boyhood,' Jake Gyllenhaal, Rosamund Pike". HitFix. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  66. ^ "Toronto Film Critics". AwardsDaily. December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  67. ^ Means, Sean P. (December 18, 2014). "‘Birdman’ takes Best Picture from Utah Film Critics Association". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  68. ^ "Seminci 2014 Palmarés" (Press release). Seminci. October 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  69. ^ "Supporting Actor" (Press release). Village Voice Film Poll. 
  70. ^ Patches, Matt (December 8, 2014). "Washington DC Area Film Critics Association names 'Boyhood' its Best Film of 2014". HitFix. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  71. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (March 4, 2015). "'Fault in Our Stars,' 'Guardians,' 'Neighbors' lead 2015 MTV Movie Awards nominations". HitFix. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  72. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 8, 2014). "'Boyhood,' 'Grand Budapest' lead with 2014 online film critics nominations". HitFix. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  73. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 11, 2014). "'Nightcrawler' leads San Diego film critics nominations". HitFix. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  74. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (December 13, 2014). "'Birdman' leads 2014 San Francisco critics nominations, 'The Sacrament' gets some love". HitFix. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  75. ^ "Hannibal scoops three Saturn Awards after cancellation". Philadelphia Media Network. June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jared Leto
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
2014
Succeeded by
Mark Rylance
Preceded by
Blake Shelton
Saturday Night Live host
January 31, 2015
Succeeded by
Dakota Johnson