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Peter Dinklage

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Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con.
Dinklage at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
Born Peter Hayden Dinklage
(1969-06-11) June 11, 1969 (age 47)
Morristown, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actor, film producer
Years active 1995–present
Height 4 ft 5 in (135 cm)
Spouse(s) Erica Schmidt (m. 2005)
Children 1

Peter Hayden Dinklage[1] (/ˈdɪŋklɪ/ DINK-lij,[2] born June 11, 1969)[3] is an American actor and film producer. He first gained notice for his breakout role in the comedy-drama film The Station Agent (2003). He has appeared in such films as the comedy Elf (2003), the crime film Find Me Guilty (2006), the superhero comedy Underdog (2007), the high fantasy The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) and the superhero film X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). He has also appeared in numerous theatrical plays.

Since 2011, Dinklage has portrayed Tyrion Lannister in the HBO series Game of Thrones. For this he won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2011, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film in 2012, as well as consecutive Emmy nominations from 2011 to 2016, going on to win a second Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2015. In 2017, Dinklage became one of the highest paid actors on television and earned US$1.1 million per episode of Game of Thrones.[4]

Early life[edit]

Dinklage was born in Morristown, New Jersey,[5] the son of John Carl Dinklage (1931–2004), a retired insurance salesman, and Diane Dinklage (b. 1943), an elementary school music teacher.[6] He was born with achondroplasia, a common form of dwarfism.

Dinklage got his first taste of theatrical success in a fifth grade production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Playing the lead, he was delighted by the audience's response to the show. "When you get your first solo bow, that feels pretty good", he explained to People.[7] In 1987 Dinklage graduated from Delbarton School, a Catholic prep school for boys, where he continued to develop his acting as part of the school's drama club. He then attended Bennington College, where he appeared in numerous productions before graduating in 1991.[8] After that he moved to New York City with his friend Ian Bell, with a vision to build a theater company. Failing to pay the rent, they both moved out.[9] The play True West, written by American playwright Sam Shepard, inspired Dinklage to pursue a career in acting.[9]



Dinklage made his film debut in Living in Oblivion (1995) as a frustrated actor with dwarfism who complains about his clichéd roles, where he played alongside Steve Buscemi. After a recommendation from Buscemi to the director Alexandre Rockwell, Dinklage was then cast in the comedy 13 Moons (2002).[9] His breakout role was in the 2003 film The Station Agent,[10] for which he received Independent Spirit and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Actor. That same year, he appeared in the direct-to-DVD film Tiptoes. Dinklage also starred in several Off-Broadway productions.[11] Dinklage appeared in the 2003 film Elf as Miles Finch, an irritable children's author who beats up Buddy Hobbs (Will Ferrell) after he mistakes Finch for an elf. In 2005, he starred in the short-lived CBS science fiction series Threshold and appeared as a wedding planner in the comedy film The Baxter. He also made an appearance in the adventure comedy-drama film Lassie as a traveling circus performer. In 2006, Dinklage appeared in the courtroom drama Find Me Guilty and as Marlowe Sawyer in episodes of Nip/Tuck. He played himself in one episode of the HBO television series Entourage and appeared in the NBC series 30 Rock.

Dinklage appeared in the 2007 British comedy film Death at a Funeral, reprising the role in the 2010 American remake. Later in 2007, he played the villainous Simon Bar Sinister in Underdog. Dinklage played Trumpkin in the 2008 film The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,[12] although film critic Bill Gibron described his role as a "cutesy stereotype he has tried to avoid".[13] In the summer of 2008, he played the title role in Uncle Vanya (directed by his wife, Erica Schmidt) in Bard College's annual Bard SummerScape, the Upstate New York summer stage on the Annandale-on-Hudson campus.[14] In 2010 he appeared in the Australian movie I Love You Too alongside Brendan Cowell and Peter Helliar.


Dinklage attending the 69th Annual Golden Globes Awards in 2012.

Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones, an adaptation of author George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.[15] His performance has received widespread praise,[16][17] highlighted by his receiving the Emmy Award[18] for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2011 and 2015, as well as the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.[19] As a result of his performance and increased screen time, Dinklage was given top billing starting in the series' second season.[20] In 2014, he said on The Late Show with David Letterman that he had once tried to read the books the show is based upon, but got confused. He joked, "George Martin, our author, is probably going to kill my character soon because I mentioned that."[21]

In 2012, Dinklage voiced Captain Gutt in Ice Age: Continental Drift. In 2014, he starred in the comedy horror film Knights of Badassdom and portrayed Bolivar Trask in the superhero film X-Men: Days of Future Past.[22][23] He also voiced Ghost in the 2014 video game Destiny,[24] but was replaced by Nolan North in August 2015[25] Dinklage and writer-director Sacha Gervasi spent several years writing and producing a film based on the final days of actor Hervé Villechaize, who committed suicide shortly after his 1993 interview with Gervasi.[26] Dinklage will star and play the title role in My Dinner with Hervé.[27][28] He will also star in O Lucky Day, which is to be directed by Adam Shankman and is said to be a "leprechaun comedy".[29] In 2015, Dinklage starred in the movie Pixels as a former arcade champion named Eddie Plant.[30] In 2016, Dinklage provided the voice of The Mighty Eagle in The Angry Birds Movie.[31]

Personal life[edit]

In 2005, Dinklage married Erica Schmidt, a theater director. They have a daughter who was born in 2011.[32] Their daughter's name has not been revealed publicly, though Dinklage has denied media reports that the girl's name was "Zelig".[33] The family lives in New Paltz, New York.[34]

Dinklage has a form of dwarfism, achondroplasia, which affects bone growth. As a result, he is 4 ft 5 in (1.35 m) tall, with a typical-sized head and torso but short limbs. While Dinklage has come to accept his condition, he found it challenging sometimes while growing up. In 2003, he said: "When I was younger, I definitely let it get to me. As an adolescent, I was bitter and angry, and I definitely put up these walls. But the older you get, you realize you just have to have a sense of humor. You just know that it's not your problem. It's theirs."[11] When asked in 2012 whether he saw himself as "a spokesman for the rights of little people", Dinklage responded: "I don't know what I would say. Everyone's different. Every person my size has a different life, a different history. Different ways of dealing with it. Just because I'm seemingly okay with it, I can't preach how to be okay with it. I don't think I still am okay with it. There are days when I'm not."[26] He has been seen as a role model for other people that share his condition, mostly for turning down degrading roles that dwarf actors are often cast for.[35]

In an interview, Dinklage talked about his dwarfism, saying, "Any swagger is just defense, when you're reminded so much of who you are by people – not a fame thing, but with my size, constantly, growing up – you just either curl up in a corner in the dark or you wear it proudly, like armor or something. You can turn it on its head and use it yourself before anybody else gets a chance."[36] At the 2012 Golden Globe ceremony, when Dinklage won the award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film, he told the audience that he'd been thinking about "a gentleman, his name is Martin Henderson", and suggested that they Google his name.[36] Henderson is a person with dwarfism from England, who was badly injured by other men for having dwarfism. Dinklage's wife suggested that he should say something: "I feel like Peter is in a position to possibly effect change for the way people look at people his size".[36] Dinklage later turned down offers to discuss the topic with various talk shows, saying, "Maybe 20 years ago I would have done all of these shows and ranted and raved, but I'm a little bit more at peace with things now and I did what I wanted to do and said what I wanted to say. I have a friend who says the world doesn't need another angry dwarf."[36] When talking about his sense of responsibility to other people who share his condition: "The idea is to get to that level where you don't have to preach about it anymore."[36]

Dinklage has described himself as a lapsed Catholic and has suggested in 2008 that doubt is more needed than belief.[37] Dinklage has been a vegetarian since the age of 16.[38] An advocate for animal rights,[39] he supports Farm Sanctuary and has served as the spokesperson for the organization's Walk for Farm Animals.[38] He also narrated the video Face your Food, a film on behalf of PETA advocating a vegan diet on ethical grounds.[38]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Dinklage won a Golden Globe Award for his performance in Game of Thrones.[19] He has also won two Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the same role.[18]


  1. ^ "Peter Dinklage: "The fight is all"". September 30, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ Peter Dinklage Pronunciation. The Name Engine (April 30, 2014). Retrieved on May 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1263): 40. Jun 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 17, 2016). "Robert De Niro's Making How Much?! TV Is Becoming an ATM for Top Talent". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 14, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ "That's Entertainment". New Jersey Monthly. October 1, 2005. Archived from the original on October 14, 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  6. ^ Moszczynski, Joe (July 1, 2004). "John C. Dinklage, 72, father of 2 entertainers". New Jersey Star-Ledger. 
  7. ^ "Peter Dinklage: People Magazine". 
  8. ^ Smith, Dinitia. "Dark, Handsome And Short; Star of a Sundance Hit Is Ready for an Encore", The New York Times, October 2, 2003. Retrieved December 7, 2007. "Mr. Dinklage, who grew up in Mendham, N.J., said he first realized he was different when he was 5. . . . Mr. Dinklage attended the Delbarton School, a Catholic boys' school in Morristown, N.J., which was strongly sports-oriented. . . . Mr. Dinklage credits Mr. Dougherty with helping to get him into Bennington College in Vermont."
  9. ^ a b c Dan Kois (March 29, 2012). "Peter Dinklage Was Smart to Say No". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  10. ^ "The Station Agent (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b "Peter Dinklage lives large". October 2, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Peter Dinklage and Vincent Grass Set for Prince Caspian". February 6, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  13. ^ "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Movie Review, DVD Release". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  14. ^ Gates, Anita (July 16, 2008). "Between Sureness and Self-Pity Stands a Vulnerable Vanya". New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  15. ^ Gee, Catherine (September 20, 2014). "Game of Thrones: the 20 most shocking moments". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  16. ^ Ken Tucker (April 14, 2011). "Game of Thrones (2011)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  17. ^ McNamara, Mary (April 15, 2011). "Swords, sex and struggles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Peter Dinklage". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  19. ^ a b "Winners & nominees: Peter Dinklage". Golden Globe Awards. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  20. ^ Hibberd, James. (January 17, 2015) 'Game of Thrones' premiere recap: The North Remembers | Season 2 Episode 01 | Retrieved on May 7, 2015.
  21. ^ Grow, Kory. (March 27, 2014) Peter Dinklage Has Not Read Any 'Game of Thrones' Books | Movies News. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on May 7, 2015.
  22. ^ SDCC '13: FOX Reveals X-MEN: DoFP Plot Secrets (Spoilers). Retrieved on May 7, 2015.
  23. ^ "'X-Men' casts Dinklage as villain". Variety. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  24. ^ McCarthy, Tyler (July 2, 2014). "We Love Peter Dinklage, But This Voice-Over Work Is Unbearable". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  25. ^ Miller, Matt (August 4, 2015). "Goodbye Dinklebot: Destiny Recasts Its Most Important Character With Nolan North". Game Informer. Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b Dan Kois (March 29, 2012). "Peter Dinklage Was Smart to Say No". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  27. ^ "James McAvoy Reading Sacha Gervasi's 'My Dinner With Hervé'". The Playlist. April 19, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Sacha Gervasi — Peter Dinklage: 'Herve Villechaize Biopic Is Based On Director's Final Interview'". Contact Music. April 19, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  29. ^ Han, Angie (February 12, 2015). "Adam Shankman Will Direct Peter Dinklage's Leprechaun Comedy 'O'Lucky Day'". 
  30. ^ Guerrasio, Jason (July 24, 2015). "Peter Dinklage's hilarious character in 'Pixels' was inspired by a video-game legend who held world records in Pac Man and Donkey Kong". Business Insider. Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  31. ^ Roberts, Sheila (May 15, 2016). "'The Angry Birds Movie': Fergal Reilly & Clay Kaytis on Transitioning from Animators to Directors". Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  32. ^ John Mitchell (April 18, 2013). "Peter Dinklage talks 'Game of Thrones' fights and being a 'DwILF' in Playboy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Peter Dinklage: 'Tyrion has a sense of humour – even in the worst of times'". The Guardian. August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Peter Dinklage: The 'Station Agent' With a Heart of Gold". Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. 
  35. ^ "'It's time dwarfs stopped demeaning themselves in public'". Telegraph. February 6, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 
  36. ^ a b c d e "Peter Dinklage: Master of the Game". Rolling Stone. May 24, 2012. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  37. ^ Greydanus, Steven D. (May 13, 2008). "The Defanging of Aslan". National Catholic Register. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. 
  38. ^ a b c "Peter Dinklage To Become Farm Sanctuary Spokesman". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  39. ^ Reddy, Joan. "Peter Dinklage Became a Vegetarian for Love of Animals and a Girl : Ecorazzi". Ecorazzi. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 

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