Jeff Daniels

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For other people named Jeff Daniels, see Jeff Daniels (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Jeffrey Daniel.
Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels at PaleyFest 2013.jpg
Daniels at the PaleyFest 2013 panel for The Newsroom
Born Jeffrey Warren Daniels
(1955-02-19) February 19, 1955 (age 61)
Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, musician, playwright
Years active 1977–Present
Spouse(s) Kathleen Rosemary Treado (m. 1979)
Children 3
Website www.jeffdaniels.com

Jeffrey Warren "Jeff" Daniels (born February 19, 1955) is an American actor, musician, and playwright, whose career includes roles in films, stage productions and on television, for which he has won an Emmy Award and received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Tony Award nominations.

Making his film debut in Ragtime (1981), Daniels's film credits include Terms of Endearment (1983), Arachnophobia (1990), Gettysburg (1993), Speed (1994), 101 Dalmatians (1996), Fly Away Home (1996), Pleasantville (1998), The Hours (2002), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), The Lookout (2007), Infamous (2009), Looper (2012), Steve Jobs (2015), and The Martian (2015).

One of his most notable roles is Harry Dunne in the buddy comedy Dumb and Dumber (1994) opposite Jim Carrey, a role he reprised in the 2014 sequel Dumb and Dumber To (2014). He received Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor for his performances in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Something Wild (1986) and The Squid and the Whale (2005).

Daniels' work outside of the film industry has received similar acclaim and accolades as to his work on screen. He has received a number of award nominations for his work on stage, including Tony Award nominations for Best Actor for his roles in the plays God of Carnage and Blackbird. He is the founder and current executive director of the Chelsea, Michigan-based Purple Rose Theatre Company. From 2012-14, Daniels starred as Will McAvoy in the HBO political drama series The Newsroom, for which he won the 2013 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

Early life[edit]

Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia, to Marjorie J. (née Ferguson) and Robert Lee "Bob" Daniels.[1][2] He spent the first six weeks of his life in Georgia, where his father was then teaching,[3] and grew up in Chelsea, Michigan. His father owned The Chelsea Lumber Company and was also a onetime mayor of Chelsea.[4][5]

Daniels was raised Methodist.[6] He attended Central Michigan University and participated in the school's theater program. In the summer of 1976, Daniels attended the Eastern Michigan University drama school to participate in a special Bicentennial Repertory program, where he performed in The Hot l Baltimore and three other plays performed in repertoire. Marshall W. Mason was the guest director at EMU and he invited Jeff to come to New York to work at the Circle Repertory Theatre, where he performed in Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson in the 1977–78 season. Daniels performed in New York in The Shortchanged Review (1979) at Second Stage Theatre.[7] It was the first show of the inaugural season for Second Stage Theatre.

Career[edit]

Stage career[edit]

Daniels has starred in a number of New York productions, on and off Broadway. On Broadway, he has appeared in Lanford Wilson's Redwood Curtain, A. R. Gurney's The Golden Age and Wilson's Fifth of July, for which he won a Drama Desk Award for Best Supporting Actor. Off-Broadway, he received a Drama Desk nomination for Wilson's Lemon Sky, and an Obie Award for his performance in the Circle Repertory Company production of Johnny Got His Gun. He returned to the stage in 2009, appearing in Broadway's God of Carnage opposite Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden.[8][9]

In 1991, he founded the Purple Rose Theatre Company, a nonprofit stage company in Chelsea.[10] Daniels has written more than a dozen plays for the company.[11]

In 2016, Daniels received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Blackbird, opposite Michelle Williams.

Film career[edit]

Daniels made his screen debut in Miloš Forman's Ragtime in 1981. His next film, the Oscar-winning Terms of Endearment, in which he played Debra Winger's callow and unfaithful husband, was his breakthrough. He garnered a Golden Globe nomination as the star of The Purple Rose Of Cairo, directed by Woody Allen. It was the last film that inspired the name for the theater company he established.[12]

Daniels earned his second Golden Globe nomination for starring in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild as an unassuming businessman swept up into a wild night by a mysterious woman (Melanie Griffith). Daniels then starred in the horror–comedy (or "thrill-omedy", as it was described in the promotion) Arachnophobia in 1990. The next year, Daniels starred in two films (Love Hurts and The Butcher's Wife). His next notable role was as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain in Gettysburg. Daniels reprised the role of Chamberlain ten years later in the prequel film Gods and Generals.[13]

In 1994, Daniels would co-star with Jim Carrey in one of his most successful films, Dumb and Dumber. It was a noted departure for Daniels, owing to his status as a dramatic actor. That same year Daniels appeared with Keanu Reeves in the action blockbuster Speed; the film was an enormous hit, grossing over $350 million at the box office.[14]

Daniels would then host Saturday Night Live a second time before the release of the 1996 Disney live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians. Daniels starred as the owner of a litter of dalmatians stolen by the evil Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close). The film was successful, grossing $320 million. Also in 1996 was the family hit film Fly Away Home with Daniels as the supportive single father of Anna Paquin's goose-raising preteen. Daniels then had a critical and commercial misfire with Trial and Error (1997). Daniels would rebound, however, with 1998's Pleasantville as diner owner Bill Johnson, who learns to act as an individual and rebel against the norm at the urging of Tobey Maguire's David. Also starring Reese Witherspoon, Joan Allen, and Don Knotts, Pleasantville was nominated for three Academy Awards. Daniels starred alongside Christopher Lloyd in the critically and commercially unsuccessful film, My Favorite Martian.[15]

Daniels starred in the TV films The Crossing, Cheaters, and the direct-to-video release Chasing Sleep. At this point, in the early 2000s, Daniels began to focus more on his theater work at The Purple Rose Theatre as well as writing, starring, and directing the films Escanaba in da Moonlight and Super Sucker.[16][17]

Daniels's next major film role would be in Clint Eastwood's Blood Work, which received mixed reviews and was a commercial failure. He would rebound later that year with Stephen Daldry's Academy Award–winning The Hours. The film was also a financial success, grossing well over $100 million. Gods and Generals followed in 2003, as did the action film I Witness, which co-starred James Spader. Daniels then starred in Imaginary Heroes and the 2004 television film adaptation of fellow Michigander and friend Mitch Albom's bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven.[18]

The year 2005 proved to be a strong year for Daniels as he garnered notice as the star of the lauded Noah Baumbach film The Squid and the Whale. Daniels received his third Golden Globe nomination for the film, about a divorcing couple and the effect the split has on their children. That year Daniels also starred in the family film adaptation of Because of Winn-Dixie. He would round out the year with a supporting role in the Oscar-nominated film Good Night and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney.[19][20]

Daniels then starred as the redneck comic foil to Robin Williams's uptight business man in the vacation comedy RV, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. He had a supporting role in the Truman Capote biopic Infamous and in two other independent films, Mama's Boy and The Lookout, for which he was nominated for a Satellite Award.[21]

Daniels had a starring voice-over role as the villain Zartog in animated film Space Chimps. He then took back-to-back supporting roles in political thrillers: Traitor with Don Cheadle and State of Play with Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams. Also in 2009, Daniels would appear in the indie hit Away We Go. 2010 would be a slow year for Daniels. He continued his theater work and had a starring role in the little-seen indie Howl, alongside James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.[22]

In 2012, Daniels became the new announcing voice for Apple with the iPhone 5 ads. In 2014, Daniels reprised his role as Harry Dunne in Dumb and Dumber To. Daniels portrayed CEO John Sculley in the 2015 biographical drama film Steve Jobs, directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle, and starring Michael Fassbender in the title role. He played David in the last two films of the Divergent series, The Divergent Series: Allegiant and the upcoming The Divergent Series: Ascendant.[23]

Musical career[edit]

Daniels has focused on recording a number of songs that he has written throughout his life, apparently marking key moments. He has kept busy with frequent gigs and six full-length albums, Jeff Daniels Live and Unplugged, Jeff Daniels Live at The Purple Rose Theater, Grandfather's Hat, Keep It Right Here, Together Again, and Days Like These.[24] Proceeds from the album sales benefit The Purple Rose Theater.[24]

Daniels was featured on the cover of the April–May 2011 issue of Guitar Aficionado magazine as well as the July–August 2011 issue of Making Music, where he discussed his experiences with music.

Personal life[edit]

Daniels married his college sweetheart, a fellow Michigander from the Upper Peninsula (Marquette) Kathleen Rosemary Treado,[25] in 1979. In 1986, Daniels moved back to his native Chelsea, Michigan.[26] The couple has three children: Benjamin (born 1984), Lucas (born 1987), and Nellie (born 1990).[25]

Daniels has appeared as the TV spokesman for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, promoting Michigan's effectiveness in bringing in new companies, featured on CNBC. He was inducted into the Michigan Walk of Fame on May 25, 2006, in Lansing, Michigan, and delivered the winter commencement address at the University of Michigan on December 20, 2009, at which he was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts.[27]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1981 Ragtime P. C. O'Donnell
1983 Terms of Endearment Flap Horton
1985 The Purple Rose of Cairo Tom Baxter/Gil Shepherd Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1985 Marie Eddie Sisk
1986 Something Wild Charles Driggs Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1986 Heartburn Richard
1987 Radio Days Biff Baxter
1988 The House on Carroll Street Cochran
1988 Sweet Hearts Dance Sam Manners
1989 Checking Out Ray Macklin
1990 Arachnophobia Ross Jennings Saturn Award for Best Actor
1990 Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael Denton Webb
1991 Love Hurts Paul Weaver
1991 The Butcher's Wife Dr. Alex Tremor
1992 Timescape Ben Wilson also known as Grand Tour: Disaster in Time
International Fantasy Film Award for Best Actor
1992 There Goes the Neighborhood Willis Embry
1993 Rain Without Thunder Jonathan Garson
1993 Gettysburg Colonel Joshua Chamberlain Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1994 Speed Harry Temple
1994 Dumb and Dumber Harry Dunne
1995 Redwood Curtain Lyman Fellers
1996 Fly Away Home Thomas Alden
1996 2 Days in the Valley Alvin Strayer
1996 101 Dalmatians Roger Dearly
1997 Trial and Error Charlie Tuttle
1998 Pleasantville Bill Johnson Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1999 My Favorite Martian Tim O'Hara
1999 It's the Rage Warren Harding
2000 Chasing Sleep Ed Saxon
2000 Cheaters Dr. Gerard Plecki
2001 Escanaba in da Moonlight Reuben Soady Also co-writer and director
2002 Super Sucker Fred Barlow Also co-writer and director
2002 Blood Work Jasper "Buddy" Noone
2002 The Hours Louis Waters Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2003 Gods and Generals Lt. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain
2003 I Witness James Rhodes
2004 Imaginary Heroes Ben Travis
2004 The Five People You Meet in Heaven The Blue Man
2005 The Squid and the Whale Bernard Berkman Gotham Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor (2nd place)
2005 Because of Winn-Dixie The Preacher
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck Sig Mickelson Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2006 RV Travis Gornicke
2006 Infamous Alvin Dewey
2007 The Lookout Lewis Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
2007 Mama's Boy Mert Rosenbloom
2007 A Plumm Summer Narrator
2008 Space Chimps Zartog Voice
2008 Traitor Carter
2009 State of Play Representative George Fergus
2009 The Answer Man Arlen Faber
2009 Away We Go Jerry Farlander
2009 Paper Man Richard Dunn
2010 Howl Professor David Kirk
2012 Looper Abe
2013 Quad Mickey
2014 Dumb and Dumber To Harry Dunne
2015 Steve Jobs John Sculley
2015 The Martian Teddy Sanders
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant David

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1980 Breaking Away College Kid Episode: "Pilot"
1980 Hawaii Five-O Neal Forrester Episode: "The Flight of the Jewels"
1982 American Playhouse Jed Jenkins Episode: "The Fifth of July"
1989 No Place Like Home Mike Television film
1991 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Jeff Daniels/Color Me Badd"
1992 The Jackie Presser Story Tom Noonan Television film
1993 Frasier Doug Episode: "Here's Looking at You"
1995 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Jeff Daniels/Luscious Jackson"
2000 The Crossing George Washington Television film
2000 Cheaters Dr. Gerard Plecki Television film
2004 The Goodbye Girl Elliot Garfield Television film
2008 Sweet Nothing in My Ear Dan Miller Television film
2012–2014 The Newsroom Will McAvoy 25 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2013)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2012)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2014–2015)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2012–2013)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series(2012–2013)
2017 Godless Frank Griffith

Purple Rose Theatre Company[edit]

Purple Rose Theatre

The Purple Rose Theatre Company (or PRTC) was founded by Daniels in 1991. Originally known as the Garage Theatre, 'The Rose' takes its name from Woody Allen's 1985 film The Purple Rose of Cairo, which starred Daniels and Mia Farrow. The theatre provides resources for training actors, playwrights and other theatre artists residing in the Midwest region and develops new plays based on life in the Great Lakes Basin.[12] The main performance space and administrative offices occupy a building in Chelsea, Michigan once owned by Daniels' grandfather. The theatre produces four shows a year on a 3/4 thrust stage in a 168-seat house. The PRTC is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and operates under a Small Professional Theatre (SPT) Agreement with the Actors' Equity Association (AEA).[28]

Apprentice program[edit]

The Purple Rose offers a year-long apprenticeship program for young artists entering a career in theatre. Apprentices are paid a 'modest stipend' and work as many as 60–80 hours per week gaining experience in lighting, sound, stage management, design, set construction, and administrative/box office work. The seven apprentices also maintain and clean the theatre's facilities. The program was inspired by Jeff Daniels' experience as an apprentice with the Circle Repertory Company in New York City.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1981 Drama Desk Award Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Fifth of July Nominated
1983 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play Johnny Got His Gun Nominated
1986 Lemon Sky Nominated
Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical The Purple Rose of Cairo Nominated
1987 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical Something Wild Nominated
1991 Saturn Award Best Actor Arachnophobia Won
1992 International Fantasy Film Award Best Actor Timescape Won
1994 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Best Supporting Actor Gettysburg Nominated
1995 MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Duo Shared with Jim Carrey Dumb & Dumber Nominated
1999 Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical Pleasantville Nominated
2002 Video Software Dealers Association Independent Career Achievement Award Won
U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Audience Award Super Sucker Won
2003 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast Shared with Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Stephen Dillane, Ed Harris, Allison Janney, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Miranda Richardson, and Meryl Streep The Hours Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Acting Ensemble Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Stephen Dillane, Ed Harris, Allison Janney, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Miranda Richardson, and Meryl Streep Nominated
2005 Gotham Award Best Ensemble Cast Shared with David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., and Frank Langella Good Night, and Good Luck. Nominated
Best Ensemble Cast Shared with Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, and Anna Paquin The Squid and the Whale Won
2006 Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical Nominated
Independent Spirit Award Best Male Lead Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Award Best Actor Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast Shared with Rose Abdoo, Alex Borstein, Robert John Burke, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney, Reed Diamond, Tate Donovan, Robert Downey Jr., Grant Heslov, Peter Jacobson, Frank Langella, Thomas McCarthy, Dianne Reeves, Matt Ross, David Strathairn, and Ray Wise Good Night, and Good Luck. Nominated
2007 London Critics' Film Circle Award Actor of the Year The Squid and the Whale Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama The Lookout Nominated
2008 Las Palmas Film Festival Honorary Lady Harimaguada Won
2009 Tony Award Best Actor in a Play God of Carnage Nominated
2012 Satellite Award Best Actor in a Series, Drama The Newsroom Nominated
2013 Best Actor in a Series, Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Won
2014 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2015 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2016 Tony Award Best Actor in a Play Blackbird Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Robert Lee Daniels obituary". Obits.mlive.com. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  2. ^ Lai, Daniel (2012-09-01). "Bob Daniels, Chelsea Lumber Owner, Dies at Age 83". Chelsea.patch.com. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  3. ^ "NewsBank for AJC". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  4. ^ "Bob Daniels, Chelsea Lumber Owner, Dies at Age 83". Chelsea, MI Patch. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  5. ^ "'The Newsroom's' Jeff Daniels at home on a range of characters". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived December 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ http://www.americantheaterwing.com/downstagecenter/detail/jeff_danielsArchived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Jeff Daniels at the Internet Broadway Database
  9. ^ Jeff Daniels at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
  10. ^ "Jeff Daniels Play Nommed for ATCA Award; Purple Rose Greenhouse Grows New Plays". Playbill. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  11. ^ "About Jeff Daniels". Jeff Daniels. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  12. ^ a b "Detroit: Theater". Arts America. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  13. ^ Largent, Kimberly (February 2003). "An Interview with Jeff Daniels Writer, Director, Actor....and Student of the Civil War". osu.edu. Ohio State University Department of History. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  14. ^ "Speed (1994) - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  15. ^ Petrie, Donald (1999-02-12), My Favorite Martian, retrieved 2016-03-16 
  16. ^ Daniels, Jeff (2001-02-09), Escanaba in da Moonlight, retrieved 2016-03-16 
  17. ^ Daniels, Jeff (2002-02-24), Super Sucker, retrieved 2016-03-16 
  18. ^ Kramer, Lloyd (2005-04-24), The Five People You Meet in Heaven, retrieved 2016-03-16 
  19. ^ Clooney, George (2005-11-04), Good Night, and Good Luck, retrieved 2016-03-16 
  20. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Good Night, and Good Luck Movie Review (2005)". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  21. ^ Staff, Variety. "Satellite Award nominees". Variety. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  22. ^ "Howl, with Jeff Daniels, James Franco, Mary-Louise Parker, Aaron Tveit, et al. to Open Outfest 2010". TheaterMania.com. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  23. ^ "Jeff Daniels Joining 'Divergent' Series in Key Role (Exclusive)′". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  24. ^ a b "Jeff Daniels parties outside". Biography.com. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  25. ^ a b "Jeff Daniels' Wife and Children". wagcelebrity.com. Archived from the original on 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  26. ^ Daniels, Jeff (2016-03-11). The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Season 1. Episode 109. Event occurs at 29:35. CBS. For 30 years, I've lived in a little town called Chelsea, Michigan. 
  27. ^ Lichterman, Joseph (2009-12-20). "Actor and Michigan native Jeff Daniels challenges graduates to make a difference at Winter Commencement". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  28. ^ "Auditions". The Purple Rose Theater Company. The Purple Rose Theater Company. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 

External links[edit]