Richard Dale Jenkins
May 4, 1947
DeKalb, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Illinois Wesleyan University|
Sharon R. Friedrick
Richard Dale Jenkins (born May 4, 1947) is an American actor who is well known for his portrayal of deceased patriarch Nathaniel Fisher on the HBO funeral drama series Six Feet Under (2001–2005). He began his career in theater at the Trinity Repertory Company and made his film debut in 1974. He has worked steadily in film and television since the 1980s, mostly in supporting roles. He is also known for his roles in the films Burn After Reading (2008), Step Brothers (2008), Let Me In (2010), Jack Reacher (2012), The Cabin in the Woods (2012), The Shape of Water (2017), The Last Shift (2020), and The Humans (2021).
Jenkins was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the drama film The Visitor (2007). He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for the limited drama series Olive Kitteridge (2014). For his performance in the fantasy drama film The Shape of Water (2017), he was nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Jenkins was born and raised in DeKalb, Illinois. His mother, Mary Elizabeth (née Wheeler), was a housewife, and his father, Dale Stevens Jenkins, was a dentist. He attended DeKalb High School. Before he was an actor, Jenkins drove a linen truck (his boss was actor John C. Reilly's father). He earned a degree in drama from Illinois Wesleyan University before relocating to Rhode Island.
Jenkins worked with the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, while breaking into film with a bit part in Feasting with Panthers (1974), a television film about Oscar Wilde. When he was given the option of joining the Screen Actors Guild, he accepted immediately. He continued as a member of Trinity's resident acting company and served as its artistic director from 1990 to 1994.
Since his debut in the television movie Feasting with Panthers (1974), Jenkins has worked steadily in film. His earlier film credits include Silverado (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Sea of Love (1989), Blue Steel (1990), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Flirting with Disaster (1996), and Snow Falling On Cedars (1999).
He has worked with the director siblings the Farrelly brothers in There's Something About Mary (1998), Outside Providence (1999), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Say It Isn't So (2001) and Hall Pass (2011). He has also appeared in three Coen Brothers movies: The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), and Burn After Reading (2008). He is in North Country (2005), has three memorable scenes as FBI Director James (Robert) Grace in The Kingdom (2007), and Step Brothers (2008).
Although primarily known for supporting parts, Jenkins had a lead role in The Visitor (2007) for which he was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor. Jenkins won the International Press Academy's Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture.
In 2010, Jenkins costarred in Dear John, as the father of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), and also co-starred with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in Eat Pray Love. In 2012, he appeared in the Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard horror film The Cabin in the Woods and the action film Jack Reacher. He then appeared in the action films White House Down (2013) and Kong: Skull Island (2017).
Jenkins co-starred in Guillermo del Toro's fantasy romance drama film The Shape of Water (2017), for which he received critical acclaim. For his performance, he garnered Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Jenkins is perhaps best known on television for playing Nathaniel Fisher in the HBO drama series Six Feet Under. His character is the deceased patriarch of the Fisher family and regularly appears to his family as a ghost or in dreams. He played the role for the show's entire run. He and his castmates received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2002.
In 2015, Jenkins won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his performance as Henry Kitteridge in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge.
In 2022, Jenkins portrayed Lionel Dahmer, father of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, in Netflix's limited series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Starring alongside Evan Peters and Molly Ringwald, Jenkins appears in all ten episodes of the series created by Ryan Murphy. His performance was described in The New Yorker as "brilliant."
Awards and honors
- "Just Visiting". FutureMovies.co.uk. Archived from the original on January 13, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- Benjamin Secher (June 28, 2008). "Richard Jenkins: bald, 61 years old - and a star at last". Telegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- "Richard Jenkins profile". FilmReference.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- "Reilly + Movie Dad Met When He Was Four". Showbizspy.com. June 29, 2008. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- Stated on the Late Show with David Letterman, February 3, 2009.
- Moynihan, Rob (January 19, 2015). "How I Got My SAG-AFTRA Card", TV Guide. p. 8
- "History". Trinity Rep. Archived from the original on October 9, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
- Maxwell, Erin and Michael Jones. Variety "Film trio feel the Spirit." Archived December 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine December 2, 2008
- McCarter, Reid (September 20, 2022). "Miami Vice supercut reminds you of the ludicrous number of celebrities who guested on Miami Vice". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
- Boedeker, Hal (September 20, 2015). "Emmys: Viola Davis makes history; HBO scores". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
- Speicher, Jeffrey (October 6, 2022). "'Dahmer': Why Richard Jenkins' Lionel Is the Netflix Show's Emotional Center". Collider. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
- Winter, Jessica (October 2, 2022). "Netflix's "Dahmer" and the Killer Who Cannot Be "Explained"". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
- Gordon, David (May 8, 2016). "Richard and Sharon Jenkins Bring Oklahoma! to Life at Trinity Rep". TheaterMania. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020.
- Brady, Tara (February 9, 2018). ""I said 'I'm in the movie,' and the guy on the gate said 'Yeah sure, me too' "". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020.
- "Richard and Sharon Jenkins to Receive Trinity Rep's 2014 Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement; Ceremony Set for 6/9". Broadway World. April 8, 2014. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Gray, Channing (June 9, 2014). "Pell Awards salute the best of R.I. arts". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "30th Moscow International Film Festival (2008)". MIFF. Archived from the original on April 21, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013.