Home   >   Movie Stars   >   D   >   Jeff Daniels   >   More Biographies

More Jeff Daniels Bios & Profiles


The most recent Jeff Daniels biography is published on the main page.

Biography #2 (for Because of Winn-Dixie)

An actor of enormous range, Daniels launched his film career as the self-involved semi-intellectual who cheated on his ill wife in James L. Brooks' Oscar-winning Terms Of Endearment. Two years later he solidified his reputation, playing the smug actor who steps off the screen to woo Mia Farrow in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose Of Cairo. In 1986 he scored with the critics as a man caught up in the dangerous world of a free-spirited woman in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild. His other films during the eighties include Marie with Sissy Spacek, Mike Nichols' Heartburn, Woody Allen's Radio Days, Checking Out, The House On Carroll Street and Sweethearts Dance. His subsequent film roles included The Butcher's Wife, Arachnophobia, Welcome Home, Roxy Charmichael, Love Hurts, Gettysburg, Speed, 101 Dalmatians, Fly Away Home and, of course, Dumb & Dumber. Among his other credits are 2 Days in The Valley, Trial And Error, Pleasantville, It's The Rage, My Favorite Martian, The Hours, Gods and Generals and Clint Eastwood's Blood Work. As an actor/writer/director, Daniels' credits include Escanaba in Da Moonlight and Super Sucker, winner of the Audience Award for Best Comedy and the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Raised in Michigan, where he currently resides, Daniels attended college planning a teaching career while minoring in theatre. A role in a college production of Summer And Smoke, guest directed by Marshall W. Mason of New York's Circle Repertory Company, led to a career change and a move to New York. As a member of Circle Rep, Daniels made his mark in the role of Jed in Lanford Wilson's Fifth Of July. He performed the play in productions Off-Broadway at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, as well as on Broadway. In 1982 he was honored with an Obie Award for his stunning one-man performance in Johnny Got His Gun. Other Broadway credits include A. R. Gurney's The Golden Age with Irene Worth and Stockard Channing, and Lanford Wilson's Redwood Curtain, a role he reprised in a Hallmark Hall Of Fame television adaptation. Other television work includes A&E's The Crossing, Cheaters on HBO, two guest hosting stints on Saturday Night Live and, most recently, TNT's new version of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl. In 1991, Daniels founded the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Michigan. A nationally recognized regional theatre company known for the development of new American plays, Daniels himself has written eight plays for the company, Shoe Man, The Tropical Pickle, The Vast Difference, Thy Kingdom's Coming, Escanaba in Da Moonlight, Apartment 3A, Boom Town and Across The Way, the latter nominated as a 2002 Best Play Finalist by the American Theatre Critics Association.

Bio courtesy Fox for "Because of Winn-Dixie" (16-Feb-2005)

Biography #3 (for Blood Work)

Jeff Daniels has been a professional stage and film actor for twenty-five years. Raised in Michigan, Daniels launched his film career on the New York stage, where he was first cast in David Story's play The Farm. Soon after, he was understudying on Broadway in Albert Innaurato's Gemini and later performed in Lanford Wilson's Brontosaurus, Minnesota Moon and Corinne Jacker's My Life with Christopher Reeves and William Hurt. Other New York roles included Three Sisters, Short Changed Review, Lemon Sky (Drama Desk nomination) and The Golden Age with Stockard Channing and Irene Worth. Daniels' most recent stage performance was Lanford Wilson's Redwood Curtain, which played at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre before moving to Broadway in the Spring of 1993.

It was the role of Jed Jenkins in the New York production of Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July, however, that won Daniels his first widespread recognition. Over the next several years, Daniels played Jed in three different productions: Off-Broadway at Circle Rep (1978), in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum (1979) and finally on Broadway (1980) where he won a Drama Desk Nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Following the filming of Fifth of July for television, Daniels returned to Circle Rep to star in a one-man adaptation of Dalton Trumbo's World War I novel, Johnny Got His Gun, for which he won a 1983 Obie Award.

On television, Daniels reprised his role in Fifth of July with co-star Richard Thomas for American Playhouse and Showtime, starred opposite Valerie Harper in Invasion of Privacy, with Brad Davis in A Rumor of War, starred in Alan Arkin's The Visit, Robert Altman's The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, The Jackie Presser Story with Brian Dennehy, in No Place Like Home with Christine Lahti and as George Washington in A&E's film The Crossing in January of 2000. In the Fall of 1999, he played Dr. Gary Plecki in Cheaters for HBO, a story based on the teacher responsible for the 1995 cheating scandal in the Chicago Academic Decathlon Competition.

Daniels made his feature film debut in Milos Forman's Ragtime, followed by the popular success of his next project, Terms of Endearment, as Debra Winger's philandering husband. Next came two leading roles (as Tom Baxter and Gil Sheperd) in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, which was such a turning point in Daniels' career that he would name his theatre company after the film.

A listing of some of Daniels' other film credits includes: Mike Nichols' Heartburn (1986), Marie (1985), Jonathon Demme's Something Wild (1986), Woody Allen's Radio Days (1987), Peter Yates' House on Carroll Street (1988), David Leland's Checking Out (1989), Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990), Arachnophobia (1990), Gettysburg (1993), Speed (1994), Dumb and Dumber (1994), Fly Away Home (1996), 2 Days in the Valley (1996), 101 Dalmatians (1996), Trial and Error (1997), Pleasantville (1998), My Favorite Martian (1999), All the Rage (1999), Chasing Sleep (2000) and the upcoming Gods and Generals for Warner Bros. Pictures.

In 1991, Daniels established the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan, a not-for-profit professional theatre featuring Midwestern actors, directors, playwrights and designers. In eleven years, the PRTC has gained a national reputation as a home for new American plays. Daniels has written several plays for the Purple Rose, including Shoe Man, which won the Detroit News 1990-1991 Best New Play Award. Other plays include The Tropical Pickle (1992), The Vast Difference (1993), The Kingdom's Coming (1994), Escanaba in da Moonlight (1995), Apartment 3A (1996) and Boomtown (1998), which Daniels also directed. Across the Way, his newest play, opened the Purple Rose Theatre Company's 2002-2003 season.

Recently, Daniels formed Purple Rose Films, a Michigan based production company, as an outlet for his desire to act, write and direct his own independent films. He wrote, directed and starred in the film version of his most popular play, Escanaba in da Moonlight, which was self-distributed and became an enormous independent success, grossing $2.3 million.

Super Sucker, Daniels' second feature writing, directing and acting venture was shot in Jackson, Michigan in the Spring of 2001. A wild comedy about a door to door vacuum salesman, the film won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the HBO sponsored U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen in February 2002 and was recently accepted at CineVegas, the Las Vegas Film Festival, and also appeared at the East Lansing Film Festival and the Waterfront Film Festival.

Bio courtesy Warner Bros. for "Blood Work" (07-Aug-2002)