David Strathairn

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David Strathairn
BornDavid Russell Strathairn
(1949-01-26) January 26, 1949 (age 64)
San Francisco, California,
United States
OccupationActor
Years active1979–present
Spouse(s)Logan Goodman (1980–present)
 
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David Strathairn
BornDavid Russell Strathairn
(1949-01-26) January 26, 1949 (age 64)
San Francisco, California,
United States
OccupationActor
Years active1979–present
Spouse(s)Logan Goodman (1980–present)

David Russell Strathairn (born January 26, 1949) is an American actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for portraying journalist Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck. He is recognized for his role as CIA Deputy Director Noah Vosen in the 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum, a role he reprised in 2012's The Bourne Legacy. He played a prominent role as Dr. Lee Rosen on the Syfy series Alphas from 2011 to 2012. He played Secretary of State William Henry Seward in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln.

Early life[edit source | edit]

Strathairn was born in San Francisco, California, the second of three children of Mary Frances (née Frazier), a nurse, and Thomas Scott Strathairn, Jr., a physician.[1][2][3] He is of Scottish descent through his paternal grandfather, Thomas Scott Strathairn, a native of Crieff, and of Native Hawaiian ancestry through his paternal grandmother, Josephine Lei Victoria Alana.[4][5][6] Strathairn attended Redwood High School in Larkspur, California, and graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1970.

He studied clowning at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Venice, Florida,[7] and briefly worked as a clown in a travelling circus.[8]

Career[edit source | edit]

Strathairn was nominated for an Academy Award for his starring portrayal of CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow in the 2005 biopic Good Night, and Good Luck. The movie explored Murrow's clash with Senator Joseph McCarthy over McCarthy's Communist "witch-hunt" in the 1950s. Strathairn also received Best Actor Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations for his performance.

Other notable film roles include his portrayals of the title character in Harrison's Flowers (2000); the wisecracking blind techie in Sneakers (1992); general manager Ira Lowenstein in A League of Their Own; Joe St. George in Dolores Claiborne (1995); Theseus, Duke of Athens, in the 1999 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream; and corrupt baseball player Eddie Cicotte in Eight Men Out (1988).

Strathairn is a character actor, appearing in supporting roles in many independent and Hollywood films. In this capacity, he has co-starred in Twisted as a psychiatrist; in The River Wild as a husband; as a jailbird brother in The Firm; and as a pimp in L.A. Confidential.

He has worked with his Williams College classmate and director John Sayles. He made his film debut in Return of the Secaucus 7, and worked in the films Passion Fish, Matewan, Limbo, and City of Hope, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award. Alongside Sayles, he played one of the "men in black" in the 1983 film The Brother from Another Planet. Strathairn created the role of Edwin Booth with Maryann Plunkett in a workshop production of Booth! A House Divided, by W. Stuart McDowell, at The Players in New York City.[9]

His television work includes a range of roles: "Moss", the bookselling nebbish on the critically acclaimed The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd; Captain Keller, the father of Helen Keller in the 2000 remake of The Miracle Worker; and a far-out (both figuratively and literally) televangelist in Paradise, the pilot episode for a TV series on Showtime that was not successful.[10] Strathairn had a recurring role on the hit television drama The Sopranos. Strathairn starred in the second season episode, "Out Where the Buses Don't Run", in Miami Vice.

Among Strathairn's recent films are: We Are...Marshall, a 2006 film about the rebirth of Marshall University's football program after the 1970 plane crash that killed most of the team's members; and Cold Souls, starring Paul Giamatti as a fictionalised version of himself, who enlists a company's services to deep freeze his soul, directed by Sophie Barthes.[11] In 2006 he did a campaign ad for then congressional candidate (now, Senator) Kirsten Gillibrand. He reprised his role as Edward R. Murrow in a speech similar to the one from Good Night, and Good Luck, but was altered to reference Gillibrand's opponent John Sweeney.[12]

Strathairn plays the lead role in the 2007 independent film, Steel Toes, a film by David Gow (writer/co-director/producer)and Mark Adam (co-director/DOP/editor). The film is based on Gow's stage play Cherry Docs, in which Strathairn starred for its American premiere at the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia.

He played a lead role in the summer 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum and appeared in Paramount Pictures' children's film The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) as Arthur Spiderwick. Strathairn appeared in the American Experience PBS anthology series documentary, The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a biography of the physicist. He plays William Flynn, an FBI agent dealing with anarchism in 1920s New York City, in No God, No Master.

In 2009, Strathairn performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans. It was adapted from the historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[13]

He starred as Dr. Lee Rosen on Syfy's series Alphas.[14]

Theater[edit source | edit]

Strathairn is an stage actor and has performed over 30 theatrical roles. He performed several roles in stage plays by Harold Pinter. He played Stanley in two consecutive New York Classic Stage Company (CSC) productions of Pinter's 1957 play The Birthday Party, directed by Carey Perloff (since 1992 artistic director of the American Conservatory Theatre), in 1988[15] and 1989;[16] the dual roles of prison Officer and Prisoner in Pinter's 1989 play Mountain Language (in a double bill with the second CSC Rep production of The Birthday Party);[17] Edwin Booth in a workshop production by W. Stuart McDowell at The Players in 1989; Kerner, in Tom Stoppard's Hapgood (1994); and Devlin, opposite Lindsay Duncan's Rebecca, in Pinter's 1996 two-hander Ashes to Ashes in the 1999 New York premiere by the Roundabout Theatre Company.[1][18]

Strathairn narrated a biographical video to introduce Barack Obama before his acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[19]

He married Logan Goodman, a nurse. They have two sons and live near Poughkeepsie, New York.

Filmography[edit source | edit]

Film[edit source | edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1980Return of the Secaucus 7Ron Desjardins
1983LovesickMarvin Zuckerman
1983SilkwoodWesley
1984IcemanDr. Singe
1984The Brother from Another PlanetMan In Black
1985When Nature CallsWeejun
1986At Close RangeTony Pine
1987MatewanPolice Chief Sid Hatfield
1988Stars and BarsCharlie
1988Call MeSam
1988Eight Men OutEddie Cicotte
1988Dominick and EugeneMartin
1989The FeudThe Stranger
1990Memphis BelleCol. Craig Harriman
1991City of HopeAsteroidIndependent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
1992Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get EvenKeith
1992A League of Their OwnIra Lowenstein
1992Bob RobertsMack Laflin
1992SneakersErwin 'Whistler' Emory
1992Passion FishRennieNominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
1993Lost in YonkersJohnny
1993The FirmRay McDeere
1993A Dangerous WomanGetso
1994The River WildTom Hartman
1995Losing IsaiahCharles Lewin
1995Dolores ClaiborneJoe St. George
1995Home for the HolidaysRussell Terziak
1996Mother NightLieutenant Bernard B. O'Hare
1997Song of HiawathaMarcel
1997L.A. ConfidentialPierce Morehouse PatchettNominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1997Bad MannersWes
1998The ClimbEarl Himes
1998With Friends Like These...Armand Minetti
1998Simon BirchReverend Russell
1998MeschuggeCharles Kaminski
1999A Midsummer Night's DreamTheseus
1999Limbo"Jumpin Joe" GastineauNominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
1999A Map of the WorldHoward Goodwin
2000A Good BabyTruman Lester
2000Harrison's FlowersHarrison Lloyd
2001Relative EvilDr. Charliea.k.a. Ball in the House
2002SpeakeasyBruce Hickman
2002Blue CarAuster
2004TwistedDr. Melvin Frank
2005The Notorious Bettie PageEstes Kefauver
2005Missing in AmericaHenry
2005Good Night, and Good Luck.Edward R. MurrowGransito Movie Award for Best Actor
Volpi Cup for Best Actor
Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
2006The ShovelPaul MullinShort film
2006Heavens FallJudge James Horton
2006We Are MarshallDonald Dedmon
2007The Sensation of SightFinnAlso Producer
2007Steel ToesDanny Dunckelman
2007FractureDA Joe Lobruto
2007Racing DaylightHenry Becker/Harry Stokes
2007The Bourne UltimatumNoah Vosen
2007My Blueberry NightsArnie Copeland
2007Matters of Life and DeathMr. Jennings
2007TrumboReadings
2008The Spiderwick ChroniclesArthur Spiderwick
2009The UninvitedSteven
2009Cold SoulsDr. Flintstein
2009The People SpeakHimselfDocumentary
2009Odysseus in AmericaNarration
2010HowlRalph McIntosh
2010The TempestAlonzo, King of Naples
2010The WhistleblowerPeter Ward
2012The Bourne LegacyNoah Vosen
2012LincolnWilliam SewardNominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2014GodzillaThe MayorPost-production

Television[edit source | edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1985Miami ViceMarty LangEpisode: "Out Where the Buses Don't Run"
1987Broken VowsStuart ChaseTelevision movie
1988-1991The Days and Nights of Molly DoddMoss Goodman20 episodes
1989WiseguyMatthew Stemkowsky4 episodes
1989Day OneJ. Robert OppenheimerTelevision movie
1990Heat WaveBill ThomasTelevision movie
1990JudgmentFather Frank AubertTelevision movie
1991Son of the Morning StarCapt. William F. BenteenTelevision movie
1991Without Warning: The James Brady StoryDoctor Art KobrineTelevision movie
1992O Pioneers!Carl LinstrumTelevision movie
1996Beyond the CallRussell CatesTelevision movie
1997In the GloamingMartinTelevision movie
Nominated – CableACE Award for Guest Actor in a Dramatic Special or Series
1998Evidence of BloodJackson KinleyTelevision movie
2000Freedom SongPeter CrowleyTelevision film
2000The Miracle WorkerCaptain KellerTelevision film
2001Big AppleFBI Agent Will Preecher8 episodes
2002Lathe of HeavenMannieTelevision movie
2002Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen StoryJack HoschouerTelevision movie
2004The SopranosRobert Wegler3 episodes
2004ParadiseReverend Bobby ParadiseTelevision movie
2008MonkPatrick KlosterEpisode: "Mr. Monk and the Genius"
2010Temple GrandinProfessor CarlockTelevision movie
Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2010HouseNashEpisode: "Lockdown"
2011-2012AlphasDr. Lee Rosen24 episodes
2012Hemingway & GellhornJohn Dos PassosTelevision movie
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ a b David Strathairn Film Reference bio. Filmreference.com. Retrieved on July 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Welcome to Dispatch Online. Dispatch.co.za (2010-11-12). Retrieved on July 10, 2011.
  3. ^ http://www.hivelys.com/files/FrazierBK/f4430.htm
  4. ^ "Secret Scottish Roots Of Best Actor Nominee". 'The Sunday Mail. (2009-08-11). Retrieved on July 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "David Strathairn Finds the Spotlight". BBC News (2006-01-27). Retrieved on July 10, 2011.
  6. ^ "Hawaii, Marriages, 1826-1922".FamilySearch.org. Retrieved on July 30, 2012.
  7. ^ Full biography of "David Strathairn", Yahoo! Movies, Copyright 2007, accessed August 7, 2007.
  8. ^ "The Nominees: David Strathairn". CBS News. March 1, 2006. 
  9. ^ History of the Bristol Riverside Theatre[dead link]
  10. ^ Paradise (2004) (TV) at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ David Strathairn at the Internet Movie Database, accessed August 7, 2007.
  12. ^ "A 'Good Luck' Charm In Race For Congress". NY Daily News. 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "David Strathairn to Headline Syfy's Alpha". TVGuide.com. 
  15. ^ Performance revs. by Susan Hollis Merritt, "The Birthday Party" (CSC Repertory Theatre, New York, April 17, 1988, Apr. 12, 1988 – May 22, 1988) and Bernard Dukore, "The Birthday Party" (CSC Repertory Theatre, New York, April–May 1988), The Pinter Review 2.1 (1988): 66–70; 71–73. (Cover photograph features Strathairn in his role as Stanley.)
  16. ^ 1989 CSC production, HaroldPinter.org (official site), accessed August 7, 2007.
  17. ^ Susan Hollis Merritt, "A Conversation with Carey Perloff, Bill Moor, Peter Riegert, Jean Stapleton, and David Strathairn: After Matinee of Mountain Language and The Birthday Party by CSC Repertory Ltd., Bruno's, New York, Nov. 12, 1989", The Pinter Review: Annual Essays 1989 (TPR) (Tampa: U of Tampa P, 1989) 59–84 (interview); cf. performance rev. by Francis Gillen, "Mountain Language, The Birthday Party" TPR 93–97. (Cover photograph features Strathairn and Stapleton in their roles as a prison Officer and the Elderly Woman in Mountain Language; his other role, the Prisoner, is the Elderly Woman's son.)
  18. ^ Performance revs. by Katherine H. Burkman, "Ashes to Ashes in New York: Roundabout Theatre Company at the Gramercy Theatre, March 30, 1999" and by Susan Hollis Merritt, "Ashes to Ashes in New York: Roundabout Theatre Company, Gramercy Theatre, New York, April 3, 1999", The Pinter Review: Collected Essays 1997 and 1998 (Tampa: U of Tampa P, 1999) 154-59.
  19. ^ Greeley Tribune (2008). Obama uses language of hope, calls for action. Retrieved August 29, 2008.

External links[edit source | edit]