Dennis Quaid

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid TIFF 2, 2012.jpg
BornDennis William Quaid
(1954-04-09) April 9, 1954 (age 60)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Houston
Years active1975–present
ChildrenJack Henry Quaid
Thomas Boone Quaid
Zoe Grace Quaid
RelativesRandy Quaid (brother)
Jump to: navigation, search
Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid TIFF 2, 2012.jpg
BornDennis William Quaid
(1954-04-09) April 9, 1954 (age 60)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Houston
Years active1975–present
ChildrenJack Henry Quaid
Thomas Boone Quaid
Zoe Grace Quaid
RelativesRandy Quaid (brother)

Dennis William Quaid (born April 9, 1954) is an American actor known for his comedic and dramatic roles. First gaining widespread attention in the 1980s, his career rebounded in the 1990s after he overcame an addiction to drugs and an eating disorder. Some of his notable credits include Breaking Away, The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, Traffic, Vantage Point, Footloose, Frequency, The Parent Trap and Soul Surfer.

Early life[edit]

Quaid was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Juanita Bonniedale "Nita" (née Jordan), a real estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid (November 21, 1923 – February 8, 1987), an electrician[1] and a third cousin of performer Gene Autry.[2][citation needed] He is the younger brother of actor Randy Quaid. The Quaid brothers grew up in Bellaire, Texas, which is a small city surrounded by Houston, and in southwest Houston. Quaid has English, Irish, and Cajun (French) ancestry.[3] He attended Paul W. Horn Elementary School in Bellaire, and Pershing Middle School in Houston. He studied Mandarin and dance at Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas, and later in college, at the University of Houston, under drama coach Cecil Pickett, who had previously taught at Bellaire High and whose daughter is actress Cindy Pickett. It was during his time at Bellaire High School that he developed the nickname 'Dennis Quand', (a combination of 'Quaid' and 'Bond') in relation to his obsession with the 007 film character and was regularly referred to by this name.


After his brother, Randy Quaid, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Last Detail (1973), Quaid dropped out of the University of Houston before graduating and moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career of his own.[3] He initially had trouble finding work but began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away (1979) and earned good reviews for his role in The Right Stuff (1983).[3]

Known for his grin,[4] Quaid has appeared in both comedic and dramatic roles.[3] Quaid had starring roles in the films Enemy Mine (1985) and Innerspace (1987). He also achieved acclaim for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire! (1989).[3] In 1989, he also appeared throughout the Bonnie Raitt music video for the song "Thing Called Love."[5]

Quaid's career lost steam in the early 1990s, after he fought anorexia nervosa and kicked a cocaine addiction.[3] He continued to garner positive reviews in a variety of films, however, such as Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp (1994).[3] Quaid was also the guest star of a season 2 episode of Muppets Tonight (1997). He starred in the remake of The Parent Trap (1998), playing the part of the twins' father, and as an aging pro football quarterback in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday (1999). Some of Quaid's more recent film credits include Frequency (2000), The Rookie (2002), Far from Heaven (2002), Cold Creek Manor (2003), The Flight of the Phoenix (2004), In Good Company (2004), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Yours, Mine and Ours (2005), Vantage Point (2008), G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), and Pandorum (2009).

In 2009, Quaid guest starred in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, playing Mr. Krabs' grandfather, Captain Redbeard.

He portrayed U.S. President Bill Clinton, alongside Michael Sheen as Tony Blair and Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton, in the 2010 film The Special Relationship.

In 2012 and 2013, Quaid played Sheriff Ralph Lamb in the CBS TV drama series Vegas.


Quaid at the 2009 Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards

For his role in Far from Heaven (2002) he won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male. He received nominations for Best Supporting Actor from the Golden Globe Awards, the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Quaid was also honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the University of Houston, in April 2012. While giving his acceptance speech, Dennis gave credit to his long time best friend Jacob Alexander Hall from Calgary Alberta Canada. He said, "I once saw that guy lift a desert mule above his head and twirl it like an umbrella. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was at this time when I thought to myself, if he can do that, why cant me and Tom Selleck be A list actors." Dennis went on to thank Jake for being one of his biggest inspirations of all time. They went out for Candy and a movie afterwards to celebrate his incredible achievement.

Personal life[edit]

Relationships and children[edit]

Quaid golfing in 2006

Quaid has been married three times and has three children.

Quaid and his first wife, actress P. J. Soles, were married on November 25, 1978. The couple were divorced on January 23, 1983.

On February 14, 1991, Quaid married his second wife, actress Meg Ryan. Quaid and Ryan have a son, Jack Henry (born April 24, 1992). They were divorced on July 16, 2001. In a 2008 interview with Insight, Ryan stated, "Dennis was not faithful to me for a very long time, and that was very painful. I found out more about that after I was divorced."[6]

Quaid dated Shanna Moakler in 2001. They were together when she was approached by Playboy, and they discussed it before she posed nude in the magazine which she publicly announced in W Magazine was "embarrassing."[7] The relationship lasted for eight months,.[8]

Quaid married his third wife, Texas real-estate agent Kimberly Buffington, on July 4, 2004 at his ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana.[9] Together they have fraternal twins, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace, born via gestational carrier on November 8, 2007 in Santa Monica, California.[10][11]

On November 18, 2007, hospital staff mistakenly gave Quaid's ten-day-old twins a dosage of heparin 1,000 times the common dosage for infants.[12][13] Their attorney said the newborns will "be fine now," but Quaid filed a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer, Baxter Healthcare, claiming that packaging for the two doses of heparin are not different enough.[14] In May 2008, the Quaids testified before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asking U.S. Congress not to preempt the right to sue drug manufacturers for negligence under state law.[15]

Buffington filed for divorce from Quaid in March 2012. According to the divorce petition, the marriage had "become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities."[16] Buffington's attorney then withdrew the divorce papers on April 26, 2012.[17] In the summer of 2012, Quaid and Buffington moved to California.[18] In October 2012, Quaid and Buffington again decided to separate, and Buffington filed for legal separation, seeking joint legal and sole physical custody of the twins.[19] After waiting to establish the required six months of residency in California, Quaid filed for divorce on November 30, 2012, asking for joint legal and physical custody of the children and offering to pay spousal support to Buffington.[18] They have since reconciled and the divorce was dismissed with prejudice in the spring of 2013.[20]


Quaid was raised in the Baptist faith.[21][22]

In addition to acting, Quaid is a musician and plays with his band, the Sharks. Quaid also has a pilot's license and is a five-handicap golfer. In 2005, he was named as the top golfer among the "Hollywood set" by Golf Digest.

Quaid is an avid fan of the Houston Astros, and after their 2005 National League Championship winning season, he narrated their commemorating DVD release.

After the filming of The Express: The Ernie Davis Story, Quaid went to Cleveland Browns Stadium to dedicate Davis's jersey.

Substance use[edit]

There have been extensive stories about Quaid's past abuse of cocaine. In a candid 2002 interview with Larry King on his talk show, after King asked about his motives for using drugs, Quaid responded,

Well, you got to put it in context. Back in the late '60s, early '70s. That was back during the time where, you know, drugs were going to expand our minds and everybody was experimenting and everything. We were really getting high, we didn't know it. And cocaine at that time was considered harmless. You know. I remember magazine articles in 'People' Magazine of doctors saying, it is not addicting. It is just—alcohol is worse. So I think we all fell into that. But that's not the way it was.

When asked if he believed he had ever been addicted to the drug, he responded,

It was a gradual thing. But it got to the point where I couldn't have any fun unless I had it. Which is a bad place to be." Later in the interview he said, "But I saw myself being dead in about five years if I didn't stop.[23]

In April 2011, while promoting his film, Soul Surfer, Quaid was very candid when it came to questions regarding his past drug abuse. He blamed his sudden thrust into the Hollywood scene for his trouble with cocaine. He said,

Coming from where I came from - lower-middle-class life, from Houston into Hollywood - and all of a sudden this success starts happening to you, I just didn't know how to handle that." Quaid also made bold accusations about the American film industry in the 1970s, claiming, "Cocaine was even in the budgets of movies, thinly disguised.... It was petty cash, you know? It was supplied, basically, on movie sets because everyone was doing it." On his addiction, Quaid said, "I'd wake up, snort a line, and swear I wasn't going to do it again that day ... but then four o'clock rolled around, and I'd be right back down the same road like a little squirrel on one of those treadmills.[24]

In October 2009, Quaid narrowly avoided being arrested for DUI, when a police officer managed to persuade him to get out of his car and get a cab.[25]


Quaid lends his name to the annual "Dennis Quaid Charity Weekend" (formerly the "Jiffy Lube/Dennis Quaid Charity Classic") in Austin. The golf tournament attracts numerous celebrities with the proceeds split among local children's charities. He is a member of the Bel-Air Country Club in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, and tries to stay at homes on private courses when he is on the road.

Quaid works with the International Hospital for Children in New Orleans. He makes trips to Central America to help build medical clinics and transport sick children back to the U.S. for treatment they cannot get locally.


1975Crazy MamaBellhop(uncredited)
1977I Never Promised You a Rose GardenShark, Baseball Pitcher
1977September 30, 1955Frank
1978Our Winning SeasonPaul Morelli
1978Seniors, TheThe SeniorsAlan
1979Breaking AwayMike
1980Long Riders, TheThe Long RidersEd Miller
1980GorpMad Grossman
1981All Night LongFreddie Dupler
1981BillBarry Morrow
1981Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, TheThe Night the Lights Went Out in GeorgiaTravis Child
1981StripesExtra at Graduation Ceremony(uncredited)
1982Johnny BelindaKyle Hager
1983Tough EnoughArt Long
1983Jaws 3-DMichael 'Mike' Brody
1983Right Stuff, TheThe Right StuffGordon Cooper
1984DreamscapeAlex Gardner
1985Enemy MineWillis Davidge
1987Big Easy, TheThe Big EasyDet. Remy McSwainIndependent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male
Valladolid International Film Festival Award for Best Actor
1987InnerspaceLt. Tuck Pendleton
1987SuspectEddie Sanger
1988D.O.A.Dexter Cornell
1988Everybody's All-AmericanGavin Grey
1989Great Balls of Fire!Jerry Lee Lewis
1990Come See the ParadiseJack McGurn
1990Postcards from the EdgeJack Faulkner
1993Wilder NapalmWallace Foudroyant/Biff the Clown
1993Undercover BluesJefferson 'Jeff' Blue
1993Flesh and BoneArlis Sweeney
1994Century of Cinema, AA Century of CinemaHimselfDocumentary
1994Wyatt EarpDoc Holliday
1995Something to Talk AboutEddie Bichon
1997Gang RelatedJoe Doe/William
1997SwitchbackFrank LaCrosse
1998SaviorJoshua Rose/Guy
1998Parent Trap, TheThe Parent TrapNick Parker
1998Playing by HeartHugh
1999Any Given SundayJack 'Cap' Rooney
2000FrequencyFrank SullivanNominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor – Suspense
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2000TrafficArnie MetzgerScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2001Dinner with FriendsGabe
2002Rookie, TheThe RookieJim Morris
2002Far from HeavenFrank WhitakerChicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
2003Cold Creek ManorCooper Tilson
2004Alamo, TheThe AlamoSam Houston
2004Day After Tomorrow, TheThe Day After TomorrowJack Hall
2004In Good CompanyDan Foreman
2004Flight of the PhoenixFrank Towns
2005Yours, Mine and OursRear admiral Frank Beardsley
2006American DreamzPresident Joseph Staton
2007Battle for TerraRovenVoice role
2008Vantage PointThomas Barnes
2008Smart PeopleLawrence Wetherhold
2008Express, TheThe ExpressBen Schwartzwalder
2009HorsemenAidan Breslin
2009G.I. Joe: The Rise of CobraGeneral Hawk
2010LegionBob Hanson
2010Special Relationship, TheThe Special RelationshipBill ClintonNominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor – Miniseries or a Movie[26]
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2011Soul SurferTom Hamilton
2011FootlooseRev. Shaw Moore
2012Beneath the DarknessVaughn Ely
2012What to Expect When You're ExpectingRamsey
2012The WordsClay Hammond
2012Playing for KeepsCarl
2012At Any PriceHenry Whipple
2013Movie 43Charlie WesslerSegment "The Pitch"



  1. ^ "Dennis Quaid Biography (1954–)". Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ Notes, Chapter 1, p. 304, Public Cowboy No. !: The Life and Times of Gene Autry, by Holly George-Warren, Oxford University Press, 2009
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Stated in interview at Inside the Actors Studio.
  4. ^ Lyman, Rick (November 14, 2002). "Dennis Quaid's Second Reel: The Comeback". New York Times (New York). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 29, 2010. 
  5. ^ Bonnie Raitt - "Thing Called Love" music video on YouTube (official VEVO version)
  6. ^ "Meg Ryan says Dennis Quaid cheated on her". MSN. 
  7. ^ "Shanna Moakler". Extra TV. October 26, 2001. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  8. ^ "Shanna Moakler is Devastated over Split". CelebSpin. August 11, 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-08. 
  9. ^ Keeps, David A. (April 2006). "Dennis Quaid". Best Life (Emmaus, PA) III (3): 22–25. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Dennis & Kimberly Quaid Welcome a Boy & Girl". People. November 8, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  11. ^ Haldeman, Peter (November 2008). "Dennis Quaid". Architectural Digest. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Dennis Quaid's Newborn Twins Fighting for Life". Fox News Channel. November 21, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  13. ^ Ornstein, Charles; Gorman, Anna (November 21, 2007). "Possible medical mix-up for twins". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  14. ^ Dennis Quaid and wife sue drug maker.
  15. ^ Quaid, Dennis; Quaid, Kimberly (May 14, 2008). "Testimony of Dennis Quaid and Kimberly Quaid Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives" (PDF). pp. 1–7. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Dennis Quaid's Wife Files for Divorce: Report". People. March 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Dennis Quaid's Wife Withdraws Divorce Papers". People. May 4, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Dennis Quaid Files to Divorce Wife Kimberly Buffington-Quaid". Us Weekly. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Dennis Quaid's Wife Files for Separation Five Months After Pulling Plug on Divorce". E News. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Dennis and Kimberly Quaid:Divorce Withdrawn". HuffingtonPost. Retrieved August 2013. 
  21. ^ 'It's All God': Interview with Dennis Quaid
  22. ^ Peter T. Chattaway (November 21, 2005). "Mr. Versatile 'Christianity Today'". Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  23. ^ " – Transcripts". March 12, 2002. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  24. ^ Gracely, Joe (April 11, 2011). "Dennis Quaid: 'Being addicted to cocaine' was 'my greatest mistake'". New York: NYDailyNews. 
  25. ^ "Dennis Quaid dodges DUI by taking cab". Daily News (New York). October 25, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  26. ^ Dennis Quaid Emmy Nominated

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]