Eric Stoltz

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Eric Stoltz
Eric Stoltz-2009 cropped.jpg
Stoltz promoting Caprica, April 2009
Born(1961-09-30) September 30, 1961 (age 53)
Whittier, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, Director, Producer
Years active1978–present
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Not to be confused with Eric Stults.
Eric Stoltz
Eric Stoltz-2009 cropped.jpg
Stoltz promoting Caprica, April 2009
Born(1961-09-30) September 30, 1961 (age 53)
Whittier, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, Director, Producer
Years active1978–present

Eric Stoltz (born September 30, 1961) is an American actor, director and producer. He is known for playing the role of Rocky Dennis in the biographical drama film Mask, which earned him the nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture,[1] and has appeared in a wide variety of films from mainstream fare like Some Kind of Wonderful to independent films like Pulp Fiction, Killing Zoe, and Kicking and Screaming. He recently portrayed Daniel Graystone in the science fiction television series Caprica, and became a regular director on the television series, Glee.

Early life[edit]

Stoltz was born in Whittier, California, the son of Evelyn B. (née Vawter),[2] a violinist and schoolteacher who died in 1994, and Jack Stoltz, an elementary school teacher.[3] He has two sisters, mezzo soprano Catherine Stoltz[4] and writer Susan R. Stoltz.[5] He was raised in both American Samoa and Santa Barbara, California, where as a child, he once earned money playing piano for local musical theatre productions.[6] He attended the University of Southern California, but dropped out after his junior year.[7] When he moved to New York for his studies in 1981, he met Stella Adler and Peggy Feury.[8]



In the 1970s Stoltz joined a repertory company that performed ten plays at the Edinburgh Festival. He returned to the United States in 1979, when he entered USC as a drama student, but subsequently dropped out to pursue film and TV roles.[9] In 1978, he was cast as Steve Benson in the TV adaptation of Erma Bombeck's The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank.[10]

Director Cameron Crowe and Stoltz became friends while making Stoltz's first feature film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). According to Stoltz, Crowe promised Stoltz a role in all of his future films.[11] He appeared in each of Crowe's next four films, The Wild Life, Say Anything..., Singles, and Jerry Maguire.

In 1984, Stoltz was originally cast for the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future but was replaced by Michael J. Fox.

Originally cast as Marty McFly for Back to the Future in late 1984, he was replaced after five weeks of filming, when Michael J. Fox (the director's first choice for the role) agreed to divide time between the movie and his television sitcom, Family Ties.[12] The director, Robert Zemeckis, said that while Stoltz provided an admirable performance, it lacked the precise comedic sense that Zemeckis was seeking.[13] Some of the original footage, where Stoltz does not appear but was on set, was used in the film.[14] Stolz playing the character was referenced in the 2010 episode of Fringe titled "Peter" when, in a parallel universe, a theater marquee reads "Back to the Future starring Eric Stoltz".[15]

In 1985, Stoltz garnered attention with a Golden Globe nomination starring as Rocky Dennis in Mask. Among other roles in the 1980s, he appeared in the 1987 hit, John Hughes's Some Kind of Wonderful.

During the 1990s, Stoltz went back and forth between stage, film, and television, appearing in studio and independent films such as Pulp Fiction (1994) and The Waterdance (1992). He also produced the films Bodies, Rest & Motion in 1993, Sleep with Me in 1994, and Mr. Jealousy in 1997. He continued to appear on the New York stage both on Broadway (Three Sisters, Two Shakespearean Actors, Arms and the Man) and off-Broadway (The Importance of Being Earnest, The Glass Menagerie, Sly Fox and Our Town). He was nominated for a Tony Award as Featured Actor for his performance as George Gibbs in the 1989 Broadway revival of Thornton Wilder's Our Town.[16] A performance of this production was featured on Great Performances: Live From Lincoln Center, which received a 1989 Emmy nomination.[17]

On television, he had a recurring role as Helen Hunt's character's ex-boyfriend on Mad About You (five episodes, 1994–1998), spent a year on Chicago Hope (1994), and did some TV and cable movies such as Inside (1996) (directed by Arthur Penn) and The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999), with Helen Mirren. Stoltz received the Indie Support Award at the 1998 Los Angeles Film Festival.[18]


During the first part of the 2000s, he starred with Gillian Anderson in The House of Mirth (2000), based on the novel by Edith Wharton. From 2001 to 2002, he had a recurring role as the English teacher-poet August Dimitri in ABC's Once and Again, where Julia Whelan's character, a teenager, fell in love with his character. He directed an episode of the show in 2002. In 2003, he played his first leading TV role in Out of Order, which was canceled after five episodes. In 2004, he appeared in The Butterfly Effect as a child molester; the following year, he guest-starred in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace as Debra Messing's love interest. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his direction of the cable movie My Horrible Year! (2001).[19] He also directed a short film entitled The Bulls,[6] as well as the highest rated episode of Law & Order in 2005, entitled "Tombstone". He appeared in the music video of The Residents' "Give it to Someone Else", featured on The Commercial DVD.[20]

He has contributed essays to the books City Secrets — New York as well as Life Interrupted by Spalding Gray, and appears on the children's CD Philadelphia Chickens.[21]

Beginning in 2007, Stoltz directed episodes of the drama series Quarterlife, which began airing as webisodes and were then picked up to air on the NBC network in 2008. Stoltz played a serial killer in need of medical attention in three episodes of the fifth season of Grey's Anatomy.[22] He has also directed two episodes of Grey's Anatomy, as well as ten episodes of Glee.

Stoltz starred as Daniel Graystone, inventor of the Cylons, in the science fiction television series Caprica, a prequel set 58 years before the Battlestar Galactica series.

As of 2009, he has become a regular director of Glee, and has directed ten episodes, including "Nationals", in which the Glee club finally wins the championship.

In 2011 Stoltz is seen back on the silver screen with the film Fort McCoy (film), he earned accolades for his leading role as a conflicted barber of German heritage forced to suppress his American patriotism after moving his family to a post-World War II military base which houses a German POW camp.




1982Fast Times at Ridgemont HighStoner Bud
1984Surf IIChuck
1984Running HotDanny Hicks
1984The Wild LifeBill Conrad
1985The New KidsMark
1985MaskRocky DennisNominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1985Code Name: EmeraldLt. Andy Wheeler
1987Some Kind of WonderfulKeith Nelson
1987LionheartRobert Nerra
1987Sister, SisterMatt Rutledge
1988Greasy LakeThe narratorDirect-to-video
1988Haunted SummerPercy Shelley
1989The Fly IIMartin Brundle
1989Say Anything...Vahlere
1990Memphis BelleSgt. Danny "Danny Boy" Daly
1991MoneyFranck Cimballi
1992The WaterdanceJoel Garcia
1992SinglesThe Mime
1993Bodies, Rest & MotionSidproducer
1993Naked in New YorkJake Briggs
1994Killing ZoeZed
1994Pulp FictionLanceNominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
1994Sleep with MeJosephproducer
1994Little WomenJohn Brooke
1995Killing TimeStop N Start ManagerShort film
1995The ProphecySimon
1995Rob RoyAlan MacDonald
1995Never Say Goodbye Aids Benefit by Yoko OnoMan From HamptonsDirect-to-video short film
1995FlukeJeff Newman
1995Kicking and ScreamingChet
1996Grace of My HeartHoward Cazsatt
19962 Days in the ValleyWes Taylor
1996Keys to TulsaRichter Boudreau
1996Jerry MaguireEthan Valhere
1997AnacondaDr. Steven Cale
1997Mr. JealousyLester Grimm, aka Vinceexecutive producer
1998The Rocking Horse WinnerUncle JoeShort film
1998A Murder of CrowsThurman Parks III
1999Hercules: Zero to HeroTheseus (voice)/The Grim Avenger (voice)Direct-to-video
2000It's a Shame About RayMr. StoltzShort film
2000Jesus & HutchJesusShort film
2000The Simian LineSam Donovan
2000The House of MirthLawrence Selden
2001Things Behind the SunDan
2001Harvard ManTeddy Carter
2002The Rules of AttractionMr. Lawson
2003Happy HourLevine
2003When Zachary Beaver Came to TownOtto
2004The Butterfly EffectMr. Miller
2004ChildstarFresno Burnbaum
2005HelloMaxShort film
2005The HoneymoonersWilliam Davis
2006The Lather EffectMickey
2007The Grand DesignJoshShort film (executive producer)
2009SparksJosephShort film
2011Fort McCoy (film)Frank Stirnproducer
20145 to 7Filming


1978James at 15JackEpisode: "Hunter Country"
1978The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic TankSteve BensonTV movie
1979A New Kind of FamilyBurtEpisode: “Invasion of Privacy’’
1979The SeekersFirst BoyTV movie
1980The WaltonsSr. Boy #1Episode: "The Valediction"
1980Eight Is EnoughKurt HarperEpisode: "Finally Grad Night"
1981Walking TallDavid CoombsEpisode: "The Killing of McNeal County's Children"
1981Knots LandingLukeEpisode: "Man of the Hour"
1981The Violation of Sarah McDavidPete BradyTV movie
1982Paper DollsSteveTV movie
1982Seven Brides for Seven BrothersKevinEpisode: "Challenges"
1983The Fall GuyLittle Juice AtkinsEpisode: "One Hundred Miles a Gallon"
1983Love, SidneyRickEpisode: "The Movie"
1983A Killer in the FamilyRicky TisonTV movie
1983St. ElsewhereEddie CarsonEpisodes:
"Under Pressure"
"All About Eve"
1984Things Are Looking UpNeil 'Trout' TroutmanTV movie
1989Great PerformancesGeorge GibbsEpisode: "Our Town"
1990American PlayhouseYounger EdwardEpisode: "Sensibility and Sense"
1991A Woman at WarFranz BuellerTV movie
1992The Heart of JusticeDavid LeaderTV movie
1993Foreign AffairsFred TurnerTV movie
1993FrasierDon (voice)Episode: "Miracle On Third Or Fourth Street"
1994RoomatesBill ThomasTV movie
1994 – 1998Mad About YouAlan Tofsky6 episodes
1995Fallen AngelsNick BallestierEpisode: "A Dime a Dance"
1995PartnersCameronEpisode: "How Long Does It Take to Cook a 22-Pound Turkey?"
1996Don't Look BackJesse ParishTV movie
1996InsideMarty StrydomTV movie
1997Homicide: Life on the StreetDrew KellermanEpisode: "Wu's on First?"
1998Blackout EffectJohn DantleyTV movie
1998–1999HerculesTheseus (voice)/The Grim Avenger (voice)Episodes:
"Hercules and the Minotaur"
"Hercules and the Grim Avenger"
1998–1999Chicago HopeDr. Robert YeatsSeries regular
1999The Passion of Ayn RandNathaniel BrandenTV movie
1999Our Guys: Outrage at Glen RidgeProsecutor Bob LaurinoTV movie
2000Common GroundJohnny BurroughsTV movie
2000One KillCapt. Wallker RandallTV movie
2000The Last DanceTodd CopeTV movie
2001My Horrible Year!Uncle CharlieTV movie (director)
2001 – 2002Once and AgainAugust Dimitri7 episodes (directed Episode 3.13 "Falling in Place")
2002Law & Order: Special Victims UnitFather Michael SweeneyEpisode: "Silence"
2003Out of OrderMark ColmTV mini-series
2005Will & GraceTom CassidyEpisodes:
"Friends with Benefits"
"Kiss and Tell"
2005The TriangleHoward ThomasEpisodes:
"Episode 1.1"
"Episode 1.2"
"Episode 1.3"
2007MediumSonny TroyerEpisode: "We Had a Dream"
2007Close to HomeDet. Chris Veeder/Chris VeederEpisodes:
"Drink the Cup"
"Fall from Grace"
"Eminent Domain"
2008Blank SlateSean SullivanTV movie
2009Grey's AnatomyWilliam DunnEpisodes:
"Wish You Were Here"
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"Stairway to Heaven"
2009 - 2010CapricaDaniel GraystoneLead role (directed "Unvanquished")
2011LeverageAlan ScottEpisode: "The Long Way Down Job"
2013MaronDannyEpisode: "Projections"
2014BlueArthurWIGS Original Series



2005The BullsShort film
2007The Grand DesignShort film
2014Confessions of a Teenage Disciple[23]Independent film


2001My Horrible Year!TV movie
2002Once and AgainEpisode: "Falling in Place"
2005Law & OrderEpisode: "Tombstone"
2007Boston LegalEpisodes:
"Dumping Bella"
"The Object of My Affection"
"Home Sweet Home"
2008Grey's AnatomyEpisodes:
"Brave New World"
"These Ties That Bind"
2009Nip/TuckEpisode: "Lola Wlodkowski"
2009 – 2011Private PracticeEpisodes:
"Do the Right Thing"
"Eyes Wide Open"
"If You Don't Know Me By Now"
2010HugeEpisode: "Talent Night"
2010CapricaEpisode: "Unvanquished"
2010 – 2014GleeEpisodes:
"Blame It on the Alcohol"
"Prom Queen"
"The Purple Piano Project"
"Mash Off"
"Big Brother"
"Guilty Pleasures"
"Opening Night"
2011Off the MapEpisode: "On the Mean Streets of San Miguel"
2012CalifornicationEpisode: "Love Song"
2012White CollarEpisode: "Ice Breaker"
"There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight"
"Take These Chains from My Heart"



1993Bodies, Rest & Motion
1994Sleep with Me
1997Mr. Jealousyexecutive producer
2005The BullsShort film (executive producer)
2006The Lather Effectassociate producer
2007The Grand DesignShort film (executive producer)
2011Fort McCoy (film)


  1. ^ Eric Stoltz Awards, TV Guide, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  2. ^ FAMILY ASSOCIATION,, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  3. ^ "Eric Stoltz - Biography", Yahoo!, retrieved December 1, 2012 
  4. ^ 2 Late Artists Get Overdue Chicago Tribute, Chicago Tribune, December 10, 1991, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  5. ^ About Susan, Susan R. Stoltz Official Website, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  6. ^ a b Exclusive Interview : Eric Stoltz, Movie Hole, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  7. ^ Eric Stoltz Bio, Tribute, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  8. ^ About Eric Stoltz Memorabilia & Collectibles, Hollywood Memorabilia, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  9. ^ Eric Stoltz Biography, Movies Pad, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  10. ^ "The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank (1978)", New York Times, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  11. ^ "Eric Stoltz Trivia", Get Movie Link, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  12. ^ The Many Faces Of Michael J. Fox, Screen Rant, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  13. ^ "Revealed: The actor who spent five weeks filming Back to the Future before being bumped for Michael J Fox", Daily Mail (London), October 15, 2010, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  14. ^ Never-before-seen footage of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly in Back To The Future, IO9, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  15. ^ "Fringe Flashback: Eric Stoltz In Back To The Future", Fringe Television, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  16. ^ Featured Actor (Play), Broadway World, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  17. ^ Performances of note, PBS, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  18. ^ Los Angeles Film Festival Archive, Los Angeles Film Festival, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  19. ^ My Horrible Year! Video, OV Guide, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  20. ^ The Residents – Give It To Someone Else, YouTube, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  21. ^ Eric Stoltz, Pop Tower, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  22. ^ Grey's Scoop: Death Becomes Guest Star Eric Stoltz, TV Guide, retrieved October 10, 2011 
  23. ^

External links[edit]