Gary Sinise

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Gary Sinise
Gary Sinise 2011 (cropped).jpg
Sinise at the 2011 National Memorial Day Concert.
Born(1955-03-17) March 17, 1955 (age 59)
Blue Island, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationActor, director, musician
Years active1973–present
Spouse(s)Moira Harris
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Gary Sinise
Gary Sinise 2011 (cropped).jpg
Sinise at the 2011 National Memorial Day Concert.
Born(1955-03-17) March 17, 1955 (age 59)
Blue Island, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationActor, director, musician
Years active1973–present
Spouse(s)Moira Harris

Gary Alan Sinise (/səˈns/; born March 17, 1955) is an American actor, director, and musician.[1] Among other awards, he has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Sinise is known for several memorable roles. These include George Milton in Of Mice and Men, Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Harry S. Truman in Truman (for which he won a Golden Globe), Ken Mattingly in Apollo 13, Detective Jimmy Shaker in Ransom, and George C. Wallace in the television film George Wallace (for which he won an Emmy). He is also known for starring as Detective Mac Taylor in the CBS series CSI: NY from 2004 to 2013.

Early life[edit]

Sinise was born in Blue Island, Illinois, son of Robert L. Sinise, a film editor, and his wife Mylles (Alsip) Sinise.[2][3][4] He is of Italian ancestry on his father's side.[5] Sinise graduated from Highland Park High School,[6] followed by Illinois State University.[7] In 1974, Sinise and two friends, Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry, founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.[8] Since then, Steppenwolf has showcased the talents of notable actors such as Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Gary Cole, Ethan Hawke, Glenne Headly, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Martha Plimpton, Jim True-Frost and most recently William Petersen. Sinise honed his acting and directing skills at Steppenwolf, and received a Joseph Jefferson Award for his direction of Lyle Kessler's play Orphans. That took him from Chicago to New York City, and then to London's West End, where he worked on more than thirty of the company's productions.


A man is at the center of the image looking at the camera. He is dressed in Vietnam War–era military attire including a vest and helmet. He has a cigarette sitting on his lips and is wearing a backpack.
Sinise on the set of Forrest Gump, in 1993

In 1982, Sinise's career began to take off when he directed and starred in Steppenwolf's production of True West. In 1983, he earned an Obie Award for his direction and a year later appeared with John Malkovich in the PBS' American Playhouse production of the play. In 1988, Sinise directed Miles from Home, a film starring Richard Gere, about two brothers' fight against the foreclosure of the family farm. Sinise starred and collaborated with fellow actor Tom Hanks three times including Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, and The Green Mile. Other noteworthy films Sinise has appeared in include Of Mice and Men (which he directed), Reindeer Games, Snake Eyes, Ransom, Mission to Mars, The Stand and Impostor. He narrated the audio books for John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley.

In 2004, he began his first regular television series, in the crime drama CSI: New York, in which he plays Detective Mac Taylor. He was credited as a producer from season two onwards and wrote the storyline of an episode. Several episodes have allowed Sinise to demonstrate his musical prowess, including a season two episode where Mac Taylor plays the bass guitar in a jazz club with musicians Kimo and Carol Williams and Danny Gottlieb, members of the Lt. Dan Band, which Sinise and Kimo Williams co-founded in 2003. The band is named for Sinise's character in Forrest Gump.

Apart from his television and movie work, Sinise is the host in the video for the Epcot ride Mission: SPACE, at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, and a model for Baume & Mercier watches.[9] He co-founded Operation Iraqi Children. Sinise said, "Iraq is in the news every day, and most of it is bad. But there are some positive stories. And how our soldiers are rebuilding schools and helping kids is one of them."[10]

Sinise was the narrator for the Discovery Channel's mini series When We Left Earth in 2008. He was awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal by George W. Bush for work he did supporting the U.S Military and humanitarian work supporting Iraqi children.[11] He narrated Army and Army Reserve Army Strong recruitment ads[12] in late 2008. He is also the National Spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

Sinise is the executive producer—along with David Scantling—of the Iraq War documentary Brothers at War.[13] The film features an American military family and the experiences of three brothers: Jake Rademacher, Isaac Rademacher and Joseph Rademacher.[14]

In November 2009, Sinise narrated the highly acclaimed World War II in HD on the History Channel. In 2010, he narrated the World War II documentary Missions That Changed The War on the Military Channel. In late 2002, he started the Cadillac commercials starting with the 2002–2003 Season's Best commercial and has been with the Break Through campaign since it started the campaign in the 2002 Super Bowl with Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" then ended in late 2006. In 2009, Sinise lent his voice talents in the Thomas Nelson audio Bible production known as The Word of Promise, playing the character of David.[15]

Other work[edit]

Sinise is a supporter of various veterans' organizations, both personally and through the Lt. Dan Band. He frequently performs on USO tours at military bases around the world, and volunteered for the National Vietnam Veterans Arts Museum now called the National Veterans Art Museum. On June 8, 2011, he put on a space suit to become one of the few people to fly in a U-2 spy plane at up to 70,000 feet.[16] Sinise is also on the Advisory Council of Hope For The Warriors, a national non-profit dedicated to provide a full cycle of non-medical care to combat wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen from each military branch.[17] In August 2012, Sinise was honored at the United States Navy Memorial, by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West, and was made an honorary U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer for his efforts in helping veterans.[18] On August 29, 2013, he was named an honorary Marine by the Commandant of the Marine Corps.[19][20] In 2006, Sinise has co-narrated the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C., with fellow actor and Illinois native Joe Mantegna.[21] He serves as the National Spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and spends much of his time raising awareness for the Memorial and other veterans' service organizations. In 2012, he was honored by the Joe Foss Institute for his dedication to veterans. He participated in Troopathon VI for 2013, as he has in the past, to help raise money for care packages for American troops.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Sinise playing bass guitar in the Lt. Dan Band

Sinise married actress Moira Harris in 1981. They have three children: Sophie (b. 1988), McCanna Anthony (b. 1990), and Ella (b. 1992). In 2003, Sinise was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Amherst College[23] and converted to the Roman Catholic faith.[24][25]


Sinise's name was in an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times (August 17, 2006) that condemned Hamas and Hezbollah and supported Israel in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.[26] In June 2008, Sinise donated $2,300 to the Republican presidential primary campaign of Arizona Senator John McCain.[27] Nicolle Wallace, a former adviser to George W. Bush and the presidential campaign of John McCain, stated in May 2009 that she believed Sinise could help bring about a resurgence of the Republican Party. Wallace stated, "The natural strengths that an actor brings to politics would come in handy to anyone going up against Obama in 2012. We will need an effective communicator who can stand toe to toe with Obama’s eloquence." Other names mentioned were those of Generals David Petraeus and Ray Odierno.[28] Sinise narrates the online virtual tour for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and spoke at the centennial celebration of Reagan's birth at the library in February 2011.

In September 2012, Sinise donated to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.[29] Sinise's Republican leaning has been written into his character of Mac Taylor who has a picture of Ronald Reagan displayed in his office, and is once the subject of a joke by one of his colleagues about an eight-hour documentary about Reagan he keeps watching over and over. Sinise hosted a 10-minute online video tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on its website, indicating his reverence for the 40th U.S. President.



1978A WeddingExtraUncredited
1988Miles from HomeDirected
1992Of Mice and MenGeorge MiltonAlso directed
1992Midnight Clear, AA Midnight ClearVance 'Mother' Wilkins
1992Witness, TheThe WitnessYoung SoldierShort film
1993Jack the BearNorman Strick
1994Forrest GumpLieutenant Dan Taylor
1995Apollo 13Ken Mattingly
1995Quick and the Dead, TheThe Quick and the DeadThe Marshal
1996RansomDetective Jimmy Shaker
1996Albino AlligatorMilo
1998Snake EyesCommander Kevin Dunne
1999Green Mile, TheThe Green MileBurt Hammersmith
1999It's the RageMorgan
2000BrunoDino Battaglia
2000ImpostorSpencer Olham
2000Mission to MarsJim McConnell
2000Reindeer GamesGabriel Mercer
2002Gentleman's Game, AA Gentleman's GameFoster Pearse
2002Made-UpDuncan Tivey
2003Human Stain, TheThe Human StainNathan Zuckerman
2003Mission: SPACECapcomShort film
2004Forgotten, TheThe ForgottenDr. Jack Munce
2004Big Bounce, TheThe Big BounceRay Ritchie
2005Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3DGene CernanVoice only
2006Open SeasonShawVoice only
2011None Less Than Heroes: The Honor Flight StoryNarratorVideo documentary
2011Lt. Dan Band: For The Common GoodHimselfDocumentary
2014Captain America: The Winter SoldierSmithsonian NarratorVoice only


1980Knots LandingLee MaddoxEpisode: "Small Surprises"
1984Family SecretsMotorcyclistMovie
1984True WestAustinAmerican Playhouse broadcast of play
Crime StoryHowie Dressler"For Love or Money"
"Top of the World"
1989Final Days, TheThe Final DaysRichard Ben-VenisteMovie
1989My Name Is Bill W.Ebby, Bill's best friendHallmark Hall of Fame movie
1991Grapes of Wrath, TheThe Grapes of WrathTom JoadAmerican Playhouse broadcast of play
1994Stand, TheThe StandStu RedmanMiniseries
1995TrumanHarry S. TrumanMovie
1995FrasierSidEpisode: "The Club"; voice only
1997George WallaceGeorge C. WallaceMovie
1999That Championship SeasonTom DaleyMovie
2002Path to WarGeorge WallaceMovie; uncredited
2003Fallen AngelTerryMovie
CSI: MiamiDetective Mac Taylor"MIA/NYC NonStop"
"Felony Flight"
2004–13CSI: NYDetective Mac TaylorAll 197 episodes
2009WWII in HDNarratorMiniseries; episode: "Battle Stations"
CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationDetective Mac Taylor"The Lost Girls" (uncredited)
"In Vino Veritas"
2010–12Missions That Changed the WarNarratorAll 14 episodes
2015Criminal MindsAgent Jack Garrett1 episode; Season 10, Episode 19
2015Criminal Minds: New Spin-offAgent Jack GarrettMain Role

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardNominated workResult
1994National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting ActorForrest GumpWon
Saturn Award for Best Supporting ActorForrest GumpWon
Academy Award for Best Supporting ActorForrest GumpNominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActorForrest GumpNominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActorForrest GumpNominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion PictureForrest GumpNominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting RoleForrest GumpNominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television MovieStand, TheThe StandNominated
1995Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureApollo 13Won
CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Movie or MiniseriesTrumanWon
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmTrumanWon
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television MovieTrumanNominated
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieTrumanNominated
1998Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – SuspenseSnake EyesNominated
1997CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Movie or MiniseriesGeorge WallaceWon
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieGeorge WallaceWon
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmGeorge WallaceWon
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television MovieGeorge WallaceWon
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmGeorge WallaceNominated


  1. ^
  2. ^ John O'Mahony (July 15, 2000). "The guts and the glory". UK: The Guardian. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Gary Sinise Biography (1955–)". Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  4. ^ The Film daily year book of motion pictures, Volume 47. J. W. Alicoate. 1965. p. 324. 
  5. ^ Byrne, Bridget (February 7, 2007). " – Living – This 'CSI' has a New York state of mind – February 7, 2007". Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ 2014 Alumni Directory
  7. ^ "ISU’s theatre program prepared Steppenwolf founders". May 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Gary Sinise: Ensemble Member Bio". Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Baume & Mercier and Gary Sinise". Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  10. ^ "In Step With: Gary Sinise". Parade Magazine. September 12, 2004. 
  11. ^ "New Recipients Of Presidential Citizen Medals". WBKO. Retrieved December 10, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Soldier Life > Army Families". Retrieved December 17, 2009.  (Archived by WebCite at
  13. ^ "Sinise produces pro-military documentary". March 11, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Film review: ‘Brothers at War’ – Military Movies". Military Times. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  15. ^ Groves, Martha (November 16, 2009). "BELIEFS : Stars lined up for elaborate audio Bible : Michael York, Jason Alexander and many others gave voice to a 79-CD reading of Old and New Testaments". Los Angeles Times. 
  16. ^ "'Lt. Dan' flies high". June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Board of Directors". Hope for the Warriors. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  18. ^ Rosprim, Thomas (August 27, 2012). "MCPON Names Gary Sinise Honorary Chief". Navy News Service NNS120827-07. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  19. ^ Seck, Hope Hodge (August 30, 2013). "Lt. Dan' Gary Sinise becomes newest honorary Marine". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Actor Gary Sinise becomes Honorary Marine". USMC - Marine Barracks Washington. August 30, 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Families of Disabled Vets | National Memorial Day Concert". PBS. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Amherst College Commencement: 2003 Honorary Degree Citations". Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  24. ^ "Gary Sinise". National Catholic Reporter (BNET). November 25, 2005. Retrieved August 10, 2010. Sinise thanked his wife of 29 years, actress Moira Harris, for leading their family by her decision to embrace her Catholic faith,... [dead link]
  25. ^ Sinise’s Catholic Hurricane. National Catholic Register. Published: 17 December 2008.
  26. ^ "Nicole Kidman and 84 Others Stand United Against Terrorism" Hollywood Grind. August 18, 2006
  27. ^ "Gary Sinise's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". 
  28. ^ "Actor Gary Sinise floated as possible GOP savior". CNN. May 11, 2009. 
  29. ^ Dominic Patten. "Romney Eyes Hollywood Return After Successful Weekend Fundraiser". Deadline. 

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