J. K. Simmons

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J. K. Simmons
JKSimmons07TIFF (cropped).jpg
Simmons at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.
BornJonathan Kimble Simmons
(1955-01-09) January 9, 1955 (age 59)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
OccupationActor
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Michelle Schumacher (m. 1996)
Children3
 
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J. K. Simmons
JKSimmons07TIFF (cropped).jpg
Simmons at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.
BornJonathan Kimble Simmons
(1955-01-09) January 9, 1955 (age 59)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
OccupationActor
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Michelle Schumacher (m. 1996)
Children3

Jonathan Kimble "J. K." Simmons (born January 9, 1955) is an American actor. He is known for his roles on television as Dr. Emil Skoda in NBC's Law & Order (and other shows in the Law & Order franchise), neo-Nazi Vernon Schillinger in the HBO prison drama Oz, as Assistant Police Chief Will Pope on TNT's The Closer; on film as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, and for voice-over work in animation and video games, most notably as Cave Johnson in first-person puzzle game Portal 2. He also appears in multiple commercials for Farmers Insurance Group.

Early life[edit]

Simmons was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Patricia (née Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a college professor.[1][2][3] He has a brother, David (a singer-songwriter), and a sister, Elizabeth (a University of Washington professor). He was raised in Columbus, Ohio and Missoula, Montana, and attended the University of Montana.[4][5] Simmons was a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre.[4]

Career[edit]

Musical theatre[edit]

Simmons was a Broadway actor and singer. He played Benny Southstreet in the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls,[6] and in 1994, he sang multiple roles in the Wagner opera satire, Das Barbecu.[4] He also played the role of Jigger in a revival of Carousel with the Houston Grand Opera and starred in the 1987 Off-Broadway musical Birds of Paradise.

Film and television roles[edit]

Simmons is known for his TV roles as Dr. Emil Skoda, a police psychiatrist, who has appeared on three of the four incarnations of Law & Order and New York Undercover, and as the sadistic Aryan inmate Vernon Schillinger on the prison drama Oz. He also stars as Ralph Earnhardt, the father of race-car driver Dale Earnhardt, in 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story. He played B.R. in the film Thank You For Smoking and has been praised for his performance in Juno as "Mac" McGuff, the title character's father. Until recently he played Will Pope, Assistant Chief of the LAPD, in The Closer.

He also played J. Jonah Jameson in all three of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films and the expanded video game adaptation of Spider-Man 3. Simmons provided his voice for two newspaper editors in two episodes of the eighteenth season of The Simpsons. The characters are never named, but are obviously meant to emulate the character of Jameson (one, bearing Jameson's appearance, even demands "pictures of Spider-Man", then on being reminded he works at a poetry journal, demands "poems about Spider-Man"). Similarly, Simmons voiced an editor-in-chief of a newspaper (with Jameson's appearance and mannerisms) for a 2013 episode of The Hub's Pound Puppies.

Simmons also provides the voice of the yellow M&M in the product's commercials, as well as the 3-D film I Lost My M in Vegas, playing at M&M's World in Las Vegas, NV. He has also done voiceover work for Norelco razors. He also provided the voice of General Wade Eiling in Justice League Unlimited. He recorded an audio book for Tom Clancy's Net Force Point of Impact. Like many of his Law & Order co-stars, he also appeared in an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street, portraying a criminal in an episode that crossed over with Law & Order before Simmons joined the cast as Skoda. He also played a small role as an army general in the television sitcom Arrested Development, alongside his Juno co-stars, Michael Cera and Jason Bateman. As well, he played Dan the Barber in the surreal Nickelodeon kid's show The Adventures of Pete & Pete in 1995. In 2008, he had a small part as the "CIA Superior" in Burn After Reading. Simmons appears also in Postal as Candidate Wells. He has also been featured as Professor Nathaniel Burke of the University of Farmers in television commercials for Farmers Insurance Group beginning in 2010.[7] He also played Paul Rudd's father in I Love You, Man.

Simmons is quickly becoming known for starring in films that are produced or directed by his friend Jason Reitman, including Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air and Jennifer's Body, written by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody. He also lent his voice to Reitman's film Young Adult voicing the protagonist's boss through a series of voicemails and in 2013 Simmons had a small role of Mr. Jervis (neighbor of the female protagonist) in Reitman's latest film Labor Day.[8]

Simmons voices the character of Tenzin, an Airbending master and the son of Aang and Katara, in the 2012 Nickelodeon series The Legend of Korra. Also, he has resumed his role as the voice of J. Jonah Jameson in the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man and in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. He said he would like to reprise the role again in Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man series, a reboot of the Spider-Man film series.[9]

Simmons also starred as blind lawyer "Mel Fisher" in Growing Up Fisher.[10]

Video games[edit]

Simmons has appeared as the anti-communist U. S. President Howard T. Ackerman in the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and a series of promotional advertisements parodying the 2008 presidential elections. In these advertisements, he offers himself (as Ackerman) as an alternative to other, unnamed presidential candidates and used the slogan "Vote for me, if you want to live."[11] In April 2011, he appeared in Portal 2 as the voice of Aperture Science founder Cave Johnson,[12] a performance that was lauded as the "surprise star turn" of the game.[13]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1994Ref, TheThe RefSiskel
1994Scout, TheThe ScoutAssistant Coach
1996First Wives Club, TheThe First Wives ClubFederal Marshal
1996Extreme MeasuresDr. Mingus
1997Love Walked InMr. Shulman
1997Crossing FieldsGuy
1997Jackal, TheThe JackalFBI Agent T. I. Witherspoon
1997AnastasiaEnsemble and vocals
1998CelebritySouvenir Hawker
1998Above FreezingHoyd
1999Hit and RunwayRay Tilman
1999Cider House Rules, TheThe Cider House RulesRay Kendall
1999For Love of the GameFrank Perry
1999I Lost My M in VegasYellow (voice)Short
2000Beautiful JoeUncredited
2000Autumn in New YorkDr. Tom Grandy
2000Gift, TheThe GiftSheriff Pearl Johnson
2001Mexican, TheThe MexicanTed Slocum
2002Spider-ManJ. Jonah Jameson
2003DisposalOlder HunterShort
2003Off the MapGeorge
2004HidalgoBuffalo Bill Cody
2004Ladykillers, TheThe LadykillersGarth Pancake
2004Spider-Man 2J. Jonah Jameson
2005Thank You for SmokingBR
2005Pom PokoSeizaemon (voice)English dub
2005Harsh TimesAgent Richards
2006First SnowVacaro
2006Astronaut Farmer, TheThe Astronaut FarmerJacobson
2007Spider-Man 3J. Jonah Jameson
2007PostalCandidate Welles
2007JunoMac MacGuffNominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2007RenditionLee Mayer
2008Burn After ReadingCIA Superior
2009Vicious Kind, TheThe Vicious KindDonald Sinclaire
2009New in TownStu Kopenhafer
2009Way of War, TheThe Way of WarSergeant Mitchell
2009Red SandsLt. Col. Arson
2009Juno'FatherShort
2009I Love You, ManOswald Klaven
2009Aliens in the AtticSkip (voice)
2009Post GradRoy Davies
2009ExtractBrian
2009Up in the AirBobNominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated - Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
2009Jennifer's BodyMr. Wroblewski
20104192: The Crowning of the Hit KingNarrator
2010Crazy on the OutsideEd
2010Invisible Sign, AnAn Invisible SignMr. Jones
2010Beginner's Guide to Endings, AA Beginner's Guide to EndingsUncle Pal
2010MegamindWarden (voice)
2010True GritLawyer Daggett (voice)Uncredited
2010Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty GaloreGruff K-9 (voice)
2011Music Never Stopped, TheThe Music Never StoppedHenry Sawyer
2011The Good DoctorDetective Krauss
2011BlackstoneDetective BurkeShort
2011Young AdultMavis's publisher (voice)Uncredited
2012The WordsMr. Jansen
2012ContrabandCaptain Camp
2013WhiplashBand TeacherShort
2013Geezers!J Kimball
2013JobsArthur Rock
2013Labor DayMr. Jervis
2013Dark SkiesEdwin Pollard
2013The HeelerRoscoeShort
2013The Magic BraceletThe ShamanShort
2014WhiplashTerence Fletcher
2014BarefootDr. Bertleman
2014Break Point
2014Murder of a CatSheriff Hoyle
2014The RewriteDr. Lerner
2014Men, Women & Children
2015Terminator: GenesisFilming
2015Rock DogKhampaVoice/Filming

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1986Popeye DoylePatrolman in ParkTelevision film
1994Law & OrderJerry LuppinEpisode: "Sanctuary"
1995New York NewsEpisode: "Welcome Back Cotter"
1995Adventures of Pete & Pete, TheThe Adventures of Pete & PeteBarber DanEpisode: "Saturday"
1996Homicide: Life on the StreetCol. Alexander RauschEpisode: "For God and Country"
1996Swift JusticeMel TurmanEpisode: "Stones"
1996, 1998New York UndercoverSergeant Treadway / Dr. Emil Skoda2 episodes
1997Spin CityKevin TravisEpisode: "Hot in the City"
1997Face DownHerb AamesTelevision film
1997–2003OzVernon Schillinger56 episodes
1997–2004, 2010Law & OrderDr. Emil Skoda45 Episodes
1998Remember WENNCaptain AmazonEpisode: "All's Noisy on the Pittsburgh Front"
1999Saturday Night LiveVern SchillingerEpisode: "Jerry Seinfeld/David Bowie"
2000Third WatchFrank HagononEpisode: "Demolition Derby"
2000–2001Law & Order: Special Victims UnitDr. Emil Skoda6 episodes
2002Homeward BoundJim AshtonTelevision film
2002Law & Order: Criminal IntentDr. Emil SkodaEpisode: "Crazy"
2002Path to WarCIA BrieferTelevision film
2002Homeward BoundJim AshtonTelevision film
2003John DoeLucas DoyaEpisode: "The Rising"
2003EverwoodPhil DrebblesEpisode: "Burden of Truth"
2004ERGus LoomerEpisode: "Impulse Control"
2004The D.A.Dep. Dist. Atty. Joe Carter2 episodes
2004Without a TraceMark WilsonEpisode: "Two Families"
2004Jury, TheThe JuryRon StalsukilisEpisode: "Last Rites"
2004Nip/TuckIke ConnorsEpisode: "Kimber Henry"
20043: The Dale Earnhardt StoryRalph EarnhardtTelevision film
2004–2006Justice League UnlimitedGeneral Wade Eiling (voice)5 Episodes
2005Arrested DevelopmentGeneral AndersonEpisode: "Switch Hitter"
2005Jack & BobbyCyrus MillerEpisode: "Running Scared"
2005Numb3rsDr. Clarence WeaverEpisode: "Vector"
2005–2012Closer, TheThe CloserAssistant Chief Will Pope109 episodes
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2006–2011)
2006West Wing, TheThe West WingHarry RavitchEpisode: "Duck and Cover"
2006–2007Simpsons, TheThe SimpsonsTabloid Editor (voice)2 episodes
2007Bury My Heart at Wounded KneeJames McLaughlinTelevision film
2007Queens SupremeErnest FingermanEpisode: "Let's Make a Deal"
2007Kim PossibleMartin Smarty (voice)3 episodes
2007–2008, 2011American Dad!Judge / McCreary (voices)3 episodes
2008Phineas and FerbJ.B. (voice)Episode: "Toy to the World"
2008Ben 10: Alien ForceMagister Ghilhil (voice)Episode: "Darkstar Rising"
2009Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, TheThe Marvelous Misadventures of FlapjackPoseidon / Captain (voices)4 Episodes
2009–2010Party DownLeonard Stiltskin2 episodes
2010The Life & Times of TimO'Flaherty Sr. (voice)Episode: "Stu is Good at Something"
2010Batman: The Brave and the BoldEvil Star (voice)Episode: "Revenge of the Reach!"
2010–2013Generator RexWhite Knight (voice)34 episodes
2010Ben 10: Ultimate AlienMagister Ghilhil (voice)Episode: "Escape From Aggregor"
2011NTSF:SD:SUV::Frank ForrestEpisode: "One Cabeza, Two Cabeza, Three Cabeza...DEAD!"
2011, 2014Robot ChickenMaster Chief / Vernon Schillinger (voices)2 episodes
2011Raising HopeBruce ChanceEpisode: "The Cultish Personality"
2011Desert Car KingsNarrator10 episodes
2011, 2013Pound PuppiesLieutenant Rock / Mr. Withers (voices)2 episodes
2012Best Friends ForeverDonEpisode: "Put a Pin It"
2012Avengers: Earth's Mightiest HeroesJ. Jonah Jameson (voice)Episode: "Along Came a Spider"
2012The Venture Bros.Ben (voice)Episode: "A Very Venture Halloween"
2012–presentLegend of Korra, TheThe Legend of KorraTenzin (voice)23 episodes
2012–presentUltimate Spider-ManJ. Jonah Jameson (voice)31 episodes
2012–2014Men at WorkP.J. Jordan5 episodes[14]
2013Parks and RecreationMayor SticeEpisode: "Partridge"
2013Family ToolsTony Shea10 episodes
2013Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.J. Jonah Jameson (voice)3 episodes
2013–2014Avengers AssembleJ. Jonah Jameson (voice)4 episodes
2013Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum OverloadJ. Jonah Jameson (voice)Television film
2014Growing Up FisherMel Fisher13 episodes
2014ChozenGary Cullens (voice)Episode: "Family Weekend (or How Gary Got His Groove Back)"

Video game[edit]

YearTitleVoiceNotes
2000M&M's: The Lost FormulasYellow Peanut (voice)
2006Spider-Man 2J. Jonah Jameson (voice)PlayStation Portable only
2008Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3President Howard T. Ackerman
2007Spider-Man 3J. Jonah Jameson (voice)
2011Portal 2Cave Johnson (voice)

References[edit]

External links[edit]