Richard Jenkins

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Richard Jenkins
Jenkins at the 81st Academy Awards in February 2009
BornRichard Dale Jenkins
(1947-05-04) May 4, 1947 (age 67)
DeKalb, Illinois, U.S.
Alma materIllinois Wesleyan University
Years active1974–present
Spouse(s)Sharon R. Friedrick (m. 1969)
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Richard Jenkins
Jenkins at the 81st Academy Awards in February 2009
BornRichard Dale Jenkins
(1947-05-04) May 4, 1947 (age 67)
DeKalb, Illinois, U.S.
Alma materIllinois Wesleyan University
Years active1974–present
Spouse(s)Sharon R. Friedrick (m. 1969)

Richard Dale Jenkins (born May 4, 1947) is an American stage, film, and television actor. He began his career in the theatre and made his film debut in 1974. He has played supporting roles in films almost every year since 1985 and had lead roles in The Cabin in the Woods and The Visitor, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He played the deceased patriarch Nathaniel Fisher on the HBO drama series Six Feet Under.

Early life[edit]

Jenkins was born and raised in DeKalb, Illinois. His mother, Mary Elizabeth (née Wheeler), was a housewife, and his father, Dale Stevens Jenkins, was a dentist.[1][2][3] He attended DeKalb High School. Before he was an actor, Jenkins drove a linen truck (his boss was actor John C. Reilly's father).[4][5] Jenkins earned a degree in drama from Illinois Wesleyan University before relocating to Rhode Island. At Illinois Wesleyan Jenkins became a member of Phi Gamma Delta.



Jenkins worked as an actor with the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, while breaking into film with a bit part in Feasting with Panthers (1974), a television movie. He continued as a celebrated member of Trinity's resident acting company and served as its artistic director from 1990 to 1994.


Since his film debut in the television movie Feasting with Panthers (1974), Jenkins has been working steadily in film. His earlier film credits include Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), "Sea of Love" (1989), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), and Snow Falling On Cedars (1999). He has worked with the director siblings the Farrelly brothers in There's Something About Mary (1998), Outside Providence (1999), Me, Myself, & Irene (2000), Say It Isn't So (2001), Hall Pass (2011) and the 2012 Three Stooges remake. He has also appeared in three Coen Brothers movies: The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), and Burn After Reading (2008). He is in North Country (2005), has three memorable scenes as FBI Director James (Robert) Grace in The Kingdom (film) (2007), and is in Step Brothers (2008).

Although primarily known for supporting parts, Jenkins had a lead role in The Visitor (2008) for which he was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor.[6] Jenkins won the International Press Academy's Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama.

Jenkins in April 2011

Jenkins costarred in Dear John, as the father of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), and in Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard's horror film The Cabin in the Woods (2012).[7]

Jenkins also co-starred with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in Eat, Pray, Love.


Jenkins is perhaps best known for playing Nathaniel Fisher in the HBO drama series Six Feet Under. His character is the deceased patriarch of the Fisher family, and regularly appears to his family as a ghost or in dreams. He played the role for the show's entire run. He and his castmates received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2002. Jenkins also portrayed a DEA agent in one episode of Miami Vice and a mob boss in a later episode.

Personal life[edit]

Jenkins and his wife Sharon R. Friedrick were married on August 23, 1969, and have two children: son Andrew Richard and daughter Sarah Pamela. He resides in Cumberland, Rhode Island.[3]


Film and television credits
Hannah and Her Sisters1986Dr. Wilkes
The Manhattan Project1986Radiation Controls Officer - Medatomics Lab
Rachel River1987Cordell
The Witches of Eastwick1987Clyde Alden
In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders1988Detective
Little Nikita1988Richard Grant
Stealing Home1988Hank Chandler
Sea of Love1989Gruber
How I Got Into College1989Bill Browne
When You Remember Me1990VaughanTV movie
Challenger1990Gregory JarvisTV movie
Blue Steel1990Attorney Mel Dawson
Doublecrossed1991TV movie
Undercover Blues1993Frank
And the Band Played On1993Dr. Marc ConantTV movie
It Could Happen to You1994C. Vernon Hale
Trapped in Paradise1994Agent Shaddus Peyser
Wolf1994Detective Bridger
How to Make an American Quilt1995Howell Saunders
The Indian in the Cupboard (film)1995Victor
Flirting with Disaster1996Paul HarmonNominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
A Couch in New York1996Campton
The Boys Next Door (1996 film)1996Bob KlemperTV movie
Eddie1996Carl Zimmer
Eye of God1997Willard Sprague
Absolute Power1997Michael McCarty
There's Something About Mary1998PsychiatristUncredited
The Impostors1998Johnny Leguard
Random Hearts1999Truman Trainor
Snow Falling on Cedars1999Sheriff Art Moran
Mod Squad, TheThe Mod Squad1999Det. Bob Mothershed
Outside Providence1999Barney
Confession, TheThe Confession1999Cass O'Donnell
What Planet Are You From?2000Don Fisk
Me, Myself & Irene2000Agent Boshane
Say It Isn't So2001Walter Wingfield
Man Who Wasn't There, TheThe Man Who Wasn't There2001Walter Abundas
One Night at McCool's2001Father Jimmy
Stealing Harvard2002Honorable Emmett Cook
Changing Lanes2002Walter Arnell
Sins of the Father2002Bobby Frank CherryTV movie
Cheaper by the Dozen2003Shake
Intolerable Cruelty2003Freddy Bender
Core, TheThe Core2003Gen. Thomas Purcell
Mudge Boy, TheThe Mudge Boy2003Edgar Mudge
Shall We Dance2004Devine
I ♥ Huckabees2004Mr. HootenUncredited
Fun with Dick and Jane2005Frank Bascombe
Rumor Has It…2005Earl Huttinger
North Country2005Hank Aimes
Kingdom, TheThe Kingdom2007Robert Grace
Visitor, TheThe Visitor2008Professor Walter Vale
Broken, TheThe Broken2008John McVey
Step Brothers2008Dr. Robert DobackSan Diego Film Critics Society - Special Award
Burn After Reading2008Ted TreffonSan Diego Film Critics Society - Special Award
Tale of Despereaux, TheThe Tale of Despereaux2008PrincipalVoice
San Diego Film Critics Society - Special Award
Waiting for Forever2009Richard Twist
happythankyoumoreplease2010Paul Gertmanian
Dear John2010Bill Tyree
Eat Pray Love2010Richard
Norman2010Doug LongBreckenridge Festival of Film for Best Ensemble Cast
Let Me In2010"The Father"Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Best Supporting Actor
Friends with Benefits2011Mr. Harper
Rum Diary, TheThe Rum Diary2011Edward J. Lotterman
Hall Pass2011Coakley
Liberal Arts2012Professor Peter Hoberg
Darling Companion2012Russell
Cabin in the Woods, TheThe Cabin in the Woods2012Gary Sitterson
Killing Them Softly2012Driver
Jack Reacher2012Alex Rodin
The Company You Keep2012Jed Lewis
White House Down2013Speaker Eli Raphelson
God's Pocket2014Richard Shelburn

Six Feet Under episodes[edit]

Appearances in Six Feet Under by release season
SeasonYearEpisode titlesNotes
Season 12001"Pilot", "The Will", "The Foot", "The Room", "Life's Too Short", "Knock, Knock"
Season 22002"In the Game", "The Plan", "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year", "Somebody Else's Eyes", "I'll Take You, The Secret"Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Season 32003"Perfect Circles", "Nobody Sleeps", "I'm Sorry, I'm Lost"
Season 42004"In Case of Rapture", "Grinding the Corn", "Untitled"
Season 52005"Time Flies", "Ecotone", "All Alone", "Everyone's Waiting"


  1. ^ Benjamin Secher Published: 12:01AM BST 28 Jun 2008 Comments (2008-06-28). "Richard Jenkins: bald, 61 years old - and a star at last". Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  2. ^ Oscars 2009: Mickey, Sean, Frank, Brad and . . . Richard?[dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Richard Jenkins Biography (1947-)". Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  4. ^ "Reilly + Movie Dad Met When He Was Four". 2008-06-29. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  5. ^ Stated on the Late Show with David Letterman, February 3, 2009
  6. ^ Maxwell, Erin and Michael Jones. Variety "Film trio feel the Spirit." December 2, 2008
  7. ^ Kit, Borys; Jay A. Fernandez (2009-01-22). "Two feel Joss Whedon's 'Cabin' pressure". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 21 January 2009.  [dead link]
  8. ^ "30th Moscow International Film Festival (2008)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 

External links[edit]