Ed Harris Biography

photo ed harris

A keen sportsman in high school, Ed Harris' football skills won him a scholarship to Columbia University.

However, in 1971, he dropped out to follow his parents to Oklahoma, and enrolled at Oklahoma University, where he developed an interest in theatre, first as a spectator and later as a participant.

Convinced that he had discovered the path his life was meant to follow, Harris moved to Los Angeles, where he entered the California Institute of the Arts, which granted him a fine-arts degree in 1975.

Over the course of the next several years, he compiled an impressive list of stage credits, and then moved into features in 1978, with a small part in 'Coma', and offered an impressive turn two years later, in his first leading role, in George Romero's 'Knightriders'.

His first major film role came in 1980, when he played a killer in the Charles Bronson movie, 'Borderline'.

In 1983, he married Amy Madigan and their daughter Lily Dolores Harris was born in 1993. The couple are still together today.

In 1986, he returned to his stage roots and made his Broadway debut, opposite Judith Ivey, as the stern but loving father in George Furth's autobiographical 'Precious Sons', for which he earned a Tony Award nomination.

The 1990s saw Harris deliver more complex and chilling roles. He appeared alongside Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, and Jack Lemmon in 'Glengarry Glen Ross'; was a double-dealing FBI agent in the Tom Cruise vehicle, 'The Firm'; and stepped to the other side of the law as a creepy serial killer, in 'Just Cause'.

In 1995, Harris nailed the role of NASA mission control flight director, Gene Kranz, in director Ron Howard's astronaut homage 'Apollo 13', and his performance earned him his first Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

Harris received a second Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination, as the God-like creator-director of a popular 24-hour-a-day TV series, in 'The Truman Show' (1998).

He received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the artist Pollock (2000), in a film by the same name, which he also directed.

Harris followed his directorial success with acting roles in 'Enemy at the Gates', 'Buffalo Soldiers' and 'A Beautiful Mind' in 2001.

In 2002, he played an Aids-stricken poet called Richard Brown in 'The Hours', which also starred Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore. The following year, he appeared in 'Masked and Anonymous', 'The Human Stain' and 'Radio'.

Following a break from films during 2004, Harris acted in 'A History of Violence' in 2005 as well as the TV movie 'Empire Falls' and the film 'Winter Passing'.

In 2006, Harris appeared in 'Two Tickets to Paradise' and 'Copying Beethoven' as Ludwig van Beethoven, followed by 'Gone Baby Gone' and 'National Treasure: Book of Secrets' in 2007.

After several more acting roles in 2008, 2010 and 2011, Harris continues to be in demand. He has two films due to be released in 2012, including 'Phantom' and 'The Geography of Hope'.

© 2013 AETN UK. All Rights Reserved.