Ed Harris

Ed Harris


11/28/1950, Englewood, New Jersey (USA)

Birth Name

Edward Allen Harris


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Whippy, thrustful Hollywood actor with very American features, slow grin and thinning ginger-brown hair. He was mostly seen on the Los Angeles stage until director George A Romero gave him roles in three of his exploitation films; but it was Harris' portrayal of the stuffy John H. Glenn…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Ed won the Director of the Year Award for "Apploosa" at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in Nov 2008.

    • Ed's most embarrassing moment occurred in 1971 when he was modeling tuxedos at the Oklahoma State Fair.

    • Ed has often been referred to as "the thinking woman's sex symbol".

    • Ed has been nominated for the following SAG (Screen Actors Guild) awards:
      1996 - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for "Apollo 13", won.
      1997 - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for "Riders of the Purple Sage".
      2002 - Outstanding Performance by a Cast for "A Beautiful Mind".
      2003 - Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture & Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for "The Hours"
      2006 - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for "Empire Falls"

    • Ed wrote two articles for Interview Magazine, an interview with Amy Madigan on September 1992 entitled "Ed: The Private Faces of a Fierce Actor" and an interview with Brook Smith on March 1995 entitled "Fredanded: Fred Ward and Ed Harris: Two Actors Who Give a Damn".

    • Ed's off-Broadway debut was in "Fool for Love" at the Circle Repertory Theatre in 1983. His Broadway debut was in "Precious Sons" at Longacre Theatre in 1986.

    • When Ed played real-life NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz in Apollo 13, he uttered the memorable line, "Failure is not an option!" Gene Kranz did not actually say this during the Apollo 13 mission, but he really liked the line and he ended up using it as the title of a book he wrote about his NASA career.

    • Ed's parent are Robert L. and Margaret Harris; he was a singer with the Fred Waring chorus, she was a travel agent. He has two brothers, older brother Robert and younger brother Spencer.

    • Ed has been nominated for the following Oscar Awards:
      1996 - Best Supporting Actor for "Apollo 13".
      1997 - Best Supporting Actor for "The Truman Show"
      2001 – Best Actor for "Pollock"
      2003 - Best Supporting Actor for "The Hours".

    • In 1986 Ed was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor (Play) for "Precious Sons".

    • Ed received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the California Institute of the Arts.

    • In 2001 he was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine.

    • Ed married actress Amy Madigan in 1983, they have one child Lily Dolores Harris.

    • Ed has been nominated for the following Golden Globe awards:
      1990 - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for "Jacknife".
      1996 - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for "Apollo 13".
      1999 - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for "The Truman Show", won.
      2003 - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for "The Hours".
      2006 - Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television for "Empire Falls".

    • Ed attended Columbia University in New York, where he played football.

    • Ed made his directorial debut with the movie "Pollack."

    • Ed is the son-in-law of John Madigan; he had a voice part in Ed's movie "Pollack"

    • In 2003 Ed received an honorary diploma from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    • Ed has a stepbrother who lives in Norman, Oklahoma, that is where Ed attended the University of Oklahoma.

    • Ed was set to star in the firefighter drama "Worcester Cold Storage" with Woody Harrelson, however the movie was never made.

    • Ed graduated from Tenafly High School, Tennafly, New Jersey.

    • Ed has one child, a daughter Lily Dolores Harris born on May 3, 1993.

    • Ed is 5'9" (1.75 m) tall.

  • Quotes

    • Ed Harris: Acting is not a competition to me. One of the first things I learned about acting was, the only person you compete against is yourself.

    • Ed: (about his first lead role in "Knightriders") Yeah, King Arthur on motorcycles. It sounded totally bizarre to me. But I had always been a major Camelot fan; I played King Arthur in a production in Oklahoma City when I was first starting out.

    • Ed: I have a tight family group that's really important to me. I don't want to work all the time.

    • Ed: I had seen some theater and really loved it. So I began studying acting at the University of Oklahoma, and then I went on to CalArts for a couple of years.

    • Ed: I chose films made by people I wanted to work with, about subject matter I thought was intriguing.

    • Ed: I certainly didn't begin this to begin a career as film director. But I don't want to do direct just to direct.

    • Ed: A lot of films come out before they're finished.

    • Ed: Perhaps that's a drawback to my career, because I haven't tried to get into a place where I'm playing the same guy over and over again. But to me, what's fun about it is being as neutral as I can-not in life, but when I work.

    • Ed: (On deciding to take the title role in "Copying Beethoven") I'm not a piano player. I'm not from Germany. I didn't live in 1827. I'm an actor from New Jersey, born in 1950, so for me, it seemed like a stretch. A good one.

    • Ed: I was very happy playing sports until I was 18, and then there were a couple of years where I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I saw some theatre in Oklahoma and made a decision to learn about acting. It wasn't really with an eye on making films or even making a living; it was really about trying to focus on something that had the potential of taking the place of sport in terms of something to penetrate.

    • Ed: (On painter Jackson Pollock): One thing I learned about Mr. Pollock's art, which any art student knows I'm sure, but was indeed a revelation to me, is that Jackson fully believed and lived by 'don't use the accident, because I deny the accident'. One cannot even approximate Pollock's work unless every stroke, every pour, every slap, every fling, every shake, every splash, every splatter and every flick has a specific intention.

    • Ed: As soon as I went on stage, I wanted to do nothing else with my life but act. I always liked the attention that playing sports had brought, but acting fulfilled that need even better.