Born: Mar. 17, 1955 Blue Island, Illinois, USA
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Like most actors, Gary Sinise’s acting career started in the theater. Sinise was one of the founders of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company which had its humble beginnings in 1974, starting in a church basement in Chicago’s Highland Park area. He acted and directed in the group and served as the artistic director until 1987.
In the late 1970’s, Gary went to the West Coast, but found only bit parts in TV. Returning to the Steppenwolf Theatre, he won rave reviews for Sam Sheppard’s True West in 1982. The production moved Off-Broadway, where he worked with John Malkovich, and again the production earned rave reviews. Sinise continued to direct and act in New York until he went of to LA once again. He spent some time acting in TV movies between 1984 and 1989. He also directed episodes of Crime Story and Thirtysomething in 1986 and 1987.
Sinise’s feature film directorial debut came in 1988 with Miles From Home, starring John Malkovich. Sinise went back to Broadway with The Grapes of Wrath. It won a Tony Award for best play and Sinise earned a nomination for best lead actor.
His feature film debut was in 1992’s A Midnight Clear, directed by Keith Gordon. Also that year, Sinise became a triple threat with Of Mice and Men taking on the roles of actor, director and producer in a production that once again teamed him with John Malkovich. Sinise had a supporting role in 1993 with Jack the Bear, which starred Danny DeVito. The next year, he went on to star in the mini-series The Stand with Molly Ringwald and had a supporting role in Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks. That role earned him an Oscar nomination.
He appeared in flashbacks in 1995’s The Quick and the Dead starring Gene Hackman and Sharon Stone and that same year worked with Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon and Ed Harris in Apollo 13. On the small screen, he earned an Emmy Award nomination for his performance as Harry S. Truman.
In 1996, Sinise co-starred oppposite Matt Dillon and Faye Dunaway in Kevin Spacey’s directorial debut, Albino Alligator. Also that year, Sinise played one of the kidnappers in Ron Howard’s Ransom with Mel Gibson and Rene Russo. The next year, Sinise would win the Emmy for his portrayal of George C. Wallace in the made-for-TV movie George Wallace.
In 1988, Sinise played opposite Nicolas Cage in Snake Eyes. A busy year followed in 1999 with That Championship Season, a made-for-TV movie starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Terry Kinney, Tony Shalhoub and Paul Sorvino (in his directorial debut); All the Rage, another huge ensemble including Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, Andre Braugher, Anna Paquin, David Schwimmer, Josh Brolin and Giovanni Ribis; and The Green Mile with Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan and David Morse.
In 2000, Sinise stepped on the stage once again in Chicago to star in a revival of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. That same year also saw him appear onscreen in Reindeer Games (with Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron); Mission to Mars with Tim Robbins; and Bruno, which was directed by Shirley MacLaine.
In 2002, Sinise starred in Impostor along with Madelin Stowe, Vincent D’Onofrio and Tony Shalhoub and appeared in Madeup, a movie directed by Shalhoub. In 2003, he co-starred with Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman in The Human Stain. He appeared in the comedy The Big Bounce in 2004 and tried a new challenge as he headlined the TV drama C.S.I.: New York.
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