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David Strathairn (1949)

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  Summary  

David Russell Strathairn is an American actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for portraying journalist Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck. He has appeared in many of writer/director John Sayles's movies.

  Biography  

 early life
Strathairn was born in San Francisco, California, the second of three children of Mary Frances (née Frazier), a nurse, and Thomas Scott Strathairn, Jr., a physician. He is of Scottish descent through his paternal grandfather, Thomas Scott Strathairn, a native of Crieff, and of Native Hawaiian ancestry through his paternal grandmother, Lei. Strathairn attended Redwood High School in Larkspur, California, and graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1970.

He studied clowning at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Venice, Florida and briefly worked as a clown in a travelling circus.

 career
Strathairn was nominated for an Academy Award for his starring portrayal of CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow in the 2005 biopic Good Night, and Good Luck. The movie explored Murrow's clash with Senator Joseph McCarthy over McCarthy's Communist "witch-hunt" in the 1950s. Strathairn also received Best Actor Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his performance.

Other notable film roles include his portrayals of the title character in Harrison's Flowers ; the wisecracking blind techie in Sneakers ; Joe St. George in Dolores Claiborne ; Theseus; Pierce Patchett in L.A. Confidential ; Duke of Athens, in the 1999 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream; and corrupt baseball player Eddie Cicotte in Eight Men Out .

Strathairn is often regarded as a character actor, appearing in supporting roles in many independent and Hollywood films. In this capacity, he has co-starred in Twisted as Ashley Judd's psychiatrist; in The River Wild as Meryl Streep's husband; as Tom Cruise's jailbird brother in The Firm; and as Kim Basinger's pimp in L.A. Confidential.

He has worked frequently with his Williams College classmate and director John Sayles. He made his film debut in Return of the Secaucus 7, and worked in the films Passion Fish, Matewan, Limbo and City of Hope, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award. Alongside Sayles, he played one of the Men in Black in the 1983 film The Brother from Another Planet. Several years later, Strathairn created the role of Edwin Booth with Maryann Plunkett in a workshop production of Booth! A House Divided, by W. Stuart McDowell, at The Players in New York City.

His television work includes a wide range of roles: "Moss", the bookselling nebbish on the critically acclaimed The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd; Captain Keller, the father of Helen Keller in the 2000 remake of The Miracle Worker; and a far-out televangelist in Paradise, the pilot episode for a TV series on Showtime that was not successful. Strathairn also had a recurring role on the hit television drama The Sopranos. Strathairn starred in the second season episode, "Out Where the Buses Don't Run", in Miami Vice.

Among Strathairn's recent films are: We Are...Marshall, a 2006 film about the rebirth of Marshall University's football program after the 1970 plane crash that killed most of the team's members; and Hereafter, set in the aftermath of the 2004 Sumatran tsunami, directed by Michael Patwin. In 2006 he did a campaign ad for then congressional candidate Kirsten Gillibrand. He reprised his role as Edward R. Murrow in a speech similar to the one from Good Night, and Good Luck, but was altered to reference Gillibrand's opponent John Sweeney.

Strathairn plays the lead role opposite Andrew Walker in the 2007 independent film, Steel Toes, a film by David Gow (writer/co-director/producer)and Mark Adam (co-director/DOP/editor). The film is based on Gow's stage play Cherry Docs, in which Strathairn starred for its American premiere at the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia.

He played a lead role opposite Matt Damon in the summer 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum and appeared in Paramount Pictures' children's film The Spiderwick Chronicles as Arthur Spiderwick. Strathairn appeared in the American Experience PBS anthology series documentary, The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a biography of the physicist. He also plays William Flynn, an FBI agent dealing with anarchism in 1920s New York City, in No God, No Master.

In 2009, Strathairn performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans. It was adapted from the historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

He currently stars as Dr. Lee Rosen on Syfy's new series Alphas.

 personal life
He married Logan Goodman, a nurse. They have two sons and live in the mid-Hudson Valley area near Poughkeepsie, New York. Their son, Tay, is an actor and musician who plays jazz piano. He has been a part of such bands as Dawes and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as a keyboardist. Tay appeared in John Sayles' films Eight Men Out and Lone Star . Their son Ebberly is an architecture graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was an ardent lacrosse player. He has worked for MASS Design Group.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "David Strathairn", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.