1/26/1949 (72 years old) San Fernando, California, United States
A capable character actor who got his start in indies directed by his old college buddy John Sayles, David Strathairn has convincingly tackled a host of diverse roles, from an abusive pedophile (Dolores Claiborne) to a soft-spoken Cajun handyman (Passion Fish) to legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow (Good Night, and Good Luck), an impressive performance that earned the veteran actor his first Golden Globe and Oscar nods. Strathairn made his film debut in Sayles' first film, 1980's The Return of the Secaucus Seven. Over the next two decades, the two collaborated on multiple projects as Strathairn slowly ventured out on his own with myriad appearances on the big and small screens. In the '90s, the prolific player thrived in both A-list and indie projects while keeping a low personal profile, but his performance in Good Night, and Good Luck turned him into a leading man.
Not formally trained as an actor, but attended Ringling Bros. Clown College and spent a six-month stint in the circus as one-half of a conjoined-twin costume.
Helped form a children's theater company in Glen Falls, NY, in the early 1970s with Gordon Clapp (who would later play Medavoy on NYPD Blue).
Made his Broadway debut in the short-lived Einstein and the Polar Bear in 1981. Went on to perform in a number of shows on the Great White Way, including a 2003 staged reading of Salome, opposite Al Pacino.