6/17/1960 (60 years old) Yolo, California, United States
California-born but Texas-raised Thomas Haden Church got his start in entertainment as a DJ in Brownsville, Texas, but acting was his main interest. After a couple of years of successful commercial work in the Lone Star State, he moved to California to pursue acting full-time and landed guest roles on several hit shows, including 21 Jump Street, China Beach and Cheers, before snagging his breakthrough part as dimwit mechanic Lowell Mather on the sitcom Wings in 1990. Church played lovable Lowell for six seasons before departing to headline his own Fox comedy, Ned and Stacey, costarring a pre-Will & Grace Debra Messing. Although short-lived, the underrated series allowed Church to expand his range as he played a despicable cad who still managed to be appealing. When the show was canceled, Church left Hollywood and bought a cattle ranch in Texas, but he still periodically popped up in supporting roles in uneven films, like George of the Jungle, 3000 Miles to Graceland and Monkeybone. He also wrote, directed and acted in the 2003 pot comedy Rolling Kansas. Church then semi-retired from showbiz, opting to stay home and raise cattle. However, he did go on the occasional casting call. He nearly landed the lead in Alexander Payne's drama About Schmidt (the role went to Jack Nicholson), but Payne was so impressed with Church that he cast him as an aging, commitment-phobic playboy in the critically acclaimed indie Sideways. Church's seriocomic turn earned him Oscar and Golden Globe nods and an Independent Spirit Award, and completely revitalized his career. Soon, he was working more than ever in high-profile projects, both on the big-screen (Spider-Man 3) and TV, earning an Emmy for his sympathetic performance as a cowboy in the 2006 miniseries Broken Trail. Despite a couple of misfires (All About Steve, Imagine That) since then, Church's career remains in full swing.