Aug. 18th, 1969
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Edward Norton's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Edward Norton was born on August 18, 1969 to parents Edward, an attorney who works for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Robin Norton, a former foundation executive and teacher who passed away of brain cancer on March 6, 1997. Edward also has two younger siblings named James and Molly. From the age of 5 onward, the Yale graduate (majoring in history) has always been interested in acting. At the age of 8, he would ask his drama teacher what his motivation in a scene was. He attended theater schools throughout his life, and eventually managed to find work on stage in New York as a member of the Signature players, who produced the works of playwright and director Edward Albee. Around the time when he was appearing in Albee's Fragments, in Hollywood, they were looking for a young actor to star opposite Richard Gere in a new courtroom thriller, Primal Fear (1996). The role was offered to Leonardo DiCaprio but he turned it down. Gere was on the verge of walking away from the project, fed up with the wait for a young star to be found, when Edward auditioned and won the role over 2000 other hopefuls. Before the film was even released, his test screenings for the part were causing a Hollywood sensation, and he was soon offered roles in Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996). Edward won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Primal Fear (1996). In 1998, Norton gained 30 pounds of muscle and transformed his look into that of a monstrous skinhead for his role as a violent white supremacist in American History X (1998). This performance would earn him his second Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actor. In 1999 came the critically acclaimed Fight Club (1999) and in 2000 came his directorial debut in Keeping the Faith (2000).
- Shaved his head and gained 30 pounds of muscle in 3 months by drinking protein shakes, meat shakes (blended roast beef), and lifting weights non-stop for his role as Dereck Vinyard in _American History X (1998)_ (qv).
- On his return to New York, it took less than two years of waiting tables before the young thespian to capture the eye of 'Edward Albee' (qv), one of the most celebrated playwrights of the 20th century. Albee was working with the Signature Theater Company on a new production of Fragments. One audition and Norton landed the role, as well as a slot in Signature's repertory company. He currently serves on its board of directors.
- The theme song for _Keeping the Faith (2000)_ (qv) - "Heart of Mine" by 'Peter Salett' (qv) - was not written specifically for the film. Salett is a good friend of Edward's.
- He served as Artistic Director for the Signature Theatre Company in New York from 2001-2003. He is currently still on the board.
- Shares a birthday with 'Patrick Swayze' (qv), 'Denis Leary' (qv), 'Malcolm-Jamal Warner' (qv) and 'Robert Redford (I)' (qv).
- Won a Village Voice Obie Award for his role in the off-Broadway show Burn This in 2003.
- Did an uncredited rewrite of the script of _Frida (2002)_ (qv).
- His father, Edward Norton Sr. was an attorney for president 'Jimmy Carter (I)' (qv).