Jan. 27th, 1940
Los Angeles, California, USA
6' 5 1/2
Guest TV Roles
Andrew W. Mellon
Born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie Tech, James Cromwell - the son of noted film director 'John Cromwell' - studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon. He went into the theater (like both his parents) doing everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays. He started doing TV in 1974, gaining some notice in a recurring role as Archie Bunker's buddy Stretch Cunningham in All in the Family (1971), made his film debut in 1976, and goes back to the stage periodically. Some of his more noted film roles have been in _Revenge of the Nerds (1984) and the surprise hit about a charming pig, Babe (1995). He garnered some of the best reviews of his career - many of which said he should have received an Oscar - for his role as a corrupt, conniving police captain in L.A. Confidential (1997).
- Worked with the Black Panthers in the 1960s.
- Played a fictional President in _The Sum of All Fears (2002)_ (qv) and real-life President 'Lyndon Johnson (I)' (qv). 'Donald Moffat' (qv), who has also played Johnson, played the fictional President in _Clear and Present Danger (1994)_ (qv).
- At 6' 7", he is the tallest Oscar-nominated actor of all time (he was nominated for his Best Actor in a Support Role in _Babe (1995)_ (qv)).
- He is known to be a passionate liberal who openly supports several progressive political causes. He is most outspoken about the protection of animals.
- He struggled somewhat early in his career due to his height and the fact that few producers wanted someone towering over their leading men. Many of his early roles show him seated or leaning on something.
- Educated at Carnegie Institute of Technology.
- (3 July 2001) Was arrested for trespassing during an animal rights demonstration in Virginia, targeting the Wendy's fast food chain. He and four other PETA protesters refused to leave after urging patrons to boycott the restaurant. Cromwell was released on his own recognizance after about five hours.
- In _The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)_ (qv), he plays 'Charles Keating (II)' (qv), a publisher. Keating has the same first and last initials (CK) as Charles Kane, the character in 'Orson Welles' (qv)' _Citizen Kane (1941)_ (qv). In that movie, Charles (Foster) Kane is a newspaper publisher based, in no small part, upon real-life newspaper magnate 'William Randolph Hearst' (qv). Cromwell portrayed Hearst in the behind-the-scenes look at "Citizen Kane", entitled _RKO 281 (1999) (TV)_ (qv).