Jan. 9th, 1955
Detroit, Michigan, USA
J.K. Simmons' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Jonathan Kimble "J. K." Simmons (born January 9, 1955) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Dr. Emil Skoda in Law & Order (and in other U.S. series of the that franchise), neo-Nazi Vernon Schillinger in the HBO prison drama Oz, and J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man film series.
Simmons was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Patricia (née Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a college professor. He has a brother, David (a singer-songwriter), and a sister, Elizabeth. He attended the University of Montana and was a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Prior to his film & television career, Simmons was a Broadway actor and singer. He was in the revival of Guys and Dolls as Benny Southstreet. He also played the role of Jigger in a revival of Carousel at the Houston Grand Opera.
Notable film and television roles
Simmons is known for his TV roles as Dr. Emil Skoda, a police psychiatrist, who has appeared on three of the four incarnations of Law & Order and New York Undercover, and as the sadistic inmate Vernon Schillinger on the prison drama Oz. He also stars as Ralph Earnhardt, the father of race-car driver Dale Earnhardt, in 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story. He played B.R. in the film Thank You For Smoking and has been praised for his performance in Juno as "Mac" McGuff, the title character's father. Currently, he plays Will Pope, Assistant Chief of the LAPD, in The Closer.
He also played J. Jonah Jameson in all three Spider-Man movies and the expanded video game adaption of Spider-Man 3. Simmons provided his voice for two newspaper editors in two episodes of the eighteenth season of The Simpsons. The characters are never named, but are obviously meant to emulate the character of Jameson (one, bearing Jameson's appearance, even demands "pictures of Spider-Man", then on being reminded he works at a poetry journal, demands "poems about Spider-Man").
Simmons also provides the voice of the yellow M&M in the product's commercials, as well as the 3-D movie "I Lost My M in Vegas" playing at M&M's World in Las Vegas, NV. He has also done voiceover work for Norelco razors. He also provided the voice of General Wade Eiling in Justice League Unlimited. He recorded an audio book for Tom Clancy's Net Force Point of Impact. Like many of his Law & Order co-stars, he also appeared in an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street, portraying a criminal in an episode that crossed over with Law & Order before Simmons joined the cast as Skoda. He also played a small role as an army general in the television sitcom Arrested Development, alongside his Juno co-stars, Michael Cera and Jason Bateman. As well, he played Dan the Barber in the surreal Nickelodeon kid's show The Adventures of Pete & Pete in 1995.
He has recently appeared in the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 as the anti-communist U. S. President Howard T. Ackerman.
Simmons appears also in Postal as Candidate Wells.
Simmons is quickly becoming known for starring in movies that are produced or directed by his friend Jason Reitman, including Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air and Jennifer's Body, written by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody.
- His character of Dr. Emil Skoda is one of the few _"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv) recurring characters to span all three incarnations: the original series; _"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)_ (qv) and _"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (2001)_ (qv) (the medical examiner, Elizabeth Rodgers ('Leslie Hendrix' (qv)), has also appeared on all three shows).
- Voiceover work for Norelco razors.
- Met his wife, 'Michelle Schumacher' (qv), during a tour of "Peter Pan".
- Played the manager of his hometown pro baseball team, the Detroit Tigers, in _For Love of the Game (1999)_ (qv).
- He is the father of at least one child. He has a sister, Elizabeth Simmons O'Neill, and a brother David who is a Christian singer. Has a nephew named Niko and a sister-in-law Nancy.
- Graduate of the University of Montana. Received an Achievement Award for the UofM in April 2002. Studied to become a composer before getting to musicals and acting.
- Appeared in four films with 'Bruce Campbell (I)' (qv). The first two were _Spider-Man (2002)_ (qv) and _Spider-Man 2 (2004)_ (qv), both directed by 'Sam Raimi' (qv). The third was _The Ladykillers (2004)_ (qv) directed by 'Ethan Coen' (qv), who frequently collaborates with Raimi, followed by another appearance with Campbell in Raimi's _Spider-Man 3 (2007)_ (qv).
- Before playing police psychiatrist "Dr. Emil Skoda" on _"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv), he played a fanatical nut-case suspect on a crossover episode of _"Law & Order" (1990)_ (qv) and _"Homicide: Life on the Street" (1993)_ (qv). He is among the few recurring members to have a guest spot as one character on a "Law & Order" series before going on to play a different character in the L&O universe (others include 'S. Epatha Merkerson' (qv) and 'Jerry Orbach' (qv)). 'Ice-T' (qv) played a criminal who met a "striking" fate in _Exiled (1998) (TV)_ (qv) before going on to star as Det. Odafin "Fin" Tutuola in _"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)_ (qv).