John Lithgow

John Lithgow

173 Fans
Oct. 19th, 1945
Born in
Rochester, New York, USA
6' 4

John Lithgow's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Dexter TV Show
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland TV Show
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
3rd Rock from the Sun TV Show
3rd Rock from the Sun
The Crown TV Show
The Crown
Trial & Error TV Show
Trial & Error
Twenty Good Years TV Show
Twenty Good Years
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart TV Show
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart

Main Movie Roles

2015 - Best Of Enemies
2014 - The Homesman
2014 - Interstellar
2014 - Love Is Strange
2013 - Casting By
2012 - The Campaign
2012 - This Is 40
2011 - New Year's Eve
2011 - Rise of the Planet of the Apes
2010 - Leap Year
2009 - Confessions of a Shopaholic
2006 - Dreamgirls
2004 - Kinsey
2004 - The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
2003 - Shrek 4-D
2002 - Orange County
2001 - Shrek
2000 - Rugrats in Paris: The Movie - Rugrats II
1998 - A Civil Action
1998 - Homegrown
1998 - Homegrown
1998 - Johnny Skidmarks
1996 - Hollow Point
1994 - Silent Fall
1994 - A Good Man in Africa
1994 - Princess Caraboo
1994 - A Good Man in Africa
1993 - Cliffhanger
1993 - The Wrong Man
1993 - The Pelican Brief
1992 - Raising Cain
1992 - Raising Cain
1992 - Raising Cain
1992 - Raising Cain
1992 - Raising Cain
1991 - Ricochet
1991 - At Play in the Fields of the Lord
1991 - L.A. Story
1990 - Memphis Belle
1987 - Harry and the Hendersons
1986 - The Manhattan Project
1984 - The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
1984 - Footloose
1984 - 2010: The Year We Make Contact
1984 - The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
1983 - Twilight Zone: The Movie
1983 - Terms of Endearment
1983 - Twilight Zone: The Movie
1982 - The World According to Garp
1981 - Blow Out
1979 - All That Jazz
1978 - The Big Fix
1976 - Obsession

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Ad Narrator (Voiced)
Jerry Whitaker
John L. O'Sullivan (Voiced)
H.L. Mencken (Voiced)
George Washington
John Walters
Dr. Oscar Charles
[Complete List]


John Arthur Lithgow (/ˈlɪθɡoʊ/ LITH-goh; born October 19, 1945) is an American actor, musician, and author. Lithgow has received acclaim and many accolades in his career including two Tony Awards, five Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, an American Comedy Award, four Drama Desk Awards and was also nominated for two Academy Awards and four Grammy Awards. Lithgow was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame and American Theater Hall of Fame.

If "born to the theater" has meaning in determining a person's life path, then John Lithgow is a prime example of this truth. Son of a retired actress and a father who was both a theatrical producer and director, he moved frequently as a child while his father founded and managed local and college theaters and Shakespeare festivals throughout the midwest of the United States. Not until he was 16, and his father became head of the McCarter Theater in Princeton New Jersey, did the family settle down.

But for Lithgow, the theater was still not a career. He won a scholarship to Harvard University, where he finally caught the acting bug (as well as found a wife, 'Jean Taynton' 1966). Harvard was followed by a Fulbright scholarship to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Returning from London, his rigorous dramatic training stood him in good stead, and a distinguished career on Broadway gave him one Tony award for "The Changing Room", a second nomination in (1985) for "Requiem for a Heavyweight", and a third in (1988) for "M. Butterfly".

But with critical acclaim came personal confusion, and in the mid '70s he and his wife divorced (1980). He entered therapy, and in 1982 his life started in a new direction. He received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Roberta Muldoon in The World According to Garp (1982). A second Oscar nomination followed for Terms of Endearment (1983), and he met a UCLA economics professor who became his second wife 'Mary Yeager' (1981 - present). They have two children, Phoebe and Nathan.

Lithgow is also well known for his roles in Footloose (1984) as the Reverend Shaw Moore, in the Bigfoot-themed family comedy Harry and the Hendersons (1987), and in (1993), starred as the villainous Eric Qualen in the 'Sylvester Stallone' movie Cliffhanger.

As the decade of the '90s came around he found that he was spending too much time on location, and another career move brought him to television in the hugely successful series 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996). This production also played a role in bringing him back together with the son from his first marriage, 'Ian Lithgow', who has a regular role in the series as a dim-witted student.

In September 2009, Lithgow joined the cast of Dexter as Arthur Mitchell, a serial killer and Dexter Morgan's nemesis. He won a Golden Globe Award for this role, and won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series.

He guest starred on How I Met Your Mother in the role of Barney Stinson's father, Jerry. John portrayed The White Rabbit in the ABC mini-series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

  • Graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University (1967).
  • Has a Scottish background.
  • Was considered for the role of Doc Brown in _Back to the Future (1985)_ (qv). The role went to 'Christopher Lloyd (I)' (qv) instead.
  • His father ran a Shakespearian Acting company in the 1950s which included 'David Carradine' (qv).
  • Has won two Tony Awards: in 1973, as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for 'David Storey (III)' (qv)'s "The Changing Room"; and in 2002, as Best Actor (Musical) for "Sweet Smell of Success." He has also been nominated on three occasions for Tonys -- two for Best Actor (Play): for "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (1985) and "M. Butterfly." (1988), and once for Best Actor (Musical): for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (2005).
  • Graduated from Princeton High School, Princeton, NJ.
  • Graduated from Harvard University, with a BA in history and literature. Daughter, Phoebe (b. 1982).
  • Claims that his most difficult performance was in _Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)_ (qv) because he had to portray fear of the monster, although he couldn't really see it.

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