Mar. 17th, 1955
Blue Island, Illinois, USA
Gary Sinise's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Gary Sinise (born March 17, 1955) in Blue Island, Illinois. His family later moved to Highland Park, where he attended high school. He was something of a rebel, playing in bands but paying little attention to school. Gary and some friends tried out for "West Side Story" as a lark, but Gary was hooked on acting for life by closing night. Gary credits his love for theatre to his drama teacher, Barbara Patterson.
In 1974, Sinise, 'Terry Kinney', and 'Jeff Perry' founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. Initially performing in a church basement, the company grew and gained stature in the Chicago area. In addition to acting in many plays, Sinise also directed some of Steppenwolf's most notable productions, including Sam Shepard's True West. The company made its off-Broadway debut with that production, starring Sinise and 'John Malkovich' and its Broadway debut with The Grapes of Wrath at the Cort Theatre in 1990.. Sinise's Hollywood career also started in the director's chair with two episodes of the stylish TV series Crime Story (1986) followed in 1988 by the feature Miles from Home (1988) starring 'Richard Gere'.
Sinise's first feature film as an actor was the World War II fable A Midnight Clear (1992) in 1992. That year also found Sinise combining his acting and directing talents with the critically acclaimed Of Mice and Men (1992). His first real notice by the public came in 1994, however. He starred in the blockbuster miniseries The Stand (1994), rapidly followed by his bravura performance as Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump (1994). His portrayal of the disabled, emotionally tortured veteran earned Gary numerous awards and an Oscar nomination. Busy 1994 was followed by busy 1995, first reuniting with 'Tom Hanks' in Apollo 13 (1995) and then starring in the HBO film Truman (1995) which earned him the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards and an Emmy nomination.
Sinise married 'Moira Harris', an actress and original member of the Steppenwolf company. They have three children, Sophie, McCanna, and Ella. Sinise's father is the film editor 'Robert L. Sinise', A.C.E.
- He was nominated for a 1982 Joseph Jefferson Award for Director of a Play for "True West" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
- Founded Operation Iraqi Children (www.operationiraqichildren.org) in early 2004 with "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" author 'Laura Hillenbrand' (qv).
- In 1997, played 'George Wallace (IV)' (qv) in _George Wallace (1997) (TV)_ (qv). He re-prised the role, uncredited, in _Path to War (2002) (TV)_ (qv).
- Received his first college degree in 2003 - an honorary degree from Amherst College.
- Shares a birthday with 'Rob Lowe (I)' (qv), with whom he co-starred in _"The Stand" (1994)_ (qv).
- His Steppenwolf theater company, started by high-school grads in a Catholic-school basement, is now an institution housed in an $8 million theater.
- Won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a mini-series or dramatic special for portraying 'George Wallace (IV)' (qv) the very night the real George Wallace died.
- On December 10, 2008, was awarded the United States of America Presidential Citizens Medal (which was established on November 13, 1969 to recognize U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation. The medal is bestowed by the President and may be conferred posthumously. The Presidential Citizens Medal is one of the highest honors the President can confer upon a civilian, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom.) for his work with the USO and Operation Iraqi Children.