Feb. 28th, 1969
Westwood, New Jersey, USA
Robert Sean Leonard's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Robert Lawrence Leonard (February 28, 1969), better known by his stage name Robert Sean Leonard, is an American actor, best known for his performance as Dr. James Wilson in the television series House, M.D. (2004-2012) and as Neil Perry in the Academy Award-winning film Dead Poets Society. Leonard won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in The Invention of Love in 2001. He was also nominated for his leading role in Candida in 1993 and for his work opposite 'Philip Seymour Hoffman' in Long Day's Journey Into Night in 2003.
Leonard's other Broadway credits include Breaking the Code, The Speed of Darkness, Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Arcadia, The Music Man, Born Yesterday and To Kill a Mockingbird. As of 2013, Leonard has been playing a recurring role as Dr. Roger Kadar on the television series Falling Skies.
Born in Westwood, New Jersey, the son of Joyce Patricia (née Peterson), a nurse, and Robert Howard Leonard, a teacher of Spanish. He grew up in Ridgewood, where he attended Ridgewood High School before moving on to Fordham University and later Columbia University School of General Studies (GS).
Leonard's first acting role was My Two Loves (1986) where he was cast in a small role. That same year, he was also in The Manhattan Project (1986). The film is a comedy starring 'John Lithgow', and is about a science experiment taken too far.
Leonard continued on from these firsts and landed a role in Bluffing It (1987), and then acted in another teen comedy: My Best Friend Is a Vampire (1987). His next role is easily one of his most memorable. He took the second billing in Dead Poets Society (1989) opposite 'Robin Williams' and 'Ethan Hawke'.
The 20-year old actor was well on his way now, and he proceeded to act in another Oscar-nominated film: Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990) starring 'Paul Newman'. Leonard resumed the rebellious youth act from Dead Poets as he played on of the children caught between their father's conservative ways and their own ideas. Leonard followed up with the not-so successful Married to It (1991). Two years after that, Leonard found massive success in three different films.
Firstly, he acted in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing (1993). Pulling in 60 million on an 8 million dollar budget, it remains one of the most successful films based off of a play by Shakespeare.
In the same year, Leonard took the lead in Swing Kids (1993), which also starred 'Christian Bale', 'Frank Whaley', 'Barbara Hershey' and 'Kenneth Branagh' who rather than upstage Leonard, Bale, and Whaley, refuse any credit in the film. The film, another success for Leonard, told the story of a group of friends in the Hitler Youth attempting to hold onto something they love- the Lindy hop. Reviews were mixed, but the film has a faithful following to this day.
Also that year, Leonard took a smaller role in Martin Scorsese's elaborate and artistic film The Age of Innocence (1993) starring 'Daniel Day-Lewis', 'Winona Ryder', and 'Michelle Pfeiffer'. The film is about the aristocrat who must choose between two women and risk scandal. The film earned Ryder an Oscar nomination, and a win for Best Costume. Leonard himself played the young son of Danny Archer, and plays a crucial role at the end of the film.
After these three great films, Leonard's career slowed down. Despite acting in three different films in 1996 (the 'Oliver Stone' -produced Killer: A Journal of Murder (1996) starring 'James Woods', the light-hearted The Boys Next Door (1996), and the romantic I Love You, I Love You Not (1996)) none were as successful as those he made in 1993. Leonard moved onwards to act in (among other things) The Last Days of Disco (1998) and the thriller Ground Control (1998) opposite 'Kiefer Sutherland', 'Henry Winkler', and 'Bruce McGill'.
Leonard's work changed as the new millennium began. He turned to television as well as continuing film. He acted in the series Outer Limits and Wasteland as well as making movies such as the dramatic film Tape (2001) by 'Richard Linklater', A Glimpse of Hell (2001) opposite 'James Caan', and the box office bomb Driven (2001) starring 'Sylvester Stallone' and 'Burt Reynolds'. After a few more films, Leonard was cast in the series that gave him much fame.
- Attended the Columbia University school of General Studies and Continuing Education.
- Received the 2001 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for his portrayal as 'A.E. Housman' (qv) in 'Tom Stoppard' (qv)'s "The Invention of Love." Nominated in the same category two other times: in 1993, for a revival of 'George Bernard Shaw' (qv)'s "Candida," and in 2003 for a revival of "Long Day's Journey into Night" by 'Eugene O'Neill (I)' (qv).
- Took his brother's first name (Sean) as his middle name.
- Was the first actor to be cast in _"House M.D." (2004)_ (qv).
- Won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (2001) for The Invention of Love.
- Says that, when _"House M.D." (2004)_ (qv) ends, he hopes to move back to New York, to start doing more plays and hopefully start a family.
- To this day, is still close with _Dead Poets Society (1989)_ (qv) co-star 'Ethan Hawke' (qv).
- He co-founded a theater company called Malaparte with 'Ethan Hawke' (qv), 'Frank Whaley' (qv), and 'Steve Zahn' (qv).