Combining an everyman exterior with a quality of simmering inner intensity, Ed Harris has forged a long and varied career as both a leading man and a character actor in films large and small, one that has earned him four Oscar nominations along with numerous other honors.
Harris was a high school athlete and played football at Columbia University before his interests shifted toward acting. Graduating from the California Institute of the Arts with a fine arts degree, he spent his early years honing his craft on the stage, breaking into film and television roles in the late 1970s.
Harris first gained widespread attention in 1983 when he played astronaut John Glenn in the big-screen adaptation of Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff," demonstrating his range the same year by playing a psychopathic mercenary in the thriller "Under Fire." The actor earned his first Oscar nomination for his performance as NASA flight director Gene Kranz in the 1995 film "Apollo 13." He would go on to earn three more Oscar nods: for 1998’s satirical dramedy "The Truman Show," 2000’s Jackson Pollock biopic "Pollock" (which he also directed), and 2002’s literary adaptation "The Hours."
Throughout his career, Harris has moved easily between big mainstream films like "The Abyss," "The Rock" and "Run All Night" and smaller art house fare like "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "A History of Violence." He has also distinguished himself in television, earning Emmy nominations for his starring role in the 2005 HBO miniseries "Empire Falls" and for playing Sen. John McCain in the 2012 HBO political drama "Game Change."
Married since 1983 to actress Amy Madigan, Harris has maintained a fairly low profile off screen, orienting his life more around work than the pursuit of celebrity. "The reality of the business is that I get a chance to work more than Amy does, being a man," Harris told The Times in 2012. "We've been pretty careful. I've never been one of those guys who's worked back to back to back and is always gone. Because I want to maintain the family relationship. Communication — we keep those lines open. And we love each other."
|1995||Best Supporting Actor||Apollo 13||Nomination|
|1998||Best Supporting Actor||The Truman Show||Nomination|
|2002||Best Supporting Actor||The Hours||Nomination|