Jeff Daniels
The French Institute
April 22, 2019

Venue

The French Institute
462 Broadway, New York, NY, 10013, US

Date

Monday, April 22, 2019
7:00 PM


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Jeff Daniels on Thrillcall: concerts, tour dates, & shows
Jeff Daniels

Jeff Daniels Biography

For other people named Jeff Daniels, see Jeff Daniels (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Jeffrey Daniel.
Jeffrey Warren "Jeff" Daniels (born February 19, 1955) is an American actor, musician, and playwright. He founded a nonprofit theater company, the Purple Rose Theatre Company, in his home state of Michigan. He has performed in a number of stage productions, both on and off Broadway, and has been nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actor for the Broadway play God of Carnage (2009), along with his other three castmates.
His film debut was 1981's Ragtime, and his most recent films are Steve Jobs and The Martian, in 2015. For his work, he has received four Golden Globe Award nominations, including as Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Comedy/Musical for Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) (hence the name of his theater company). He has also received nominations by the Screen Actors Guild, Satellite Awards, and several others for his work in The Squid and the Whale (London Critics Circle Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, and Gotham Awards). He played Debra Winger's husband in the 1983 Oscar-winning film Terms of Endearment. Recently, he starred as Will McAvoy in Aaron Sorkin's HBO television series The Newsroom, for which he won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2013.

Early life:
Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia, the son of Marjorie J. (née Ferguson) and Robert Lee "Bob" Daniels. He lived in Georgia for six weeks, and grew up in Chelsea, Michigan. His father owned The Chelsea Lumber Company and was also a onetime mayor of Chelsea.
Jeff was raised Methodist and attended Central Michigan University and participated in the school's theater program. In the summer of 1976, Daniels attended the Eastern Michigan University drama school to participate in a special Bicentennial Repertory program, where he performed in The Hot l Baltimore and three other plays performed in repertoire. Marshall W. Mason was the guest director at EMU and he invited Jeff to come to New York to work at the Circle Repertory Theatre, where he performed in Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson in the 1977-78 season. Daniels performed in New York in The Shortchanged Review (1979) at Second Stage Theatre. It was the first show of the inaugural season for Second Stage Theatre.

Career:

Stage career:
Daniels has starred in a number of New York productions, on and off Broadway. On Broadway, he has appeared in Lanford Wilson's Redwood Curtain, A. R. Gurney's The Golden Age and Wilson's Fifth of July, for which he won a Drama Desk Award for Best Supporting Actor. Off-Broadway, he received a Drama Desk nomination for Wilson's Lemon Sky, and an Obie Award for his performance in the Circle Repertory Company production of Johnny Got His Gun. He returned to the stage in 2009, appearing in Broadway's God of Carnage with Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis, and James Gandolfini.
In 1991, he founded the regionally acclaimed Purple Rose Theatre Company, a nonprofit stage company in his childhood and current home of Chelsea, Michigan. He is currently executive director of PRTC and has written 15 plays for them.

Film career:
Daniels made his screen debut in Miloš Forman's Ragtime in 1981. His next film, the Oscar-winning Terms of Endearment, in which he played Debra Winger's husband, was his breakthrough. Daniels then garnered a Golden Globe nomination as the star of The Purple Rose Of Cairo, directed by Woody Allen. It was the latter film that inspired the name for the theater company he established.
Daniels earned his second Golden Globe nomination for starring in Jonathan Demme's dramedy Something Wild as an unassuming businessman swept up into a wild night by a mysterious woman (Melanie Griffith). Daniels then starred in the horror-comedy (or "thrill-omedy," as it was described in the promotion) Arachnophobia in 1990. The next year Daniels starred in two films (Love Hurts and The Butcher's Wife) and hosted NBC's sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.
Daniels' next notable role was as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain in Gettysburg. Alongside Daniels were Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang, and Sam Elliot. The two-part film proved so popular on television that the 262-minute movie garnered a theatrical release. Daniels would reprise the role of Chamberlain ten years later in the prequel film Gods and Generals, with much of the same cast except for Sheen, who was replaced by Robert Duvall.
In 1994 Daniels would have one of his most successful films commercially, starring in the Farrelly Brothers's hit Dumb and Dumber alongside Jim Carrey. It was a noted departure for Daniels, owing to his status as a dramatic actor. That same year Daniels appeared with Keanu Reeves in the action blockbuster Speed; Daniels starred as Reeves's partner on the LAPD bomb squad. Also starring Dennis Hopper and Sandra Bullock, Speed was an enormous hit, grossing over $350 million at the box office.
Daniels would then host Saturday Night Live a second time before the release of the 1996 Disney live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians. Daniels starred as the owner of a litter of dalmatians stolen by the evil Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close). The film was successful, grossing $320 million. Also in 1996 was the family hit film Fly Away Home with Daniels as the supportive single father of Anna Paquin's goose-raising preteen. Daniels then had a critical and commercial misfire with 1997's Trial and Error alongside Seinfeld's Michael Richards.
Daniels would rebound, however, with 1998's Pleasantville as diner owner Bill Johnson, who learns to act as an individual and rebel against the norm at the urging of Tobey Maguire's David. Also starring Reese Witherspoon, Joan Allen, and Don Knotts, Pleasantville was one of the best-reviewed films of the year, nominated for three Academy Awards. Daniels would then star alongside Christopher Lloyd in the critical and commercial bomb My Favorite Martian. The film, an unsuccessful re-make of the 1960s TV series, severely damaged Daniels's status as a box office star, and he would proceed to work in increasingly less mainstream starring roles.
Daniels then starred in the TV films The Crossing, Cheaters, and the direct-to-video release Chasing Sleep. At this point, in the early 2000s, Daniels began to focus more on his theater work at The Purple Rose Theatre as well as writing, starring, and directing the films Escanaba in da Moonlight and Super Suckers.
Daniels's next major film role would be in Clint Eastwood's Blood Work. The film received mixed reviews and was a commercial failure. He would rebound later that year with Stephen Daldry's Academy Award-winning The Hours, alongside Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore. The film was also a monetary success, grossing well over $100 million. Gods and Generals followed in 2003, as did the action film I Witness, which co-starred James Spader. Daniels then starred in Imaginary Heroes and the 2004 television film adaptation of fellow Michigander and friend Mitch Albom's bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
The year 2005 proved to be a strong year for Daniels as he garnered notice as the star of the lauded Noah Baumbach film The Squid and the Whale. Daniels received his third Golden Globe nomination for the film, about a divorcing couple and the effect the split has on their children. That year Daniels also starred in the family film adaptation of Because of Winn-Dixie. He would round out the year with a supporting role in the Oscar-nominated film Good Night and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney.
Daniels then starred as the redneck comic foil to Robin Williams's uptight business man in the vacation comedy RV, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. He had a supporting role in the Truman Capote biopic Infamous and in two other independent films, Mama's Boy and The Lookout, for which he was nominated for a Satellite Award.
Daniels had a starring voice-over role as the villain Zartog in animated film Space Chimps. Daniels then took back-to-back supporting roles in political thrillers: Traitor with Don Cheadle and State of Play with Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams. Also in 2009 Daniels would appear in the indie hit Away We Go. The year 2010 would prove to be a slow year for Daniels, as he continued his theater work and had a starring role in the little-seen indie Howl alongside James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.
In 2012, Daniels became the new announcing voice for Apple with the iPhone 5 ads. In 2014, Daniels reprised his role as Harry Dunne in Dumb and Dumber To. Daniels portrayed CEO John Sculley in the 2015 biographical drama film Steve Jobs, directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle, and starring Michael Fassbender in the title role. He has been cast as David for the two-part completing film of the Divergent series, titled Allegiant.

Musical career:
Daniels has focused on recording a number of songs that he has written throughout his life, apparently marking key moments. He has kept busy with frequent gigs and six full-length albums, Jeff Daniels Live and Unplugged, Jeff Daniels Live at The Purple Rose Theater, Grandfather's Hat, Keep It Right Here, Together Again, and Days Like These. Proceeds from the album sales benefit The Purple Rose Theater.
Daniels was featured on the cover of the April-May 2011 issue of Guitar Aficionado magazine as well as the July-August 2011 issue of Making Music, where he discussed his experiences with music.

Personal life:
Daniels married his high school sweetheart, Kathleen Rosemary Treado, in 1979. In 1986, Daniels moved back to his native Chelsea, Michigan. The couple has three children: Benjamin (born 1984), Lucas (born 1987), and Nellie (born 1990).
Daniels has appeared as the TV spokesman for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation promoting Michigan's effectiveness in bringing in new companies, featured on CNBC. He was inducted into the Michigan Walk of Fame on May 25, 2006, in Lansing, Michigan, and delivered the winter commencement address at the University of Michigan on December 20, 2009, at which he was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts.

Filmography:

Film:
Year
Title
Role
Notes
1981
Ragtime
P. C. O'Donnell

1983
Terms of Endearment
Flap Horton

1985
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Tom Baxter/Gil Shepherd
Nominated--Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1985
Marie
Eddie Sisk

1986
Something Wild
Charles Driggs
Nominated--Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1986
Heartburn
Richard

1987
Radio Days
Biff Baxter

1988
The House on Carroll Street
Cochran

1988
Sweet Hearts Dance
Sam Manners

1989
Checking Out
Ray Macklin

1990
Arachnophobia
Ross Jennings
Saturn Award for Best Actor
1990
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Denton Webb

1991
Love Hurts
Paul Weaver

1991
The Butcher's Wife
Dr. Alex Tremor

1992
Timescape
Ben Wilson
also known as Grand Tour: Disaster in Time,
International Fantasy Film Award for Best Actor
1992
There Goes the Neighborhood
Willis Embry

1993
Rain Without Thunder
Jonathan Garson

1993
Gettysburg
Colonel Joshua Chamberlain
Nominated--Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1994
Speed
Harry Temple

1994
Dumb and Dumber
Harry Dunne

1995
Redwood Curtain
Lyman Fellers

1996
Fly Away Home
Thomas Alden

1996
2 Days in the Valley
Alvin Strayer

1996
101 Dalmatians
Roger Dearly

1997
Trial and Error
Charlie Tuttle

1998
Pleasantville
Bill Johnson
Nominated--Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1999
My Favorite Martian
Tim O'Hara

1999
It's the Rage
Warren Harding

2000
Chasing Sleep
Ed Saxon

2001
Escanaba in da Moonlight
Reuben Soady
Also co-writer and director
2002
Super Sucker
Fred Barlow
Also co-writer and director
2002
Blood Work
Jasper "Buddy" Noone

2002
The Hours
Louis Waters
Nominated--Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2003
Gods and Generals
Lt. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain

2003
I Witness
James Rhodes

2004
Imaginary Heroes
Ben Travis

2004
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
The Blue Man

2005
The Squid and the Whale
Bernard Berkman
Gotham Award for Best Cast,
Nominated--Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy,
Nominated--Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead,
Nominated--London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year,
Nominated--National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor (2nd place)
2005
Because of Winn-Dixie
The Preacher

2005
Good Night, and Good Luck
Sig Mickelson
Nominated--Gotham Award for Best Cast,
Nominated--Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2006
RV
Travis Gornicke

2006
Infamous
Alvin Dewey

2007
The Lookout
Lewis
Nominated--Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
2007
Mama's Boy
Mert Rosenbloom

2007
A Plumm Summer
Narrator

2008
Space Chimps
Zartog
Voice
2008
Traitor
Carter

2009
State of Play
Representative George Fergus

2009
The Answer Man
Arlen Faber

2009
Away We Go
Jerry Farlander

2009
Paper Man
Richard Dunn

2010
Howl
Professor David Kirk

2012
Looper
Abe

2013
Quad
Mickey

2014
Dumb and Dumber To
Harry Dunne

2015
Steve Jobs
John Sculley

2015
The Martian
Teddy Sanders

2016
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
David
Filming

Television:
Year
Title
Role
Notes
1980
Breaking Away
College Kid
Episode: "Pilot"
1980
Hawaii Five-O
Neal Forrester
Episode: "The Flight of the Jewels"
1982
American Playhouse
Jed Jenkins
Episode: "The Fifth of July"
1989
No Place Like Home
Mike
Television film
1991
Saturday Night Live
Host
Episode: "Jeff Daniels/Color Me Badd"
1992
The Jackie Presser Story
Tom Noonan
Television film
1993
Frasier
Doug
Episode: "Here's Looking at You"
1995
Saturday Night Live
Host
Episode: "Jeff Daniels/Luscious Jackson"
2000
The Crossing
George Washington
Television film
2000
Cheaters
Dr. Gerard Plecki
Television film
2004
The Goodbye Girl
Elliot Garfield
Television film
2008
Sweet Nothing in My Ear
Dan Miller
Television film
2012-2014
The Newsroom
Will McAvoy
25 episodes, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2013),
Nominated--Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Television Series Drama (2012),
Nominated--Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2014-2015),
Nominated--Satellite Award for Best Actor - Television Series Drama (2012-2013),
Nominated--Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (2012-2013)

Purple Rose Theatre Company:

The Purple Rose Theatre Company (or PRTC) was founded by Jeff Daniels in 1991. Originally known as the Garage Theatre, 'The Rose' takes its name from Woody Allen's 1985 film The Purple Rose of Cairo starring Daniels. The theatre provides resources for training actors, playwrights and other theatre artists residing in the Midwest region and develops new plays based on life in the Great Lakes Basin, USA.
The main performance space and administrative offices occupy a building in Chelsea, Michigan once owned by Daniels' grandfather. The theatre produces four shows a year on a 3/4 thrust stage in a 168-seat house. The PRTC is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and operates under a Small Professional Theatre (SPT) Agreement with the Actors' Equity Association (AEA).

Apprentice program:
The Purple Rose offers a year-long apprenticeship program for young artists entering a career in theatre. Apprentices are paid a 'modest stipend' and work as many as 60-80 hours per week gaining experience in lighting, sound, stage management, design, set construction, and administrative/box office work. The seven apprentices also maintain and clean the theatre's facilities. The program was inspired by Jeff Daniels' experience as an apprentice with the Circle Repertory Company in New York City.

Awards and nominations:
Year
Award
Category
Work
Result
1986
Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Nominated
1987
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
Something Wild
Nominated
1991
Saturn Award
Best Actor
Arachnophobia
Won
1992
International Fantasy Film Award
Best Actor
Timescape
Won
1994
Chicago Film Critics Association Award
Best Supporting Actor
Gettysburg
Nominated
1995
MTV Movie Award
Best On-Screen Duo Shared with Jim Carrey
Dumb & Dumber
Nominated
1999
Satellite Award
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Pleasantville
Nominated
2002
Video Software Dealers Association
Independent Career Achievement Award
Won
U.S. Comedy Arts Festival
Audience Award
Super Sucker
Won
2003
Screen Actors Guild Award
Outstanding Performance by a Cast Shared with Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Stephen Dillane, Ed Harris, Allison Janney, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Miranda Richardson, and Meryl Streep
The Hours
Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award
Best Acting Ensemble Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Stephen Dillane, Ed Harris, Allison Janney, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Miranda Richardson, and Meryl Streep
Nominated
2005
Gotham Award
Best Ensemble Cast Shared with David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., and Frank Langella
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Nominated
Best Ensemble Cast Shared with Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, and Anna Paquin
The Squid and the Whale
Won
2006
Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Nominated
Independent Spirit Award
Best Male Lead
Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Award
Best Actor
Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award
Outstanding Performance by a Cast Shared with Rose Abdoo, Alex Borstein, Robert John Burke, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney, Reed Diamond, Tate Donovan, Robert Downey Jr., Grant Heslov, Peter Jacobson, Frank Langella, Thomas McCarthy, Dianne Reeves, Matt Ross, David Strathairn, and Ray Wise
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Nominated
2007
London Critics' Film Circle Award
Actor of the Year
The Squid and the Whale
Nominated
Satellite Award
Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama
The Lookout
Nominated
2008
Las Palmas Film Festival
Honorary Lady Harimaguada
Won
2012
Satellite Award
Best Actor in a Series, Drama
The Newsroom
Nominated
2013
Best Actor in a Series, Drama
Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award
Best Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated
Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Won
2014
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated
2015
Primetime Emmy Award
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated