Edward Allen Harris is an American actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. His performances in Apollo 13, The Truman Show, Pollock and The Hours earned him critical acclaim in addition to Academy Award nominations.
Ed Harris was born Edward Allen Harris on November 28, 1950, in Englewood, New Jersey. His mother, Margaret, was a travel agent, and his father, Robert, was a member of the Fred Waring chorus and worked at the Art Institute of Chicago's bookstore. Ed grew up in a Presbyterian household in Tenafly, New Jersey, with brothers Robert and Paul, and he attended Tenafly High School. Harris played football in high school and was the team's captain during his senior year. After graduating in 1969, he enrolled at Columbia University, where he became interested in acting, but two years later, Ed's family moved away, and he decided to go with them. He attended the University of Oklahoma and began starring in local theatrical productions, then moved to Los Angeles in 1973. Harris studied at the California Institute of the Arts, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1975.
In 1976, Ed appeared in Pasadena Repertory Theatre productions of Thomas Rickman's "Baalam" and Tennessee Williams's "Kingdom of Earth" and made his television debut on an episode of the NBC series "Gibbsville." He then had guest-starring roles on "Delvecchio" (1977), "The Rockford Files" (1978), "David Cassidy: Man Undercover" (1978), and "Barnaby Jones" (1979) and appeared in the 1978 film "Coma" and the TV movies "The Amazing Howard Hughes" (1978) and "The Seekers" (1979). Harris appeared in 15 films in the 1980s, including "The Right Stuff" (1983), "Places in the Heart" (1984), "To Kill a Priest" (1988), and the James Cameron-directed science-fiction film "The Abyss," which grossed $90 million at the box office. In 1982, Ed appeared in Stephen King's "Creepshow," and he would take on the Master of Horror's work again in the 1993 film "Needful Things" and the 1994 miniseries "The Stand." In the '80s, he also guest-starred on "CHiPs" (1981) and "Hart to Hart" (1981), appeared in the television films "The Aliens Are Coming" (1980) and "The Last Innocent Man" (1987), and received a Golden Globe nomination for the film "Jacknife."
In the 1990s, Ed starred in a string of successful films, winning a Valladolid International Film Festival Award for 1992's "Glengarry Glen Ross," co-starring with Tom Cruise in the 1993 box office hit ($270.2 million) "The Firm," portraying E. Howard Hunt in 1995's "Nixon," and earning a Golden Globe for 1998's "The Truman Show." In 1995, he played Mission Control Director Gene Kranz in "Apollo 13," which won several awards and brought in $355.2 million at the box office, and the following year, he produced and starred in the television film "Riders of the Purple Sage." Harris played artist Jackson Pollock in 2000's "Pollock," which he also directed and produced, then appeared in "A Beautiful Mind" (2001), "Enemy at the Gates" (2001), "The Hours" (2002), and "The Human Stain" (2003). In 2005, he starred in the HBO miniseries "Empire Falls" as well as the films "Winter Passing" and "A History of Violence." Ed portrayed Ludwig van Beethoven in 2006's "Copying Beethoven," then starred in 2007's "Gone Baby Gone," "Cleaner," and "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."
In 2012, Harris played John McCain in the HBO film "Game Change" and won a Golden Globe for his performance, then he starred in "Snowpiercer" (2013), "Cymbeline" (2015), and "Rules Don't Apply" (2016) and lent his voice to the Sandra Bullock-George Clooney film "Gravity" (2013) and the animated movie "Planes: Fire & Rescue" (2014). In 2016, Ed landed the role of a sadistic villain known as the Man in Black on the science-fiction/Western/dystopian series "Westworld," and in recent years, he has appeared in the films "Mother!" (2017), "Kodachrome" (2017), and "The Last Full Measure" (2019). He filmed "Top Gun: Maverick" in 2019, and he portrayed George S. Patton in 2020's "Resistance."
Awards & Nominations
Harris has been nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for "Apollo 13," "The Truman Show," and "The Hours" and Best Actor in a Leading Role for "Pollock." He has earned six Golden Globe nominations, winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for "The Truman Show" and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for "Game Change." Ed received Primetime Emmy nominations for his work in "Empire Falls," "Game Change," and "Westworld," and "Apollo 13" earned him Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Performance by a Cast. For his stage work, he received an Obie Award for "Fool for Love," a Drama Desk Award and Theatre World Award for "Precious Sons," and a Lucille Lortel Award for "Simpatico."
Harris has also won awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films ("Westworld"), Awards Circuit Community Awards ("Game Change"), Blockbuster Entertainment Awards ("The Truman Show"), Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards ("Apollo 13," "Just Cause," and "Nixon"), National Board of Review ("The Truman Show" and "Stepmom"), National Society of Film Critics Awards ("A History of Violence"), Western Heritage Awards ("Appaloosa" and "Riders of the Purple Sage"), and Women's Image Network Awards ("Empire Falls"). Ed shared a Boston Film Festival award for Best Screenplay Adaptation with "Appaloosa" co-writer Robert Knott, and he was honored with the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film at the 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. In 2015, Harris received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an honorary degree from Allentown, Pennsylvania's Muhlenberg College.
Ed married "Places in the Heart" co-star Amy Madigan on November 21, 1983, and they welcomed daughter Lily on May 3, 1993. Amy first saw Ed in 1980 when she saw him performing on stage in Sam Shepherd's play "Cowboy Mouth". They met a year later in a play they starred in together. In 2012, Harris, Martin Sheen, Ed Asner, and several others sued Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard and a few of the organization's Vice Presidents in an attempt to undo the merger between SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The lawsuit was dismissed in May of that year. Ed has been called "the thinking woman's sex symbol," and "People" magazine featured him in their 2001 "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" issue.
Ed Harris is an American actor, director, and screenwriter who has a net worth of $25 million.