Jeff Daniels Biography

Jeff Daniels photo

Born: February 19, 1955


Date of Birth: February 19, 1955

Versatile leading man Jeff Daniels from Chelsea, Michigan attended Central Michigan University, where he majored in English and minored in theater before dropping out and moving to NYC to seek his fortune. There he joined the Circle Repertory Company doing off-Broadway and Broadway plays and a number of television commercials.

Though he had already worked on both large and small screen projects, his big break didn't come until 1983 when he was cast as Debra Winger's inconstant husband in Terms of Endearment (1983). He followed it up with two Golden Globe award nominated performances in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and Something Wild (1986).

Jeff continued to wow viewers as he moved through one film to the next playing everything from villains and cads to heroes and romantic leads to tragic figures and loveable goofs. More notable performances came in films like Arachnophobia (1990), Speed (1994), Dumb & Dumber (1994) opposite Jim Carrey, and Pleasantville (1998).

Though Jeff has found low-key success in film, he still maintains his connection to the stage and manages his own theatrical company, Purple Rose Theatre Company (he also runs a film company by the same name), where he has written eight plays and directed one play, Boom Town. In 2001 he made his directorial debut in film with Escanaba in da Moonlight followed by Super Sucker in 2002.

In 2012, Jeff landed a recurring role as Will McAvoy in the HBO television drama The Newsroom. He also appeared in the 2012 blockbuster feature Looper alongside Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt. He starred in Dumb and Dumber To (2014). More recently, he starred in Steve Jobs (2015), The Martian (2015) and The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016).

Married since 1979 to his high school sweetheart, Kathleen Treado, Jeff has been living in his hometown since the early '90s where he has been bringing up his three kids. Besides acting, Daniels enjoys the occasional round of golf. He is also an accomplished guitar player.

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