Johnathon Schaech biography
Date of Birth: September 10, 1969
Tall, dark, and handsome, Johnathon Schaech has all of the physical attributes one would
expect of a leading man. Despite his appearance, however, true stardom has eluded Schaech,
as he appears in films that allow him to showcase his talent without providing the
opportunity for the actor to make a solid splash in the mainstream.
Born in Edgewood, Maryland, Schaech attended the University of Maryland to study economics,
but abruptly changed career paths and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Upon arrival,
he studied with famed coach Roy London for four years.
He worked as a model before being cast in his first role in a 1993 film called The Webbers.
Co-starring David Arquette and Jennifer Tilly, the film was mired in obscurity, much like
Schaech's next effort, Franco Zefferelli's Storia Di Una Capinera or Sparrows (1993).
It was director Gregg Araki who gave Schaech his first real break when he cast him as a
dangerous, perpetually aroused drifter in his 1995 film The Doom Generation . Ecstatically
bad-mannered and filled with an abundance of sex, violence, and severed heads, the film
became something of a cult classic and gave Schaech a limited dose of fame.
The scope of his fame was widened a little bit with his next significant picture, How To
Make An American Quilt (1995). As one of the token Y-chromosome bearers in a virtually
all-female cast, Schaech made a favorable impression with many filmgoers in his role as
Winona Ryder's lifeguard suitor.
His notices were favorable enough to get him a leading part in Tom Hanks's 1996 film
That Thing You Do! and the title role of the made-for-cable Houdini (1998). Along with
these relative successes came the requisite flops, among them 1997's Welcome To Woop
Woop, which featured a memorably bizarre title and little else, and Hush (1998), in
which Schaech played the son of a completely crackers Jessica Lange.
In 1999, Schaech had another shot at cult stardom when he again collaborated with
Araki on Splendor , which had its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. The same year,
he was also cast in the Jennifer Love Hewitt series, Fox's The Time of Your Life. The series ended in 2001, and since then he's kept busy with shorts, made-for-TV movies and independent films, but has gone on to appear in several mainstream movies, such as Prom Night and Quarantine .