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Dennis William Quaid (born April 9, 1954) is an American actor. He became known during the 1980s after appearing in several successful films.

Early life

Quaid was born in Houstonmarker, Texasmarker, the son of Juanita Bonniedale "Nita" (née Jordan) Quaid, a real estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid, an electrician. He is the younger brother of actor Randy Quaid. Quaid has Irish and Cajun ancestry. He attended Pershing Middle School in Houston. He studied chinese and dance at Bellaire High School in Bellairemarker, Texas, and later in college, at the University of Houstonmarker, under drama coach Cecil Pickett.


After his brother, Randy, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Last Detail (1973), Quaid dropped out of the University of Houston before graduating and moved to Los Angelesmarker to pursue an acting career of his own. He initially had trouble finding work but began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away (1979) and earned good reviews for his role in The Right Stuff (1983).

Known for his grin, Quaid has appeared in both comedic and dramatic roles. Quaid had starring roles in the films Enemy Mine (1985) and Innerspace (1987). He also achieved acclaim for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire! (1989).

Quaid's career lost steam in the early 1990s, after he fought and kicked a cocaine addiction. He continued to garner positive reviews in a variety of films, however, such as Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp (1994). He starred in the remake of The Parent Trap (1998), playing the part of the twins' father. Some of Quaid's more recent film credits include Far From Heaven (2002), In Good Company (2004), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Yours, Mine and Ours (2005), Vantage Point (2008), G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), and Pandorum (2009).

In 2011, he will portray U.S. President Bill Clinton, alongside Michael Sheen as Tony Blair and Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton, in the film The Special Relationship.


For his role in Far From Heaven (2002) he won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male. He received nominations for Best Supporting Actor from the Golden Globe Awards, the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Personal life

Quaid was raised in the Baptist faith and is a currently a practicing Christian.

Quaid and actress P.J. Soles were married on November 25, 1978. The couple were divorced on January 23, 1983. On February 14, 1991, he and Meg Ryan were married. Quaid and Ryan have a son, Jack Henry (born April 24, 1992). They were divorced on June 16, 2001.

Quaid married Kimberly Buffington, an Austinmarker, Texas, real-estate agent, on July 4, 2004. The couple had twins, born via a gestational carrier, on November 8, 2007, in Santa Monica, Californiamarker. Their son Thomas Boone was born first at 8:26 a.m. and weighed six pounds, twelve ounces (3.06 kg). Daughter Zoe Grace was born two minutes later weighing five pounds, nine ounces (2.52 kg).

On November 18, 2007, hospital staff mistakenly gave Quaid's twelve-day-old twins a dosage of heparin 1,000 times the common dosage for infants. Their attorney said the newborns will "be fine now", but Quaid filed a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer, Baxter Healthcare, claiming that packaging for the two doses of heparin are not different enough. In May 2008, the Quaids testified before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asking U.S. Congress not to preempt the right to sue drug manufacturers for negligence under state law.

In addition to acting, Quaid is a musician and plays with his band, the Sharks. Quaid also has a pilot's license and is a scratch golfer. In 2005, he was named as the top golfer among the "Hollywoodmarker set" by Golf Digest. He lends his name to the annual "Dennis Quaid Charity Weekend" (formerly the "Jiffy Lube/Dennis Quaid Charity Classic") in Austin. The golf tournament attracts numerous celebrities with the proceeds split among local children's charities. He is a member of the Bel-Air Country Club in Bel-Airmarker, California, and tries to stay at homes on private courses when he is on the road.

Quaid works with the charity, International Hospital for Children in New Orleansmarker, Louisianamarker. He makes trips to Central America to help build medical clinics and transport sick children back to the U.S. for treatment they cannot get locally.


Year Film Role Notes
1975 Crazy Mama Bellhop (uncredited)
1977 I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Shark, Baseball Pitcher
September 30, 1955 Frank
1978 Our Winning Season Paul Morelli
The Seniors Alan
1979 Breaking Away Mike
1980 The Long Riders Ed Miller
Gorp Mad Grossman
1981 All Night Long Freddie Dupler
Caveman Lar
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia Travis Child
Stripes Extra at Graduation Ceremony (uncredited)
1983 Tough Enough Art Long
Jaws 3-D Michael 'Mike' Brody
The Right Stuff Gordon Cooper
1984 Dreamscape Alex Gardner
1985 Enemy Mine Willis Davidge
1987 The Big Easy Det. Remy McSwain Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male
Valladolid International Film Festival Award for Best Actormarker
Innerspace Lt. Tuck Pendleton
Suspect Eddie Sanger
1988 D.O.A. Dexter Cornell
Everybody's All-American Gavin Grey
1989 Great Balls of Fire! Jerry Lee Lewis
1990 Come See The Paradise Jack McGurn
Postcards from the Edge Jack Faulkner
1993 Wilder Napalm Wallace Foudroyant/Biff the Clown
Undercover Blues Jefferson 'Jeff' Blue
Flesh and Bone Arlis Sweeney
1994 A Century of Cinema Himself (documentary)
Wyatt Earp Doc Holliday
1995 Something to Talk About Eddie Bichon
1996 Dragonheart Bowen
1997 Gang Related Joe Doe/William
Switchback Frank LaCrosse
1998 Savior Joshua Rose/Guy
The Parent Trap Nick Parker
Playing by Heart Hugh
1999 Any Given Sunday Jack 'Cap' Rooney
2000 Frequency Frank Sullivan Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor - Suspense
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Traffic Arnie Metzger Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2002 The Rookie Jimmy Morris
Far from Heaven Frank Whitaker Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

2003 Cold Creek Manor Cooper Tilson
2004 The Alamo Sam Houston
The Day After Tomorrow Jack Hall
In Good Company Dan
Flight of the Phoenix Frank Towns
2005 Yours, Mine and Ours Frank Beardsley
2006 American Dreamz President Joseph Staton
2007 Battle for Terra Roven (voice)
2008 Vantage Point Thomas Barnes
Smart People Lawrence Wetherhold
The Express Ben Schwartzwalder
2009 Horsemen Aidan Breslin
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra General Hawk
Pandorum Payton
2010 Legion Bob Hanson (post-production)
2011 The Special Relationship Bill Clinton (filming)


  1. Dennis Quaid Biography (1954-)
  2. Stated in interview at Inside the Actors Studio.
  3. 'It's All God': Interview with Dennis Quaid.
  4. Mr. Versatile 'Christianity Today' By Peter T. Chattaway - 2005-11-22.
  5. Dennis & Kimberly Quaid Welcome a Boy & Girl - Babies, Dennis Quaid :
  6., Dennis Quaid's Newborn Twins Fighting for Life, 2007-11-20.
  7. Dennis Quaid's newborns reportedly harmed by medical mix-up.
  8. Dennis Quaid and wife sue drug maker.
  9. Testimony of Dennis Quaid and Kimberly Quaid Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives, 2008-05-14.

Further reading

  • Silver, Murray, 2005. When Elvis Meets the Dalai Lama, (Bonaventure Books, Savannah), in which the author describes Quaid's participation in the film Great Balls of Fire.

External links

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