Richard Jenkins

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Richard Jenkins
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Jenkins in 2015
Richard Dale Jenkins

(1947-05-04) May 4, 1947 (age 74)
Alma mater Illinois Wesleyan University
Years active1974–present
Sharon R. Friedrick
(m. 1969)

Richard Dale Jenkins (born May 4, 1947) is an American actor. He began his career in theater at the Trinity Repertory Company and made his film debut in 1974. He has worked steadily in film and television since the 1980s, mostly in supporting roles. His first major role did not come until the early 2000s, when he played deceased patriarch Nathaniel Fisher on the HBO funeral drama series Six Feet Under (2001–2005). He is also known for his roles in the films Burn After Reading (2008), Step Brothers (2008), Let Me In (2010), Jack Reacher (2012), The Cabin in the Woods (2012), The Shape of Water (2017), and The Last Shift (2020).


Jenkins was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the drama film The Visitor (2007). [1] He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for the limited drama series Olive Kitteridge (2014). For his performance in the fantasy drama film The Shape of Water (2017), he was nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Early life

Jenkins was born and raised in DeKalb, Illinois. His mother, Mary Elizabeth (née Wheeler), was a housewife, and his father, Dale Stevens Jenkins, was a dentist. [2] [3] He attended DeKalb High School. Before he was an actor, Jenkins drove a linen truck (his boss was actor John C. Reilly's father). [4] [5] He earned a degree in drama from Illinois Wesleyan University before relocating to Rhode Island.



Jenkins worked with the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, while breaking into film with a bit part in Feasting with Panthers (1974), a television film about Oscar Wilde. When he was given the option of joining the Screen Actors Guild, he accepted immediately. [6] He continued as a member of Trinity's resident acting company and served as its artistic director from 1990 to 1994. [7]


Since his debut in the television movie Feasting with Panthers (1974), Jenkins has worked steadily in film. His earlier film credits include Silverado (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Sea of Love (1989), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Flirting with Disaster (1996), and Snow Falling On Cedars (1999).

He has worked with the director siblings the Farrelly brothers in There's Something About Mary (1998), Outside Providence (1999), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Say It Isn't So (2001) and Hall Pass (2011). He has also appeared in three Coen Brothers movies: The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), and Burn After Reading (2008). He is in North Country (2005), has three memorable scenes as FBI Director James (Robert) Grace in The Kingdom (2007), and Step Brothers (2008).

Jenkins in April 2011 RichardJenkinsApr2011.jpg
Jenkins in April 2011

Although primarily known for supporting parts, Jenkins had a lead role in The Visitor (2007) for which he was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor. [8] Jenkins won the International Press Academy's Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture.

In 2010, Jenkins costarred in Dear John , as the father of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), and also co-starred with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in Eat Pray Love . In 2012, he appeared in the Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard horror film The Cabin in the Woods and the action film Jack Reacher . He then appeared in the action films White House Down (2013) and Kong: Skull Island (2017).

Jenkins co-starred in Guillermo del Toro's fantasy romance drama film The Shape of Water (2017), for which he received critical acclaim. For his performance, he garnered Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.


Jenkins is perhaps best known on television for playing Nathaniel Fisher in the HBO drama series Six Feet Under . His character is the deceased patriarch of the Fisher family and regularly appears to his family as a ghost or in dreams. He played the role for the show's entire run. He and his castmates received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2002.

Jenkins portrayed a DEA agent in one episode of Miami Vice and a mob boss in a later episode.

In 2015, Jenkins won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his performance as Henry Kitteridge in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge . [9]

Personal life

Jenkins is married to choreographer Sharon R. Friedrick, with whom he has two children. [10] [11]

Awards and honors

In 2014, Jenkins and his wife Sharon received the Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence. [12] [13]



Silverado 1985Kelly Lawrence Kasdan
Hannah and Her Sisters 1986Dr. Wilkes Woody Allen
The Manhattan Project 1986Radiation Controls Officer - Medatomics Lab Marshall Brickman
On Valentine's Day 1986Bobby PateKen Harrison
Rachel River 1987Cordell Sandy Smolan
The Witches of Eastwick 1987Clyde Alden George Miller
Courtship 1987Bobby PateHoward Cummings
Little Nikita 1988Richard Grant Richard Benjamin
Stealing Home 1988Hank Chandler Steven Kampmann
William Porter
Sea of Love 1989Gruber Harold Becker
Blaze 1989Picayune Ron Shelton
How I Got into College 1989Bill Browne Savage Steve Holland
Blue Steel 1990Attorney Mel Dawson Kathryn Bigelow
Undercover Blues 1993Frank Herbert Ross
It Could Happen to You 1994C. Vernon Hale Andrew Bergman
Trapped in Paradise 1994Agent Shaddus Peyser George Gallo
Wolf 1994Detective Bridger Mike Nichols
How to Make an American Quilt 1995Howell Saunders Jocelyn Moorhouse
The Indian in the Cupboard 1995Victor Frank Oz
Flirting with Disaster 1996Paul Harmon David O. Russell Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
A Couch in New York 1996Campton Chantal Akerman
Eddie 1996Carl Zimmer Steve Rash
Eye of God 1997Willard Sprague Tim Blake Nelson
Absolute Power 1997Michael McCarty Clint Eastwood
There's Something About Mary 1998Psychiatrist Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Uncredited cameo
The Impostors 1998Johnny Leguard Stanley Tucci
Random Hearts 1999Truman Trainor Sydney Pollack
Snow Falling on Cedars 1999Sheriff Art Moran Scott Hicks
The Mod Squad 1999Det. Bob Mothershed Scott Silver
Outside Providence 1999Barney Michael Corrente
The Confession 1999Cass O'Donnell David Hugh Jones
What Planet Are You From? 2000Don Fisk Mike Nichols
Me, Myself & Irene 2000Agent Boshane Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Say It Isn't So 2001Walter WingfieldJ.B. Rogers
The Man Who Wasn't There 2001Walter Abundas Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
One Night at McCool's 2001Father Jimmy Harald Zwart
Stealing Harvard 2002Honorable Emmett Cook Bruce McCulloch
Changing Lanes 2002Walter Arnell Roger Michell
Cheaper by the Dozen 2003Shake McGuire Shawn Levy
Intolerable Cruelty 2003Freddy Bender Joel
Ethan Coen
The Core 2003Gen. Thomas Purcell Jon Amiel
The Mudge Boy 2003Edgar MudgeMichael Burke
Shall We Dance? 2004Devine Peter Chelsom
I Heart Huckabees 2004Mr. Hooten David O. Russell Uncredited cameo
Fun with Dick and Jane 2005Frank Bascombe Dean Parisot
Rumor Has It… 2005Earl Huttinger Rob Reiner
North Country 2005Hank Aimes Niki Caro
The Kingdom 2007Robert Grace Peter Berg
The Visitor 2008Professor Walter Vale Tom McCarthy
The Broken 2008John McVey Sean Ellis
Step Brothers 2008Dr. Robert Doback Adam McKay San Diego Film Critics Society — Special Award
Burn After Reading 2008Ted Treffon Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
San Diego Film Critics Society — Special Award
The Tale of Despereaux 2008Principal Sam Fell
Robert Stevenhagen
San Diego Film Critics Society — Special Award
Waiting for Forever 2009Richard Twist James Keach
happythankyoumoreplease 2010Paul Gertmanian Josh Radnor
Dear John 2010Bill Tyree Lasse Hallström
Eat Pray Love 2010Richard Ryan Murphy
Norman 2010Doug Long Jonathan Segal Breckenridge Festival of Film for Best Ensemble Cast
Let Me In 2010The Father Matt Reeves Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Best Supporting Actor
Friends with Benefits 2011Mr. Harper Will Gluck
The Rum Diary 2011Edward J. Lotterman Bruce Robinson
Hall Pass 2011Coakley Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Liberal Arts 2012Professor Peter Hoberg Josh Radnor
Darling Companion 2012Russell Lawrence Kasdan
The Cabin in the Woods 2012Gary Sitterson Drew Goddard
Killing Them Softly 2012Driver Andrew Dominik
Jack Reacher 2012Alex Rodin Christopher McQuarrie
The Company You Keep 2012Jed Lewis Robert Redford
White House Down 2013 Speaker Eli Raphelson Roland Emmerich
Turbo 2013Bobby David Soren Voice
A.C.O.D. 2013HughStu Zicherman
God's Pocket 2014Richard Shelburn John Slattery
4 Minute Mile 2014Coach Coleman Charles-Olivier Michaud
Lullaby 2014Robert Andrew Levitas
Bone Tomahawk 2015Chicory S. Craig Zahler Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Spotlight 2015 Richard Sipe Tom McCarthy Uncredited voice cameo
The Hollars 2016Don Hollar John Krasinski
LBJ 2016Senator Richard Russell Rob Reiner
Kong: Skull Island 2017Senator Al Willis Jordan Vogt-Roberts
The Shape of Water 2017Giles Guillermo del Toro St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor (3rd place)
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Kajillionaire 2020Robert Shepard Miranda July
The Last Shift 2020Stanley Andrew Cohn
The Humans 2021Erik Blake Stephen Karam Post-production
Nightmare Alley 2021Ezra Grindle Guillermo del Toro Post-production


Great Performances 1974, 1975Warder / The Sheriff2 episodes
American Playhouse 1984Nicholas VazzanaEpisode: "Concealed Enemies, Part I: Suspicion"
Spenser: For Hire 1985TexEpisode: "Internal Affairs"
Miami Vice 1985, 1989Goodman / DEA Agent Ed Waters2 episodes
The Little Sister1986Roger DavisTelevision film
In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders 1988Detective Television film
Out on the Edge1989Paul EvettsTelevision film
When You Remember Me 1990VaughanTelevision film
Challenger 1990 Gregory Jarvis Television film
Against the Law 1990Wexford2 episodes
Descending Angel 1990DebaudtTelevision film
Doublecrossed 1991Jim DonaldsonTelevision film
Crossroads 1992Jim MundyEpisode: "Pilot"
Alex Haley's Queen 1993Mr. Benson2 episodes
And the Band Played On 1993Dr. Marc ConantTelevision film
The Boys Next Door 1996Bob KlemperTelevision film
Into Thin Air: Death on Everest 1997 Beck Weathers Television film
Ally McBeal 2001Mr. BoEpisode: "Mr. Bo"
Six Feet Under 2001–2005Nathaniel Fisher21 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Sins of the Father 2002 Bobby Frank Cherry Television film
Olive Kitteridge 2014Henry Kitteridge4 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Berlin Station 2016–2019Steven Frost24 episodes
Comrade Detective 2017Vlad Anghel (voice)Episode: "No Exit"

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