Stephen Lang

Last updated
Stephen Lang
Stephen Lang 2014.jpg
Lang in February 2014
Born (1952-07-11) July 11, 1952 (age 66)
Education George School
Alma mater Swarthmore College
OccupationActor, playwright
Years active1981–present
Kristina Watson(m. 1980)
Parent(s) Eugene Lang
Theresa Volmer
Relatives Jane Lang (sister)

Stephen Lang (born July 11, 1952) is an American screen and stage actor, and playwright. He is known for roles in films including Manhunter (1986), Gettysburg (1993), Gods and Generals (2003), Public Enemies (2009) and Don't Breathe (2016). He received a Tony Award nomination for his role in the 1992 Broadway production of The Speed of Darkness and won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in James Cameron's Avatar (2009). From 2004 to 2006, he was co-artistic director of the Actors Studio.

<i>Manhunter</i> (film) 1986 film by Michael Mann

Manhunter is a 1986 American psychological crime horror thriller film based on the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. Written and directed by Michael Mann, it stars William Petersen as FBI profiler Will Graham. Also featured are Tom Noonan as serial killer Francis Dollarhyde, Dennis Farina as Graham's FBI superior Jack Crawford, and Brian Cox as incarcerated killer Hannibal Lecktor. The film focuses on Graham coming out of retirement to lend his talents to an investigation on Dollarhyde, a killer known as the "Tooth Fairy". In doing so, he must confront the demons of his past and meet with Lecktor, who nearly counted Graham amongst his victims.

<i>Gettysburg</i> (1993 film) 1993 film by Ronald F. Maxwell

Gettysburg is a 1993 American epic war film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the historical novel The Killer Angels (1974) by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War (1861–1865).

<i>Gods and Generals</i> (film) 2003 film by Ronald F. Maxwell

Gods and Generals is a 2003 American period war drama film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell. It is an adaptation of the 1996 novel of the same name by Jeffrey Shaara and prequel to Maxwell's 1993 film Gettysburg. The film stars Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson, Jeff Daniels as Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and Robert Duvall as General Robert E. Lee.


Personal life

Lang was born in New York City, the youngest child of Theresa (née Volmar, d. 2008) and Eugene Lang (1919–2017), a prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist. [1] Lang's mother was a Catholic of German and Irish descent, while his father was Jewish. Lang's paternal grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Hungary and Russia. [2] [3] He has two elder siblings—Jane, an attorney and activist, and David, who served as an executive at REFAC, the company their father founded in 1952. [2] Lang's father donated much of his net worth (in excess of $150 million) to charity and did not leave an inheritance to his children, believing they each needed to learn to become self-sufficient. [4]

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Eugene Michael Lang was an American philanthropist who founded REFAC Technology Development Corporation in 1951. REFAC held patents relating to LCDs, ATMs, credit card verification systems, bar code scanners, VCRs, cassette players, camcorders, electronic keyboards, and spreadsheets, and filed thousands of lawsuits against other corporations to secure licensing fees or out-of-court settlements, a business practice often criticized as patent trolling. He was also the chairman of the board at Swarthmore College.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Lang attended elementary school in Jamaica Estates, Queens. [5] [6] His middle school was a New York City public school, George Ryan Junior High School, in nearby Fresh Meadows. [7] For high school, he attended George School, a Quaker boarding school in Newtown, PA and graduated from there a year early (1969). He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1973 with a degree in English Literature; on May 30, 2010, Swarthmore awarded him an honorary degree in recognition of his distinguished career in theatre, television, and film. [8] His youngest son, Noah, received his bachelor's degree during the same ceremony. [8] He also holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Jacksonville University and was an artist in residence at Northeastern University in 2011. [9] In the fall of 2015, Lang served as a Jury Member for the Woodstock Film Festival. [10]

Jamaica Estates, Queens neighborhoods in Queens, New York

Jamaica Estates is an upper middle class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. Within Queens Community District 8, Jamaica Estates is served by Queens Community Board 8 and located in the northern portion of Jamaica. It is bounded by Union Turnpike to the north, Hillside Avenue to the south, Utopia Parkway and Homelawn Street to the west, and 188th Street to the east. The main road through the neighborhood is Midland Parkway.

George School is a private Quaker boarding and day high school located on a rural campus near Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded at its present site in 1893, and has grown from a single building to over 20 academic, athletic, and residential buildings. Besides the usual college preparatory courses, including an International Baccalaureate program, the school features several distinct programs deriving from its Quaker heritage. These include community service requirements, an emphasis on social justice and environmental concerns, required arts courses, and community-based decision making.

Swarthmore College liberal arts college in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1864, with its first classes being held in 1869, Swarthmore was one of the earliest coeducational colleges in the United States. It was established to be a college "...under the care of Friends, at which an education may be obtained equal to that of the best institutions of learning in our country." By 1906, Swarthmore had dropped its religious affiliation and became officially non-sectarian.

Lang has been married to Kristina Watson, a costume designer and teacher, since June 1, 1980. They have four children. [1] [2]


Lang (left) with Senator Daniel Inouye in 2005 Stephen Lang and Senator Daniel Inouye (Hawaii).jpg
Lang (left) with Senator Daniel Inouye in 2005

Lang played Harold (Happy) Loman in the 1984 Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman and the 1985 television film with Dustin Hoffman as Willy Loman, and appeared in the first Hannibal Lecter film Manhunter (1986), as reporter Freddy Lounds. [11] He played attorney David Abrams in the television series Crime Story (1986–88). He played the title role in the NBC movie Babe Ruth (1991). He later played the "One Armed Man" in the 2000 revival of The Fugitive starring Tim Daly. The series was a modest success but lasted only one season because of its large production budget.

<i>Death of a Salesman</i> (1985 film) 1985 American TV drama film by Volker Schlöndorff

Death of a Salesman is a 1985 American made-for-television film adaptation of the 1949 play of the same name by Arthur Miller, directed by Volker Schlöndorff, starring Dustin Hoffman, Kate Reid, John Malkovich, Stephen Lang and Charles Durning. The film follows the script of the 1949 play almost exactly and originally premiered on CBS on August 16, 1985.

Dustin Hoffman American actor and director

Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor and director. Hoffman has been called one of the greatest actors of all time. He is known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and emotionally vulnerable characters. He is the recipient of numerous accolades including two Academy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award), four BAFTAs, three Drama Desk Awards and, two Emmy Awards. Hoffman received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1999 and the Kennedy Center Honors Award in 2012.

Willy Loman fictional character from Death of a Salesman

William "Willy" Loman is a fictional character and the protagonist of Arthur Miller's classic play Death of a Salesman, which debuted on Broadway with Lee J. Cobb playing Loman at the Morosco Theatre on February 10, 1949. Loman is a 63-year-old travelling salesman from Brooklyn with 34 years of experience with the same company who endures a pay cut and a firing during the play. He has difficulty dealing with his current state and has created a fantasy world to cope with his situation. This does not keep him from multiple suicide attempts.

In 1992, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his lead role in The Speed of Darkness. His film role in Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) garnered him widespread critical acclaim, but its limited release prevented the film from reaching a wider audience. On stage, he was the first to play the role of Colonel Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men, a role made famous on film (1992) by Jack Nicholson. He is the winner of over half a dozen theatre awards including the Drama Desk and Helen Hayes awards.

Tony Award awards for live Broadway theatre

The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Midtown Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

The Speed of Darkness is a play written by Steve Tesich.

<i>Last Exit to Brooklyn</i> (film) 1989 film by Uli Edel

Last Exit to Brooklyn is a 1989 German-British drama film directed by Uli Edel and adapted by Desmond Nakano from Hubert Selby Jr.'s novel of the same title.

In films, he played Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett in Gettysburg (1993) and the lead role of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in the Gettysburg prequel Gods and Generals (2003), both from director Ronald F. Maxwell. He considers Gods and Generals to be his finest performance. Arguably, his most famous film role, before Avatar, was his portrayal of the villainous Ike Clanton in the successful Western Tombstone (1993) with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.

Shortly before Arthur Miller's death in February 2005, Lang appeared in his long-time friend's last play, titled Finishing the Picture. It premiered in 2004 at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, where Lang had the second run of his own play, Beyond Glory, which had premiered in Arlington, Virginia, early in 2004, and his Tony-nominated portrayal for The Speed of Darkness. Lang also performed Beyond Glory, a one-man show, for troops deployed overseas. [12] In 2006, he played the role of Colonel Littlefield in John Patrick Shanley's play Defiance . He brought Beyond Glory to Roundabout's Off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre in 2007. [13] Since its New York City premiere, Beyond Glory has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award and a Lucille Lortel Award both for outstanding solo performance. [14] [15]

Lang has a role in the ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning , as well as roles in independent features Save Me and From Mexico with Love. He plays a lead role in James Cameron's sci-fi epic Avatar as the villainous Colonel Quaritch. [16]

Lang at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, promoting Terra Nova. Stephen Lang by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Lang at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, promoting Terra Nova.

In 2009, he appeared in Michael Mann's film Public Enemies as FBI Agent Charles Winstead, [17] the man widely considered to have fired the shots that killed John Dillinger [18] [19] and in Grant Heslov's The Men Who Stare at Goats alongside Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor, and George Clooney. [20]

Also in 2009, he narrated the audiobook Road Rage —which combines the short stories "Duel" by Richard Matheson and "Throttle" by Stephen King and Joe Hill—and guest-starred in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent season 8 finale, "Revolution" in the role of Axel Kaspers. In 2010 he performed the narration for "The Gettysburg Story: Battlefield Auto Tour," [21] the top-selling audio tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield at Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Written and produced by filmmaker Jake Boritt and based on works by historian Gabor Boritt it tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg National Cemetery. Lang is also the narrator of the companion public television documentary The Gettysburg Story presented by Maryland Public Television.

Lang played the villain Khalar Zym in the 2011 Conan the Barbarian reboot starring Jason Momoa. [22] He also played one of the leads, Nathaniel Taylor, in the Steven Spielberg-produced [23] TV series Terra Nova . [24]

In February 2012, he signed on to play Mary Shannon's estranged father in a three episode arc on the final season of the USA television series In Plain Sight . [25]

In 2013, Lang appeared in The Monkey's Paw for Chiller TV.

Lang has been confirmed as reprising his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch in the upcoming sequels to Avatar. [26]

He plays Increase Mather, in a recurring role, on WGN America's first original scripted series, Salem . [27]

Lang is part of the cast of AMC's martial-arts drama Into the Badlands , and played The Blind Man in Fede Alvarez's hit horror-thriller Don't Breathe (2016). [28] [29] He will next appear in Braven alongside Jason Momoa and Hostiles from director Scott Cooper. [30] [31]

In February 2016, Lang lobbied for the role Cable in Deadpool 2 through captioned Twitter pictures. [32] The role ultimately went to Josh Brolin.

In March 2017, it was announced that Lang had joined the cast of the film Mortal Engines , which Peter Jackson is producing for Universal Pictures and Media Rights Capital. [33]

In 2018, Lang starred in Hostiles as Colonel Abraham Biggs and is the father of Joe Braven, Linden Braven in the action thriller film Braven .



1985 Twice in a Lifetime Keith
1986 Band of the Hand Joe
1986 Manhunter Freddy Lounds
1987 Project X Watts
1989 Last Exit to Brooklyn Harry Black
1991 The Hard Way Party Crasher
1991 Another You Dibbs
1992 Human Cargo Aramco Contractor
1993 Guilty as Sin Phil Garson
1993 Gettysburg Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett
1993The Making of GettysburgHimself/Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett Video documentary
1993 Tombstone Ike Clanton
1995 Tall Tale Jonas Hackett
1995 The Amazing Panda Adventure Dr. Michael Tyler
1996 Loose Women Prophet Buddy
1996 Gang in Blue Moose Tavola
1996 An Occasional Hell Alex Laughton
1997 Shadow Conspiracy The Agent
1997 Niagara, Niagara Claude
1997 Fire Down Below Earl Kellogg
1999 The Story of a Bad Boy Spygo
2000 Trixie Jacob Slotnick
2001The ProposalSimon Bacig
2002 D-Tox Jack
2002The Making of TombstoneHimself/Ike Clanton
2003 The I Inside Mr. Travitt
2003Code 11-14Justin Shaw
2003 Gods and Generals Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson Movieguide Grace Award for Acting
2003Gods and Generals: Journey to the PastHimself/Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
2006 The Treatment Coach Galgano
2007 Save Me Ted
2008 From Mexico with Love Big Al Stevens
2009 Public Enemies Charles Winstead
2009 The Men Who Stare at Goats General Hopgood
2009 Avatar Colonel Miles Quaritch Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
Nominated — Teen Choice award for Choice Movie Fight (with Sam Worthington)
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (with Sam Worthington)
Nominated — Scream Award for Best Villain
2010ChristinaInspector Edgar Reinhardt
2010False Creek StoriesNarrator
2010 White Irish Drinkers Patrick
2011 Conan the Barbarian Khalar Zym
2011 Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You Barry Rogers
2013 Officer Down Lieutenant Jake LaRussa
2013 Pawn Charlie
2013The Gettysburg StoryHimself/NarratorDocumentary
2013 Pioneer Ferris
2013 The Monkey's Paw Tony Cobb
2013 The Girl on the Train Det. Lloyd Martin
2014 The Nut Job King (voice)
2014 In the Blood Casey
2014 Jarhead 2: Field of Fire Major James Gavins
2014 A Good Marriage Holt Ramsey
2014 Gutshot Straight Duffy
2014 23 Blast Coach Farris
2015 Exeter Father Conway
2015 Band of Robbers Injun Joe
2015 Gridlocked Korver
2015Beyond Glory: Tour of DutyHimselfDocumentary
2016 Don't Breathe The Blind Man Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor [34]
2016 Beyond Valkyrie: Dawn of the 4th Reich Major General Emil F. Reinhardt
2017 Hostiles Colonel Abraham Biggs
2018 Braven Linden BravenSupporting role
2018 Mortal Engines Shrike
2018 The Gandhi Murder Deputy Inspector General Sunil Raina
2021 Avatar 2 Colonel Miles Quaritch [35] Filming
2023 Avatar 3 Colonel Miles Quaritch [35] Filming


1985 Death of a Salesman HappyTV movie
1986–1988 Crime Story Attorney David Abrams26 episodes
1989 The Equalizer Joseph MorrisonEpisode: "Lullaby of Darkness"
1991 Babe Ruth Babe Ruth TV movie
1992 Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story Steven ZiegenmeyerTV movie
1994 Baseball Various voicesDocumentary miniseries by Ken Burns
1995 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Criminal Gun ShooterEpisode: "Bullets Over Bel-Air"
1996The WestVarious voicesDocumentary miniseries by Ken Burns
1997 The Outer Limits Dr. James HoughtonEpisode: "New Lease"
1997 Liberty! The American Revolution George Washington (voice)6 episodes
1998 Escape: Human Cargo Dennis McNattTV movie produced by Showtime.
2000 Running Mates Ron Noble (Financier)Uncredited; TV movie shown on the TNT Network.
2000–2001 The Fugitive Ben Charnquist5 episodes
2002 Ed Jack FosterEpisode: "Wheel of Justice"
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Michael BaxterEpisode: "Escape"
2005 Jonny Zero Officer TannerEpisode: "To Serve and to Protect"
2005 Law & Order Terry DornEpisode: "New York Minute"
2007 The Bronx Is Burning Inspector Dowd3 episodes
2008Medal of HonorNarrator PBS documentary
2009 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Axel KaspersEpisode: "Revolution"
2009 Psych Mr. SalamatchlaEpisode: "Shawn Gets the Yips"
2011 Terra Nova Commander Nathaniel Taylor13 episodes Lead Role
2012 In Plain Sight James Wiley Shannon3 episodes
2014–2015 Salem Increase Mather 10 episodes
2015To Appomattox John Brown Upcoming series
2015–2019 Into the Badlands Waldo10 episodes
2019 The Rookie Chief WilliamsEpisode: "The Checklist"


2018 Uncharted Live Action Fan Film Victor "Sully" SullivanFan Film

Video games

2013 Call of Duty: Ghosts Elias Walker [36]

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Preceded by
Estelle Parsons
Vacant (2003–2004)
Artistic Director of the Actors Studio
With: Carlin Glynn
and Lee Grant
Succeeded by
Carlin Glynn
Lee Grant