Born on February 19, 1955, Jeff Daniels is an American actor, musician and playwright. He was born in Athens, Georgia but was raised in Michigan, where he attended the Central Michigan University and became part of their theatre program. He dropped out during his junior year and moved to New York City, performing in The Shortchanged Review at the Second Stage Theatre in 1979.
Jeff Daniels has starred in numerous Broadway productions including Landon Wilson’s Redwood Curtain and A.R. Gurney’s The Golden Age. He was also in Fifth of July, which won him a Drama Desk Award for Best Supporting Actor. He has also received an Obie Award for being in the Circle Repertory Company production of Johnny Got His Gun and a Drama Desk nomination for his performance in Lemon Sky. He also founded the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Michigan in 1991.
His first television appearance was on an episode of Hawaii Five-O, which was followed by a minor role in the 1980 TV movie A Rumor of War. He was then cast in other movies like An Invasion of Privacy and The Caine Mutiny Court Martial during the 1980s. Jeff Daniels is best remembered for his role as Flap Horton in Terms of Endearment as well as his performance in The Purple Rose of Cairo. The 1985 Woody Allen film is where he got the name for his theatre company. He is also noted for playing Dr. Ross Jennings in the 1990 sci-fi thriller Arachnophobia and portrayed the character Roger in 101 Dalmatians. In 1994, he played alongside Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber and was also in Gettysburg. Jeff Daniels has also been recognized as Bernard Berkman in 2005’s drama comedy The Squid and the Whale, where he starred with Anna Paquin. This was followed by a role as the preacher in Because of Winn-Dixie, and a supporting role in the 2006 comedy RV, with Robin Williams.