J. K. Simmons is a character actor who was born on January 9, 1955 in Detroit, Michigan. The son of a college professor and an administrator, he also has a brother named David who is a songwriter and singer. Simmons would later go on to pursue higher learning at the University of Montana, where he also joined and became a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. He began acting and singing onstage in Broadway, performing in productions such as Carousel and Guys and Dolls. Simmons would then become involved in television and film productions, appearing on the big screen in the blockbuster Spider-Man movie series, The Cider House Rules, and Autumn in New York.
Vernon Schillinger is portrayed by J.K. Simmons in the HBO prison drama television series Oz. He is the leader of the Aryan Brotherhood, and a dedicated racist. Schillinger wound up in prison for the crime of aggravated assault, after he attacked an African-American drug dealer who was peddling illegal substances to Schillinger’s sons. He is one of the prime villains throughout the series, as evidenced by his fondness for sexual sadism. Schillinger rapes Tobias Beecher as a cruel form of initiation, even though the racist himself also hates homosexuals.
(Photo courtesy of HBO)