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Terrance O’Quinn was born on July 15, 1952 in Newberry, Michigan. He was a student at both Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. He played several percussion instruments when he was in high school and as an actor, changed his surname from “Quinn” to “O’Quinn” in order to differentiate himself from another actor, whose name is Terry Quinn.
He has had an extensive acting career, having appeared in numerous television show and movies. He started acting professionally in the ‘70s, appearing in big projects like Tombstone, Heaven’s Gate, The Rocketeer and The Stepfather. He started out on the small screen with guest appearances on Miami Vice, Moonlighting, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The New Twilight Zone. As the years progressed, O’Quinn began appearing in more contemporary television series, such as The X-Files
, Millenium, Harsh Realm, Alias
and The West Wing
. His additional acting credits include Old School, American Outlaws, The X-Files: Fight the Future, Prisoners of the Sun, The Silver Bullet, Places in the Heart, All the Right Moves, The Cutting Edge, Diagnosis Murder and Primal Fear.
His portrayal of John Locke on the hit television series, Lost, has made him even more popular among the viewing public. The role also garnered O’Quinn an Emmy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama in 2005, and, in the same year, a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television. His other recognitions include Saturn Award and Independent Spirit Award nominations for his work on the film The Stepfather.
Before O’Quinn started working on the show, he and his wife, Lori were living in Finkburg, Maryland. However, when the show came out, they decided to relocate to Hawaii, where the show is filmed and where they get to be neighbors with the other cast members. O’Quinn and Lori have two sons, Oliver and Hunter, both of whom are living on the West Coast.