Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Starting out on stage, Emmy Award nominated actor Aidan Quinn first attracted attention in the comedy “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985). It was also in 1985 that he earned his first Emmy nomination thanks to his starring role in the NBC television movie “An Early Frost.” Quinn received his next Emmy nomination over two decades later for his work in the HBO movie “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” (2007). The actor has also appeared in the movies “The Mission” (1986), “Stakeout” (1987), “Crusoe” (1988), “Avalon” (1990), “The Playboys” (1992), “Benny and Joon” (1993), “Frankenstein” (1994), “Legends of the Fall” (1994), “Michael Collins” (1996), “Looking for Richard” (1996), “Practical Magic” (1998, earned a Blockbuster Entertainment nomination), “This Is My Father” (1998, nabbed an IFTA nomination), “Music of the Heart” (1999), “In Dreams” (1999), “Songcatcher” (2000, won a Sundance Film Festival Award), “Song for a Raggy Boy” (2002, netted an IFTA nomination), Cavedweller” (2004, netted an Independent Spirit nomination), “Return to Sender” (2004, received an IFTA nomination) and “Nine Lives” (2005, earned a Gotham nomination), among others. He also starred in a series of TV films, including “Lies of the Twins” (1991), “Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone” (1997), “Two of Us” (2000) and “Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor” (2003), and had a recurring role in “Third Watch” (2004-2005, as John Miller) and a regular role in the short lived drama “The Book of Daniel” (NBC, 2006). Recent and upcoming film credits include “Dark Matter” (2007), “Wild Child” (2008), “A Shine of Rainbows” (2009), “The Eclipse” (2009), “Handsome Harry” (2009), “The 5th Quarter” (2009) and “Flipped” (2010). Quinn also played Matt Furey in the TV series “Canterbury's Law” (Fox, 2008).
“I'm not a city kind of guy. I'm happiest when I'm tromping through the woods. That's why I don't live in Los Angeles. Being physically away from Hollywood probably loses me a few jobs, but the best ones seek me out.” Aidan Quinn
Quinn is married to actress Elizabeth Bracco and has two daughters with her.
Childhood and Family:
Aidan T. Quinn was born on March 8, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois, to Irish immigrants. His father, Michael Quinn, was a professor of literature and his mother, Teresa, was a housewife. When Aidan was a toddler his family moved to his parents' hometown of Birr in Ireland, but they later returned to Illinois. The Quinns returned to Birr when Aidan was 13 years old. For education purposes, he moved to Dublin but left a year later to return to Chicago. Aidan later moved back to Dublin and tried his hand at acting, but found little success and at age 19, returned to Chicago to pursue his career.
Aidan graduated from Rockford West High School in Rockford, Illinois. He holds a BFA in acting from the renowned DePaul University (formerly the Goodman Theater).
Aidan has three brothers and one sister. His older brother, Declan Quinn (born in 1957), is a cinematographer and younger brother Paul Quinn (born in 1960) is a director, actor and producer. His only sister, Marian Quinn (born on June 6, 1964), is also an actress. Another younger brother, James Quinn, is a landscaper in Los Angeles.
Aidan has been married to actress Elizabeth Bracco (born in 1959), the sister of actress Lorraine Bracco, since September 1, 1987. They met in a restaurant in 1984 and later acted together in 1987's “Stakeout.” Aidan is the father of two girls, Ava Quinn (born in 1989) and Mia Quinn (born in 1998).
Desperately Seeking Susan
Aidan Quinn made his professional stage debut in the Chicago production of “The Man in 605.” A former roofer, he relocated to New York to further launch his career and in 1983 hit off-Broadway in a production of Sam Shepard's “Fool for Love.” Subsequently, he broke onto the big screen with the lead role of a rebellious star football player, who falls in love with an upper class cheerleader (played by Daryl Hannah), in the romance “Reckless” (1984), directed by James Foley and written by Chris Columbus. The film was not a success but Quinn rebounded the following year with his role in the Susan Seidelman directed “Desperately Seeking Susan,” opposite Rosanna Arquette and Madonna. He gained additional attention on television when his acclaimed portrayal of Michael Pierson, a gay attorney with AIDS, in the TV movie “An Early Frost” (NBC, 1985) won an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special.
Throughout the 1980s, Quinn gave good acting performances in such films as Roland Joffé's Academy Award winning drama “The Mission” (1986, as Robert De Niro's brother), John Badham's “Stakeout” (1987, as the homicidal boyfriend of Madeleine Stowe) and “Crusoe” (1988, played the title role). In 1986, he returned to stage as the director of John Turturro's “A Worker's Life” at New York City's Ensemble Studio Theatre. The play marked his debut as a director. The same year, he also starred as Chris Keller in the PBS American Playhouse production of Arthur Miller's “All My Sons.” Quinn then enjoyed a modest victory on stage with his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1988), where he picked up a Theatre World Award for his role.
Quinn next costarred with Diane Keaton and Carol Kane in the forgettable “The Lemon Sisters” (1990), with Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall and Elizabeth McGovern in Volker Schlöndorff's “The Handmaid's Tale” (1990), based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, with Kevin Pollak, Elizabeth Perkins and Elijah Wood in Barry Levinson's autobiographical “Avalon” (1990), and Tom Berrenger in Hector Babenco's “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” (1991). He was next cast as identical twins James and Jonathan McEwan in the made-for-TV film “Lies of the Twins” (USA Network, 1991), played a loving Irish musician named Tom Casey in Gillies MacKinnon's “The Playboys” (1992, opposite Robin Wright Penn and Albert Finney), starred as the brother of a mentally ill young woman (played by Mary Stuart Masterson) in Jeremiah S. Chechik's “Benny and Joon” (1993), was reunited with Robert De Niro and Madeleine Stowe for “Frankenstein” (1994), a horror film directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, and appeared in “Blink” (1994). He was also seen with Brad Pitt and Henry Thomas as the sons of Anthony Hopkins in Edward Zwick's film adaptation of Jim Harrison's novella, “Legends of the Fall” (1994).
From 1995 to 1999, Quinn was reunited with Duvall in the Clint Eastwood produced drama “The Stars Fell on Henrietta” (1995, directed by James Keach), portrayed an ambitious IRA terrorist, Harry Boland, in Neil Jordan's biopic “Michael Collins” (1996, starred Liam Neeson), appeared in the Al Pacino directed “Looking for Richard” (1996), had the dual role of Lieutenant Commander Annibal Ramirez and Carlos the Jackal in the Canadian thriller “The Assignment” (1997, opposite Donald Sutherland and Ben Kingsley) and starred as Henry Morton Stanley in the Emmy nominated television movie “Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone” (ABC, 1997). In 1998, Quinn was cast as investigator Gary Hallet in the Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman starring vehicle “Practical Magic,” where he was nominated for a 1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor - Comedy/Romance for his role. Still in 1998, Quinn portrayed Kieran O'Dea in the Irish drama “This Is My Father,” which was written and directed by his brother Paul and featured cinematography by his brother Declan. The film, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in June 1998 and received a theatrical release in the U.S. on May 7, 1999, won an Audience Award at the 1998 Atlantic Film Festival and a Special Recognition from the National Board of Review in 1999. Quinn earned an IFTA (Irish Film and Television Award) nomination for Best Actor in a Male Role. Back to mainstream Hollywood, Quinn portrayed the love interest of Meryl Streep in Wes Craven's drama “Music of the Heart” and the husband of Annette Bening in Neil Jordan's psychological thriller “In Dreams,” which was adapted from the novel “Doll's Eyes” by Bari Wood (both 1999).
Quinn starred as Miles Hendon, opposite Alan Bates as King Henry VIII, in the television film version of Mark Twain's “The Prince and the Pauper” (The Hallmark Channel, 2000), and Paul McCartney, opposite Jared Harris as John Lennon, in the VH1 television drama “Two of Us” (also 2000). Following a performance in Maggie Greenwald's acclaimed drama “Songcatcher” (2000), where Quinn jointly received a Special Jury Prize in Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival for outstanding ensemble performance, he costarred with Bonnie Hunt and Kevin Pollak in “Stolen Summer” (2002). He then starred as General Benedict Arnold in the A&E television movie “Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor” (2003), acted with his sister Marian in Bruce Beresford's drama “Evelyn” (2002) and portrayed William Franklin in the applauded Irish drama “Song for a Raggy Boy” (2002), where he was nominated for an IFTA Award for Best Actor in a Film for his performance. He next appeared in the unsuccessful biopic “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius” (2004), which starred James Caviezel as the golf legend, the Lisa Cholodenko directed drama “Cavedweller” (2004), in which he took home an Independent Spirit nomination for his scene stealing role of Clint Windsor, and the Lifetime television movie “Miracle Run” (2004, with Mary-Louise Parker). He also appeared in the thriller movie “Shadow of Fear” (2004, opposite Matthew Davis and James Spader) and “Return to Sender” (2004), where Quinn picked up an IFTA nomination in the category of Best Actor in a Feature Film for his role of Frank Nitzche.
From 2004 to 2005, Quinn portrayed the reoccurring role of John Miller, a tough police lieutenant, in five episodes of ABC's “Third Watch.” He then joined Sissy Spacek, Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Kathy Baker, Amanda Seyfried, Amy Brenneman and Robin Wright-Penn in the film “Nine Lives” (2005), where he received a Gotham nomination for Best Ensemble Cast for his work. The same year, he also teamed up with Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Paul Newman, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright Penn in the drama “Empire Falls,” the HBO miniseries adaptation of Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name that was directed by Fred Schepisi. The next year, he landed a TV series regular role in NBC’s “The Book of Daniel,” but the show only had a short life. Quinn quickly rebounded with his Emmy nominated supporting portrayal of Henry Dawes in the television movie “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” (HBO, 2007), which was directed by Yves Simoneau. The role brought him a Satellite nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television. Quinn then made a guest appearance in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2007).
In 2007, Quinn appeared in the murder drama film “Dark Matter,” which reunited him with Meryl Streep, was directed by sister Marian in “32A “ (2007) and had a role in the television movie “The Prince of Motor City” (2008). He next supported Emma Roberts in Nick Moore's “Wild Child” (2008) and returned to series TV as a recurring cast member of the short lived Fox legal drama “Canterbury's Law” (2008), where he played Matt Furey.
Recently, in 2009, Quinn costarred with Connie Nielsen in the Irish drama “A Shine of Rainbows” for director Vic Sarin, portrayed Nicholas Holden in another Irish drama, “The Eclipse,” and worked with Jamey Sheridan, Steve Buscemi, John Savage and Campbell Scott in “Handsome Harry.” He will play roles in “The 5th Quarter” (2009), with Andie MacDowell, and “Flipped” (2010), which is being directed by Rob Reiner.
“You should learn to be happy with what you have. Besides, the fact that I'm not a huge star has allowed me to pick and choose the roles I want to do, not the ones some person sitting in a studio office thinks I should do.” Aidan Quinn
Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Prize, Dramatic, “Songcatcher,” 2000
Theatre World: “A Streetcar Named Desire,” 1988