First noticed as gunslinger Dirty Steve Stephens in the Brat Pack western Young Guns (1988), strapping, strikingly handsome actor Dermot Mulroney later gained broader attention while playing the male lead who is torn between Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz in the successful romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding (1997). He recently co-starred with Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson and Sarah Jessica Parker in the ensemble film The Family Stone, and with Diane Lane and John Cusack in the mediocre romantic comedy Must Love Dogs (both in 2005). His upcoming film projects include Georgia Rule, Zodiac, Gracie, and Jolene.
The 5' 9½ tall actor with squeaky-clean Irish good looks married actress Catherine Keener in 1990. The couple who they have one son together separated in September 2005.
Childhood and Family:
On October 13, 1963, Dermot Mulroney was born in Alexandria, Virginia. His father, Michael Mulroney, a law professor at Villanova University School of Law (teaching Taxation courses and running the Graduate Tax program, as well as teaching Professional Responsibility), is originally from Elkader, Iowa; and his mother, Ellen Mulroney, is originally from Manchester, Iowa. Dermot, of predominantly Irish ancestry, has three brothers: Sean Mulroney (older; co-owns Chicago's popular music club “The Double Door” with Dermot), Conor Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney (born in 1965; acted with Dermot in the 1991 film Career Opportunities). He also has an older sister, Maura Mulroney, who works as an assistant district attorney in the Philadelphia DA's office.
Dermot went to Maury Elementary School and then to George Washington Junior High School, both in Alexandria, Virginia. He played the cello in school and city youth orchestras and acted in children's community theater. After graduating from T C Williams High School, Alexandria, Virginia, in 1981, Dermot attended the School of Speech at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. In 1985, he graduated with BFA in film, theater and music.
While filming Survival Quest in 1987, Dermot met actress Catherine Keener (born March 26, 1960). They married in 1990 and have one son together, Clyde Mulroney (born June 1999). The couple separated in September 2005.
My Best Friend's Wedding
Since his early years, Dermot Mulroney has played the cello in school and city youth orchestras. He also acted in children's community theater and made his high school stage debut at George Washington High School in a play called "Are Teachers Human?"
Graduating from Northwestern University in 1985, Mulroney began acting in several TV movies. In his very first roles, he twice played a young man caught up in problematic teen romances: as a young man who fell in love with his new stepsister in CBS movie Sin of Innocence (1986), and as a high-schooler unprepared to become a father in ABC’s Daddy (1987; co-starred with Patricia Arquette). In between, he also delivered an emotionally-charged starring performance as a drug-addicted high school student in a CBS special inspired by David Toma's work as an anti-drug crusader, The Drug Knot.
In 1988, Mulroney stepped in the big screen with a bit part as the son of baddie Malcolm McDowell in Blake Edwards' western film Sunset (also starring Bruce Willis and James Garner). That same year, he landed a major role in the Brat Pack western Young Guns, portraying Dirty Steve Stephens, one of the titular group of Old West gunslingers alongside Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips and Charlie Sheen.
Following the success of Young Guns, Mulroney went to co-star with Campbell Scott, Bruce Davison and Mary-Louise Parker in Longtime Companion (1990), the first film to put a human face on the AIDS epidemic. In the Norman René-directed film, scripted by Craig Lucas from his play, Mulroney portrayed John, a young man who becomes the earliest casualty of the deadly disease and dies shortly after his admission to the hospital. Afterward, he joined Frank Whaley and Jennifer Connelly in Bryan Gordon's romantic comedy Career Opportunities (1991) and portrayed King, the leader of a gang of runaway teenagers trying to survive on Hollywood Boulevard, in Marc Rocco's urban drama Where the Day Takes You (1992; with Lara Flynn Boyle and Sean Astin), which earned him Best Actor award at Seattle International Film Festival.
The next year saw Mulroney as the clueless boyfriend of punk female murderer Bridget Fonda in Point of No Return, John Badham's remake of Luc Besson's 1990 film Nikita, and as a Connecticut-born aspiring country music singer trying to make it in Nashville in Peter Bogdanovich's The Thing Called Love, opposite River Phoenix and Samantha Mathis. Afterward, along with The Last Outlaw (1993; HBO) co-star Steve Buscemi, Mulroney starred as cinematographer to Buscemi's harried filmmaker in writer-director Tom DiCillo's 17-minute comedy film, Scene Six, Take One (1994; also starring Catherine Keener).
Mulroney next appeared in Jonathan Kaplan's western film set during the Civil War, Bad Girls (1994; starring Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson, Andie MacDowell and Drew Barrymore) and portrayed Holly Hunter's detective partner tracking a serial killer in Jon Amiel's suspense-thriller Copycat (1995; also starring Sigourney Weaver). He also became Winona Ryder's fiancé in Jocelyn Moorhouse's chick flick based on the novel by Whitney Otto, How to Make an American Quilt (1995; also starring Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn and Kate Capshaw).
Mulroney reunited with director Tom Di Cillo twice: in his acclaimed darkly comic, low-budget independent film Living in Oblivion (1995; again with Steve Buscemi and Catherine Keener) and his edgy, nervy comedy Box of Moonlight (1996; with John Turturro, Sam Rockwell and Catherine Keener). Meanwhile, he joined Elisabeth Shue and Kyle MacLachlan in David Koepp's adaptation of James Burke's TV series "Connections," the drama thriller The Trigger Effect, played Jennifer Jason Leigh's small-time gangster husband in Robert Altman's jazz-scored film Kansas City, and once again portrayed Leigh's husband (this time the sweet-tempered husband) in Anjelica Huston's drama film based on the first novel published by author Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina (also starring Jena Malone; all three in 1996).
The subsequent year, Mulroney enjoyed his highest profile yet when he was torn between his long-time female friend (Julia Roberts) and his perky fiancée (Cameron Diaz) in P. J. Hogan's successful romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding (also with Rupert Everett). He was paired again with Patricia Arquette, playing her husband, in Roland Joffé's hopelessly labyrinthine neo noir Goodbye Lover (1998; also with Don Johnson) before playing Linda Fiorentino's husband in Marek Kanievska's caper movie Where the Money Is (2000; also starring Paul Newman).
After making his first collaboration with writer-director Alan Rudolph as Dex, the raffish ladies' man, in the drama comedy Trixie (2000; alongside Emily Watson and Nick Nolte), Mulroney quickly reteamed with Rudolph and Nolte in another drama comedy, Investigating Sex (2001), based on the book “Recherches sur la sexualite archives du surealisme” by Jose Pierre. He then worked with his wife Keener in writer-director Nicole Holofcener's indie hit Lovely & Amazing (2001).
Mulroney’s next role, Randall, the charm less waterbed salesman who becomes Jack Nicholson's prospective son-in-law in Alexander Payne's drama comedy based on the 1996 novel by Louis Begley, About Schmidt (2002; also with Hope Davis), helped him raised his profile. He subsequently appeared on TV, on several 2003 episodes of the NBC’s wildly popular sitcom “Friends,” playing Gavin Mitchell, who dated Rachel for one episode but later split as it became too complicated between them because of Ross.
In 2004, Mulroney returned to the big screen in the low-profile Southern Gothic drama by young filmmaker David Gordon Green, Undertow, playing Jamie Bell's father and Josh Lucas' brother. He followed it up with a starring role as a debonair male escort hired by Debra Messing to pose as her boyfriend in the romantic comedy based on Elizabeth Young's book, The Wedding Date, and a supporting role in Gary David Goldberg's take on Claire Cook's novel, the mediocre romantic comedy Must Love Dogs (starring Diane Lane and John Cusack; both in 2005). That same year, he also had a meatier turn as the overachieving eldest son of a bohemian family who brings his control-freak girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker) home to meet the family, in writer-director Thomas Bezucha's romantic drama comedy The Family Stone.
Recently, Mulroney lent his voice to the title character of the lost young man in Dante's Inferno and shared the title role with Amanda Peet in Ed Stone's poignantly funny love story Griffin and Phoenix. In the near future, movie goers will catch him in David Fincher's crime drama thriller based on Robert Graysmith's two books about the Zodiac Killer, Zodiac (starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr.), Garry Marshall's drama Georgia Rule (with Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda and Cary Elwes) and Davis Guggenheim's soccer drama set in 1978, Gracie (alongside Carly Schroeder, Elisabeth Shue and Andrew Shue). He is currently filming Dan Ireland's drama based on E.L. Doctorow's story, Jolene (starring Jessica Chastain).
- Seattle International Film Festival: Golden Space Needle Award - Best Actor, Where the Day Takes You, 1992