“I always play these rodent type characters, skittish and hyper like a chipmunk. It's a complete act though. I'm a very normal person.” Ethan Embry
A former child actor who has made the switch to adult roles, Ethan Embry first gained recognition with the offbeat role of Mark in the movie “Empire Records” (1995), opposite Liv Tyler and Renée Zellweger. He continued to deliver noteworthy performances in movies like Riddle Scott's “White Squall” (1996), Tom Hanks' “That Thing You Do” (1996), “Vegas Vacation” (1997, with Chevy Chase), Tim McCanlies' “Dancer, Texas Pop. 81” (1998), Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan's “Can't Hardly Wait” (1998), Andy Tennant's “Sweet Home Alabama” (2002), Richard Donner's “Timeline” (2003) and D.J. Caruso's “Eagle Eye” (2008). Beginning his film career at age 13, Embry won a Young Artist Award for his starring role of Doyle Standish in the John Hughes drama “Dutch” (1991) and earned an additional Young Artist nomination for his work in “All I Want for Christmas” (also 1991). On the small screen, Embry is perhaps best known for playing Adam Barnes in the short lived series “FreakyLinks” (Fox, 2000-2001), Detective Frank Smith in “Dragnet” (2003) and Declan Giggs in the dramatic series “Brotherhood” (Showtime, 2006-2008). He has also guest starred in many TV series, including “Murder, She Wrote,“ “The Twilight Zone,” “Numb3rs,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “House M.D.”
Embry has been married twice and shares one son with his first wife, actress Amelinda Smith. He was once engaged to actress Katharine Towne. Embry can speak Italian and his interests include skating, surfing and photography. He cites “Star Wars,” “Scream,” “Dazed and Confused,” “True Romance,” “Midnight Express” and “Watership Down” as his favorite movies.
Childhood and Family:
Born Ethan Philian Randall on June 13, 1978, in Huntington Beach, California, Ethan Embry is the son of Chuck and Karen Randall. He has an older brother named Aaron (born on November 11, 1975), who is a recording artist, and a younger sister named Kessia (born on April 28, 1982), who is also an actress. Ethan was home schooled and knew he wanted to act at a very young age. He emerged as a competitive gymnast when young and by age 10, placed six in a California gymnastic tournament. Armed with his gymnastics background, Ethan would later prefer doing his own stunts in films. An active youngster, Ethan also tried dancing and singing. He and his brother play in a band called Southern Comfort Colonic where he plays the piano, guitar and bass.
On November 14, 1998, Ethan married actress Amelinda Smith, but they divorced in 2002. The marriage produced a son they named Cogeian Sky Embry (born on December 10, 1999). He married his present wife, actress Sunny Mabrey (born on November 28, 1975), on July 17, 2005.
Ethan Embry began acting in local theater productions and was notable for a performance in “Pinocchio.” He was so good that he immediately appeared in a number of television and radio commercials and secured theater work with the Pasadena Playhouse.
With over 100 commercial gigs in his pocket and first billed as Ethan Randall, Embry launched his film career in 1991 when he got a small role in Albert Brooks' comedy “Defending Your Life.” Later that same year, he was cast as Doyle Standish in the film “Dutch,” which was directed by Peter Faiman and written by John Hughes. Starring opposite Ed O'Neill, he stood on his own and was handed a 1992 Young Artist for Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture. Still in 1991, he also starred in the family film “All I Want for Christmas,” opposite Thora Birch, and made his TV movie debut playing Cosmo in “Bad Attitudes” (Fox Network), opposite Carlease Burke and Eugene Byrd. He was nominated for a 1993 Young Artist Award in the category of Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture for “All I Want for Christmas.”
In 1992, the multi talented teen had his first taste of producing when he served as a producer on the short film “A Dog and His Boy,” which was written and directed by Kevin McDermott. He also earned assistant director credit for the short. Back to acting, Embry costarred with Reese Witherspoon in the teen adventure film “A Far Off Place,” adapted from the books “A Far Off Place” and “A Story Like the Wind” by Laurens van der Post, played Bobby in director Robin P. Murray's “Season of Change” (1994) and was cast as a computer whiz named Kyle Baxter in the science fiction movie “Evolver” (1995), which was written and directed by Mark Rosman. It was also in 1995 that he took the quirky role of Mark in the teen comedy “Empire Records.” Directed by Allan Moyle, the film received negative reviews from critics and performed poorly at the box office. Costars of the film included Anthony LaPaglia, Maxwell Caulfield, Debi Mazar, Johnny Whitworth, Liv Tyler, Renée Zellweger, Rory Cochrane and Robin Tunney. Meanwhile, on the small screen, Embry played Randy in the short lived series “Harts of the West” (2 episodes, 1993-1994) and appeared in the “Murder, She Wrote” episodes “The Trouble with Seth” (1994, as Jimmy Taylor) and “School for Murder” (1995, as Mike Seresino).
In 1996, Embry portrayed Tracy Lapchick in Riddle Scott's “White Squall,” in which he did his own stunts, and appeared in “That Thing You Do,” which was written and directed by Tom Hanks. Embry went on to give a memorable turn as the teenage son of Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo in the comedy “Vegas Vacation” (1997), had a feature role in the action film “Montana” (1998, starred Kyra Sedgwick and Stanley Tucci), supported Clea DuVall and Gabriel Mann in the comedy “How to Make the Cruelest Month” (1998), acted in the direct to video sequel “The Prophecy II” (1998, starred Christopher Walken) and costarred with Breckin Meyer, Peter Facinelli and Eddie Mills in the comedy film “Dancer, Texas Pop. 81” (written and helmed by Tim McCanlies). Also in 1998, Embry acted in the movies “Can’t Hardly Wait” (opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jerry O’Connell) and “Disturbing Behavior” (with James Marsden, Katie Holmes, Tobias Mehler and Nick Stahl). He also provided the voice of Melampus in the “Hercules” episode “Hercules and the Comedy of Arrows.”
After voicing Ned Fervel in an episode of “The Wild Thornberrys” (1999), Embry costarred in the CBS short lived sitcom “Work with Me” (1999), playing Sebastian. He then landed a reoccurring role on the Fox science fiction series “FreakyLinks,” but the show only lasted from October 2000 to June 2001. In between the shows, Embry guest starred in “Get Real” (2000), did voiceover work in “Batman Beyond” (2 episodes, 1999-2000) and “The Zeta Project” (1 episode, 2001), was featured in the Jerry Stiller comedy “The Independent” (2000) and appeared in an unsold TV series pilot titled “Silicon Follies” (2001).
Following the demise of “FreakyLinks,” Embry costarred with Charlotte Ayanna in the dramatic film “Rennie's Landing” (2001, directed by Marc Fusco), was cast with Jonathan Tucker, Jennifer Tilly, Dan Moran and David Strathairn in “Ball in the House” (2001), supported Laura Regan and Marc Blucas in Robert Harmon's horror movie “They” (2002) and was reunited with Reese Witherspoon for Andy Tennant's commercially successful comedy “Sweet Home Alabama” (2002), in which he portrayed Witherspoon's friend Bobby Ray. He then became involved with the independent film “Manfast” (2003), which was written and directed by Tara Judelle, and returned to television as a guest in an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” In 2003, he was reunited with “Dutch” costar Ed O'Neill to star in Dick Wolf's remake of the classic series “Dragnet,” where he played O'Neill's partner Detective Frank Smith. Also in 2003, he provided the voice of Max Dillon in “Spider-Man” (3 episodes) and had the supporting role of Josh Stern in Richard Donner's movie “Timeline,” which starred Paul Walker, Frances O'Connor, Gerard Butler and Billy Connolly.
Embry was next notable as Billy Carver, Harold Lee's coworker, in the popular comedy film “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle,” which starred John Cho and Kal Penn, costarred with Annabeth Gish in Hallmark's “Life on Liberty Street,” and supported Majandra Delfino in the ABC Family movie “Celeste in the City” (all 2004). The next year, he starred as Matt Firenze, a pizza man who develops a bond with a sheltered girl almost half his age, in the Mark Christopher comedy “Pizza,” opposite Kylie Sparks, and portrayed Donovan in Matthew Cole Weiss' “Standing Still,” which starred Jon Abrahams and Amy Adams. After making guest appearances in “Numb3rs” (as Blake Gosnell), “Masters of Horror” (as Bruce, both 2005) and “Law &Oder: Criminal Intent” (2006, as Art Geddens), he played the regular role of Declan Giggs in the Showtime drama series “Brotherhood,” opposite Jason Isaacs, Jason Clarke, Fionnula Flanagan, Annabeth Gish and Kevin Chapman. Created by Blake Masters, the show ran from July 9, 2006, to December 21, 2009. While with “Brotherhood,” Embry also acted in the short films “Escape” (directed and written by Josh C. Waller) and “Kidney Thieves” (helmed by Toby Wilkins, both 2006), was featured in the horror film “Vacancy” (2007, starred Luke Wilson, Kate Beckinsale and Frank Whaley), starred in the 5 minute length film “Order Up” (2007, with Illeana Douglas), and played Kathleen Robertson's fiancé, Joey, in “Player 5150” (2008, written and directed by David Michael O'Neill). He then teamed up with Andrew Lee Potts in the remake “Heart of a Dragon” (2008) and played Toby Grant in D.J. Caruso's thriller “Eagle Eye” (2008, with Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis and Anthony Mackie).
In 2009, Embry portrayed Chance Miller in an episode of the NBC horror anthology series “Fear Itself” called “Chance.” Recently, he played Mickey in the “House M.D.” episode “The Down Low,” which was first broadcasted on January 11, 2010.
Embry will costar with Drew Fuller in the Ben Gourley action film “The Kane Files: Life of Trial” (2010) and play Frick in the Leigh Scott fantasy film “The Witches of Oz 3D” (2010), starring Christopher Lloyd. On the small screen, he is set to play Spencer Reed in the USA Network upcoming made for TV film “Facing Kate” (2010).
Young Artist: Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture, “Dutch,” 1992