Name:
Greg Kinnear
Birth Date:
June 17, 1963
Birth Place:
Logansport, Indiana, USA
Height:
5' 10
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
First host of E!'s Talk Soup
Profession:
actor, writer, TV/radio host, producer
Education:
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (majored in Broadcast Journalism; graduated; B.A.)
BIOGRAPHY
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As Good As It Gets

Background:

A handsome, cynical broadcaster turned actor with a flair for pokerfaced satire, Greg Kinnear first shot to stardom as the animated, wisecracking host of the celebrated E! Entertainment Television show “Talk Soup” (1991-1994), in which he nabbed an Emmy Award. Kinnear further improved his celebrity status in the mid 1990s when he picked up a Chicago Film Critics Association Award and a NATO/ShoWest Award for his outstanding portrayal of David Larrabee in the Sydney Pollack-helmed remake of Sabrina (1995). In 1997, the actor was garnered a wealth of recognition and appreciation for portraying Jack Nicholson’s unfortunate neighbor Simon in the box office smash hit As Good as It Gets. Due to his brilliant performance, Kinnear took home a Southeastern Film Critics Association Award and a National Board of Review Award, as well as earned nominations at the Academy Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Golden Globes. The following year, the Oscar-nominated actor won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for his bravura supporting turn as the boyfriend of Meg Ryan, Frank Navasky, in Nora Ephron’s blockbuster romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail.

Kinnear fans can watch him in the recent and forthcoming The Matador (2005), The Bad News Bears (2005), the animated Robots (2005), Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Invincible (2006), Fast Food Nation (2006) and an upcoming Simon Brand-directed unknown project (2006).

Off screen, the member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, Kinnear has been married to British writer Helen Labdon since 1999. The couple has a daughter named Lily Katherine (born in September 2003).


School Daze with Greg Kinnear

Childhood and Family:

In Logansport, Indiana, Greg Kinnear was born on June 17, 1963. His father, Edward Kinnear, was a career diplomat who worked for the U.S. State Department, and Suzanne Kinnear, Greg’s mother, was a full-time homemaker. The youngest of three sons, Greg has two brothers: Steve (born in 1959), a business manager who works for Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina, and James (born in 1957), an executive director of the Corvalis Convention and Visitors Bureau in Oregon.

A diplomat’s son, young Greg grew up in a number of places around the world like Beirut, Lebanon and Athens, Greece. During his school days in Athens, he got a first taste as talk show host with the radio show “School Daze with Greg Kinnear.” The Indiana-born Greg moved back to America to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson where he majored in Broadcast Journalism. Upon graduation, he headed for Los Angeles and got his first start in marketing before pursuing a career in front of the camera.

Greg tied the knot with England-born writer and former model Helen Labdon (born in 1968) on May 1, 1999. Four years after the wedding, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Lily Katherine, in September 2003.


Talk Soup

Career:

With a degree in broadcast journalism, Greg Kinnear made his way to Los Angeles and began a career as a marketing assistant with the marketing department of Charles Band’s Empire Pictures before switching gears and stepping in front of the camera. He hosted a syndicated action game show titled “College Mad House” (1989) and took triple duties as a co-creator, co-producer and host in “Best of the Worst” (1991). But, it was E! Entertainment Television’s “Talk Soup” (1991) that made Kinnear popular. As the first host, Kinnear charmed many with his smug, mock-sincere sarcasm and puzzled takes on the show. As a result, Talk Soup became the most popular program on the channel and a favorite among many entertainment executives. Kinnear also won a 1994 Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Program as well as his first film role in the Damon Wayans comedy Blankman (1994), playing a talk show host. Kinnear left the show to host his own NBC late night talk show, “Later with Greg Kinnear,” in 1994, where he also served an executive producer.

Having briefly worked as an actor in the late 1980s and early 1990s in several TV films like What Price Victory (1988), Murder in Mississippi (1990), Dillinger (1991) and Based on an Untrue Story (1993) and in guest spots on in the series “Life Goes On” (1989) and “L.A. Law” (1991), Kinnear, with his newfound fame, decided to focus on his acting career. A year after making his feature debut, Kinnear delivered his first break as an actor with the part of David Larrabee in Sydney Pollack’s remake of Billy Wilder’s 1954 classic Sabrina (1995). His performance as the extravagant younger son was so impressive that Kinnear was handed a 1996 Chicago Film Critics Association award for Most Promising Actor and a NATO/ShoWest for Male Star of Tomorrow.

Following the success, Kinnear was cast in less successful features like Dear God (1996) and the romantic comedy A Smile Like Yours (1997), but he was soon back in the spotlight with his genuine performance as Jack Nicholson’s ill-fated neighbor Simon in James L. Brooks’ blockbuster comedy drama As Good as It Gets (1997). His brilliant supporting performance garnered the actor strong reviews and accolades, and a Best Supporting Oscar nomination. He also picked up such awards as a Southeastern Film Critics Association and a National Board of Review for Best Supporting Actor and received nominations from The Hollywood Foreign Press, The Screen Actors Guild, and the Golden Globe. With the huge victory, Kinnear effectively established himself as an appreciated member of Hollywood’s acting community. He scored another hit in the following year with Nora Ephron’s romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail (1998), playing Meg Ryan’s boyfriend Frank Navasky, in which he also netted a Blockbuster Entertainment for Favorite Supporting Actor.

After a cameo role as Captain Amazing in the action Mystery Men (1999), Kinnear costarred opposite Garry Shandling and Annette Bening in Mike Nichols’ What Planet Are You From (2000), played soap opera actor Dr. David Ravell/George McCord, alongside Renée Zellweger, Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock, in director Neil LaBute’s black comedy Nurse Betty (2000), displayed his patented smugness as a college professor romancing a student in the fittingly named Loser (2000) and rounded out the hectic year portraying a mild-mannered school principal, whose fiancée disappears, in the neo-Gothic The Gift (2000) opposite Cate Blanchett and Katie Holmes.

Next up, Kinnear was seen as Ashley Judd’s longtime boyfriend, who unexpectedly dumps her, in the romantic comedy Someone Like You (2001), TV star Bob Crane in Auto Focus (2002) and costarred in writer-director Randall Wallace Vietnam-era drama We Were Soldiers (2002, also starring Mel Gibson and Madeleine Stowe). Kinnear also appeared on the small screen when he starred as Tom, a guy facing the end of his marriage, in the critically acclaimed Norman Jewison HBO movie Dinner with Friends (2001) and guest starred in an episode of the well-known series “Friends” (2003).

In 2003, Kinnear was paired with Matt Damon as combative conjoined twins in the Farrelly brother’s comedy Stuck on You, but the film met with failure. He then teamed up with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Robert De Niro for the science-based thriller Godsend (2004), played Danny Wright, a blessed husband who is crazy in love with his long-time wife (Hope Davis), in the new anti-hit-man film The Matador (2005, also starring Pierce Brosnan and Dylan Baker), and was cast as Roy Bullock, opposite Billy Bob Thornton, in Richard Linklater’s remake of the classic kids’ baseball film The Bad News Bears (2005). He also voiced the character Ratchet, a corporate bigwig in a world inhabited by mechanical beings, in the CGI-animated Robots (2005).

The 43 year-old actor recently costarred with Steve Carelln and Toni Collette in the Jonathan Dayton-directed comedy/drama Little Miss Sunshine (2006), will soon play the small role of Dick Vermeil in the sport film Invincible (2006) and appear in Fast Food Nation (2006), a thriller film directed by Richard Linklater. Kinnear is also set to join director Simon Brand for his untitled drama/thriller film (2006).


Awards:

  • Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy/Romance, You’ve Got Mail, 1999

  • Southeastern Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actor, As Good As It Gets, 1998

  • National Board of Review: Best Supporting Actor, As Good as It Gets, 1997

  • NATO/ShoWest: Male Star of Tomorrow, 1996

  • Chicago Film Critics Association: Most Promising Actor, Sabrina, 1996

  • Emmy: Outstanding Special Class Program for Talk Soup; shared award; cited as executive producer and host, 1994

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