Office Space Guy
A Yale drama graduate, Ron Livingston began his acting career on stage at the Goodman Theater Festival in Chicago. He landed his film debut in the comedy ''Straight Talk'' (1992) and gained recognition after appearing in the comedies "Swingers" (1996) and ''Office Space'' (1999). He has since played significant roles in films like "Beat" (2000), "Adaptation" (2002), "The Cooler" (2003), "Little Black Book" (2004), "Pretty Persuasion" (2005) and "Music Within" (2007). He will next be seen alongside Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams in director Robert Schwentke's upcoming film adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel, "The Time Traveler's Wife," which will be co-produced by Brad Pitt.
On the small screen, Livingston could be seen in the miniseries "Band of Brothers" (2001; earned him a Golden Globe nomination) and "Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King" (2006). He was a regular in the ABC short-lived sitcom "Townies" (1996) and Fox’s short-lived drama series "Standoff" (2006-2007; as FBI senior hostage negotiator Matt Flannery). He also played recurring roles in "The Practice," as prosecuting attorney Alan Lowe (2001-2002) and "Sex and the City," as Jack Berger (2002-2003), a struggling novelist and love interest for Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie.
The 5' 10½" good-looking, well-spoken guy was engaged to actress Lisa Sheridan. Ron is currently residing in Los Angeles, California.
Childhood and Family:
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ronald Joseph Livingston was born June 5, 1968, to Linda Livingston, a Lutheran minister, and Kurt Livingston, an aerospace engineer who once considered a singing career. The eldest child of the family, Ron has three younger siblings, John Livingston (actor), Jennifer Livingston (TV news personality at CBS/WKBT in La Crosse, Wisconsin) and Nick Livingston (student).
Ron attended Marion High School where his main activities were wrestling on the school’s team and acting. He went to Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, with Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton (Livingston once directed Norton in a production of Chekov’s ''The Cherry Orchard''). While studying there, he also became an intern at the Williamstown [MA] Theatre Festival. In 1989, he earned his B.A. in Theatre Studies and English Literature and decided to move to Chicago to further his career as a stage actor.
Band of Brothers
"It was within Greyhound striking distance of home. It was a good place to start out." Ron Livingston (on why he moved to Chicago to pursue an acting career)
Graduating from Yale University's prestigious drama department in 1989, Ron Livingston, who got his stage credits with the Williamson Theatre Festival and Manhattan Class Company, opted to test the water in Chicago where he performed in several stage productions, including shows at the Goodman Theatre and other venues.
Not long after, in 1992, the newcomer landed his film debut in a small role as a soldier in director Barnet Kellman's comedy starring Dolly Parton, "Straight Talk." He followed it up with roles in the short drama/thriller film "Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade" (1994; written and starred in by Billy Bob Thornton) and the independent drama "The Low Life" (1995), both of which were directed by George Hickenlooper.
After being spotted as a guest in an episode of the drama series "JAG," Livingston was featured with Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn in the Doug Liman directed cult comedy classic "Swingers" (1996). He also got his first TV series regular role as Curt, the boyfriend of Carrie (played by Molly Ringwald), in the ABC short-lived sitcom "Townies" (1996).
1997 saw Livingston in the films "The Small Hours" and "Campfire Tales,” a horror film about urban legends with a modern twist that also starred Amy Smart, Christopher Masterson, and James Marsden. On the small screen, he could be seen in an episode of ABC’s sci-fi series "Timecop" and the drama "Players."
After co-starring in the short-lived ABC sitcom "That's Life" (1998), Livingston returned to the wide screen in the 1999 independent films "Dill Scallion," starring Billy Burke, and "Two Ninas," in which he starred as the unluckiest guy in the world who became the object of affection of Amanda Peet and Cara Buono's titular characters. That same year, he also appeared in Michael Cristofer's "Body Shots," with Sean Patrick Flanery and Jerry O'Connell, and reunited with director George Hickenlooper in the Orson Welles scripted drama "The Big Brass Ring," portraying a political aide to a candidate (played by William Hurt). The latter film was played on the festival circuit before debuting on Showtime.
1999 also marked Livingston's breakout year when he was paired with Jennifer Aniston in writer/director Mike Judge's second full length motion picture release, "Office Space." In the satirical comedy film, an initial box office bomb-turned-cult classic, he played the lead role of Peter Gibbons, the nice guy with the dead end job.
Entering the new millennium, Livingston portrayed the role of Allen Ginsberg in the Sundance screened "Beat," written and directed by Gary Walkow and starring Courtney Love and Kiefer Sutherland. The next year, he was cast in a lead role of the HBO critically acclaimed 10-part World War II miniseries "Band of Brothers" (2001), which was based on the book of the same title written by historian and biographer Stephen Ambrose. The series was co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. For his portrayal of Captain Lewis Nixon, Livingston received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
From 2001 to 2002, Livingston played prosecuting attorney Alan Lowe in the ABC Emmy-winning legal drama series "The Practice." He also had a recurring role in the popular HBO romantic comedy series "Sex and the City," as Jack Berger (2002-2003), a struggling novelist and love interest for Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie.
"I definitely think there are a lot of ‘Sex in the City’ fans out there. I think that’s one of those shows where it’s kind of hard to get an accurate number. The Nielsen numbers don’t really apply, both because so many people saw it on DVD and also HBO works a little differently, not everybody has it. So, people tend to go over to the houses of people who have it and watch it in groups of 20 and 30. I’ve gotten spotted for Jack Berger in the strangest places all over the world. I was in Kuala Lumpur and in the airports I was getting hit for Jack Berger. So, it’s definitely out there." Ron Livingston
On the wide screen, Livingston co-starred with Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper in Spike Jonze's Oscar winning drama/comedy inspired by Susan Orlean's book, "Adaptation." (2002), and with William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Maria Bello in Wayne Kramer's drama/romance/comedy "The Cooler'' (2003), a love story set in Las Vegas in which he played a young Ivy League graduate. He then teamed up with Brittany Murphy, playing her boyfriend Derek, in Nick Hurran's descent romantic comedy "Little Black Book" (2004) and was cast opposite Anthony LaPaglia in writer/director Josh Sternfeld's suburban drama "Winter Solstice" (2004).
In 2005, Livingston portrayed a high school drama teacher accused of sexual harassment in Marcos Siega's dark satirical comedy "Pretty Persuasion." He also narrated the commercial for Hewlett Packard's Wireless Notebook and voiced Bob (2005-2007) in the Fox satirical animated sitcom "American Dad!" He also starred as Matt Flannery, a senior negotiator for the Crisis Negotiation Unit at the Los Angeles field office of the FBI, on Fox’s short-lived drama series "Standoff," which premiered on September 5, 2006, and completed its original run on July 20, 2007.
Livingston also starred as a renowned filmmaker in the episode "The End of the Whole Mess" of the TNT 8-episode anthology series "Stephen King's Nightmares & Dreamscapes" (2006). He once said, "I haven't seen any of the other ones (episodes of 'Nightmares & Dreamscapes'). In fact, I never saw scripts for the other ones. I was basically approached for this and I jumped at it. But one of the great things about this anthology thing is that I'm looking forward to the show coming out probably more than anyone just because I'd like to see what the rest of them are all about. But I was really excited about doing this one because I've never done anything like that before, where you just look right at the camera and talk to it. I've spent my whole life trying to pretend it's not there [laughs] so that appealed to me."
Also in 2006, Livingston appeared in a TV commercial for World of Warcraft, and Sprint. He also became a new spokesman for Sprint Nextel’s telecommunications company in their new "Power Up" campaign.
Recently, Livingston performed on the Off-Broadway stage in the world premiere of Neil LaBute's play "In a Dark Dark House," alongside Frederick Weller and Louisa Krause. The show, produced by MCC Theater, ran May 16 through July 27, 2007, at The Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. He also added to his resume the role of Richard Pimentel, a young man who had a remarkable gift for public speaking, in the drama film "Music Within" (2007), opposite Melissa George. Next, he will support Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams in director Robert Schwentke's upcoming film adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel, "The Time Traveler's Wife," which is being co-produced by Brad Pitt.