The Usual Suspects
One of the brothers of the Baldwin clan, Stephen Baldwin stood proud with his impressive portrayal of professional lawbreaker Michael McManus in Bryan Singer’s thriller The Usual Suspects (1995), which garnered him a National Board of Review Award. Beginning his acting career with a part in the TV movie The Prodigious Hickey (1987), Baldwin is known as a free-spirited actor who agreed to take roles in both acceptable films like the Western series “The Young Riders” (1989-1992), as well as flopped projects like the comedy Bio-Dome (1996, acted opposite Pauly Shore and Kylie Minogue).
“I don’t care what reviewers think. If somebody hates a performance of mine, I kind of get a kick out of it. It amuses me when critics take something so irrelevant as a movie so seriously. Movies are silly. They’re entertainment. For someone to take time out of his own life and sit down and dissect a movie...What’s the point?” Stephen Baldwin
Off camera, Baldwin is a born-again Christian who loves extreme sports like auto-racing, bungee jumping and skydiving. The owner of seven tattoos, the actor admits he had drug and alcohol problems back in his teens. Baldwin, who enjoys writing poetry and listening to music, once organized a celebrity pool tournament called Pool Aid, which benefited the Los Angeles AIDS project. He also helped his mother carry out her research fund for cancer. During his time off, Baldwin lives on his ranch in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife Kennya Deodato and their two daughters.
Pizza Parlor Employee
Childhood and Family:
On May 12, 1966, Stephen Andrew Baldwin was born in Massapequa, Long Island, New York. His father, Alexander Rae Jr. (teacher), died of lung cancer in 1983, whereas his mother, Carol Newcomb, is a breast-cancer survivor. He has two older sisters and all-actor brothers: William Baldwin (born on February 21, 1963), Daniel Baldwin (born on October 5, 1960) and Alec Baldwin (born on April 3, 1958). He is also the nephew of actors Charles H. Baldwin and Joseph Baldwin.
Stephen, who is also called “Steve,” attended Alfred G. Berner High School from 1980 to 1984, during which time he became a flourishing opera singer and won some competitions. Pursuing his inherited acting talent, the teenaged boy studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and worked in a pizza parlor during his free time. At his workplace, Steve was spotted by an agent.
Steve initially met his wife, graphic designer Kennya Deodato, on a subway in New York. They exchanged wedding vows in June 1990 and are the parents of two daughters: Alia (born in February 1993) and Hailey Rhode (born on November 22, 1996).
Joining the agent, Stephen Baldwin first entered show business by modeling for Calvin Klein advertisements. He quickly landed a small screen debut with the major role of Gutter Pup in American Playhouse’s TV version of Owen Johnson’s novel, The Prodigious Hickey (1987), and went to the silver screen by appearing in Mickey Rourke’s drama Homeboy (1988), as a Luna Park drunk. After appearing in the acclaimed sitcom “Family Ties” (1988), Baldwin took the supporting role of Billy Vorsovich in the Oliver Stone-directed and written biopic Born on the Fourth of July (1989).
The same year, he acquired a regular part as teenaged cowboy William F. Cody in the Western series “The Young Riders” (1989-1992). While working with the series, Baldwin played waiter Carlucci in the TV comedy Jury Duty: The Comedy (1990), took the role of Danny Morgan in the comedy drama Crossing the Bridge (1992), acted alongside Mario Van Peebles in the Western movie Posse (1993) and costarred as Stuart, opposite Lara Flynn Boyle and Josh Charles, in romantic comedy Threesome (1994).
Director Bryan Singer cast Baldwin to star as Michael McManus, one of the professional lawbreakers, in the thriller The Usual Suspects (1995). Magnificently delivering the role, he took home a National Board of Review for Best Ensemble Performance. However, by his own choice, Baldwin next took parts in the little-seen Bio-Dome (1996, opposite Pauly Shore and Kylie Minogue), the drama Sub Down (1997), Half Baked (1998, appeared as McGayver Smoker) and the TV thriller Absence of the Good (1999, starred as homicide detective Caleb Barnes).
In 2000, Baldwin took the part of dippy Barney Rubble in the prequel The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. Following his roles in B-movies like Spider’s Web (2001) and Lost Treasure (2002), the actor starred as moody Bryan McBride in the big-budgeted, yet underrated, motion picture Lost Treasure (2003). The next year, he had the leading role of Luke in Kevin Downes’ thriller Six: The Mark Unleashed (2004).
“Livin’ It is a hard-core look at some of the biggest talents in skateboarding and BMX who show kids that you can live this edgy lifestyle and do it for Jesus Christ.” Stephen Baldwin
Still in 2004, Baldwin went further into the religious theme by trying a hand at directing and producing the short documentary Livin’ It. Meanwhile, following his guest performance as Jesse Acheson in an episode of the international series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2005), the actor had such roles as Daniel Gray in the sci-fi film Dark Storm (2006) and Silvio Esposito in the family adventure The Flyboys (2006). Baldwin also just finished filming Allen Wolf’s drama thriller In My Sleep (2007), where he was cast as Detective Curwen.
The performer is set to star as Rory Johnson in the self-executive produced drama thriller The Genius Club (2006). He will also be seen in the holiday movie Midnight Clear (2006) and the made-for-TV sci-fi Earthstorm (2006, as demolitions expert John Redding).
- National Board of Review: Best Ensemble Performance, The Usual Suspects, 1995