A former competitive swimmer, Timothy Olyphant began acting on stage and won the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance for playing Tim Hapgood in "The Monogamist." And after appearing as one of Neve Campbell's friends in Scream 2 (1997), he garnered broader attention for his roles in Go (1999), The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000) and Gone In Sixty Seconds (2000), Dreamcatcher (2003), The Girl Next Door (2004) and Catch and Release (2007). On the small screen, the Hawaiian-born, California-raised actor is widely remembered while portraying sheriff and hardware owner Seth Bullock (2004-2006) on HBO weekly Western-drama series "Deadwood."
As for his upcoming film projects, the 6' tall, sharp-eyed and vaguely sinister good looking actor will star in Kimberly Peirce’s war-drama Stop-Loss, play the main antagonist Greg Pope in the fourth installment of the popular Die Hard series starring veteran actor Bruce Willis, Live Free or Die Hard, and co-star with Jessica Alba and Aaron Eckhart in the drama comedy Bill. He will also play the lead role of Agent 47, a genetically engineered assassin in the film adaptation of the video game franchise, Hitman.
Childhood and Family:
"I grew up in a small town where that's not part of the dialogue. I grew up in Modesto, California, a little town in northern California, an orchid town with canals." Timothy Olyphant.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 20, 1968, Timothy David Olyphant was raised in Modesto, California. He graduated from Fred C. Beyer High School, Modesto, California and then studied fine art and theater at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California, where he was also a competitive swimmer (he was a U.S. National Finalist in the 200 Individual Medley). After graduating, he moved to New York City, where he was acquainted with actress Jennifer Garner, and attended William Esper's acting program. Timothy’s brother, Andy, is an A & R executive for Warner Bros. Records.
Timothy has been married to Alexis Knief since 1991 and has three children, one of whom is a daughter called Grace Katherine Olyphant (born on June 20, 1999). Timothy currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
A former competitive swimmer while an undergraduate at USC (University of Southern California), Timothy Olyphant began acting on stage, playing Tim Hapgood in the Playwrights Horizons' production of "The Monogamist" in 1995, for which he won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance. He subsequently appeared in a production of David Sedaris' "SantaLand Diaries" and "Plunge" before making his film debut with a tiny part in Hugh Wilson's comedy movie inspired by Olivia Goldsmith's novel, The First Wives Club (1996; starring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton). That same year in September, he also appeared in the Pilot episode of CBS short-lived series, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
After another bit part in Danny Boyle's romantic/dark comedy A Life Less Ordinary (1997; starring Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz), Olyphant had a breakthrough screen role in Scream 2 (1997; starring Neve Campbell), Wes Craven's satire of the horror film genre in which he played one of Campbell's friends. On television, he was seen in the TV movie adaptation of Kaye Gibbons' 1987 novel, Ellen Foster (1997; starring Jena Malone), and in three episodes of ABC cop-drama series "High Incident."
The next year, TV viewers could catch Olyphant in the HBO critically acclaimed war-drama movie set in 1944-1945 on the Western Front (World War II), When Trumpets Fade (starring Frank Whaley and Ron Eldard), and as a guest in a June 1998 episode of HBO’s popular comedy series "Sex and the City," as a younger man romancing Sarah Jessica Parker. On the big screen, Olyphant portrayed a bisexual actor romancing both a performance artist (Andy Dick) and a videographer (Cynthia Nixon) in Don Scardino's adaptation of Douglas Carter Beane's romantic drama comedy play, Advice From a Caterpillar (also starring Jon Tenney), and was handed a villainous turn as Desmond Askew's alluring drug dealing pal in Doug Liman’s ensemble film Go (also with Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley, Scott Wolf and Taye Diggs; both in 1999). The latter role won Olyphant a Young Hollywood Award for Best Bad Boy in 2000.
Entering the new millennium, Olyphant was cast as a detective on the trail of a car thief (played by Nicolas Cage) in Dominic Sena's remake of the 1974 H.B. Halicki car-theft actioner, Gone in Sixty Seconds (also starring Giovanni Ribisi, Angelina Jolie and Robert Duvall), and played Dennis, a promising photographer preparing to celebrate his 28th birthday and is seeking love and fulfillment in L.A., in writer-director Greg Berlanti's gay-themed ensemble film The Broken Hearts Club - A Love Story (alongside Zach Braff, Dean Cain and Andrew Keegan). He also played the ex-cellmate of a dead con man in writer-director Matthew Tabak's drama-thriller Auggie Rose, opposite Jeff Goldblum and Anne Heche.
2001 saw Olyphant opposite Glenn Close in Rose Troche's Toronto Film Festival-screened independent suburban drama based upon a series of short stories written by A. M. Holmes, The Safety of Objects, and alongside Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston in Stephen Herek's musical drama comedy movie Rock Star in which he portrayed Blood Pollution guitarist Rob Malcolm. He followed it up with roles in F. Gary Gray's crime drama starring Vin Diesel, A Man Apart (2003), and in Lawrence Kasdan's film version of Stephen King thriller novel, Dreamcatcher (2003; with Jason Lee, Damian Lewis and Donnie Wahlberg), in which he played Peter "Petey" Moore, one of the childhood friends menaced by a mysterious force.
2004 marked Olyphant with his most poplar role to date, as Seth Bullock, the sheriff and owner of Star & Bullock Hardware on HBO weekly Western-drama series "Deadwood." He stayed in David Milch-created show until 2006 and was nominated a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Being asked about the possibility of Deadwood movies, Olyphant said: “I know what you know. I read the trades now because I want to know what’s happening. I’ve heard they’re going to do them. That’s all I can tell you. I couldn’t be more proud of that show and my involvement in it. It was one of the greatest experiences creatively and personally.”
During his "Deadwood" Stint, Olyphant was also cast as a porn director/producer boss looking to get his top actress (played by Elisha Cuthbert) back into the business in Luke Greenfield's teen sex comedy movie The Girl Next Door (also starring Emile Hirsch) and starred as an ex-con becomes involved with the wife (played by Sarah Wynter) of his best friend, the local sheriff (played by Josh Brolin), in writer-director Victor Nunez' Coastlines (lensed in 2001). He was also spotted as a guest in a March 2006 episode of NBC Emmy-wining sitcom starring Jason Lee, "My Name Is Earl."
“I often look at things like The Girl Next Door as a comedic role. If you can say those things and also look at it as a comedic performance, then I feel like job well done. I really appreciate that, because I think the goal in that is -- you know you're playing sort of a menacing character and you have to see how many other things you can try to find in there, comedy being first and foremost. If I can find some comedy in there, it's always great.” Timothy Olyphant.
January 26, 2007 saw the release of Olyphant latest film, Catch and Release, a romantic drama comedy by first time writer-director Susannah Grant in which he co-starred as Fritz, Jennifer Garner’s love interest. Being asked about how was working with Garner, Olyphant explained: “I’ve known her for a long time. I knew her years ago in New York, when she and I were both just first starting, and it was very refreshing to see that more or less she was the same girl I knew then. She’s just a lovely person, and she’s a real pro, she knows everybody’s name, she’s on time, she’s one of those people that despite being this kind of major star, she’s one of the guys, and I really appreciate that a great deal, because for me this was a real opportunity to play a role that I’ve not played with a big star and she made me feel very relaxed, very at home.”
Olyphant is currently filming Len Wiseman's fourth installment in the popular Die Hard series starring veteran actor Bruce Willis, Live Free or Die Hard, playing the main antagonist Greg Pope. On receiving the role, Olyphant revealed: “I feel very, very blessed, I feel very fortunate. I mean, the fact is, over a number of years now, I have been allowed to work fairly consistently, and also quite lucky to play quite a diverse group of characters. The fact that that continues, just really means the world to me because it’s what’s fun about the profession, going from one thing to the next, being able to do things that I find surprising, you know, that I find, ‘hmmm’, not something that I thought might have been in the repertoire kind of thing and you know just really makes the job so much fun. And I think at the same time as far as success is concerned, based on what you say it’s just higher profile jobs and things. The downside is, I imagine, my private life gets a little less private, which is something that you hope that I’m at a place in life where that’s not too disruptive.”
He was also just confirmed to play the lead role of Agent 47, a genetically engineered assassin in the action-thriller Hitman, a film adaptation of the video game franchise which will be directed by newcomer Xavier Gens and produced by Luc Besson. About his role in the film, Olyphant initially stated: “I don’t think I’ve ever been officially attached to it, contrary to the Internet. It sounds fun. It sounds pretty cool. I’ve seen the pictures. I’ve never played the game, but it looks cool. Lord knows what I’d look like when this hair comes off. It’s a major concern.”
Olyphant will soon complete Kimberly Peirce’s war-drama film, Stop Loss, along with Ryan Phillippe and Channing Tatum. He revealed: “It’s called ‘Stop Loss” with Ryan Phillippe and Channing Tatum. It’s about these soldiers that come back and think that they’re finished with their tour of duty and then they’re called back to the crisis in the Middle East. I play a Lieutenant Colonel who is essentially the guy saying ‘Look, you gotta go back, there’s nothing you can do about it.’ I’m sort of his last effort. Well, I guess he goes to a Senator after me to try to fight it.”
He will also soon wrap writers-directors Bernie Goldmann and Melisa Wallack's drama comedy movie called Bill, alongside Jessica Alba, Elizabeth Banks and Aaron Eckhart. Besides acting, Olyphant currently serves as the sports reporter for Joe Escalante's morning show on LA radio station Indie 103.1, every Monday through Friday. Explaining how he got the job, Olyphant said: “I was a big fan of that station, it’s one of the great radio stations, certainly here in LA. I had friends in common, I went in to do some publicity for ‘Deadwood’ and I thought, boy I’d love to do something on the show, and the next day I called in to sports, and it’s been 7 months ago or so.”
Young Hollywood: Best Bad Boy, Go, 2000
Theatre World: Outstanding Debut Performance, "The Monogamist," 1995