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John C. Reilly

24 May 1965 (Age 52)

John C. Reilly Biography

John Christopher Reilly born in May 24, 1965, better known as John C. Reilly, is an American film and theatre actor. Debuting in Casualties of War in 1989, he is one of several actors whose careers were launched by Brian De Palma. To date, he has appeared in more than fifty film productions, including three separate films in 2002, each of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Chicago and a Grammy Award for the song "Walk Hard", which he performed in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

Early life

Reilly was born and raised in Chicago, the fifth of six children of an Irish American father and a Lithuanian American mother. He was raised Roman Catholic and attended Brother Rice High School, a Catholic school. Reilly graduated from DePaul University in Chicago.

Film career

Reilly made his film debut in the Brian De Palma film Casualties of War (1989) as P.F.C. Herbert Hatcher. Although the role of Hatcher was written as a small one, De Palma liked Reilly's performance so much that the role was significantly expanded. Also notable in his film work throughout the 1990s was his supporting role alongside Mark Wahlberg in Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 film Boogie Nights, in which he played the pornographic film star Reed Rothchild.

His profile as a film actor was significantly raised in 2002 when he appeared in three of the year's Academy Award for Best Picture nominees – Chicago, Gangs of New York and The Hours. The three movies were nominated for a total of thirty-two Oscars, including one for Best Supporting Actor for Reilly's performance as Renée Zellweger's trusting husband in Chicago. Ultimately, Gangs of New York won none, Chicago won six, and The Hours won one.

Reilly appeared in Martin Scorsese's 2004 Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator, as Hughes' (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) trusted business partner, Noah Dietrich. Of the role Reilly said, “Noah was almost a father figure to Hughes... Howard would have a scheme, and it was Noah who had to say, ‘We don’t have the money.’ He was one of his few friends.” He appeared in Adam McKay's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in 2006, as Cal Naughton, Jr., the title character's best friend, alongside Will Ferrell. He also starred alongside Woody Harrelson, Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan among others in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion. In 2007, Reilly starred as the title character in parody bio-pic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, singing various songs parodying Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, and others. The next year, Reilly reunited with Ferrell to star in Step Brothers.

In 2008 he was among the many notable actors to perform in the online political musical, Proposition 8 - The Musical.

Then in 2009 he played the role of Larten Crepsley from the motion picture Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. Reilly also appeared in the 2010 film Cyrus.

Reilly has recently stated that he would be very determined to play the lead role of Nathan Detroit if a revival of the musical Guys and Dolls were to occur.


Reilly performed on two tracks of the 2006 compilation Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys: “Fathom the Bowl” and “My Son John”.

In 2007, Reilly starred in the biopic parody Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. In addition to his acting role, he also performed as a vocalist and songwriter on the movie's soundtrack, for which he was nominated for a Grammy. Reilly went on a concert performance tour in the US, performing as his character Dewey Cox in the Cox Across America 2007 Tour.


Reilly provided the voice of himself in The Simpsons episode “Any Given Sundance”. He also frequently appeared on Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! as Dr. Steve Brule spawning a spin-off series, Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule.
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