- As a teen, he performed stand-up comedy and did impressions at nightclubs.
- Earned a pilot's license to help him portray astronaut Gordon Cooper in 1983's The Right Stuff.
- Battled anorexia and a cocaine addiction.
- Formed the rock band Dennis Quaid and the Sharks; he sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar.
- Made his directorial debut with the 1998 made-for-TV movie Everything That Rises.
- Won a New York Film Critics Circle Award and an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in 2002's Far From Heaven.
- Became an advocate for patient safety after his infant twins (born in 2007) nearly died as a result of a medical mistake at the hospital.
- 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2010, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
- 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
- 2011, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 2010, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
- Lea Thompson — Ex-fiancée
- Randy Quaid — Brother
- Meg Ryan — Ex-wife
- Jack Henry Quaid — Son
- Nita Quaid — Mother
- William Quaid — Father
- Buddy Quaid — Half Brother
- Kimberly Quaid — Wife
- P.J. Soles — Ex-wife
- Zoe Grace Quaid — Daughter
- Thomas Boone Quaid — Son
- Attended University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States
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