Before finding success on television, Sinise honed his acting skills on the stage. After developing a love of the theater, he co-founded the critically acclaimed Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theater Company. Steppenwolf brought its first production to New York, and Sinise appeared opposite John Malkovich in Sam Shepard's True West
. As he continued his stage work, he started gravitating to projects in film and television, steadily increasing his prominence and earning praise for intense performances. In 1994, he officially won over Hollywood with starring roles in the classic film Forrest Gump
and on the popular ABC miniseries The Stand
. A stream of film roles quickly followed, and he switched easily between playing heroic types (as he did in 1995's Apollo 13
and 2000's Mission to Mars) and villains (as he did in 1996's Ransom
and 2000's Reindeer Games
). In 2004, he settled into a more permanent heroic role when he joined the cast of the TV drama CSI: NY. Off-screen, he spends time with his wife and children, maintains his Steppenwolf roots, and continues charitable efforts to support the military.Gary Sinise Fast Facts:
- Made professional stage debut in The Physicist at age 17.
- At age 18, he was one of the cofounders of the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago in 1974, serving at various times as artistic director.
- Directed episodes of NBC's Crime Story (1987) and ABC's thirtysomething (1989).
- Formed the band the Bonsoir Boys in which he played bass and sang. Also played bass for the Lt. Dan Band, a group named after his role in Forrest Gump.
- Received an honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Amherst College in 2003.
- Founded Operation Iraqi Children with author Laura Hillenbrand in 2004, a program that sends school supplies to the children of Iraq.
- In 2007, he participated in a documentary in support of the military called On the Road in Iraq With Our Troops and Gary Sinise.
- Won a 2008 Presidential Citizen Medal for his charitable efforts.
- In 2009, he narrated the acclaimed History Channel series World War II in HD.
- Gary Sinise Relationships:
- Robert L. Sinise - Father
- Moira Harris - Wife
- Ella Sinise - Daughter
- Sophie Sinise - Daughter
- McCanna Sinise - Son
- Millie Sinise - Mother
- Gary Sinise Awards:
- 1996 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor for a Miniseries or a Special - Nominee
- 1996 Tony: Director (Play) - Nominee
- 1996 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Winner
- 1998 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Nominee
- 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Winner
- 2001 Tony: Actor (Play) - Nominee
- 1994 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- 1996 Tony: Play - Nominee
- 1990 Tony: Actor (Featured Role--Play) - Nominee
- 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Winner
- 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Winner
- 1994 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- 1995 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 1994 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Nominee