Child stars never have an easy time segueing into adult roles — that is, if they make the transition at all. So it was no surprise that the career of diminutive and adorable Haley, one of the biggest juvenile actors of the '70s, stalled post-puberty. After tackling a number of TV guest spots as a child, the 15-year-old Haley made his name as a talented but tough baseball player in the original Bad News Bears
and its subsequent sequels. With his feathered hair, freckled face and wiseass attitude (he cursed, smoked and rode a motor-scooter), be became the crush of bad-boy loving tweens everywhere. In 1979, he gave a winning performance as one of four blue-collar bike-riding buddies in Breaking Away
, and reprised the role in the film's short-lived TV spin-off. But when he hit his twenties, he hit a wall. Except for his turn in Losin' It
opposite future megastar Tom Cruise, he appeared mostly in low-rent projects and in 1993, after completing the grade-Z flick Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence
(in a supporting role, no less), he quit showbiz and made ends meet by delivering pizzas, driving limos and working security. Eventually, however, Haley would become a successful commercial director and even launch his own production company. But acting was still in his blood, and in 2006 he made an incredible comeback in a pair of high-profile movies. Although the highly anticipated remake of All the King's Men
went bust, his riveting turn as a pedophile in the lauded indie Little Children
revitalized his acting career, earned him rave reviews and a number of accolades, including Oscar and SAG nominations and a New York Film Critics Circle Award. Riding the crest of his career resurgence, he made a comic appearance in the Will Ferrell sports comedy Semi-Pro (2008). In 2009, he turned serious for much darker roles as psychopath Rorschach in the high-profile comic-book film Watchmen
and as a memorable mental patient in Martin Scorsese's eerie Shutter Island
. He solidified his return to stardom by agreeing to portray the legendary horror villain Freddy Krueger in the 2010 reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street
and its planned installments. He also kept busy on the small screen with a supporting part as a mysterious computer hacker on the Fox series Human Target
.Jackie Earle Haley Fast Facts:
- Started doing commercials at age 5.
- Appeared in a 1983 Broadway production of Slab Boys with Sean Penn, who recommended him 23 years later for All the King's Men (2006).
- Disappeared from movies after his 1993 role in Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence. He delivered pizzas, drove limousines and worked as a security guard to make ends meet.
- Has his own post-production company called JEH Productions.
- Played a sex offender in Little Children (2006) and was nominated for a 2007 Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
- His well-received turn as masked villain Rorschach in Watchmen (2009) led to his being cast in the role of disfigured sociopath Freddy Krueger in the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
- In 2010, he joined the cast of the Fox series Human Target.
- Jackie Earle Haley Relationships:
- Haven Earle Haley - Father
- Amelia Cruz - Wife
- Olivia - Daughter
- Christopher - Son
- Jackie Earle Haley Awards:
- 2006 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee