Raised on New York City's Lower East Side, at times in a squat, Schreiber managed to pull himself out of poverty and earned a heady degree in Semiotics from Hampshire College; he later went on to study acting at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and at Yale University. He landed his first professional acting job in the United Kingdom (at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival) before he began appearing on stage and screen stateside, quickly establishing himself as a versatile character actor able to tackle everything from Shakespeare to slasher flicks. Initially he gained exposure in a string of supporting roles, often as the guy who doesn't get the girl, in myriad indies (Walking and Talking, Party Girl). But he hit the mainstream as an oddball falsely accused of murder in the smash Scream horror franchise. He continued to embody diverse characters, alternating effortlessly between theater and film, and earned an Emmy nod for his deft portrayal of Orson Welles in the TV-movie RKO 281. He continued to play the other man in films, although off screen he was linked to a number of beauties, including Kristin Davis and Naomi Watts. In 2004, his career kicked into overdrive when he portrayed the title character in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate. Instead of making a play to be Hollywood's next leading man, he returned to his stage roots in 2005 and won a Tony in the lauded revival of Glengarry Glen Ross, and also made his debut as a film director and screenwriter with the indie Everything Is Illuminated. Always up for new challenges, he played the role of the comic-book supervillain Sabertooth in the 2009 summer blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In addition to his acting, Schreiber also has a lucrative career narrating documentaries and commercials.
- As a youngster, lived in a series of squatters' apartments without running water or electricity on New York City's Lower East Side while his mother was on welfare.
- Also briefly lived with his mother at an ashram in Connecticut.
- Made his Broadway debut in In The Summer House in 1993.
- Won an Obie Award for his work in Cymbeline at the 1998 Shakespeare in the Park Festival.
- Played the title role in Hamlet in the 1999 Public Theatre production.
- Has a lucrative side career narrating documentaries and commercials.
- 2016, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2016, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2015, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2005, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Play): Winner
- 2007, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
- 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2000, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
- 2016, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 2015, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 2010, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
- 2014, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 2016, Independent Spirit Awards — Robert Altman Award: Winner
- 2000, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 2015, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
- 2017, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 2015, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2012, AACTA Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
- Naomi Watts — Ex-significant Other
- Samuel Kai Schreiber — Son
- Tell Schreiber — Father
- Heather Milgram — Mother
- Pablo Schreiber — Half Brother
- Alexander Pete Schreiber — Son
- Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts, United States (BA in Semiotics, 1988); attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, England; Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States (MFA, 1992)
- Birth Name: Isaac Liev Schreiber
- Birth Place: San Francisco, California, United States
- Profession: Actor