Fast Facts

  • Wrote a play called The Greatest and Most Exciting Gratuitous Exhibition Ever Exploited, which was staged in New York in 1993.
  • Took up acting in his senior year of college and moved to New York (where he attended the Actors Studio).
  • Made his film debut as one of Sean Penn's murder victims in Dead Man Walking (1995). Break-out performance was as a rapist-killer in Boys Don't Cry (1999).
  • Played a love scene with Liam Neeson in Kinsey (2004); received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his supporting role in the film.
  • Made his Broadway debut in 2008 in an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.


  • 2005, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Male: Nominee
  • 2004, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2009, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2004, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Male: Nominee
  • 2014, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2005, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee


  • Ramona Sarsgaard — Daughter
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal — Wife
  • Gloria Ray Sarsgaard — Daughter


  • Attended Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, United States; Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States (BA in History and Literature, 1994)

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  • Birth Place: Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, United States
  • Profession: Actor

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