Once worked as a janitor and considered going into stand-up comedy.
Was a student at the University of Houston when Peter Bogdanovich cast him in the 1968 film Targets. He went on to work with the director on The Last Picture Show (1971), What's Up, Doc? (1972) and Paper Moon (1973).
Met his wife, a production assistant and former model, while filming the 1989 flick Bloodhounds of Broadway.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.
Provided the voice of the animated Colonel in KFC commercials.
Was arrested twice–once in 2009 for allegedly defrauding an innkeeper and again in 2010 on burglary charges–and has sought asylum status in Canada with his wife.
1990, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Male Lead: Nominee
1975, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
2006, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
1973, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
1987, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
1984, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Special: Nominee
2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
1988, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Winner
1974, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
2005, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
Ella Jolly — Ex-wife
William Quaid — Father
Evi Quaid — Wife
Dennis Quaid — Brother
Amanda Quaid — Daughter
Nita Quaid — Mother
Attended University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States