Birthplace: Rockford, Illinois, U.S.
Aidan Quinn (born March 8, 1959) is an Irish-American actor, who made his film debut in Reckless (1984). He has starred in over 40 feature films, including Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), The Mission (1986), Stakeout (1987), Avalon (1990), Benny & Joon (1993), Legends of the Fall (1994), Frankenstein (1994), Blink (1994), Michael Collins (1996), Practical Magic (1998), Song for a Raggy Boy (2003), and Unknown (2011).
Quinn has received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his work in An Early Frost (1985) and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007). He currently plays Captain Thomas "Tommy" Gregson in the CBS television series Elementary.
Quinn was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Irish Catholic parents. He was raised in Chicago and Rockford, Illinois, as well as in Dublin and Birr, County Offaly, Ireland. His mother, Teresa, was a homemaker, but also worked as a bookkeeper and in the travel business, and his father, Michael Quinn, was a professor of English literature. He has three brothers and a sister. His older brother, Declan Quinn, is a noted cinematographer, while his younger sister, Marian, is an actress, director and writer. Though a roofer by trade, Quinn received his start in the Chicago theatre at nineteen. He trained at the Piven Theatre Workshop.
His first significant film role was in Reckless, followed by a breakthrough role in Desperately Seeking Susan as the character "Dez" (the love interest of the character played by Rosanna Arquette). Quinn next starred in the controversial television film An Early Frost, about a young gay lawyer dying of AIDS (it was broadcast on NBC on November 11, 1985, and co-starred Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara and Sylvia Sidney). He received his first Emmy Award nomination for the role which allowed him to gain recognition in Hollywood. He made a short impressive contribution as Robert De Niro's brother in The Mission. He played escaped convict Richard "Stick" Montgomery in the action comedy Stakeout opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez.
In 1983, Quinn lost the role of Jesus Christ when Paramount Pictures dropped the distribution rights to the Martin Scorsese movie The Last Temptation of Christ. When Universal Pictures picked up the film, the role went to Willem Dafoe. In the meantime, Quinn starred as protagonist in the film Crusoe, finished in 1989.
During the 1990s, he appeared in Legends of the Fall, Benny & Joon, The Handmaid's Tale, Haunted and Practical Magic. He also starred in Michael Collins, Song for a Raggy Boy, This Is My Father, and Evelyn. He played a small cameo as the captain of a doomed Arctic vessel in the Francis Ford Coppola-produced adaptation of Frankenstein.
In 2000, Quinn portrayed Paul McCartney in the VH1 television drama, Two of Us.
Quinn appeared in the 2005 movie The Exonerated a true story about people on death row who had been freed in which Quinn played Kerry Max Cook.
Quinn played the main character on the NBC drama The Book of Daniel, in 2006. The show was canceled after the first three weeks of its run, and its last five episodes never aired. In 2007, Quinn received his second Emmy nomination for the television movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
In 2010, he played a cameo role as William Rainsferd in the French-made film Sarah's Key, set during World War II.
He starred as "Dermot" opposite Taylor Schilling (Abby) in the Canadian-Irish drama film Stay (2013).
Quinn currently co-stars in the CBS Television series Elementary.
In 1987, Quinn married his Stakeout co-star, Elizabeth Bracco (sister of actress Lorraine Bracco). They have two daughters: Mia (b. 1998) and Ava Eileen (b. 1989), who has autism. Ava appeared as the baby "David" in Avalon, and Mia played a ghost in The Eclipse. Former residents of Englewood, New Jersey, Quinn and his family now live in Palisades, Rockland County, New York and Marbletown in the Catskills / Woodstock region of Ulster County, New York.
Quinn has participated in charity golf events for the East Lake Foundation, a community redevelopment program, and Samuel L. Jackson's "One for the Boys" campaign about testicular cancer awareness. In 2010, Quinn attended a premiere benefit screening of A Shine of Rainbows for the International Children's Media Center (ICMC) and The American Ireland Fund (AIF). In 1991, he read a segment from Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis as part of MTV's "Books: Feed Your Head" literacy promotion PSAs.
Quinn spoke at the 2003 "Night of Too Many Stars" gala benefiting The Autism Coalition. He was an honorary board member of the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), which merged with Autism Speaks.
|1985||Desperately Seeking Susan||Dez|
|1986||Mission, TheThe Mission||Felipe Mendoza|
|1987||Stakeout||Richard 'Stick' Montgomery|
|1990||Handmaid's Tale, TheThe Handmaid's Tale||Nick|
|Lemon Sisters, TheThe Lemon Sisters||Frankie McGuinness|
|1991||At Play in the Fields of the Lord||Martin Quarrier|
|1992||Playboys, TheThe Playboys||Tom Casey|
|1993||Benny & Joon||Benjamin 'Benny' Pearl|
|1994||Blink||Det. John Hallstrom|
|Frankenstein||Cpt. Robert Walton|
|Legends of the Fall||Alfred Ludlow|
|1995||Stars Fell on Henrietta, TheThe Stars Fell on Henrietta||Don Day|
|Haunted||Prof. David Ash|
|Lumière and Company||Short film: "John Boorman"|
|1996||Looking for Richard||Richmond|
|Michael Collins||Harry Boland|
|Assignment, TheThe Assignment||Lt. Cmdr. Annibal Ramirez / Carlos|
|1998||This Is My Father||Kieran O'Day||Also Executive Producer;
Nominated - Irish Film and Television Award
|Practical Magic||Officer Gary Hallet||Nominated - Blockbuster Entertainment Award|
|1999||In Dreams||Paul Cooper|
|Music of the Heart||Brian Turner|
|2000||Songcatcher||Tom Bledsoe||Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize (shared with cast)|
|2002||Stolen Summer||Joe O'Malley||Production chronicled in Project Greenlight|
|2003||Song for a Raggy Boy||William Franklin||Nominated - IFTA Award|
|2004||Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius||Harry Vardon|
|Shadow of Fear||Detective Scofield|
|Return to Sender||Frank Nitzche||Alternate title: Convicted;
Nominated - IFTA Award
|Proud||Commodore Alfred Lind|
|2005||Nine Lives||Henry||Nominated - Gotham Award (shared with cast)|
|2007||Dark Matter||Prof. Jacob Reiser|
|2008||Wild Child||Gerry Moore|
|2009||Shine of Rainbows, AA Shine of Rainbows||Alec|
|Eclipse, TheThe Eclipse||Nicholas Holden||IFTA Award|
|Handsome Harry||Prof. Porter|
|Festival of Lights||Adem|
|Jonah Hex||President Ulysses S. Grant|
|Sarah's Key||William Rainsferd|
|Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright||Charlie Wright|
|The 5th Quarter||Steven Abbate|
|The Pilgrims: The Journey to a New World for Autism||Himself|
|Stand Up, TheThe Stand Up||Sandy Hardwick|
|The Greening of Whitney Brown||Henry Brown|
|Muide Éire||Himself||Alternate title: We Are Ireland|
|2012||If I Were You||Derek|
|Allegiance||Lieutenant Colonel Owens||Alternate title: Recalled|
|2013||The Last Keepers||John Carver|
|2014||Journey to Sundance||Himself|
|2018||The Gettysburg Address||Theodore Parker||Voice|
|1985||An Early Frost||Michael Pierson||NBC TV film;
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award
|1987||All My Sons||Chris Keller||PBS TV film, presented in American Playhouse|
|1989||Perfect Witness||Sam Paxton||HBO TV film|
|1991||Lies of the Twins||James / Jonathan McEwan||USA TV film|
|1992||Private Matter, AA Private Matter||Bob Finkbine||HBO TV film;
Nominated - CableACE Award
|1994||Ken Burns' Baseball||Himself / Various||PBS miniseries;
|1995||The Irish in America||Narrator||A&E Biography TV film|
|Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to America||Narrator||TV film|
|1997||Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone||Henry Morton Stanley||ABC TV film|
|2000||The Prince and the Pauper||Miles Hendon||Hallmark TV film|
|Two of Us||Paul McCartney||VH1 TV film|
|The Young Messiah||Narrator||RTÉ TV film;
Alternate title: The Messiah XXI
|2001||Night Visions||Jeremy Bell||Ep. 1.1: "The Passenger List"|
|Project Greenlight||Himself||The making of Season 1 winner, Stolen Summer;
|2003||Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor||Gen. Benedict Arnold V||A&E TV film|
|Freedom: A History of US||Mob Member / Philadelphia Press Editorial||PBS miniseries;
|2004||See You in My Dreams||Joe F. Brown||CBS TV film|
|Plainsong||Tom Guthrie||CBS TV film|
|Cavedweller||Clint Windsor||Showtime TV film;
Nominated - Independent Spirit Award
|Miracle Run||Douglas Thomas||LMN TV film|
|2004-05||Third Watch||Lt. / Captain John Miller||5 episodes
|2005||The Exonerated||Kerry Max Cook||CourtTV film|
|Empire Falls||David Roby||HBO miniseries;
|Mayday||John Berry||CBS TV film|
|2006||Book of Daniel, TheThe Book of Daniel||Daniel Webster||Lead role;
|All*Star Cup||Himself (Team USA)||Celebrity golf event in Wales
|2007||Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee||Henry L. Dawes||HBO TV film;
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award, OFTA Award, Satellite Award
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Ben Nicholson||Ep. 9.4: "Savant"|
|2008||Canterbury's Law||Matthew 'Matt' Furey||Main cast;
|The Prince of Motor City||Charlie Hamilton||ABC drama pilot|
|2010||White Collar||Prof. George Oswald||Ep. 2.3: "Copycat Caffrey"|
|2011||Weeds||Foster 'Chuck' Klein||4 episodes
|Prime Suspect||Lt. Kevin Sweeney||Main cast;
|2012||The Horses of McBride||Matt Davidson||CTV film|
|2012-present||Elementary||Captain Thomas 'Tommy' Gregson||Main cast;
|2014||From Tee to Green: The Story of Irish Golf||Narrator||Setanta Sports miniseries;
|Year||Production||Role||Venue / Notes|
|1979||The Man in 605||Jerry Green||Performance Community Theater, Chicago;
Produced and directed by Byrne Piven at the Piven Theatre Workshop
|The Irish Hebrew Lesson||Chicago, IL;
Written by Wolf Mankowitz
|1984||Fool for Love||Eddie||Douglas Fairbanks Theater, NY|
|1985||Hamlet||Prince Hamlet||Wisdom Bridge Theatre, IL;
Directed by Robert Falls
|1985-1986||A Lie of the Mind||Frankie||Promenade Theatre, NY|
|1988||A Streetcar Named Desire||Stanley Kowalski||Broadway - Circle in the Square Theatre, NY;
Theatre World Award recipient
|2003||The Exonerated||Kerry Max Cook||45 Bleecker Theater, Bleecker Street, NY;
Curran Theatre, San Francisco, CA
|2004||Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted||Dalton Trumbo||Westside Theatre (Downstairs), NY|
|2005||The Exonerated||Kerry Max Cook||Queen's Hall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe|
|2006||Riverside Studios, West End of London;
Dublin Theatre Festival
|2008||Conversations in Tusculum||Brutus||The Public Theater, NY|
|1986||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special||An Early Frost||Nominated|
|1988||Theatre World Award||A Streetcar Named Desire||Won|
|1993||CableACE Award for Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries||A Private Matter||Nominated|
|1999||Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Male Role||This Is My Father||Nominated|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor - Comedy / Romance||Practical Magic||Nominated|
|2000||Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize For Ensemble Cast (shared with cast)||Songcatcher||Won|
|2003||Irish Film & Television Award (IFTA) for Best Actor in a Film - Public Vote||N/A||Nominated|
|Irish Film & Television Award (IFTA) for Best Actor in a Film - Jury Award||Song for a Raggy Boy||Nominated|
|2005||Irish Film & Television Award (IFTA) for Best Actor in a Feature Film||Return to Sender (aka Convicted)||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male||Cavedweller||Nominated|
|Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast (shared with cast)||Nine Lives||Nominated|
|2007||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie||Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee||Nominated|
|Online Film & Television Association (OFTA) Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Nominated|
|Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television||Nominated|
|2010||Irish Film & Television Award (IFTA) for Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Film||The Eclipse||Won|
Aidan Quinn supports the following charitable cause: Autism.