CHRIS O'DONNELL Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Christopher Eugene O'Donnell                                                       
Born: 26 June 1970 Winnetka, Illinois, United States                                     
Christopher Eugene O'Donnell (born June 26, 1970) is a Golden Globe Award-nominated     
American actor, perhaps best known for playing Robin in the Batman films, Batman         
Forever and Batman & Robin, Charlie Simms in Scent of a Woman, Finn Dandridge in         
Grey's Anatomy, and more recently, Jack McCauliffe in The Company.                       
O'Donnell, the youngest of seven children (with four sisters and two brothers),         
was born in Winnetka, Illinois, the son of Julie, a realtor, and William O'Donnell,     
Sr., a radio manager. O'Donnell is of paternal Irish and maternal German                 
descent; he was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools,                           
including Loyola Academy in Willmette, Illinois for high school, graduating in           
1988. O'Donnell attended Boston College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in         
marketing. He subsequently attended law school at UCLA but did not graduate.             
From the ages of thirteen to sixteen, O'Donnell began modeling, and was featured         
in several commercials.                                                                 
O'Donnell was discovered when he was cast in a McDonald's commercial, in which           
he served Michael Jordan. His first television role was an appearance on the             
series Jack and Mike in 1986. At the age of seventeen, he was offered a chance           
to audition for a part in the movie Men Don’t Leave, with Jessica Lange, and he       
won the role. In the early 1990s, O'Donnell was a featured player in many               
successful movies such as Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), School Ties (1992), and           
Scent of a Woman (1992) with Al Pacino. He was named one of the twelve Promising         
New Actors of 1992 in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 44.                               
After the success of Circle of Friends (1995), O'Donnell played Robin in Batman         
Forever. The role of Robin was one of the most sought-after roles at that time.         
O'Donnell was part of a field that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon,               
Christian Bale (who later went on to play the Dark Knight himself), Jude Law,           
Ewan McGregor, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Toby Stephens, and Scott Speedman.             
Producers narrowed their choices to DiCaprio and O'Donnell. At a comic book             
convention, they asked a group of eleven year-old boys, the target audience,             
attending which actor could beat the other in a fistfight. When the boys                 
overwhelmingly declared O'Donnell the winner, he was ultimately given the role.         
Ironically, O'Donnell was 20th Century Fox's favorite choice for Jack Dawson in         
Titanic, but DiCaprio ended up receiving it.                                             
O'Donnell followed that film with an appearance in the 1996 film The Chamber,           
based on the John Grisham novel, which was a good success at the box office. He         
subsequently appeared in the Batman sequel, Batman & Robin, in 1997. Critically         
panned, the movie turned out to be one of the largest box office failures in             
history. He was considered for the lead role in Spider-Man, when the project was         
in development with James Cameron directing in 1996. Tobey Maguire was                   
ultimately cast.                                                                         
O'Donnell did not appear in another movie for two years. He was the producers'           
original choice for the role of James Edwards in Men in Black (1997), but, after         
he turned it down, the role went to Will Smith. His next appearance was in               
the Robert Altman film Cookie's Fortune, as part of the ensemble. His more               
mainstream comeback films The Bachelor (1999) and Vertical Limit (2000) were             
only moderately successful. Following Vertical Limit, a four-year hiatus led             
many to believe he had met the same career fate of his Batman & Robin co-star           
Alicia Silverstone. However, in 2004, he appeared in the widely praised Kinsey.         
O'Donnell took a lead role in the Fox Network television series Head Cases in           
2005. The show was the first show of the fall 2005 season to be cancelled, and           
only two episodes were aired. He was subsequently cast as veterinarian Finn             
Dandridge on the popular ABC drama Grey's Anatomy. O'Donnell appeared in the             
last six episodes of the 2005 – 2006 season, and has made additional appearances       
in the 2006 – 2007 season.                                                             
Most recently, he has figured prominently in the acclaimed TNT miniseries The           
Company as fictional CIA agent Jack McCauliffe in a performance which subtly             
portrayed his character's progression from spoon-fed Yale elitist to jaded, post-Cold   
War cynic.