DENNIS QUAID Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » dennis quaid


Born in Texas in 1954, Quaid followed his big brother Randy’s lead and began acting in high school before leaving college to give Hollywood a try. After several years of many rejections and a few insignificant roles, he was cast in a small coming-of-age film called Breaking Away (1979). With a paltry budget of $2.4 million and no stars, this movie about a group of working class friends in who compete for bragging rights in a bicycle race against silver spoon collegians became a huge box office success, putting Quaid on the map right along with Bloomington, Indiana. Although the doors to leading Hollywood roles were opened to him, Quaid initially ended up in forgettable films like The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981) and Tough Enough (1983), which at least gave Quaid a chance to showcase his musical talents. Then with his carefree portrayal of astronaut Gordon Cooper in The Right Stuff (1983), Quaid’s stardom was finally cemented.


A few years later, in a film tailor-made for his talents, Quaid charmed audiences as New Orleans detective Remy McSwain in The Big Easy (1986) sharing the screen with Ellen Barkin in one of the sexiest (and amusing) love scenes ever put on film. In Great Balls of Fire (1989) Quaid drew on his own experience as a wild, party-all-night musician to play the role of Jerry Lee Lewis opposite Winona Ryder. Also starred as the redneck rapist in Johnny Belinda (1982) opposite Rosanna Arquette, as the best friend of a mentally retarded man played by Mickey Rooney in Bill (1981), and recently as Andie MacDowell’s husband in the play adaptation Dinner With Friends (2001). Quaid’s latest films include Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic (2000), The Rookie (2002), and Far from Heaven (2002) opposite Julianne Moore.


Despite the highly publicized dissolution of his long-time marriage to actress Meg Ryan in 2000, Quaid’s career has continued to flourish, receiving an added boost from the surprise success of the inventive sci-fi thriller Frequency (2000). Ruggedly handsome with an endearing lopsided grin and seemingly perpetual devil-may-care glint in his eye, Dennis Quaid has evolved into one of Hollywood’s most solid journeyman actors. Quaid’s weathered maturity mirrors the experience and depth he is able to bring to his roles.