TIM ROBBINS Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Born October 16, 1958 in West Covina, California, he was the son of folk singer Gil Robbins; raised in Greenwich Village, he made his performing debut alongside his father on a duet of the protest song “Ink Is Black But the Page Is White.” At the age of 12 Robbins joined the Theatre for the New City, remaining a member for the next seven years; he also joined his high-school drama club, an experience which afforded him his first opportunities to direct for the stage. After briefly attending the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, he relocated to Los Angeles to study at UCLA; there he also joined the Male Death Cult, an intramural softball team comprised of his fellow drama students. After graduating, the teammates reunited to form the Actor’s Gang, an avant-garde theater troupe noted for productions of works by the likes of Bertolt Brecht and Alfred Jarry.


After guest-starring on television series including Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere, in 1984 Robbins made his film debut with a bit part in the feature Toy Soldiers. His first starring role came in 1985’s teen sex romp Fraternity Vacation. Small roles in hits including Top Gun and The Sure Thing followed before a breakout performance as a doltish fastballer in Ron Shelton’s hit 1988 baseball comedy Bull Durham. An onscreen romance with co-star Susan Sarandon soon expanded into their offscreen lives as well, and the twosome became one of Hollywood’s most prominent couples. A series of starring roles in films including 1989’s misbegotten Erik the Viking and 1990’s Jacob’s Ladder followed before Altman’s 1992 showbiz satire The Player won Robbins “Best Actor” honors at the Cannes Film Festival. That same year, he wrote, directed, starred and performed the music in Bob Roberts, a mock-documentary brutally parodying right-wing politics.


Upon appearing in Altman’s 1993 ensemble piece Short Cuts, Robbins enjoyed starring roles in four major 1994 releases – The Hudsucker Proxy, I.Q., Ready to Wear (Pret-a-Porter), and the Oscar-nominated The Shawshank Redemption. However, his most acclaimed project to date was 1995’s Dead Man Walking, a gut-wrenching examination of the death penalty, which earned him an Oscar nomination for “Best Director;” Sean Penn, portraying a death row inmate, garnered a “Best Actor” nomination while Sarandon won “Best Actress” honors. After a three-year hiatus from acting, Robbins returned to the screen in 1997 with the comedy Nothing to Lose; he soon announced plans to mount a film adaptation of Cradle Will Rock, based on a Marc Blitzstein play first staged by Orson Welles six decades earlier. The film, which examined the relationship between art and politics in 1930s America, premiered at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. That same year, audiences could view Robbins as a clean-cut suburban terrorist opposite Jeff Bridges in Arlington Road.