Dennis Christopher (born Dennis Carrelli; December 2, 1955) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in Breaking Away (1979), Fade to Black (1980), It (1990), Chariots of Fire (1981), and Django Unchained (2012). He has appeared in nearly 40 movies and made-for-TV movies since 1975.
December 2, 1955
Christopher was born Dennis Carrelli in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father is of Italian descent and his mother is of Irish descent. He graduated from Monsignor Bonner High School, where he appeared in the school musical.
He is married to Margarett Soloman.
A 1972 chance encounter in which he stumbled upon Frederico Fellini filming in Rome led to the director casting Christopher in the uncredited role of "Hippie" in his 1972 movie Roma. After that, Christopher worked as an assistant to the fashion designer Halston.
Christopher's breakthrough role was as Dave Stohler in the coming-of-age classic Breaking Away (1979). His performance won him the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the Youth in Film Award for Best Juvenile Actor in a Motion Picture, as well as garnering a Golden Globe nomination.
Christopher's other roles include American track star Charlie Paddock in Chariots of Fire (1981), as well as tragic film-buff psychopath Eric Binford in Fade to Black (1980), Damon in The Falling (1985), Nathan Flowers in A Sinful Life (1989) and Leech in Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II (1994). Television roles include "Jack of All Trades" in the Profiler TV series, Eddie Kaspbrak in Stephen King's It (1990), Desmond Floyd in Jake Speed (1986) and in the HBO series Deadwood.
Christopher has guest starred in two Star Trek episodes: the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Search (Part II)" and the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Detained". He guest-starred as the demon-sorcerer Cyvus Vail in three episodes of Angel.
He reunited with his Breaking Away "father" Paul Dooley, playing Dooley's son for a third time, in a 2003 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The two had first played father and son in Robert Altman's A Wedding (1978).
Christopher was cast as Leonide Moguy in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012). He learned through his agent that the screenplay had been re-written to accommodate him. Furthermore, Tarantino later told Christopher that he had seen every one of his films the week that they were released, even Dead Women in Lingerie (which Christopher considers his worst). Production of the film made a very positive impact on Christopher, who stated, "...a lot of my idea of happiness came from working on this film...".
|1971||Blood and Lace||Pete|
|1971||The Young Graduates||Pan|
|1977||3 Women||Soda Delivery Boy||uncredited|
|1977||September 30, 1955||Eugene|
|1978||A Wedding||Hughie Brenner|
|1979||Breaking Away||Dave Stohler||BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Role|
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year — Actor
|1979||The Last Word||Ben Travis|
|1980||Fade to Black||Eric Binford||Taomina International Film Festival for Bronze Mask Award|
Young Artist Award for Best Juvenile Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Actor
|1981||Chariots of Fire||Charles Paddock|
|1982||Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder||Brian Anderson|
|1983||Didn't You Hear...||Kevin|
|1986||Flight of the Spruce Goose||Stan|
|1986||Jake Speed||Desmond Floyd|
|1986||Alien Predator||Damon||also known as "The Falling"|
|1989||A Sinful Life||Nathan Flowers|
|1991||The Disco Years||Mr. Reese||Short film|
|1991||Dead Women in Lingerie||Lapin|
|1993||Necronomicon: Book of Dead||Dale Porkel||part 2|
|1994||Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II||Leech|
|1995||Aurora: Operation Intercept||Victor Varenkov|
|1995||Bad English I: Tales of a Song of a Brit||unknown role|
|1996||It's My Party||Douglas Reedy|
|2010||Queen of the Lot||Odin Johannessen|
|2012||Django Unchained||Leonide Moguy||Nominated - Gold Derby Award for Ensemble Cast|
|2013||The Slippery Slope||Pastor Tomaso||Short film|
|1967||The Time Tunnel||Young Merlin||Uncredited|
Episode: "Merlin the Magician"
|1976||Bernice Bobs Her Hair||Charley||TV Movie|
|1979||Elvis||Nick Adams||TV Movie|
|1983||Faerie Tale Theatre||Jack||Episode: "Jack and the Beanstalk"|
|1984||Tales of the Unexpected||Killer||Episode: "Number Eight"|
|1984||Trapper John, M.D.||Daryl Kirby||Episode: "Promises...Promises"|
|1985||Moonlighting||Benjamin Wylie||Episode: "The Lady in the Iron Mask"|
|1986||Cagney & Lacey||Dr. Stanley||Episode: "A Safe Place"|
|1986||The Equalizer||Father Nicholas Kostmayer||Episode: "The Cup"|
|1987||Stingray||Joshua Williams||Episode: "The Second Finest Man Who Ever Lived"|
|1987||Hooperman||Danny Welles||Episode: "Blues for Danny Welles"|
|1989||Matlock||Noel Bishop||Episode: "The Star"|
|1990–93||Murder, She Wrote||Dr. Henry Carlson / Lyman Tagart||Episodes: "Shear Madness", "Final Curtain"|
|1991||Monsters||Laurence Bauer||Episode: "Hostile Takeover"|
|1991||False Arrest||Wally Roberts||TV Movie|
|1992||Civil Wars||Jamie Berne||Episode: "Oceans White with Phone"|
|1992||Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story||Randy||TV Movie|
|1994||Winnetka Road||Sam Franklin||Episode: "Women in Love"|
|1994||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Borath||Episode: "The Search: Part II"|
|1994||The Cosby Mysteries||Eric Humbold||Episode: "Mirror, Mirror"|
|1995||The Watcher||Sascha||Episode: "Heartburned"|
|1995||Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare||Pruitt Taylor Beachaump||TV Movie|
|1996||SeaQuest 2032||Ambassador Dillington||Episode: "Reunion"|
|1996||The Sentinel||Dr. Anthony Bates||Episode: "Cypher"|
|1996||Pacific Blue||Dr. Mortimer T. Anton||Episode: "The Phoenix"|
|1996||Tarzan: The Epic Adventures||Philip D'Arnot||Episode: "Tarzan's Return: Part I"|
|1996||The Burning Zone||Dr. Balfour||Episode: "Lethal Injection"|
|1996–99||Profiler||Jack of All Trades / Albert Newquay / Sheriff Ed Post||recurring role (45 episodes)|
|1997||Skeletons||Jim Norton||TV Movie|
|1998||New York Undercover||Dr. Royce||Episode: "Spare Parts"|
|2000–01||FreakyLinks||Vince Elsing||series regular (13 episodes)|
|2001||The Ballad of Lucy Whipple||Joshua 'Carrots' Beale||TV Movie|
|2001||Roswell||Bobby Dupree||Episodes: "Disturbing Behavior", "How the Other Half Lives"|
|2001||Kate Brasher||Jesus||Episodes: "Jeff", "Georgia"|
|2001||18 Wheels of Justice||Vin Malfi||Episode: "The Game"|
|2002||Star Trek: Enterprise||Danik||Episode: "Detained"|
|2002||Crossing Jordan||Charles Rutledge||Episode: "One Twelve"|
|2003||Six Feet Under||Kevin Lamb||Episode: "Nobody Sleeps"|
|2003||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Roger Coffman||Episode: "Cherry Red"|
|2004||Angel||Cyvus Vail||Episodes: "Origin", "Power Play", "Not Fade Away"|
|2004||NYPD Blue||Gerard Prosser||Episode: "The Vision Thing"|
|2006||Deadwood||Bellegarde||recurring role (5 episodes)|
|2006||The Lost Room||Dr. Martin Ruber||Miniseries|
|2007||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Richard Dorsey / Homeless Guy||Episodes: "Cockroaches", "Lying Down with Dogs"|
|2008||Criminal Minds||Abner Merriman||Episode: "Damaged"|
|2013||Unforgettable||Lukas Emminger||Episode: "Line Up or Shut Up"|
|2014||Perception||Fred Gorman||Episode: "Cobra"|
|2014||Celebrity Ghost Stories||Himself (interviewee)||Reality series|
Episode: "Mary Lynn Rajskub/Dennis Christopher/Barbara Steele/Gary Daniels"
|2016||Graves||Martin Treadwell||recurring role (4 episodes)|
|1981||The Little Foxes||Leo Hubbard||Martin Beck Theatre||126 performances|
|1983||Brothers||Tommy||Music Box Theatre||1 performance|
-  Archived January 22, 2013, at archive.today
- "Pouring Soy Sauce On The Parade, episode #133 of Sklarbro Country on Earwolf". Earwolf.com. February 8, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
- "'Breaking Away' was this actor's breakout role. Fans say it changed their lives, too". November 22, 2019.
- "1st Annual Youth In Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- "Dennis Christopher on Tarantino, DiCaprio, and 'Django Unchained'".