Richard Jenkins

Richard Dale Jenkins (born May 4, 1947) is an American actor. He began his career in theater at the Trinity Repertory Company and made his film debut in 1974. He has worked steadily in film and television since the 1980s, mostly in supporting roles. His first major role did not come until the early 2000s, when he played deceased patriarch Nathaniel Fisher on the HBO funeral drama series Six Feet Under (2001–2005). He is also known for his roles in the films Burn After Reading (2008), Step Brothers (2008), Let Me In (2010), Jack Reacher (2012), The Cabin in the Woods (2012), The Shape of Water (2017), and The Last Shift (2020).

Richard Jenkins
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Jenkins in 2015
Richard Dale Jenkins

(1947-05-04) May 4, 1947 (age 74)
Alma materIllinois Wesleyan University
Years active1974–present
Sharon R. Friedrick
(m. 1969)

Jenkins was nominated for two Academy Awards for his roles in the films The Visitor (2007) and The Shape of Water (2017), as well as winning a Primetime Emmy Award for his role in the television miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014). He was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Critics' Choice Television Award, two Critics' Choice Movie Awards, three Independent Spirit Awards, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Early lifeEdit

Jenkins was born and raised in DeKalb, Illinois. His mother, Mary Elizabeth (née Wheeler), was a housewife, and his father, Dale Stevens Jenkins, was a dentist.[1][2] He attended DeKalb High School. Before he was an actor, Jenkins drove a linen truck (his boss was actor John C. Reilly's father).[3][4] He earned a degree in drama from Illinois Wesleyan University before relocating to Rhode Island.



Jenkins worked with the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, while breaking into film with a bit part in Feasting with Panthers (1974), a television film about Oscar Wilde. When he was given the option of joining the Screen Actors Guild, he accepted immediately.[5] He continued as a member of Trinity's resident acting company and served as its artistic director from 1990 to 1994.[6]


Since his debut in the television movie Feasting with Panthers (1974), Jenkins has worked steadily in film. His earlier film credits include Silverado (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Sea of Love (1989), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Flirting with Disaster (1996), and Snow Falling On Cedars (1999).

He has worked with the director siblings the Farrelly brothers in There's Something About Mary (1998), Outside Providence (1999), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Say It Isn't So (2001) and Hall Pass (2011). He has also appeared in three Coen Brothers movies: The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), and Burn After Reading (2008). He is in North Country (2005), has three memorable scenes as FBI Director James (Robert) Grace in The Kingdom (2007), and Step Brothers (2008).

Jenkins in April 2011

Although primarily known for supporting parts, Jenkins had a lead role in The Visitor (2007) for which he was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor.[7] Jenkins won the International Press Academy's Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture.

In 2010, Jenkins costarred in Dear John, as the father of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), and also co-starred with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in Eat Pray Love. In 2012, he appeared in the Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard horror film The Cabin in the Woods and the action film Jack Reacher. He then appeared in the action films White House Down (2013) and Kong: Skull Island (2017).

Jenkins co-starred in Guillermo del Toro's fantasy romance drama film The Shape of Water (2017), for which he received critical acclaim. For his performance, he garnered Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.


Jenkins is perhaps best known on television for playing Nathaniel Fisher in the HBO drama series Six Feet Under. His character is the deceased patriarch of the Fisher family and regularly appears to his family as a ghost or in dreams. He played the role for the show's entire run. He and his castmates received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2002.

Jenkins portrayed a DEA agent in one episode of Miami Vice and a mob boss in a later episode.

In 2015, Jenkins won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his performance as Henry Kitteridge in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Jenkins is married to choreographer Sharon R. Friedrick, with whom he has two children.[9][10]

Awards and honorsEdit

In 2014, Jenkins and his wife Sharon received the Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence.[11][12]



Title Year Role Director Notes
Silverado 1985 Kelly Lawrence Kasdan
Hannah and Her Sisters 1986 Dr. Wilkes Woody Allen
The Manhattan Project 1986 Radiation Controls Officer, Medatomics Lab Marshall Brickman
On Valentine's Day 1986 Bobby Pate Ken Harrison
Rachel River 1987 Cordell Sandy Smolan
The Witches of Eastwick 1987 Clyde Alden George Miller
Courtship 1987 Bobby Pate Howard Cummings
Little Nikita 1988 Richard Grant Richard Benjamin
Stealing Home 1988 Hank Chandler Steven Kampmann
William Porter
Sea of Love 1989 Detective Gruber Harold Becker
Blaze 1989 Picayune Ron Shelton
How I Got into College 1989 Bill Browne Savage Steve Holland
Blue Steel 1990 Attorney Mel Dawson Kathryn Bigelow
Undercover Blues 1993 Frank Herbert Ross
It Could Happen to You 1994 C. Vernon Hale Andrew Bergman
Trapped in Paradise 1994 Agent Shaddus Peyser George Gallo
Wolf 1994 Detective Bridger Mike Nichols
How to Make an American Quilt 1995 Howell Saunders Jocelyn Moorhouse
The Indian in the Cupboard 1995 Victor Frank Oz
Flirting with Disaster 1996 Paul Harmon David O. Russell Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
A Couch in New York 1996 Campton Chantal Akerman
Eddie 1996 Carl Zimmer Steve Rash
Eye of God 1997 Willard Sprague Tim Blake Nelson
Absolute Power 1997 Michael McCarty Clint Eastwood
There's Something About Mary 1998 Psychiatrist Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Uncredited cameo
The Impostors 1998 Johnny Leguard Stanley Tucci
Random Hearts 1999 Truman Trainor Sydney Pollack
Snow Falling on Cedars 1999 Sheriff Art Moran Scott Hicks
The Mod Squad 1999 Det. Bob Mothershed Scott Silver
Outside Providence 1999 Barney Michael Corrente
The Confession 1999 Cass O'Donnell David Hugh Jones
What Planet Are You From? 2000 Don Fisk Mike Nichols
Me, Myself & Irene 2000 Agent Boshane Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Say It Isn't So 2001 Walter Wingfield J.B. Rogers
The Man Who Wasn't There 2001 Walter Abundas Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
One Night at McCool's 2001 Father Jimmy Harald Zwart
Stealing Harvard 2002 Honorable Emmett Cook Bruce McCulloch
Changing Lanes 2002 Walter Arnell Roger Michell
Cheaper by the Dozen 2003 Shake McGuire Shawn Levy
Intolerable Cruelty 2003 Freddy Bender Joel
Ethan Coen
The Core 2003 General Thomas Purcell Jon Amiel
The Mudge Boy 2003 Edgar Mudge Michael Burke
Shall We Dance? 2004 Devine Peter Chelsom
I Heart Huckabees 2004 Mr. Hooten David O. Russell Uncredited cameo
Fun with Dick and Jane 2005 Frank Bascombe Dean Parisot
Rumor Has It… 2005 Earl Huttinger Rob Reiner
North Country 2005 Hank Aimes Niki Caro
The Kingdom 2007 FBI Director Robert Grace Peter Berg
The Visitor 2008 Professor Walter Vale Tom McCarthy
The Broken 2008 John McVey Sean Ellis
Step Brothers 2008 Dr. Robert Doback Adam McKay San Diego Film Critics Society — Special Award
Burn After Reading 2008 Ted Treffon Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
San Diego Film Critics Society — Special Award
The Tale of Despereaux 2008 Principal Sam Fell
Robert Stevenhagen
San Diego Film Critics Society — Special Award
Waiting for Forever 2009 Richard Twist James Keach
happythankyoumoreplease 2010 Paul Gertmanian Josh Radnor
Dear John 2010 Bill Tyree Lasse Hallström
Eat Pray Love 2010 Richard Ryan Murphy
Norman 2010 Doug Long Jonathan Segal Breckenridge Festival of Film for Best Ensemble Cast
Let Me In 2010 The Father Matt Reeves Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Best Supporting Actor
Friends with Benefits 2011 Mr. Harper Will Gluck
The Rum Diary 2011 Edward J. Lotterman Bruce Robinson
Hall Pass 2011 Coakley Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Liberal Arts 2012 Professor Peter Hoberg Josh Radnor
Darling Companion 2012 Russell Lawrence Kasdan
The Cabin in the Woods 2012 Gary Sitterson Drew Goddard
Killing Them Softly 2012 Ron Fenwick, The Driver Andrew Dominik
Jack Reacher 2012 District Attorney Alex Rodin Christopher McQuarrie
The Company You Keep 2012 Jed Lewis Robert Redford
White House Down 2013 Speaker Eli Raphelson Roland Emmerich
Turbo 2013 Bobby David Soren Voice
A.C.O.D. 2013 Hugh Stu Zicherman
God's Pocket 2014 Richard Shelburn John Slattery
4 Minute Mile 2014 Coach Coleman Charles-Olivier Michaud
Lullaby 2014 Robert Andrew Levitas
Bone Tomahawk 2015 Deputy Chicory S. Craig Zahler Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Spotlight 2015 Richard Sipe Tom McCarthy Uncredited voice cameo
The Hollars 2016 Don Hollar John Krasinski
LBJ 2016 Senator Richard Russell Rob Reiner
Kong: Skull Island 2017 Senator Al Willis Jordan Vogt-Roberts
The Shape of Water 2017 Giles Guillermo del Toro St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor (3rd place)
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Kajillionaire 2020 Robert Shepard Miranda July
The Last Shift 2020 Stanley Andrew Cohn
The Humans 2021 Erik Blake Stephen Karam Post-production
Nightmare Alley 2021 Ezra Grindle Guillermo del Toro Post-production


Title Year Role Notes
Great Performances 1974-1975 Warder / The Sheriff 2 episodes
American Playhouse 1984 Nicholas Vazzana Episode: "Concealed Enemies, Part I: Suspicion"
Spenser: For Hire 1985 'Tex' Episode: "Internal Affairs"
Miami Vice 1985-1989 Goodman / DEA Agent Ed Waters 2 episodes
The Little Sister 1986 Roger Davis Television film
In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders 1988 Detective Hamill Television film
Out on the Edge 1989 Paul Evetts Television film
When You Remember Me 1990 Vaughan Television film
Challenger 1990 Gregory Jarvis Television film
Against the Law 1990 Wexford 2 episodes
Descending Angel 1990 Debaudt Television film
Doublecrossed 1991 Jim Donaldson Television film
Crossroads 1992 Jim Mundy Episode: "Pilot"
Alex Haley's Queen 1993 Mr. Benson 2 episodes
And the Band Played On 1993 Dr. Marc Conant Television film
The Boys Next Door 1996 Bob Klemper Television film
Into Thin Air: Death on Everest 1997 Beck Weathers Television film
Ally McBeal 2001 Mr. Bo Episode: "Mr. Bo"
Six Feet Under 2001–2005 Nathaniel Fisher 21 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Sins of the Father 2002 Bobby Frank Cherry Television film
Olive Kitteridge 2014 Henry Kitteridge 4 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Berlin Station 2016–2019 Steven Frost 24 episodes
Comrade Detective 2017 Vlad Anghel (voice) Episode: "No Exit"


  1. ^ Benjamin Secher (2008-06-28). "Richard Jenkins: bald, 61 years old - and a star at last". Archived from the original on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  2. ^ "Richard Jenkins profile". Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  3. ^ "Reilly + Movie Dad Met When He Was Four". 2008-06-29. Archived from the original on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  4. ^ Stated on the Late Show with David Letterman, February 3, 2009.
  5. ^ Moynihan, Rob (January 19, 2015). "How I Got My SAG-AFTRA Card", TV Guide. p. 8
  6. ^ "History". Trinity Rep. Archived from the original on 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  7. ^ Maxwell, Erin and Michael Jones. Variety "Film trio feel the Spirit." Archived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine December 2, 2008
  8. ^ Boedeker, Hal (September 20, 2015). "Emmys: Viola Davis makes history; HBO scores". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2015-10-02. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  9. ^ Gordon, David (May 8, 2016). "Richard and Sharon Jenkins Bring Oklahoma! to Life at Trinity Rep". TheaterMania. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020.
  10. ^ Brady, Tara (February 9, 2018). ""I said 'I'm in the movie,' and the guy on the gate said 'Yeah sure, me too' "". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020.
  11. ^ "Richard and Sharon Jenkins to Receive Trinity Rep's 2014 Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement; Ceremony Set for 6/9". Broadway World. April 8, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-09. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  12. ^ Gray, Channing (June 9, 2014). "Pell Awards salute the best of R.I. arts". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  13. ^ "30th Moscow International Film Festival (2008)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-06-02.

External linksEdit