Stephen Lang (born July 11, 1952) is an American actor. He is known for roles in films such as Manhunter (1986), Gettysburg, Tombstone (both 1993), Gods and Generals (2003), Public Enemies, The Men Who Stare at Goats (both 2009), Conan the Barbarian (2011) and Don't Breathe (2016).

Stephen Lang
Lang in February 2014
Born (1952-07-11) July 11, 1952 (age 71)[1]
New York City, U.S.[1]
Alma materSwarthmore College
  • Actor
  • playwright
  • narrator
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1981–present
Kristina Watson
(m. 1980)
Children4, including Lucy
RelativesJane Lang (sister)

He became famous for his role as the main antagonist Colonel Miles Quaritch in James Cameron's Avatar (2009), for which he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. Lang reprised the role in the sequel Avatar: The Way of Water (2022).

Besides his film roles, he has had an extensive career on Broadway, and has received a Tony Award nomination for his role in the 1992 production of The Speed of Darkness. From 2004 to 2006, he was co–artistic director of the Actors Studio.

Early life edit

Lang was born in New York City, the youngest child of Theresa (née Volmar, d. 2008) and Eugene Lang (1919–2017), a prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist.[1] Lang's mother was Catholic of German and Irish descent, while his father was Jewish. Lang's paternal grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Hungary and Russia.[2][3] He has two elder siblings—Jane, an attorney and activist, and David, who served as an executive at REFAC, the company their father founded in 1952.[2] Lang's father donated much of his net worth (in excess of $150 million) to charity and did not leave an inheritance to his children, believing they each needed to learn to become self-sufficient.[4]

Lang attended elementary school in Jamaica Estates, Queens.[5][6][failed verification] His middle school was a New York City public school, George Ryan Junior High School, in nearby Fresh Meadows.[7] For high school, he attended George School, a Quaker boarding school in Newtown, PA and graduated from there a year early (1969). He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1973 with a degree in English Literature.

Career edit

Lang (left) with Senator Daniel Inouye in 2005

Lang played Harold (Happy) Loman in the 1984 Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman and the 1985 television film with Dustin Hoffman as Willy Loman, and appeared in the first Hannibal Lecter film Manhunter (1986), as reporter Freddy Lounds.[8] He played attorney David Abrams in the television series Crime Story (1986–1988). He played the title role in the NBC movie Babe Ruth (1991). He later played the "One Armed Man" in The Fugitive, the 2000 revival starring Tim Daly. The series was a modest success but lasted only one season because of its large production budget.

In 1992, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his lead role in The Speed of Darkness. His film role in Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) garnered him widespread critical acclaim, but its limited release prevented the film from reaching a wider audience. On stage, he was the first to play the role of Colonel Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men, a role made famous on film (1992) by Jack Nicholson. He is the winner of over half a dozen theatre awards including the Drama Desk and Helen Hayes awards.

In 1992, he also played Hamlet in a Broadway production of Shakespeare's play.[9]

In films, he played Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett in Gettysburg (1993) and the lead role of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in the Gettysburg prequel Gods and Generals (2003), both from director Ronald F. Maxwell. His interest in the Civil War has prompted him to perform at symposia of The Lincoln Forum, which, in 2020, presented him with its Richard Nelson Current Award of Achievement.[10]

Shortly before Arthur Miller's death in February 2005, Lang appeared in his long-time friend's last play, titled Finishing the Picture. It premiered in 2004 at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, where Lang had the second run of his own play, Beyond Glory, which had premiered in Arlington, Virginia, early in 2004, and his Tony-nominated portrayal for The Speed of Darkness. Lang also performed Beyond Glory, a one-man show, for troops deployed overseas.[11] In 2006, he played the role of Colonel Littlefield in John Patrick Shanley's play Defiance. He brought Beyond Glory to Roundabout's Off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre in 2007.[12] Since its New York City premiere, Beyond Glory has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award and a Lucille Lortel Award both for outstanding solo performance.[13][14] A movie about the play has been produced and released.[15]

Lang has a role in the ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning, as well as roles in independent features Save Me and From Mexico with Love. He plays a lead role in James Cameron's sci-fi epic Avatar as the villainous Colonel Miles Quaritch.[16]

Lang at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, promoting Terra Nova.

In 2009, he appeared in Michael Mann's film Public Enemies as FBI Agent Charles Winstead,[17] the man widely considered to have fired the shots that killed John Dillinger,[18][19] and in Grant Heslov's The Men Who Stare at Goats alongside Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor, and George Clooney.[20]

Also in 2009, he narrated the audiobook Road Rage—which combines the short stories "Duel" by Richard Matheson and "Throttle" by Stephen King and Joe Hill—and guest-starred in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent season 8 finales, "Revolution" in the role of Axel Kaspers. In 2010 he performed the narration for "The Gettysburg Story: Battlefield Auto Tour,"[21] the top-selling audio tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield at Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Written and produced by filmmaker Jake Boritt and based on works by historian Gabor Boritt it tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg National Cemetery. Lang is also the narrator of the companion public television documentary The Gettysburg Story presented by Maryland Public Television.

Lang played the villain Khalar Zym in the 2011 Conan the Barbarian reboot starring Jason Momoa.[22] He also played one of the leads, Nathaniel Taylor, in the Steven Spielberg–produced[23] TV series Terra Nova.[24]

In February 2012, he signed on to play Mary Shannon's estranged father in a three-episode arc on the final season of the USA television series In Plain Sight.[25]

In 2013, Lang appeared in The Monkey's Paw for Chiller TV.

Lang has been confirmed as reprising his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch in the upcoming sequels to Avatar.[26]

He plays Increase Mather, in a recurring role, on WGN America's first original scripted series, Salem.[27]

Lang is part of the cast of AMC's martial-arts drama Into the Badlands. He played The Blind Man in Fede Álvarez's hit horror-thriller Don't Breathe (2016), which received positive reviews. He reprised the role in the sequel Don't Breathe 2 in 2021.[28][29]

In February 2016, Lang lobbied for the role Cable in Deadpool 2 through captioned Twitter pictures.[30] The role ultimately went to Josh Brolin. In 2017, he played Colonel Abraham Biggs in Hostiles, from director Scott Cooper. In 2018, he appeared as father of Joe Braven (Jason Momoa), Linden Braven in the action thriller film Braven, and played Shrike in Mortal Engines, which Peter Jackson produced for Universal Pictures and Media Rights Capital.[31][32][33]

Personal life edit

He has been married to Kristina Watson since 1980, and together they have four children, including New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang.[34]

On May 30, 2010, Swarthmore awarded him an honorary degree in recognition of his career in theatre, television, and film.[35] His youngest son, Noah, received his bachelor's degree during the same ceremony.[35] He also holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Jacksonville University and was an artist in residence at Northeastern University in 2011.[36]

In the fall of 2015, Lang served as a Jury Member for the Woodstock Film Festival.[37]

In 2018, Lang received the Empire State Archives and History Award from New York State Archives Partnership Trust. The annual award "acknowledges the outstanding contributions by a national figure to advance the understanding and uses of history in society."[38]

Filmography edit

Denotes works that have not yet been released

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Twice in a Lifetime Keith
1986 Band of the Hand Joe Tegra
1986 Manhunter Freddy Lounds
1987 Project X Watts
1989 Last Exit to Brooklyn Harry Black
1991 The Hard Way The Party Crasher
1991 Another You Rupert Dibbs
1993 Guilty as Sin Phil Garson
1993 Gettysburg Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett
1993 The Making of Gettysburg Himself/Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett Video documentary
1993 Tombstone Ike Clanton
1994 Murder Between Friends Kerry Myers [39]
1995 Tall Tale Jonas Hackett
1995 The Amazing Panda Adventure Dr. Michael Tyler
1996 Loose Women Prophet Buddy
1996 Gang in Blue Moose Tavola
1996 An Occasional Hell Alex Laughton
1997 Shadow Conspiracy The Agent
1997 Niagara, Niagara Claude
1997 Fire Down Below Earl Kellogg
1998 Escape: Human Cargo Aramco Contractor
1998 A Town Has Turned to Dust Sheriff
1999 The Story of a Bad Boy Spygo
2000 Trixie Jacob Slotnick
2001 The Proposal Simon Bacig
2002 D-Tox Jack Bennett
2002 The Making of Tombstone Himself/Ike Clanton
2003 The I Inside Mr. Travitt
2003 Code 11-14 Justin Shaw
2003 Gods and Generals Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
2003 Gods and Generals: Journey to the Past Himself/Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
2006 The Treatment Coach Galgano
2006 We Fight to Be Free James Craik
2007 Save Me Ted
2008 From Mexico with Love Big Al Stevens
2009 Public Enemies Charles Winstead
2009 The Men Who Stare at Goats General Hopgood
2009 Avatar Colonel Miles Quaritch Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Fight (with Sam Worthington)
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (with Sam Worthington)
Nominated—Scream Award for Best Villain
2010 Christina Inspector Edgar Reinhardt
2010 False Creek Stories Narrator
2010 White Irish Drinkers Patrick Leary
2011 Conan the Barbarian Khalar Zym
2011 Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You Barry Rogers
2013 Officer Down Lieutenant Jake LaRussa
2013 Pawn Charlie
2013 The Gettysburg Story Himself/narrator Documentary
2013 Pioneer John Ferris
2013 The Monkey's Paw Tony Cobb
2013 The Girl on the Train Det. Lloyd Martin
2014 The Nut Job King Voice
2014 In the Blood Casey
2014 Jarhead 2: Field of Fire Major James Gavins
2014 A Good Marriage Holt Ramsey
2014 Gutshot Straight Duffy
2014 23 Blast Coach Farris
2015 Exeter Father Conway
2015 Band of Robbers Injun Joe
2015 Gridlocked Korver
2015 Beyond Glory: Tour of Duty Various roles[40] Documentary
2015 Isolation William
2016 Don't Breathe Norman Nordstrom / The Blind Man
2016 Beyond Valkyrie: Dawn of the 4th Reich Major General Emil F. Reinhardt
2017 Hostiles Colonel Abraham Biggs
2017 Justice Mayor Pierce
2018 Braven Linden Braven
2018 Mortal Engines Shrike
2018 The Gandhi Murder Sunil Raina
2019 VFW Fred Parras
2019 Rogue Warfare President
2019 Rogue Warfare 2: The Hunt President
2020 Rogue Warfare: Death of a Nation President
2020 Death in Texas John
2021 The Seventh Day Archbishop
2021 Don't Breathe 2 Norman Nordstrom / The Blind Man Also executive producer
2022 The Lost City Fantasy Villain Credited as Slang
2022 Mid-Century Frederick Banner Also executive producer
2022 Old Man Old Man
2022 The Independent Gordon White
2022 My Love Affair with Marriage Jonas Voice
2022 Avatar: The Way of Water Colonel Miles Quaritch[41]
2023 Muzzle Leland
2023 The Featherweight Bill Gore
2025 Avatar 3 Colonel Miles Quaritch[41] Post-production
2029 Avatar 4 Colonel Miles Quaritch[41] Filming
TBA Hellfire TBA Post-production

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Death of a Salesman Happy TV movie
1986–1988 Crime Story Attorney David Abrams 26 episodes
1989 The Equalizer Joseph Morrison Episode: "Lullaby of Darkness"
1991 Babe Ruth Babe Ruth TV movie
1992 Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story Steven Ziegenmeyer
1993 Darkness Before Dawn Guy Grand TV movie
1994 Baseball Various voices Documentary miniseries by Ken Burns
1995 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Criminal Gun Shooter Episode: "Bullets Over Bel-Air"
1996 The West Various voices Documentary miniseries by Ken Burns
1997 The Outer Limits Dr. James Houghton Episode: "New Lease"
1997 Liberty! The American Revolution George Washington Voice; 6 episodes
1998 Escape: Human Cargo Dennis McNatt TV movie produced by Showtime.
2000 Running Mates Ron Noble (Financier) Uncredited
2000–2001 The Fugitive Ben Charnquist 5 episodes
2001 After the Storm Sergeant Major Jim TV movie
2002 Ed Jack Foster Episode: "Wheel of Justice"
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Michael Baxter Episode: "Escape"
2005 Jonny Zero Officer Tanner Episode: "To Serve and to Protect"
2005 Law & Order Terry Dorn Episode: "New York Minute"
2007 The Bronx Is Burning Inspector Dowd 3 episodes
2008 Medal of Honor Narrator PBS documentary
2009 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Axel Kaspers Episode: "Revolution"
2009 Psych Mr. Salamatchia Episode: "Shawn Gets the Yips"
2011 Terra Nova Commander Nathaniel Taylor 13 episodes (lead role)
2012 In Plain Sight James Wiley Shannon 3 episodes
2014–2017 Salem Increase Mather 10 episodes
2015 To Appomattox John Brown Episode: "The Point"
2015–2018 Into the Badlands Waldo 13 episodes
2016–2017 Shades of Blue Terrence Linklater 3 episodes
2019 The Rookie Chief Trent Williams Episode: "The Checklist"
2021 Calls Dr. Wheating (voice) Episode: "Leap Year Girl"
2021 The Good Fight David Cord 7 episodes
2024 Law & Order: Organized Crime Angus Boone[42] 3 episodes

Radio edit

Year Title Role
2021 Marvel's Wastelanders: Hawkeye Clint Barton/Hawkeye

Web edit

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Uncharted Live Action Fan Film Victor "Sully" Sullivan Fan film

Video games edit

Year Title Role Notes
2009 James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Colonel Miles Quaritch
2013 Call of Duty: Ghosts Elias Walker[43]

Awards and nominations edit

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
1991 The Speed of Darkness Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
2003 Gods and Generals Grace Award for Acting Won
2009 Avatar MTV Movie Award Best Fight (with Sam Worthington) Nominated
2009 Avatar MTV Movie Award Best Villain Nominated
2009 Avatar Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor Won
2009 Avatar Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Fight (with Sam Worthington) Nominated
2009 Avatar Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Villain Nominated
2016 Don't Breathe Fangoria Chainsaw Award Best Supporting Actor[44] Won

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Stephen Lang Biography (1952-)". Archived from the original on February 4, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Stark, John (May 28, 1990). "Forgoing His Father's Millions, Stephen Lang Bootstraps to Acting Fame with the Help of a Few Good Men. Vol. 33. № 21.". Archived from the original on March 26, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  3. ^ Panarello, Joseph. "The Multiple Personalities of Stephen Lang". Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  4. ^ Breitman, Rachel; Jones, Del (July 26, 2006). "Heirs not-so-apparent?". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 25, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  5. ^ "Stephen Lang Biography – Yahoo! Movies". July 11, 1952. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  6. ^ Klein, Alvin (April 19, 1998). "Stephen Lang, 'An Actor's Actor'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
  7. ^ Orion 1966 – Junior High School 216 Yearbook. Yearbook – distributed to graduates.: Faculty Press Inc., 1449 37th Street Brooklyn, NY 11218. 1966. p. 48.
  8. ^ "STEPHEN LANG – Bing Afbeeldingen". Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  9. ^ Review/Theater; A High-Keyed 'Hamlet' Starring Stephen Lang
  10. ^ The Lincoln Forum
  11. ^ "In Step With: Stephen Lang". Parade Magazine. June 5, 2005.
  12. ^ Daniel Henninger (August 9, 2007). "Wonder Land –". Archived from the original on May 22, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  13. ^ Dziemianowicz, Joe (April 28, 2008). "Drama Desk nominees announced". New York: Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  14. ^ Lucille Lortel Awards; Lucille Lortel Foundation; Off-Broadway database. "Lucille Lortel Awards, Off-Broadway Awards". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (May 12, 2016). "Stephen Lang's Medal of Honor Movie 'Beyond Glory' Picked Up by Gravitas". Variety Magazine. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  16. ^ Thompson, Anne (August 2, 2007). "Lang, Rodriguez armed for 'Avatar'". Variety. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2007.
  17. ^ "Crudup to play Hoover in 'Public' – Entertainment News, Film News, Media". Variety. April 2, 2008. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  18. ^ Biffle, Kent (August 6, 2005). "Who drilled Dillinger? Credit goes to Texan". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on July 12, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  19. ^ Matera, Dary (May 22, 1933). John Dillinger: The Life and Death ... - Google Books. Hachette Books. ISBN 978-0-7867-1558-9. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  20. ^ Kit, Borys (October 10, 2008). "Rebecca Mader joins 'Goats' herd". Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  21. ^ "Home – The Gettysburg Story". The Gettysburg Story.
  22. ^ Frappier, Rob. "Stephen Lang Talks 'Conan' Remake" (Archived October 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine), Screen Rant; June 29, 2010
  23. ^ Sweney, Mark. "Fox unveils Steven Spielberg's Terra Nova as it hunts for new Simon Cowell" (Archived December 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine), The Guardian; May 18, 2010
  24. ^ Rice, Lynette. "Stephen Lang joins Fox's 'Terra Nova'" Archived September 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Entertainment Weekly; September 14, 2010
  25. ^ Hmybrd (February 8, 2012). "Stephen Lang Cast as Mary's Father on In Plain Sight". TV Fanatic. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  26. ^ Mike Fleming Jr (October 22, 2013). "James Cameron Books Stephen Lang For Next 3 Avatar Films – Deadline". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 26, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  27. ^ The Deadline Team (April 18, 2014). "Stephen Lang Joins WGN America's 'Salem'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  28. ^ Rebecca Ford (June 18, 2015). "Stephen Lang, Jane Levy Join Fede Alvarez's Thriller (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 13, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  29. ^ Jeff Sneider (May 12, 2015). "'Avatar's' Stephen Lang Joins AMC's 'Into the Badlands,' Returns to 'Salem' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  30. ^ Michael Martin (February 14, 2016). "Deadpool 2: Avatar's Stephen Lang Lobbies for Cable Role". IGN. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  31. ^ "Stephen Lang, Jihae, Newcomer Leila George Join Peter Jackson's 'Mortal Engines' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. March 6, 2017. Archived from the original on June 8, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  32. ^ "Stephen Lang Joins Jason Momoa in Action Movie 'Braven' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. December 17, 2015. Archived from the original on October 12, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  33. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 27, 2016). "Ben Foster Rounds Out Scott Cooper's 'Hostiles' Cast As Shooting Starts". Archived from the original on September 5, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  34. ^ Lawyer Breaks Down 17 Courtroom Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED, retrieved July 27, 2022
  35. ^ a b Attendee of the ceremony for his son Sergio's graduation, Ricardo V Rivas, EA, president of the Texas Society of Enrolled Agents and Archived April 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Stephen Lang Archived December 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ "Woodstock Film Festival – 2014 MAVERICK Awards". Archived from the original on January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  38. ^ "Stephen Lang :: New York State Archives Partnership Trust". Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  39. ^ Roberta Bernstein, "Murder Between Friends", in Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews, 1993-1994, January 11, 1994, p. 12
  40. ^ "Going 'Beyond Glory' With Actor Stephen Lang". November 28, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  41. ^ a b c Max Evry (August 8, 2017). "Colonel Quaritch Will be the Main Villain in the Avatar Sequels". Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  42. ^
  43. ^ "Brandon J. Routh and Stephen Lang confirmed as one of voice actors for Ghosts". Charlie INTEL. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  44. ^ "Never mind Oscar, here's the 2017 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Nominees Ballot!". FANGORIA®. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.

External links edit

Preceded by
Estelle Parsons
Vacant (2003–2004)
Artistic Director of the Actors Studio
With: Carlin Glynn
and Lee Grant
Succeeded by