Edward Allen Harris was born on November 28, 1950 in Englewood, New Jersey. He is a prolific stage and screen actor with a total of two Golden Globes, four Academy Award nominations, three Emmy Award nominations, and a Tony Award nomination to his name.
Raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, Harris graduated from Tenafly High School in 1969 and went on to study at Columbia University before enrolling to study drama at the University of Oklahoma and the California Institute of the Arts, graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in 1975.
Harris began his stage career at various regional theatres across the country, including the Jewel Box Theater in Oklahoma City and the Pasadena Repertory Theatre. In November 1983, he made his Off-Broadway debut as Eddie in the Circle Repertory Company’s production of Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, receiving an Obie Award for his performance. He would make his Broadway debut in February 1986 in the premiere of George Furth’s Precious Sons, and his portrayal of Fred earned him both a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award, alongside a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play.
Since then, he has appeared on the Broadway stage in the 1996 premiere of Taking Sides and Off-Broadway in the 1994 Public Theater production of Sam Shepard’s Simpatico, winning his first Lucille Lortel Award, and the 2006 Public Theater production of Neil LaBute’s Wrecks, earning Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for Outstanding Solo Performance. He has had multiple recent Off-Broadway roles in productions from The New Group, including the 2013 production of The Jacksonian, Sam Shepard’s Buried Child in 2016 (earning a Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play), and the 2018 production of Good for Otto.
Harris is also known for his career in film, which began in 1978 and includes four Academy Award nominations: for Apollo 13 in 1996, The Truman Show in 1999, Pollock in 2001, and The Hours in 2003. He won his first Golden Globe in 1999 for his performance as Christof in The Truman Show, alongside Golden Globe nominations for Apollo 13, The Hours , and Jacknife. His other most notable film credits include The Right Stuff (1983), The Abyss (1989), State of Grace (1990), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), The Firm (1993), Nixon (1995), The Rock (1996), Stepmom (1998), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Enemy at the Gates (2001), A History of Violence (2005), Gone Baby Gone (2007), Appaloosa (2008), Snowpiercer (2013), and Geostorm (2017).
On television, Harris has appeared as The Man in Black in the HBO series Westworld, which earned him a 2018 Emmy Award nomination. He has two further Emmy Award nominations for his performance as John McCain in HBO’s Game Change in 2012 and as Miles Roby in HBO’s Empire Falls in 2005. Harris also won a Golden Globe for Game Change and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Empire Falls.
Harris returned to Broadway on November 5, 2019 to assume the role of Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird at the Shubert Theatre. Although he was scheduled to remain with the production through April 19, 2020, he played his final performance on March 11 due to the Broadway shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.