Tracy S. Letts was born on July 4, 1965 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a Tony Award-winning actor and Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning writer, best known for his celebrated play (and screenplay) August: Osage County, as well as his recurring TV roles as Andrew Lockhart on Homeland and Nick on Divorce. He has also appeared in such acclaimed films as The Big Short, The Lovers, Lady Bird, and The Post.
Letts spent his early years in Durant, Oklahoma, graduating from Durant High School in the early 1980s, before moving to Dallas, Texas, and then to Chicago, Illinois, in 1985. There he joined the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company and worked as a stage actor for the next 11 years. He also worked for Famous Door and was a founding member of Bang Band Spontaneous Theatre.
As a playwright, his most notable early works include his 1991 play Killer Joe, which has been produced off Broadway; the 1996 play Bug, which was presented at Barrow Street Theatre in 2004, winning the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play; and 2003’s Man from Nebraska (a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2004), which finally celebrated its Off-Broadway premiere thanks to Second Stage Theater in 2017. His big break as a playwright came in 2007 with the Broadway premiere of August: Osage County — his Broadway debut as a writer — that went on to win the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Play, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, in 2008. His next play, Superior Donuts, was staged on Broadway from September 2009 to January 2010, and his 2016 play Mary Page Marlowe was mounted off Broadway, once again thanks to Second Stage Theater, from June to August 2018. He also wrote the screenplays for August: Osage County, Bug, and Killer Joe.
As an actor, Letts appeared as Ken in Orson’s Shadows at the Barrow Street Theatre in 2005 and would finally make his Broadway acting debut as George in the 2012 revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, going on to win a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play in 2013. He returned to Broadway to star as Bob Jones in The Realistic Joneses from March to July 2014. He also starred as Joe Keller in Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons at the American Airlines Theatre from April 4 through June 30, 2019.
On screen, Letts has held guest roles in various shows, including Home Improvement, Seinfeld, and Prison Break, until he landed his breakthrough role as Andrew Lockhart in Showtime’s hit series Homeland, appearing in 24 episodes from 2013 to 2014. He was then cast in a string of film roles that include Lawrence Fields in The Big Short in 2015, Michael in The Lovers, Larry McPherson in Lady Bird, and Fritz Beebe in The Post in 2017. Since 2016 he has also portrayed the character Nick in HBO’s hit series Divorce opposite Sarah Jessica Parker, played the role of Jack Novack in the USA Network series The Sinner, and appeared in the 2019 films Le Mans '66 and Little Women.
Letts starred in the Broadway premiere of his own play, The Minutes, at the Cort Theatre on February 25, 2020 and was scheduled to continue through June 14. The production will reopen at a later date.