Born: 6 June 1967
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut
Best known as: Star of American Splendor and Sideways
Paul Giamatti has been a busy character actor and sometime leading man in Hollywood since breaking through in the 1997 Howard Stern biopic Private Parts. A veteran of low-budget independent films and big-money Hollywood features, Giamatti began playing small roles in the early 1990s. By the end of the decade he had earned a following because of memorable roles in such films as The Negotiator (1998, with Samuel Jackson) and Man on the Moon (1999, starring Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman). Giamatti is known for his slightly offbeat looks and a quirky presence, in roles that often involve nervous agitation and angry-but-funny outbursts. He played an orangutan in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (2001), the guy who was dyed blue in the comedy Big Fat Liar (2002, with Frankie Muniz) and a sneaky executive in Duplicity (2009, starring Julia Roberts). In lead roles, Giamatti has played cartoonist Harvey Pekar in American Splendor (2003), a disgruntled oenophile in Sideways (2004), a reluctant savior in M. Night Shyamalan's The Lady in the Water (2006) and U.S. president John Adams in the 2008 television miniseries of the same name. His other film roles include The Illusionist (2006), Shoot 'Em Up (2007, with Clive Owen) and Barney's Version (2010).
Extra credit: Giamatti's father was A. Bartlett Giamatti, the former commissioner of major league baseball who famously banned Pete Rose from the game.
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