Birthplace: South Orange, New Jersey
Known for playing offbeat characters in movies like The Usual Suspects (1995), for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, L.A. Confidential (1997), and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), he began his career on the stage, with the New York Shakespeare Festival, and won a Tony Award for Lost in Yonkers (1991). He worked with Jack Lemmon on stage and television in O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (1987) and in film in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). His role in the 1999 film American Beauty earned him a Best Actor Oscar. Other films include Pay It Forward(2000), and The Shipping News (2001). He made his directorial debut in 1996 with Albino Alligator.