Jeffrey Warren “Jeff” Daniels may not have been born in Michigan (he was born in Athens, Georgia, something we cannot fault him for, can we?), his family did settle in Chelsea, Michigan, where he grew up and spent his youth when he was six weeks old.
Daniels attended Central Michigan University and participated in the school’s theater program. In the summer of 1976, Daniels attended the Eastern Michigan University drama school to participate in a special Bicentennial Repertory program where Marshall W. Mason was the guest director. Mason invited Jeff to come to New York to work at the Circle Repertory Theatre.
Daniels has starred in a number of New York productions, both on and off Broadway. He won a Drama Desk Award for Best Supporting Actor. Off-Broadway, he received a Drama Desk nomination for Wilson’s Lemon Sky, and an Obie Award for his performance in the Circle Repertory Company production of Johnny Got His Gun.
Daniels made his screen debut in Miloš Forman’s Ragtime in 1981. His next film, the Oscar-winning Terms of Endearment, in which he played Debra Winger’s husband, was his breakthrough. Daniels then garnered a Golden Globe nomination as the star of The Purple Rose Of Cairo, directed by Woody Allen. It was this film that inspired the name for the theater company he established in 1991, the regionally acclaimed Purple Rose Theatre Company, a nonprofit stage company in his childhood and current home of Chelsea.
An American actor, musician, and playwright, whose career includes roles in films, stage productions and on television, Daniels has won an Emmy Award winner and received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Tony Award nominations.
Today is his birthday. Say Happy Birthday to Jeff Daniels. We can claim him as one of our own in M(ichigan)M(ovie)H(istory).
For Daniels’ filmography