How Richard Jenkins Became One of the Most Respected Actors in Hollywood

How Richard Jenkins Became One of the Most Respected Actors in Hollywood

Richard Jenkins is a Primetime Emmy Award-winning American television, film and stage actor, who is perhaps best known for portraying patriarch Nathaniel Fisher in the HBO drama “Six Feet Under.”

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Age, Early Life, and Education Background

Richard Dale Jenkins is a native of DeKalb, Illinois, who was born under the Taurus zodiac sign on 4 May 1947, which makes him 76 years old as of 2023. He’s the son of the late dentist, Dale Stevens Jenkins, and his wife Mary Elizabeth who was a homemaker. Richard is of Welsh, Irish, English and German roots.

Jenkins attended DeKalb High School, and matriculated to Illinois Wesleyan University, from where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Drama. He was schoolmates with the acclaimed American playwright, Larry Shue, and when he was in college appeared in some of his plays alongside the actor James Pickering. Before he officially began his acting career, Richard worked as a linen truck driver and his employer was John Reilly, Sr., who is the father of the famed actor, comedian and producer John C. Reilly.

Interesting Facts

Jenkins has appeared in numerous films created by the Farrelly brothers and the Coen Brothers.

The actor grew up obsessed with the English actress, Hayley Milly – previously, he revealed during an interview that his childhood dream was to relocate to England and work as her landscaper with the hope of falling in love with her.

Stage Appearances

Shortly after graduating from college in 1970, Jenkins relocated to Rhode Island, where he began working with the non-profit regional theater Trinity Repertory Company, and appeared in various plays throughout the ‘70s and early ‘80s. Jenkins began directing plays in 1983 – some of his works include “Billy Bishop Goes to War” by John Gray in 1983, “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller in 1985, and “Camino Real” by Tennessee Williams in 1987, among others. He later joined Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and went on to serve as Trinity Repertory Company’s Artistic Director (1990-1994). As an artistic director, he has worked on Jerry Sterner’s “Other People’s Money,” Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” and William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

Happy Birthday Richard Jenkins. Richard Dale is an American actor. Jenkins began his acting career in theater at the…

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Film Appearances

Jenkins made his film debut in “Feasting with Panthers” in 1974. Before the late ‘90s, he appeared in numerous films including “Hannah and Her Sisters” in 1986, “Sea of Love” in 1989, and “Flirting with Disaster” in 1996, among others. Jenkins worked with the Farrelly brothers in the 1998 romantic comedy “There’s Something About Mary,” the Jim Carrey-starred 2000 slapstick comedy “Me, Myself & Irene,” and the 2001 black comedy “Say It Isn’t So.” He has also collaborated with the Coen brothers in the 2005 drama film “North Country”, and the 2008 Brad Pitt-starred crime thriller “Burn After Reading.”

In 2007, Jenkins starred in the acclaimed drama film “The Visitor”, and his performance saw him receive an Oscar Award nomination for Best Actor. Moreover, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his well-executed portrayal of Walter in the film. In 2010, Jenkins shared the screen with Channing Tatum in the romantic war drama “Dear John”, and co-starred with Javier Bardem and Julia Roberts in the biographical romantic drama “Eat Pray Love” in the same year.

His following appearances were in the 2012 Tom Cruise-starred action thriller “Jack Reacher” and the 2017 romantic fantasy, “The Shape of Water.” For his performance in the latter, Jenkins was nominated for an Oscar, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe Award. Richard’s performance in the 2021 psychological thriller “Nightmare Alley” earned him a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

TV Appearances

Jenkins made his TV debut in the anthology series “Great Performances” in 1974. From the mid-‘70s to 2000, he prioritized film appearances, and only appeared in an episode or two of a few series, but including 21 episodes of Alan Ball’s drama “Six Feet Under” from 2001 to 2005, receiving critical acclaim for his performance in the TV series, and receiving a joint Screen Actors Guild Award in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. In 2014, he was cast as Henry Kitteridge in the miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” which is based on the 2008 eponymous novel by Elizabeth Strout. His four-episode appearance saw him nominated for various awards, including a Satellite, and Screen Actors Guild Award.

From 2016 to 2019, Jenkins was cast as Steven Frost in Olen Steinhauer’s drama “Berlin Station”, appearing in 24 episodes of the show, sharing the screen with Richard Armitage, Leland Orser and Rhys Ifans. Most recently, in 2022, Jenkins played Lionel Dahmer in the true crime series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance.

Awards and Nominations

In his acting career, Richard has won 15 awards and received over 65 award nominations. He scooped a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie for his performance in the drama series “Olive Kitteridge” in 2015. He also won a Satellite Award for his performance in “The Visitor,” two AARP Movies for Grownups Awards for his performance in “The Shape of Water,” among others. The DeKalb native has been nominated for two Satellite Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards, among others.

Personal Life

Richard tied the knot with Sharon R. Fredrick on 23 August 1969. Sharon is very supportive of her husband’s career, and often accompanies him to celebrity red-carpet events and award ceremonies. In 2014, the couple was awarded a Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Trinity Repertory Company, which is situated in Providence, Rhode Island. The duo has welcomed two children: Andrew Dale Jenkins and Sarah Pamela Jenkins.

Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance

Jenkins is of Caucasian ethnicity, and has blue eyes and brown hair. He stands 6ft 1in (1.85m) tall and weighs approximately 175lbs (79kgs), and his vital statistics are 42-13-34. The “Six Feet Under” actor wears shoe size 9(US).

Net Worth

Jenkins’ career has spanned over four decades, which has made him a household name. He’s accumulated a decent net worth, thanks to his appearance in several hit films and series. He’s worth approximately $8 million, as of 2023.

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