The Fun of Acting

Timothy Olyphant

Born in Hawaii on May 20, 1968, but raised in Modesto and a graduate of Fred C. Beyer High School, Timothy Olyphant has become an actor whose performances have been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. He has starred in two outstanding television series, "Damages" and "Justified," and has appeared in a Netflix series, "The Santa Clarita Diet," a black comedy that puts a new spin on marriage and zombies. He also seems equally at home on the big screen, with new projects in pre- and post-production.

While already a stage actor of note, with acclaimed performances in the Off-Broadway productions "The Monogamist" (1995) and David Sedaris' "The SantaLand Diaries" (1996) to his credit, Olyphant was initially recognized for his breakthrough film role in the blockbuster horror sequel "Scream 2" (1997). A former competitive swimmer with USC, the Hawaiian-born, California-raised Olyphant possesses a youthful charm and vigor that made his task of playing a character ten years younger easy. As Mickey, the cynical film student among the masked murder suspects, the auburn-haired actor gave a magnetic, high-energy performance in a pivotal role.

Having previously appeared in minimal roles in "The First Wives' Club" (1996) and "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997), Olyphant followed up his success with a featured turn as alluring drug dealer Todd Gaines alongside a host of young actors including Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley and Taye Diggs in the ensemble of Doug Liman's "Go" (1999). Although "Go" had a significantly smaller audience than "Scream 2", Olyphant made his mark with a more visible character and his image even appeared on the film's theatrical poster. The actor's strong performance in this challenging and memorable role would help to propel his career further.

Olyphant went on to star as a bisexual actor in the independent feature "Advice From a Caterpillar" (also 1999), featuring Cynthia Nixon, Jon Tenney and Andy Dick.

Olyphant made his television debut in an episode of the short-lived CBS series "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (1996). The following year, he took a recurring role on the ABC police drama "High Incident" as well as a featured role in the acclaimed CBS TV movie "Ellen Foster". Olyphant additionally guest starred on HBO's comedy series "Sex and the City" as a younger man romancing Sarah Jessica Parker and offered a supporting turn in the network's World War II-set original movie "When Trumpets Fade", starring Frank Whaley and Ron Eldard (both 1998).

Olyphant was a classmate of Jeremy Renner in high school, though they were in different graduating classes. Renner and Olyphant have similar acting styles and a very intelligent approach to choosing their material. They both excel at their craft, and both often reflect on their youth in Modesto, a place where they both first found their spirit and drive.

Link: Timothy Olyphant on IMDB

Link: Wikipedia Entry

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At right, watch Timothy Olyphant discuss his teenage years in
Modesto on the Conan O'Brian show.>