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Stephen Dorff Biography

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Birth Name: Stephen Dorff
Born: 07/29/1973
Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Born on July 29, 1973 in Atlanta, GA, Dorff was raised in Los Angeles, CA, the son of music producer and composer Steve Dorff. Almost from the start, he was on the path to becoming an actor, making commercials as a child for Mattel, Kraft and other products. In 1986, he began making guest appearances on popular television shows, including "Diff'rent Strokes" (NBC/ABC, 1978-1986). The following year, the young actor graduated to television movies, appearing in a prominent supporting role in the war drama, "In Love and War" (NBC, 1987), the fact-based dramatization of Naval commander Jim Stockdale (James Woods) and his eight year ordeal as a prisoner of war during Vietnam. Dorff landed his first big break when he was cast to star in the children's horror movie, "The Gate" (1987). He played a young teenager who, along with his best friend (Louis Tripp), finds a mysterious hole in his backyard which they soon discover is actually a gate to hell that unleashes a torrent of frightful demons. "The Gate" was a surprise pre-summer hit that helped propel Dorff's fledgling career.

Back on the small screen, he had small roles in the made-for-television movies "The Absent-Minded Professor" (NBC, 1988), "Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story" (CBS, 1988), and "I Know My First Name Is Steven" (NBC, 1989), the true-to-life story of Steven Stayner, a young boy who was kidnapped and sexually abused for seven years. Following a supporting part in the Pam Dawber movie-of-the week, "Do You Know the Muffin Man?" (CBS, 1989), Dorff had a three-episode art on the second season of "Roseanne" (ABC, 1988-1997). In "Always Remember I Love You" (CBS, 1990), he starred as an adoptee who discovers at 16 years old that he was stolen at birth. By this point in his career, Dorff was prominent on the small screen, including a supporting turn in "A Son's Promise" (ABC, 1990) and an episode of "Blossom" (NBC, 1991-1995), in which he played the prom date of the titular teenage girl (Mayim Bialik). He finally returned to the big screen with "The Power of One" (1992), an uneven coming-of-age drama in which he mastered a British-Afrikaner accent to play an up-and-coming South African boxer who wins the hearts of oppressed blacks during their struggle with apartheid.

After playing a nerdy high school student trying to save his fantasy girl (Ami Dolenz) from kidnappers in the harmless, but little-seen comedy "Rescue Me" (1993), Dorff graduated to more adult roles, once again displaying a penchant for accents as Stuart Sutcliffe, the original bassist for The Beatles in the stylish biopic ""Backbeat" (1994). Continuing with the British theme, he was an English youth suspected of murder in "Innocent Lives" (1995), which he followed with a performance as a hard-drinking slacker who becomes a national celebrity after being held hostage for a month in a convenience store in "SFW" (1994), a role that Dorff acknowledged was one of his favorites. After a gentle turn as Mia Farrow's estranged son in "Reckless" (1995), he crossed the taboo line as a young man engaged in an incestuous relationship with his sister (Gabrielle Anwar) in the murder mystery, "Innocent Lives" (1995). Meanwhile, Dorff earned critical praise after taking a risk playing transsexual Candy Darling in Mary Harron's noted indie feature, "I Shot Andy Warhol" (1996).

With his film career on the rise, Dorff had the opportunity to work alongside Jack Nicholson in the well-regarded crime drama, "Blood and Wine" (1997), playing the step-son of a down-and-out wine dealer looking to score some fast cash with the aide of a safecracker dying of tuberculosis (Michael Caine). Dorff followed with what became his most noted role to date, playing the arch nemesis of a ruthless vampire hunter (Wesley Snipes) in "Blade" (1998), an adaptation of the famed comic book series. Briefly back on television, he played a nervous young bank robber who takes a sheltered and disillusioned housewife (Susan Sarandon) hostage in "Earthly Possessions" (HBO, 1999). In the feature "Cecil B. Demented" (2000), he was a manic guerrilla filmmaker who forces a famous Hollywood actress (Melanie Griffith) at gunpoint to act in his latest movie. After cameo appearances in "Zoolander" (2001) and "Take a Number" (2001), his career took a step back with his leading role in "Deuces Wild" (2002), a widely panned drama about violence that breaks out amidst street gangs in 1958 Brooklyn.

Dorff began to feel his career take a bit of a backward slide following his turn in the derided "Feardotcom" (2002), a gothic horror flick that tried to piggyback on the Internet boom with a nearly incomprehensible plot riddled with contrivances and tortured logic. Following the little-seen psychological thriller "Cold Creek Manor" (2003), Dorff had the misfortune of being cast in a Uwe Boll movie, co-starring opposite Christian Slater and Tara Reid in "Alone in the Dark" (2005). Dorff continued having a tough time regaining the promise he showed in the 1990s when he landed the role of a local crime boss in the crime thriller misfire, "Shadowboxer" (2005). He did have a brief moment away from B-grade thrillers when he had a supporting role in Oliver Stone's well-intentioned "World Trade Center" (2006), a stirring look at two Port Authority officers (Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña) struggling to survive in the fallen towers after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After playing an elite secret agent sent to discover the origins of a deadly virus in "Robert Ludlum's Covert One: The Hades Factor" (CBS, 2006), Dorff was a loving family man sent to prison after killing an intruder in "Felon" (2008). He next played bank robber Homer Van Meter, an associate of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham), in Michael Mann's eagerly awaited crime epic, "Public Enemies" (2009).