Rainn Wilson Biography


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Birth Name: Rainn Wilson
Born: 01/20/1966
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington, USA


Born Jan. 20, 1966, Wilson grew up in Seattle, WA, but attended high school in Illinois. He attended college at Tufts University and the University of Washington before studying acting at New York University's graduate acting program. He joined The Acting Company and Arena Stage, performing off-Broadway in "Titus Andronicus," "Twelfth Night" and "Venus," as well as on Broadway in "London Assurance" and "The Tempest." He also co-created and directed the sketch comedy/clown show "The New Bozena" in New York, later directing a short film version of the stage show and creating an unsold pilot presentation to the Fox network.

One of Wilson's first acting jobs was on the soap opera "One Life to Live" (ABC, 1968-2012) and he followed that gig with appearances in a handful of feature films, including "Galaxy Quest" (1999), "Almost Famous" (2001), and Steven Soderbergh's "Full Frontal" (2002). Later big screen appearances included the action adventure comedy "Sahara" (2004) opposite Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn and Penelope Cruz. He also made a slew of appearances on network television, including bit parts on "Dark Angel" (Fox, 2000-02), "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," (CBS, 2000- ), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) and "Numb3rs" (CBS, 2005-2010)," but Wilson's biggest television breakthrough ended up being on HBO's "Six Feet Under" (2001-05) where he made a tremendous impression playing the odd mortician Arthur Martin, an unlikely romantic interest for series lead Frances Conroy. He also had a memorable one-episode stint on HBO's comedy "Entourage" (2004-2011) in 2005, playing a Harry Knowles-esque Internet journalist who uses his clout with the fan-boy fringe to influence how star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) is required to deal with him.

Wilson's role of the delightfully self-important Dwight Schrute on the American version of the British cult favorite series "The Office" (NBC, 2005 - ), where he is an unwitting recipient of antagonism by his Dunder-Mifflin co-workers, was patterned after the character of Gareth, played by Mackenzie Keenan in the original BBC production. However Wilson created a wildly unique comedic character in its own right. Dwight earns the ribbing he gets with his strict by-the-book ways and constant insertion of himself as the second-in-command to boss Steve Carell ("It's Assistant Regional Manager - not Assistant TO THE Regional Manager") and the two performers quickly developed a brilliant comedic give-and-take that became the centerpiece of the series' more outrageous moments. On July 19, 2007, Wilson received a well-earned Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

As the show's devoted fan pool continued to grow, Wilson was given opportunities to expand his résumé outside of Dunder-Mifflin. In 2006, he was cast in the Luke Wilson/Uma Thurman comedy "My Super-Ex-Girlfriend," directed by Ivan Reitman, in which he portrayed Wilson's repugnant loser friend Vaughn Haige. While the film ended up a summer box office disappointment, the edge was taken off when the third season of "The Office" resumed in the fall to stellar ratings and a fast expanding fan base. Wilson wrapped up a good year by writing and starring in his own dark comedy, "Bonzai Shadowhands" (2006), in which he portrayed a retiring ninja, as well as a cameo role in the critical darling, "Juno" (2007). The following year, Wilson landed a supporting role in the entertaining fantasy "The Last Mimzy" (2007), directed by New Line head honcho, Robert Shaye. After playing a failed drummer given a second chance at fame in "The Rocker" (2008), he was a sleazy college professor in the blockbuster "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009) and voiced the alien overlord Gallaxhar in the animated "Monsters vs. Aliens" (2009). Meanwhile, Wilson continued to receive well-deserved accolades for "The Office," earning his third consecutive Emmy nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2009.




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