Edit
James Cromwell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (29) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 27 January 1940Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameJames Oliver Cromwell
Height 6' 6½" (1.99 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie Mellon-University, James Cromwell - the son of famous film director John Cromwell

  • studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon. He went into the theater (like


both his parents) doing everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays. He started doing television in 1974, gaining some notice in a recurring role as Archie Bunker's friend Stretch Cunningham on All in the Family (1971), made his film debut in 1976, and goes back to the stage periodically. Some of his more noted film roles have been in Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and the surprise classic about a charming pig, Babe (1995). He garnered some of the best reviews of his career - many of which said he should have received an Oscar - for his role as a corrupt, conniving police captain in L.A. Confidential (1997).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: M.S. Burton <suburton@u.washington.edu>

Spouse (2)

Julie Cobb (29 May 1986 - 2006) (divorced)
Anne Ulvestad (27 November 1976 - 1986) (divorced) (3 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Frequently plays men with positions of authority
Towering height and slender frame
Deep gravelly voice

Trivia (29)

Son of actress Kay Johnson and director/actor John Cromwell.
Attended Middlebury College and Carnegie-Mellon University.
Besides his own appearances in the Star Trek series, his ex-wife Julie Cobb played Yeoman Leslie Thompson in Star Trek: By Any Other Name (1968) and his ex-stepdaughter Rosemary Morgan played Piri in Star Trek: Voyager: The Chute (1996).
Is a believer in non-terrestrial intelligence.
Celebrity sponsor of the Great American Meatout on March 20, 2001.
(July 3, 2001) Was arrested for trespassing during an animal rights demonstration in Virginia, targeting the Wendy's fast food chain. He and four other PETA protesters refused to leave after urging patrons to boycott the restaurant. Cromwell was released on his own recognizance after about five hours. He was ordered to stay out of all Wendy's restaurants in Virginia unless he intends to eat there.
Is the only actor to ever utter the words "Star Trek" on Star Trek itself. In the film Star Trek: First Contact (1996), his character Zefram Cochrane said to the crew, "...and you're all astronauts on... some kind of star trek?".
Has played a US President four times: fictional President Fowler in The Sum of All Fears (2002) fictional President Newman on The West Wing (1999), Lyndon Johnson in the television movie RFK (2002), and George H.W. Bush in Oliver Stone's film W. (2008).
In The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), he plays publisher Charles Keating. Keating has the same first and last initials (CK) as Charles Kane, the character in Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941). In that movie, Charles (Foster) Kane is a newspaper publisher based, in no small role, upon real-life newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Cromwell portrayed Hearst in the behind-the-scenes look at Citizen Kane, entitled RKO 281 (1999).
At 6' 7", he is the tallest Oscar-nominated actor of all time (he was nominated for his Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Babe (1995)).
Was given the role of the prison warden in The Longest Yard (2005) after negotiations with Gary Oldman fell through.
He struggled somewhat early in his career due to his height and the fact that few producers wanted someone towering over their leading men. Many of his early roles show him seated or leaning on something.
Worked with the Black Panthers in the 1960s.
Known to be a passionate liberal who openly supports several progressive political causes. Is most outspoken about the protection of animals.
Stepson of actress Ruth Nelson. Ex-son-in-law of actor Lee J. Cobb.
Has starred in the remake of 'Salem's Lot (2004), based on Stephen King's novel, and his ex-wife, Julie Cobb, starred in the original 1979 version.
Attended the prestigious Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, the alma mater of Harry Hamlin and Oliver Stone.
In addition to having played four United States Presidents, he appears in The Queen (2006) as Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
Has played a fictional President in The Sum of All Fears (2002) and real-life President Lyndon Johnson. Donald Moffat, who has also played Johnson, played the fictional President in Clear and Present Danger (1994).
Was an outspoken opponent of US President George W. Bush's administration. Ironically, he has portrayed Bush's father, George Bush, on film.
Is a vegetarian.
Studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village, New York City.
His interest in drama was at first to become a stage director, and he started acting as a way of making ends meet.
Has twice played a prison warden, both with units of measure in the title: The Green Mile (1999) and The Longest Yard (2005).
Was ranked 56 of Total Film's Top 100 Greatest Movie Villains for his role as Captain Dudley Smith in L.A. Confidential (1997).
After focusing for decades on film and television, Cromwell returned to the stage in March 2012, after an absence of 13 years, in the role of Pozzo in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" at the Los Angeles Mark Taper Forum. Prior to that, he appeared in Tom Stoppard's "The Invention of Love" at the ACT Theatre in 1999.
As of 2014, has appeared in five films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Babe (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Green Mile (1999), The Queen (2006) and The Artist (2011), with the latter winning in the category.
He and his father John Cromwell have both made films about US Presidents. James has played Lyndon B. Johnson and George Bush, as well as two other fictional Presidents on The West Wing (1999) and The Sum of All Fears (2002). His father, John Cromwell, directed Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940).
His Star Trek: First Contact (1996) character, Zefram Cochrane, first appeared on the original series episode "Metamorphosis" with Leonard Nimoy. Cromwell himself has never worked with Nimoy, but two of his other roles have connections to the role of Spock. Cromwell later appeared on American Horror Story with Zachary Quinto. The film L.A. Confidential (1997) features the historical character of LAPD Chief William H. Parker, a former colleague of Gene Roddenberry and the basis for the character Spock.

Personal Quotes (3)

[on his Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Babe (1995)] Andy Warhol said everybody gets their 15 minutes of fame. And if this is mine, I couldn't imagine a better 15 minutes.
[on the Black Panthers movement of the 1960s] The goal of the government was to get all the leaders of the Black Panther Party in jail so that they could be killed systematically through prison violence, and that way they could stop what was a very powerful and evolving movement. I don't think we would have the kind of prison population now and what happens in this country with the gangs if the Panthers had been allowed to continue what they decided to do, which was basically empower black communities to take back their self-control and reestablish the dignity of being a black person in this country.
I was embarrassed by the director, Blake Edwards, who looked at me and said, "What am I supposed to do with THAT?". I was a little hurt to be referred to as an inanimate object at an audition. I was told by my agent that a number of big stars won't work with anyone two inches taller than them and most of them are under six feet, so you have to be prepared to have trouble.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page