Edit
Eric Stoltz Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 30 September 1961Whittier, California, USA
Birth NameEric Cameron Stoltz
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Eric Cameron Stoltz is a theater-trained actor and producer who has starred in both independent and studio films. He was born on September 30, 1961 in Whittier, California, to Evelyn B. (Vawter), a violinist and schoolteacher, and Jack Stoltz, an elementary school teacher. He has German, English, an Scottish ancestry. Eric was raised in both American Samoa and Santa Barbara, California, where by the age of 14, he was earning money by playing piano for the local musical theater productions, including "Mame" starring Anthony Edwards. The two became friends, and then college roommates when both attended the University of Southern California. Dropping out in his junior year, Eric joined a repertory company that did 10 plays at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Moving to New York in 1981, he studied with Stella Adler and Peggy Feury, and soon appeared in his first film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). In the 1980s, he garnered attention (and a Golden Globe Nomination) starring as Rocky Dennis in Mask (1985), and in John Hughes' Some Kind of Wonderful (1987). In 1988, he made his Broadway debut in Great Performances: Our Town (1989), for which he was nominated for a Tony Award.

In the 1990s, he went back and forth from stage to film, building up an eclectic resume that included studio films (Pulp Fiction (1994)), independent films (Sundance Festival Winner The Waterdance (1992)), and films that he himself produced (Mr. Jealousy (1997)). He also continued to appear on the New York stage both on Broadway (Three Sisters, Two Shakespearean Actors) and off-Broadway (The Importance of Being Ernest, The Glass Menagerie). He continues to work in television as well, doing a recurring role as Helen Hunt's ex on Mad About You (1992), a year on Chicago Hope (1994), and in the television and cable movies Inside (1996) (directed by Arthur Penn), A Killer in the Family (1983) (with Robert Mitchum) and The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999) (with Helen Mirren). Eric Stoltz lives in New Mexico, and has been romantically linked to Ally Sheedy, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lili Taylor, Bridget Fonda, and most recently (in the summer of 1999 during the shooting of The House of Mirth (2000)) the Australian actress Rachel Griffiths.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: kay-47

Trade Mark (2)

Frequently works with Roger Avary
Red hair and blue eyes

Trivia (21)

Attended San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California. Fellow students included Anthony Edwards, Cady Huffman and Kathy Ireland.
Sister is Catherine Stoltz, professional opera singer.
Dropped out of USC.
Director Cameron Crowe promised him a role, however small, in every film he makes. Though Crowe hasn't cast him in any of his films since Jerry Maguire (1996).
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1984" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 43.
(1980-1983) Lived with Ally Sheedy (they met in college). They both appeared in Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge (1999).
Nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Great Performances: Our Town (1989).
(1985-1989) Dated Jennifer Jason Leigh. They both appeared in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and Sister, Sister (1987).
(1990-1998) Lived with Bridget Fonda. They both starred in Singles (1992), Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993), Grace of My Heart (1996) and Mr. Jealousy (1997).
Member of the Actors Studio.
Worked as a production assistant on the films Say Anything... (1989) and Illegally Yours (1988) to learn from the famed first assistant director Jerry Ziesmer about the production side of filmmaking.
Is a vegetarian.
He was cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future (1985) after Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale were unable to get Michael J. Fox, their first choice for the part due to scheduling conflicts. After only five weeks of filming, he was let go from the film because Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale felt he was "too intense" for the character. Michael J. Fox, who was then available, took over the part.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1989 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for a revival of Thornton Wilder's Great Performances: Our Town (1989).
Spent three months in a wheelchair in preparation for his role in the film The Waterdance (1992).
Lived in American Samoa for a few years as a child.
According to a 1992 Movieline Interview, the casting agents for Mask (1985) had refused to let him in to read for the part. When he had finally finagled his way into an audition via a sympathetic receptionist, he arrived for his big chance before the casting people wearing a stocking over his face. And he got the part. Now he really put the technique to work. Reportedly he also insisted on being called Rocky, never Eric. But he went further than that. "I walked around town with the mask on. It was important to get people's reactions in grocery stores and post offices and see what they would say when they saw me strolling down the street. I just wanted to get an idea of how Rocky may have felt, which was horrible. People were generally cruel and mean. They would make snide comments. Kids threw things at me. People took pictures and asked, 'Hey, are you in the circus?'".
Has appeared with James Spader in four films: A Killer in the Family (1983), The New Kids (1985), 2 Days in the Valley (1996) and Keys to Tulsa (1997).
Appearing on Broadway with Richard Dreyfuss in Arthur Penn's production of Larry Gelbart's "Sly Fox". [March 2004]
Currently appearing as "Daniel Graystone" in the Syfy Channel drama Caprica (2009). [January 2010]
He has German, English, and Scottish ancestry.

Personal Quotes (13)

It's hard not to get a big head in the film industry, there are people on a set paid to cater to your every need, from the minute you arrive until you go home. It's kind of strange, but not unpleasant.
I'm interested in doing movies I wouldn't normally be interested in doing.
I realize I'm a very lucky man. I love what I do, I love films, tv and theater, and the fact that I'm able to make a living at it staggers me.
There's a strange sense of accomplishment in making an independent film. Everything's against you; there's no time, and even less money- you bring a bottle of glue, chip in twenty bucks, and hope you all make it through the day. If you manage to finish it and it actually turns out to be pretty good, it's thrilling.
I find that there are two kinds of actors (or actresses) that you work with constantly: (1) The Respectful Actor. This person is kind and giving and talented and fun to work with and respectful of your relationship. (2) The Predatory Actor. This person is kind and giving and talented and fun to work with but feels that because they are famous they don't have to function within society's rules, i.e., if they are hungry, they eat; if they are attracted to their co-star, they act on it, married or not, no matter what destruction may ensue. These people obviously should be in therapy.
To go from trying to steer a scene to trying to bring it to life from within is a big difference. Directing has only increased my admiration and respect for what it is that actors do. (On going from directing to acting on 'Grey's Anatomy'.)
(1992, on Memphis Belle (1990)) Michael Caton-Jones was a little twisted. He had us spend three weeks running five miles a day with packs on our back and sleeping with 20 other smelly, grumpy guys. I think he wanted to see spoiled Hollywood actors tortured and beaten down so he could come in and direct. After boot camp we were putty in his hands. He wore a general's cap on the set and occasionally walked around with a riding crop. He's a good director, but his sense of humor is obviously strange.
(1992, on Haunted Summer (1988)) Actually, Laura Dern got me that role. She brought me the script and told me that I should meet the director. Ivan Passer took us to dinner and offered me the role. Some directors just want to hire you after getting a sense of who you are and others want you to read a million times. Either way is fine with me. Although it's a lot more fun to just go out to dinner...We lived this sort of bohemian existence during that film. We thought of those people as the rock and roll stars of their day, young, hedonistic people pursuing anarchic lifestyles, shocking society. We were all passionate about it. I already had a knowledge of the Romantic poets, but I didn't know much about (my character) Shelley. So I read every book about his life. I read this man's mail. I went to the places he went. I had a great time. I remember one night on Lake Como when there was an incredible thunderstorm. All the power went out in our hotel. I went out on the balcony and saw Laura and Philip Anglim on a balcony, and Alex Winter on the balcony next to them, watching the lightning. And I thought, this was what life should be like.
(1992, on his preparation for The Wild Life (1984)) I got a job at a bowling alley, moved into Oakwood Apartments in Burbank and tried to live that life. It was awful. I had to clean other people's shoes, deal with women's bowling day. The time really dragged. On one level, it was no fun at all but, on another level, it was real interesting. I had the opportunity to hang out in the apartment complex's clubhouse and down by the pool. The place was filled with recently divorced people who were licking their wounds. I did that for two months. And, ultimately, it did make it easier to do the character.
(1992, on his early love with Ally Sheedy. Source: Movieline) We met in history class. Neither of us were acting [in films] at the time. We were just kids in college. We lived together in a commune on Hollywood Boulevard. It was a huge old Victorian house called the Harris Hollywood House, and there were four or five rooms filled with ex-patriots from England, a handful of homeless people, lots of young, aspiring actors. It was cheap and the atmosphere was exciting. It was a wonderful, messy, fervent time filled with crazy people starting their careers and very excited about what might happen. (http://movieline.com/1992/06/01/eric-stoltz-true-confessions-of-a-faux-paraplegic/)
(1992) My parents moved to American Samoa when I was three or four years old. My dad was principal of a high school there. It was idyllic for a kid. I had a whole island for a backyard. I lived there until I was eight years old and we moved to Santa Barbara. That was a rough transition to make. I remember being the only kid in second grade who couldn't tie his shoelaces, because I had never worn shoes on the island.
(1992, on The Waterdance (1992)) The role required a lot of research. I spent every day for three or four months at the hospital, never getting out of the wheelchair. I would have lived there, but there aren't enough beds as it is.
(1992, on being private) I'm in one of the most public professions in existence. But I've always felt that the less you know about an actor's personal life, the more you can get involved in the story in which he's playing a character. And I don't like to see movies where you know about everything that happens behind the scenes. I can't engage in the story if I know what's going on in the actor's head. I don't want to see the zipper in the back of the monster suit. Like everybody else who goes to the movies, I want to believe the monster is real.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page