Edit
Tom Noonan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 12 April 1951Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
Height 6' 6" (1.98 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Offbeat character actor Tom Noonan started off his career in various theater troupes that utilized his skills as a guitarist and composer. A graduate from Yale's acting school, he founded the Paradise Theatre in 1983, which was instrumental later in his growth as an artist. Gravitating toward film and TV in the 80s, he began appearing regularly in edgy, unsympathetic roles, most notably as the "Tooth Fairy" serial killer in Manhunter (1986) which was the first feature length film to introduce the infamous Hannibal Lector character. Most of his other work at this time was solid but unrewarding, including such looming parts in Easy Money (1983), Best Defense (1984), The Monster Squad (1987) and RoboCop 2 (1990), so he began to take classes in writing and directing in order to extend himself.

In the mid-90s, by appearing in a number of mainstream parts, he was able to finance his own first play-turned-art house film project What Happened Was... (1994), which became the darling of the Sundance Film Festival that year and won the Grand Jury Prize, not to mention an Independent Spirit nomination. He filmed it in eleven days at a cost of $300,000, and managed to edit it only hours before the Sundance deadline. The success of the two character film, which starred Tom and Karen Sillas as an awkward couple on their first date, induced Tom to finance another film, The Wife (1995), based on his Obie-winning (for writing) play "Wifey", which co-starred Tom with Julie Hagerty, Wallace Shawn and his one-time wife Karen Young. This film, which was warmly received at the Sundance Festival as well, was barely released theatrically, however, as was his third hands-on feature Wang Dang (1999). Notable 90s TV work included roles in The X-Files (1993) and the miniseries Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III (1994), in which he also composed the score. The New York-based actor continues to perform as well as teach acting at the Paradise Theatre, where many of his plays-turned-films got off the ground. He has also written short works of fiction.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Karen Young (1992 - 1999) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Towering height

Trivia (6)

The play, "A Poster for the Cosmos", was written specifically for Tom by writer Lanford Wilson.
Made a guest appearance in the third season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000). He and "CSI" star William Petersen starred together in Manhunter (1986).
Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, Vol. 130, pp. 305-309. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.
He and his fellow Heat (1995) cast member, Ted Levine, have both played villains caught with the help of Hannibal Lecter. Noonan played Francis "Tooth Fairy" Dolarhyde in Manhunter (1986), and Levine played Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
In Last Action Hero (1993), the villain, Benedict (Charles Dance) says that "Hannibal Lecter can do the catering!" Noonan, who appeared in that film, played Francis Dolarhyde in Manhunter (1986), the first film to feature Lecter. In addition, the first director considered for Last Action Hero (1993) was Steven Spielberg, who made Schindler's List (1993), instead. On that film, Spielberg worked with Noonan's successor, Ralph Fiennes, who played Dolarhyde in Red Dragon (2002).
He is not related to the actor Tommy Noonan.

Personal Quotes (6)

[on alternative takes of his 'Francis Dollarhyde' role] We shot every 'shirtless' scene in Manhunter (1986) both with tattoo and without. Michael Mann made the choice in the editing room to use the scenes without the tattoo. I remember him saying that it was 'too much' and it 'diminished' the character.
I've always been a know-it-all. I drive a lot people a bit crazy. But I can't seem to help it. When I was a little kid no matter what my parents told me I would always argue - even if I agreed with them. And I've always been a show-off. As I've gotten older I've found ways to be more subtle about it, but that's the way I am. I suppose that has something to do with why I write and direct.
I don't think you go to a play to forget, or to a movie to be distracted. I think life generally is a distraction and that going to a movie is a way to get back, not go away.
[on Heaven's Gate (1980)] That was probably the worst experience I had in my adult life at that point. Michael Cimino's not a very nice person... He pointed a blank at my face once - which is really dangerous; you can kill somebody with a blank gun - like, threateningly. Like, "I want you to do this, and if you don't..." He was really crazy.
[on Michael Mann directing Manhunter (1986)] Michael and I became very close during the shoot, but we almost never spoke to each other. He just sort of loved me, that's how I felt as a person. He used to send me Christmas cards - very fancy, with pieces of wax paper - but he stopped doing that. One time he was shooting, and I said something to him; it was not disagreeing, but I wasn't level. He took me outside and said, "You can say anything to me you want, but don't ever say anything in front of the crew." Other than that, he never talked to me. He would yell at people a lot. He would make Joan Allen cry sometimes. I thought she was really good. Sometimes she'd do a take, and he would say things "What the fuck? You think anybody's gonna believe that shit?" Maybe I'm exaggerating, it's been a while. There were probably 60 or 70 people on the crew, and there was turnover of like 80 jobs on the movie. The first scene I ever had was when I'm stting in this van and Joan is on the front steps. There was a little tiny imperfection in the van that wasn't even in the shot, you'd never have seen this in a million years. He complained to the producers. He was really upset, and the guy disagreed with him a little, and said "Michael, just calm down, they're gonna fix it." He said, "No, I'm telling you what's going to happen. When I turn around, they are not gonna be there. I'm never going to see anyone again in the art department." And the guy said, "OK, Michael," and all these people just left.[2015]
[on casting for Manhunter (1986)] I went up to this casting place, and I saw they're bring in all these people from Steppenwolf - the theater company in Chicago that we all love so much. I had an appointment at 10:00 and then it got pushed to 10:30, 11, 11:30. I was starting to get really unhappy, and all these people are going in - I think from Steppenwolf, that's probably just my paranoia. Finally they brought me in and I was really fucking pissed off. That's all I knew: I was going to get in there and I was going to read the fucking scene, and just leave. So I was really mad, I didn't have a plan about how to do this thing. I go in and Michael Mann's there. Michael's sort of a scary guy, even though he's not huge, and I learned over time that you really don't talk back to him or give him shit, ever. He's like Napoleon. I walked up and I said, "Listen, I'm gonna read and then I'm gonna leave, OK?" He said, "OK." I sat down. There was a woman reading with me, who apparently was a casting assistant but now she was the casting person and was going to read with me. They put her opposite me, and I don't know...I didn't do anything, but she started to get really frightened of me, which made me feel really excited and full of myself. Michael got real excited and started wandering around the room. I could feel that he was really into what I was doing too, and I thought, "I got this job." Then I finished, and he started to talk to me. I said, "I told you. I'm reading and now I'm leaving." I just walked out. I called my agent, and he said, "What do you mean, you walked out when he wanted to talk to you?" I said, "No, he kept me waiting an hour and a half and fuck him." He said, "He wants to talk to you. If he doesn't talk to you, you're not going to get the job." I said, "Well, let's just let him think about it for a while." I did go back in and talk to him for like a minute. He said, "I have one question." I said, "Good." He said, "You're really scary. How do you do that?" I said, "Michael, the secret to being scary is to be really scared. Because when you're really scared, people are really scared of you." He said, "Wow," I said, "OK," and I left. I got the job. Now, I'd not worked much. I was making a little bit from my acting, but I was really poor and desperate, and this is a real part. I proceeded then to turn it down about five times. I just wanted to get paid more than they were willing to pay me. They wanted to pay me like $35,000 to do this whole movie. That was money back in 1985, but I said, "I'm not doing it for under $100,000." My agent said, "You're crazy." Somehow, they ended up giving me that amount of money.[2015]

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page