Oscar Actors: Reilly, John C.

Born in Chicago and raised as the fifth of six children in an Irish-Lithuanian family, Reilly studied at the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University.

John C. Reilly received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor for his standout performance as Amos Hart in the Academy Award-winning film, CHICAGO.

Additionally, for that role, he was named Best Supporting Actor by the Las Vegas Film Critics, and was nominated by the Chicago Film Critics in the same category. That same year, Reilly starred in two other Academy Award-nominated films; Martin Scorsese’s GANGS OF NEW YORK, and Stephen Daldry’s THE HOURS, making it the first time that a single actor had been part of three of the five films in this prestigious category.


Reilly’s other Golden Globe nominations were for Columbia Picture’s WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY, where he was nominated for both Best Actor (Musical or Comedy) and Best Original Song (for WALK HARD). The song was also nominated for Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media at the 51st Annual Grammy® Awards. Most recently on the big screen, Reilly reunited with Will Ferrell and producer Judd Apatow in the comedy STEP BROTHERS, which went on to earn over $100 million domestically for Columbia Pictures.

Reilly’s first film role came in Brian De Palma’s 1989 motion picture, CASUALTIES OF WAR. That was followed by appearances in a wide array of films, including DAYS OF THUNDER, SHADOWS AND FOG, WE’RE NO ANGELS, WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, HOFFA, GEORGIA, DOLORES CLAIBORNE, and THE RIVER WILD.

As a regular in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s films, Reilly earned acclaim for his roles in HARD EIGHT, BOOGIE NIGHTS, and MAGNOLIA. In 2003, his role as Jennifer Aniston’s husband in the independent feature THE GOOD GIRL garnered him an IFP Spirit Award nomination. Other film credits for Reilly include TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY, A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, DARK WATER, THE AVIATOR, CRIMINAL, THE PERFECT STORM, FOR LOVE OF THE GAME, NEVER BEEN KISSED, ANGER MANAGEMENT, STATE OF GRACE, and THE THIN RED LINE.

Reilly returned to his theater roots in 2000 when he starred in Sam Shepard’s Tony® Award-nominated Broadway production, True West, starring opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman, garnering an Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony Award nomination for Best Actor. In April 2005 he starred in the Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ classic A Streetcar Named Desire. His other stage credits include the Steppenwolf Theater productions of Othello, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Grapes Of Wrath where he starred alongside Gary Sinise. In addition, Reilly produced and played the title role in Ionesco’s Exit The King at the Actors Gang Theater in Los Angeles.

In 2009, Reilly lent his voice to Focus Feature’s animated film 9. He was also joined by Salma Hayek and Jane Krakowski in the adventure film CIRQUE DU FREAK.  He was most recently seen in CYRUS, starring with Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill, and THE EXTRA MAN with Katie Holmes, Kevin Kline and Paul Dano.