Norton at the 2009 Metropolitan Opera premiere.
|Born||Edward Harrison Norton
August 18, 1969
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer, screenwriter|
Edward Harrison Norton (born August 18, 1969) is an American film actor, screenwriter and director. In 1996, his supporting role in the courtroom drama Primal Fear garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Two years later, his lead role as a reformed white power skinhead in American History X earned a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor. His other films include period dramas such as Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Illusionist (2006), and The Painted Veil (2006); and other notable films such as Rounders (1998), Fight Club (1999), 25th Hour (2002), Red Dragon (2002), and The Incredible Hulk (2008).
In addition to acting, Norton is also a writer and director. He made his directorial debut with the film Keeping the Faith (2000) and is slated to direct the film adaptation of the novel Motherless Brooklyn. Norton did uncredited work on the scripts for The Score, Frida, and The Incredible Hulk.
In his private life, Norton is an environmental and social activist. He is a member of the board of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit organization for developing affordable housing, founded by his grandfather, James Rouse. Norton is president of the American branch of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. He ran in the 2009 New York City Marathon to raise money for the Trust. He also raises money for charity through Crowdrise; a social networking community for volunteers and a micro-donations fundraising platform.
Edward Norton was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Columbia, Maryland. His mother, Robin (née Rouse), an English teacher, died of a brain tumor in 1997; his father, Edward James Norton, Sr., is an environmental lawyer and conservation advocate working in Asia, as well as a former federal prosecutor under the Carter administration. His maternal grandfather was the developer James W. Rouse (founder of The Rouse Company), who developed the city of Columbia, Maryland (where Norton grew up), helped develop Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Norfolk's Waterside Festival Marketplace, and Boston's Quincy Market, as well as co-founded the Enterprise Foundation with Norton's maternal stepgrandmother, Patty Rouse. Norton has two younger siblings—Molly and Jim, with whom he has professionally collaborated. From 1981 to 1985, along with his brother, he attended Camp Pasquaney, on the shores of Newfound Lake in Hebron, New Hampshire. There, he won the acting cup in 1984 and later returned to the camp's council for two years, directing theater. He maintains close connections with the camp.
Norton graduated from Columbia's Wilde Lake High School in 1987. He attended Yale University, where he acted in university productions alongside Ron Livingston and Paul Giamatti, graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Following graduation, Norton worked in Osaka, Japan, consulting for his grandfather's company, Enterprise Foundation. Norton can speak some Japanese. He appeared in an ESL textbook, Only in America, used by Nova, a formerly major English language school.
Norton moved to New York City and began his acting career in off-Broadway theater, breaking through with his 1993 involvement in Edward Albee's Fragments at the Signature Theatre Company. His first major film was 1996's Primal Fear, which tells a story of a defense attorney (Richard Gere), who defends Aaron Stampler, an altar boy (Norton), charged with the murder of a Roman Catholic archbishop. The movie is an adaptation of William Diehl's 1993 novel. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "Norton gives a performance that's fully the equal of Gere's -- he's as slyly self-effacing as Gere is slyly ostentatious." Alison Macor of The Austin Chronicle, in review of the film, wrote, "Norton's performance and the well-paced tension preceding the movie's climactic sequence provide an entertaining if slightly predictable thriller." Despite the mixed reviews, Norton won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In 1998, he took on the role of Derek Vinyard, a reformed neo-Nazi in the film American History X. David Denby of The New Yorker noted that Norton gives Derek "ambiguous erotic allure; he's almost appealing". American History X received positive reception, and grossed over $23 million worldwide at the box office. His performance in the film earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He packed on 30 pounds (13 kg) of muscle for his role in American History X but did not maintain the physique after production. Also in 1998, Norton starred opposite Matt Damon in Rounders, a movie following two friends who need to quickly earn enough cash playing poker to pay off a huge debt.
In the 1999 film Fight Club, Norton played the nameless protagonist, an everyman and an unreliable narrator who feels trapped with his white-collar position in society. The film, an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name, was directed by David Fincher. To prepare for the role, Norton took lessons in boxing, taekwondo, and grappling. Fight Club premiered at the 1999 Venice International Film Festival. During promotion for the film, he said, "I feel that Fight Club really, in a way ... probed into the despair and paralysis that people feel in the face of having inherited this value system out of advertising." The film failed to meet expectations at the box office, and received polarized reactions from film critics. However, it became a cult classic after its DVD release.
In 2002, he starred in Brett Ratner's Red Dragon as FBI profiler Will Graham and in Spike Lee's 25th Hour. While Red Dragon received mixed reviews, it was commercially successful. 25th Hour was praised by critics, particularly for its examination of a post-9/11 New York City, but failed to break even.
He played himself in a cameo role in the experimental comedy show Stella, and won critical acclaim for his role as Baldwin IV, the leper king of Jerusalem, in Kingdom of Heaven. In 2006, he starred in the independent movie The Illusionist, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and later became a sleeper hit when it went into general release. Norton has also done uncredited script work on some of the films he has appeared in, specifically The Score, Frida, and The Incredible Hulk. In 2000, he made his debut as a director with Keeping the Faith. He will also direct the film adaptation of the novel Motherless Brooklyn. Norton portrayed Marvel comics superhero The Hulk in the second movie adaptation of The Incredible Hulk, released in 2008.
Norton is generally known for his reluctance to embrace his celebrity status, and has said, "If I ever have to stop taking the subway, I'm gonna have a heart attack." Norton has stated in interviews that he is a fan of the Baltimore Orioles, and was involved in many of Cal Ripken Jr.'s retirement activities in 2001 when he was asked to be a part of Ripken's biography for Major League Baseball (MLB). He attended Ripken's ceremony at the Hall of Fame in July 2007. Norton has a private pilot license and discussed his flight training when interviewed on episodes of The Late Show with David Letterman and Inside the Actor's Studio.
Norton was a strong supporter of former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer. Norton is a member of the board of trustees of the Enterprise Foundation, a non-profit developer of affordable housing. He is also well-known for his support for environmental causes and renewable energy projects, such as BP's Solar Neighbors program. He also put time and money toward social activist causes, including improving the quality of living in low-income communities.
Norton is president of the American branch of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. To raise money for the trust, Norton fielded a team of 30 runners in the New York City Marathon on November 1, 2009. The team included Alanis Morissette and David Blaine. Norton finished the event first among celebrities with a time of 3 hours, 48 minutes. Norton and his team raised over $1 million for the Trust.
He dated singer Courtney Love from 1996 to 1999, and actress Salma Hayek from 1999 to 2003. He had broken engagements with both women. Norton is 6 feet (1.83 m) tall, according to his interview on The Daily Show. He lives in New York City.
|1996||Primal Fear||Aaron Stampler||Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Everyone Says I Love You and The People vs. Larry Flynt
Chicago Film Critics Award - Most Promising Actor also for The People vs. Larry Flynt and Everyone Says I Love You
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Everyone Says I Love You and The People vs. Larry Flynt
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Everyone Says I Love You and The People vs. Larry Flynt
Society of Texas Film Critics Awards also for The People vs. Larry Flynt
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
|The People vs. Larry Flynt||Alan Isaacman||Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Everyone Says I Love You and Primal Fear
Chicago Film Critics Award - Most Promising Actor also for Everyone Says I Love You and Primal Fear
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Everyone Says I Love You and Primal Fear
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Everyone Says I Love You and Primal Fear
Society of Texas Film Critics Awards also for Primal Fear
|Everyone Says I Love You||Holden Spence||Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actoralso for Primal Fear and The People vs. Larry Flynt
Chicago Film Critics Award - Most Promising Actor also for Primal Fear and The People vs. Larry Flynt
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Primal Fear and The People vs. Larry Flynt
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Primal Fear and The People vs. Larry Flynt
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
|1998||Rounders||Lester 'Worm' Murphy||Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actoralso for American History X|
|American History X||Derek Vinyard||Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actoralso for Rounders
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor
|1999||Fight Club||The Narrator||Nominated— Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Action Team with Brad Pitt
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Fight
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
|2000||Keeping the Faith||Father Brian Finn||Street Film Festival, Milan — Best Feature Film (as director and producer)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
|2001||The Score||Jack Teller||Script (uncredited)|
|2002||Death to Smoochy||Sheldon Mopes/Smoochy the Rhino|
|Frida||Nelson Rockefeller||Script (uncredited)|
|Red Dragon||Will Graham|
|25th Hour||Monty Brogan||Sant Jordi Awards — Best Foreign Actor (Meilleur Actor Etranger)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
|2003||The Italian Job||Steve Frazelli|
|2004||National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth||Host|
|2005||Down in the Valley||Harlan||San Diego Film Critics Society Awards — Special Award for body of work also for The Illusionist and The Painted Veil
|Kingdom of Heaven||Baldwin IV||Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture|
|2006||The Illusionist||Eisenheim||San Diego Film Critics Society Awards — Special Award for body of work also for Down in the Valley and The Painted Veil|
|The Painted Veil||Walter Fane||Gotham Awards — Tribute Award
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards — Special Award for body of work also for The Illusionist and Down in the Valley
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male
|2008||The Incredible Hulk||Bruce Banner / The Hulk||Also Writer|
|Bustin Down The Door||Narrator||(documentary)|
|Pride and Glory||Ray Tierney||Also Producer|
|2009||Leaves of Grass||Bill Kincaid / Brady Kincaid|
|The Invention of Lying||Traffic Cop||Cameo|
|2010||Motherless Brooklyn||Lionel Essrog||Also Director, Producer, Writer (project on hold)|
|2000||Keeping the Faith|
|2000||Keeping the Faith|
|2006||Down in the Valley|
|The Painted Veil|
|2008||Pride and Glory|
|2009||By the People: The Election of Barack Obama|
|1996||Everyone Says I Love You||"Just You, Just Me"
"My Baby Just Cares for Me"
"I'm Thru With Love"
|2000||Keeping the Faith||"Ready to Take a Chance Again"|
|2002||Death to Smoochy||"My Stepdad's Not Mean (He's Just Adjusting)" (also songwriter)
"Smoochy's Methadone Song"
"Smoochy's Magic Jungle Theme"
"The Friends Song" (also lyrics)
August 18, 1969|
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Edward Harrison Norton (born August 18, 1969) is an American movie actor and director. He was nominated two times for the Academy Award, and won the Golden Globe in 1997. His acting includes main roles in the films Primal Fear, American History X and Fight Club.