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Eric Stoltz

Stoltz promoting Caprica, April 2009
Born Eric Cameron Stoltz
September 30, 1961 (1961-09-30) (age 48)
Whittier, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1982–present

Eric Cameron Stoltz (born September 30, 1961) is an American actor. He is known for playing either sensitive misfits (Mask, Kicking and Screaming, The Waterdance) or sociopathic criminals (Killing Zoe). He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for Mask.


Early life

Stoltz was born in Whittier, California, the son of Evelyn B. (née Vawter), a violinist and schoolteacher who died in 1994, and Jack Stoltz, an elementary school teacher.[1][2][3] He has two older sisters, Catherine Stoltz (1954) and Susan R. Stoltz (1957).[4][5] Eric was raised in both American Samoa and Santa Barbara, California, where, as a child, he once earned money playing piano for local musical theatre productions.[6] He attended the University of Southern California, where he dropped out in his junior year.


In the 1970s Stoltz joined a repertory company that did 10 plays at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, UK. He returned to the states in 1981 where he studied with Stella Adler and Peggy Feury in New York, and soon appeared in his first film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). Originally cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future (1985), he was replaced after six weeks of filming, when Michael J. Fox (the director's first choice for the role) agreed to divide time between the movie and his television sitcom, Family Ties. The director, Robert Zemeckis, has said that while Stoltz provided an admirable performance, it lacked the humorous feel that Zemeckis was looking for. Some of the original footage (shots where Stoltz doesn't appear, but was on set) was used in the film.[7]

In the 1980s, he garnered attention (and a Golden Globe nomination) starring as Rocky Dennis in Mask (1985), and in John Hughes's Some Kind of Wonderful (1987).

During the 1990s, he went back and forth from stage to film to TV, building up an eclectic résumé that includes both studio films like Pulp Fiction (1994) and independent films like Sundance Festival Winner The Waterdance (1992). He was also a production assistant on Say Anything and Singles, and has produced the films Bodies, Rest & Motion in 1993, Sleep with Me in 1994, and Mr. Jealousy in 1997. He also continued to appear on the New York stage both on Broadway (Three Sisters, Two Shakespearean Actors, Arms and the Man) and off-Broadway (The Importance of Being Earnest, The Glass Menagerie, Sly Fox and Our Town. He was nominated for a Tony Award for the latter performance.).

On television, he had a recurring role as Helen Hunt's character's ex-boyfriend on Mad About You (5 episodes, 1994–1998), he also spent a year on Chicago Hope (1994) and did some TV and cable movies, such as Inside (1996) (TV) (directed by Arthur Penn) and The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999) (with Helen Mirren).

Stoltz received the Indie Support Award at the 1998 Los Angeles Film Festival.

During the first part of the 2000s, he starred with Gillian Anderson in The House of Mirth (2000), based on the novel by Edith Wharton. From 2001 to 2002, he had a recurring role as the English teacher-poet August Dimitri in ABC's Once and Again, where Julia Whelan 's character (a teenager) fell in love with him. He directed an episode of the show in 2002.

In 2003, he got his first leading TV role in the show Out of Order, which was cancelled after five episodes. In 2004, he appeared in The Butterfly Effect as a child molester; the following year, he guest-starred in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace as Debra Messing's love interest.

He was nominated for a daytime Emmy for his direction of the cable movie My Horrible Year! (2001). He also directed a short film entitled The Bulls, as well as the highest rated episode of Law & Order in 2005, entitled "Tombstone."

He appeared in the music video of The Residents' "Give it to Someone Else," featured on their The Commercial DVD.

He has contributed essays to the books City Secrets — New York as well as Life Interrupted by Spalding Gray, and appears on the children's CD Philadelphia Chickens.

Beginning in 2007, Stoltz directed episodes of the 20-something drama Quarterlife, which began airing as webisodes and were then picked up to air on the NBC network in 2008.

Stoltz played a serial killer in need of medical attention in three episodes of the fifth season of Grey's Anatomy.[8] He has also directed two episodes of Grey's Anatomy. The actor next appears in the films Fort McCoy and First Howl.

In early 2010, Stoltz will star as Daniel Graystone, the inventor of Cylons, in the forthcoming science fiction television series Caprica, a prequel set 58 years before the Battlestar Galactica series.

Personal life

Stoltz is a member of the Actors Studio. He lived with actress Ally Sheedy (whom he met in college) sometime before 1983, then with actress Jennifer Jason Leigh from 1985–1989 and with Bridget Fonda from 1990–1998.[citation needed]

Director Cameron Crowe and Stoltz became friends on the set of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Crowe promised Stoltz a role, however small, in every film he makes, although since Stoltz wasn't able to appear in Almost Famous (his name does appear briefly on a billboard) he hasn't appeared in Crowe's following films.[6]

Stoltz has been a vegetarian for 25 years.[9]



Year Film Role Notes
1982 Fast Times at Ridgemont High Stoner Bud
1984 The Wild Life Bill Conrad
Surf II Chuck
1985 Mask Rocky Dennis Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
The New Kids Mark
Code Name Emerald Lt. Andy Wheeler
1987 Some Kind of Wonderful Keith Nelson
Sister, Sister Matt Rutledge
Lionheart Robert Nerra
1988 Our Town George Gibbs
Haunted Summer Percy Shelley
1989 The Fly II Martin Brundle
Say Anything Vahlere
1990 Memphis Belle Sgt Danny 'Danny Boy' Daly
1991 Money Franck Cimballi
1992 The Waterdance Joel Garcia also producer
Singles The Mime
1993 Bodies, Rest & Motion
Naked in New York Jake Briggs
1994 Killing Zoe Zed
Pulp Fiction Lance Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Little Women John Brooke
Sleep with Me Joseph also producer
1995 Rob Roy Alan MacDonald
Fluke Jeff Newman
The Prophecy Simon
Kicking and Screaming Chet
1996 Don't Look Back Jesse Parish
Grace of My Heart Howard Cazsatt
2 Days in the Valley Wes Taylor
Jerry Maguire Ethan Valhere
1997 Keys to Tulsa Richter Boudreau
Anaconda Dr. Steven Cale
Mr. Jealousy Lester Grimm, aka Vince also producer
The Rocking Horse Winner The Man
Highball Darien
1998 Hi-Life Jimmy
Blackout Effect John Dantley
1999 Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge
The Passion of Ayn Rand Nathaniel Branden
2000 The Simian Line Sam Donovan
The House of Mirth Lawrence Selden
Common Ground Johnny Burroughs
It's a Shame About Ray Mr. Stoltz
2001 Things Behind the Sun Dan
Harvard Man Teddy Carter
2002 The Rules of Attraction Mr. Lawson
2003 When Zachary Beaver Came to Town Otto
2004 The Butterfly Effect George Miller
2005 The Honeymooners William Davis
2006 The Lather Effect Mickey
2007 The Grand Design Josh
2009 Sparks Joseph
Fort McCoy Frank Stirn Post-production
First Howl Rufus D. Kessler Pre production





  • "Once and Again", 2003
  • The Bulls, short film, 2005, 18 min.
  • The Grand Design, short film, 2007, 18 min. Also actor.
  • Paddyville, feature film, in production.


External links

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