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Josh Brolin

Brolin at Flaunt Magazine's 9th Anniversary Bash and Holiday Toy Drive, December 2007
Born Josh James Brolin
February 12, 1968 (1968-02-12) (age 42)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Alice Adair (1988–1992)
Diane Lane (2004–present)

Josh James Brolin (pronounced /ˈbroʊlɨn/; born February 12, 1968)[1] is an Academy Award nominated American actor. He has acted in theater, film and television roles since 1985, and won acting awards for his roles in the films No Country for Old Men and Milk.


Early life

Brolin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Jane Cameron Agee, a wildlife activist and native of Corpus Christi, Texas, and actor James Brolin.[2][3] Brolin was raised on a California ranch with little exposure to his father's acting career.[4] His parents divorced when he was 18 and his stepmother by his father's current marriage is singer/actress Barbra Streisand. He became interested in acting after taking an improv acting class in high school.[4]


Brolin started his career in TV movies and guest spots on TV shows before getting a more notable role as Brand Walsh in the Richard Donner-directed movie The Goonies (1985).[4] He was then offered the role of Tom Hanson in the series 21 Jump Street, but turned it down to star in the series Private Eye (1987), which lasted half a season. The role of Hanson instead went to Johnny Depp.[5] Brolin guest-starred in an episode of the show in its first season.[6]

Brolin implied that he turned away from film acting for years after the premiere of his second film, Thrashin', where he witnessed what he called "horrendous" acting on his part.[7] For several years, he appeared in stage roles in Rochester, New York, often alongside mentor and friend Anthony Zerbe.[4] One of Brolin's more prominent roles early in his career was that of Wild Bill Hickok in the ABC western TV series The Young Riders, which lasted three seasons (1989-92).[4] Two other TV series he was involved in include the Aaron Spelling production Winnetka Road (1994) and Mister Sterling (2003), both of which were cancelled after a few episodes.

Brolin's extensive film work consists mainly of supporting, villainous roles. His most recent film work includes the Planet Terror segment of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez collaboration Grindhouse, the Coen brothers' Academy Award-winning film No Country for Old Men, and Gus van Sant's Milk.[4] His biggest box office success to date was as the menacing Detective Trupo in American Gangster (2007), which grossed US$265,495,454 worldwide.[8]

Brolin also starred in director Oliver Stone's 2008 film W., a biopic about key events in the life of President George W. Bush.[4][9] Stone pursued an initially hesitant Brolin for the role. He said of his decision to cast Brolin in the leading role:[10]

It always seemed to me that he was the right person. Although classically handsome, I think he would consider himself a character actor first and foremost, and it was in this context that I thought of him as W. Josh certainly has star appeal and could be a leading man, but I don’t think he necessarily wants to be that. I think he really enjoys disappearing into a character.

Brolin received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Gus Van Sant's biopic Milk as city supervisor Dan White, who assassinated San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.[11] He made news by wearing a White Knot to the Academy Awards ceremony to demonstrate solidarity with the marriage equality movement.[12] Brolin told an interviewer that costar Sean Penn, who portrayed Milk, decided to dispel any nerves the actors had about playing gay men by grabbing the bull by the horns. At the first cast dinner, which included cast-mates James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Diego Luna, Brolin said, "[Penn] walked right up and grabbed me and planted a huge one right on my lips."[13] Brolin has received critical acclaim for his performance and, in addition to his Oscar nomination, NYFCC and NBR Awards for Best Supporting Actor and a nomination for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. Brolin is said to be considred for the role of Snake Plissken in the remake of Escape from New York.

When he is not acting, Brolin is an active stock trader and is co-founder of the site[14]

Personal life

Brolin with his wife Diane Lane in December 2009

Brolin has been married to actress Diane Lane since August 15, 2004. Brolin has two children, Trevor Mansur (b. 26 June 1988) and Eden (b. 1994) from a previous marriage to actress Alice Adair. On December 20, 2004, Lane called the police after an altercation with Brolin and he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. Lane declined to press charges and the couple's spokesperson characterized the incident as a misunderstanding.[15]

On July 12, 2008, Brolin was arrested, along with actor Jeffrey Wright and five other crew members of W., after an altercation at the Stray Cat Bar in Shreveport, Louisiana. Brolin was released after posting a cash bond of US$334.[16][17] Of his arrest, Brolin told a reporter, "It was nice to be in jail knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong. And it was maddening to be in jail knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong."[18] Charges against all seven men were later dropped by Shreveport prosecutors.[19]


Year Film Role Notes
1985 The Goonies Brandon "Brand" Walsh
1986 Thrashin' Corey Webster
1987 Private Eye Johnny Betz TV series
1989 The Young Riders James Butler Hickok TV series
1995 The Outer Limits Jack Pierce TV Series
Episode: Virtual Future
1996 Bed of Roses Danny
1996 Flirting with Disaster Tony Kent
1997 Mimic Josh
Nightwatch James Gallman
1999 The Mod Squad Billy Waites
Best Laid Plans Bryce
It's the Rage Tennel
2000 Picnic Hal Carter TV
Hollow Man Matt Kensington
Slow Burn Duster
2003 Mister Sterling Senator Bill Sterling TV series
2005 Melinda and Melinda Greg Earlinger
Into the West Jedediah Smith TV miniseries
Into the Blue Derek Bates
2006 The Dead Girl Tarlow
2007 Grindhouse Dr. William Block Segment: Planet Terror
In the Valley of Elah Chief Buchwald
No Country for Old Men Llewelyn Moss National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
American Gangster Det. Trupo
2008 W. George W. Bush
Milk Dan White New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
2010 Jonah Hex Jonah Hex post-production
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger filming
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Bretton James
True Grit Tom Chaney pre-production


  1. ^ Screen World 2003, By John Willis, Barry Monush. Published by Hal Leonard Corporation, 2004. ISBN 1557835284, 9781557835284
  2. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (2009-02-09). "Josh Brolin Mines Emotional Depths". The Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  3. ^ Barnes, Michael; Elizabeth Peterman (2007-11-15). "Josh Brolin is everywhere these days, including Austin". Austin 360. Retrieved 2007-11-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2008
  5. ^ Mair, George. "21 Jump Street". The Barry Diller Story: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Entertainment Mogul. John Wiley and Sons. p. 148. ISBN 9780471299486. 
  6. ^ "My Future's so Bright, I got to Wear Shades". Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Hollow Man". The-Numbers. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  9. ^ RTÉ.ie Entertainment: Stone and Brolin to make Bush biopic
  10. ^ Kevin West (October 2008), Josh Brolin, W magazine,, retrieved 2008-11-19 
  11. ^ Josh Brolin page
  12. ^
  13. ^ Kevin West (October 2008), Josh Brolin, W magazine,, retrieved 2008-11-19 
  14. ^ Sam Allis (2007-11-04). "Josh Brolin is more than just a familiar face". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  15. ^ New York Crime Headlines and Articles - NY Daily News
  16. ^ "Actor Brolin arrested after fight". BBC News. July 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  17. ^ "Brolin, Wright, others in film crew arrested". Associated Press. July 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  18. ^ Kevin West (October 2008), Josh Brolin, W magazine,, retrieved 2008-11-19 
  19. ^ Attorney says charges against Brolin to be dropped Yahoo News, January 6, 2009

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