Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Sinise in 2011
Born Gary Alan Sinise
(1955-03-17) March 17, 1955
Blue Island, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Illinois State University
Occupation Actor, director, musician
Years active 1973 (1973)–present
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Moira Harris (m. 1981)
Children 3

Gary Alan Sinise (/səˈns/; born March 17, 1955) is an American actor, director and musician.[1] Among other awards, he has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Sinise is known for several memorable roles. These include George Milton in Of Mice and Men, Lieutenant Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Harry S. Truman in Truman (for which he won a Golden Globe), Ken Mattingly in Apollo 13, Detective Jimmy Shaker in Ransom, Detective Mac Taylor in the CBS series CSI: NY (2004–13), and George C. Wallace in the television film George Wallace (for which he won an Emmy). In 2016, Sinise began starring in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Early life

Sinise was born in Blue Island, Illinois, son of Robert L. Sinise, a film editor, and his wife Mylles (Alsip) Sinise.[2][3][4] His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, Sinise's great-grandfather Vito Sinisi having immigrated from Ripacandida.[5][6][7] Sinise briefly attended Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and later graduated from Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois,[8] followed by Illinois State University. In 1974, Sinise and two friends, Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry, founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.[9] Since then, Steppenwolf has showcased the talents of notable actors such as Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Gary Cole, Ethan Hawke, Glenne Headly, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Martha Plimpton, Jim True-Frost, and most recently William Petersen. Sinise honed his acting and directing skills at Steppenwolf, and received a Joseph Jefferson Award for his direction of Lyle Kessler's play Orphans. That took him from Chicago to New York City, and then to London's West End, where he worked on more than thirty of the company's productions.


A man is at the center of the image looking at the camera. He is dressed in Vietnam War–era military attire including a vest and helmet. He has a cigarette sitting on his lips and is wearing a backpack.
Sinise on the set of Forrest Gump, in 1993

In 1982, Sinise's career began to take off when he directed and starred in Steppenwolf's production of True West. In 1983, he earned an Obie Award for his direction, and a year later appeared with John Malkovich in the PBS' American Playhouse production of the play. In 1988, Sinise directed Miles from Home, a film starring Richard Gere, about two brothers' fight against the foreclosure of the family farm. Sinise collaborated with fellow actor Tom Hanks three times, including Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, and The Green Mile. Other noteworthy films in which Sinise has appeared include Of Mice and Men (which he directed), Reindeer Games, Snake Eyes, Ransom, Mission to Mars, The Stand and Impostor. He narrated the audiobooks for John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley.

In 2004, he began his first regular television series, in the crime drama CSI: New York, in which he plays Detective Mac Taylor. He was credited as a producer from season two onwards and wrote the storyline of an episode. Several episodes have allowed Sinise to demonstrate his musical prowess, including a season-two episode where Mac Taylor plays the bass guitar in a jazz club with musicians Kimo and Carol Williams and Danny Gottlieb, members of the Lt. Dan Band, which Sinise and Kimo Williams co-founded in 2003. The band is named for Sinise's character in Forrest Gump.

Apart from his television and movie work, Sinise is the host in the video for the Epcot ride Mission: SPACE, at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, and a model for Baume & Mercier watches.[10] He co-founded Operation Iraqi Children. Sinise said, "Iraq is in the news every day, and most of it is bad. But there are some positive stories. And how our soldiers are rebuilding schools and helping kids is one of them."[11]

Sinise was the narrator for the Discovery Channel's miniseries When We Left Earth in 2008. He was awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal by George W. Bush for work he did supporting the U.S. military and humanitarian work supporting Iraqi children.[12] He narrated Army and Army Reserve Army Strong recruitment ads[13] in late 2008. He is also the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

Sinise is the executive producer—along with David Scantling—of the Iraq War documentary Brothers at War.[14] The film features an American military family and the experiences of three brothers: Jake Rademacher, Isaac Rademacher, and Joseph Rademacher.[15]

In November 2009, Sinise narrated the highly acclaimed World War II in HD on the History Channel. In 2010, he narrated the World War II documentary Missions That Changed The War on the Military Channel. In late 2002, he started the Cadillac commercials starting with the 2002–2003 Season's Best commercial and has been with the Break Through campaign since it started the campaign in the 2002 Super Bowl with Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" then ended in late 2006. In 2009, Sinise lent his voice talents in the Thomas Nelson audio Bible production known as The Word of Promise, playing the character of David.[16]

Other work

Sinise is a supporter of various veterans' organizations, both personally and through the Lt. Dan Band. He frequently performs on USO tours at military bases around the world, and volunteered for the National Vietnam Veterans Arts Museum now called the National Veterans Art Museum. On June 8, 2011, he put on a space suit to become one of the few people to fly in a U-2 spy plane up to 70,000 feet.[17] Sinise is also on the Advisory Council of Hope For The Warriors, a national nonprofit dedicated to provide a full cycle of nonmedical care to combat-wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen from each military branch.[18] In December 2011, Sinise was the narrator at the Candelight Processional at Disneyland. In August 2012, Sinise was honored at the United States Navy Memorial, by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West, and was made an honorary U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer for his efforts in helping veterans.[19] On August 29, 2013, he was named an honorary Marine by the Commandant of the Marine Corps.[20][21] In 2006, Sinise has co-narrated the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C., with actor and Illinois native Joe Mantegna.[22] He serves as the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and spends much of his time raising awareness for the memorial and other veterans' service organizations.[23] In 2012, he was honored by the Joe Foss Institute for his dedication to veterans. In 2013, he was awarded the third highest honor within the Department of the Army Civilian Awards, the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, for substantial contributions to the U.S. Army community through his work with the Gary Sinise Foundation. He participated in Troopathon VI for 2013, as he has in the past, to help raise money for care packages for American troops.[24] He received 2015's Sylvanus Thayer Award, awarded by the West Point Association of Graduates to a civilian whose character, service, and achievements reflect the ideals prized by the U.S. Military Academy.[25][26]

Personal life

Sinise playing bass guitar in the Lt. Dan Band

Sinise married actress Moira Harris in 1981. They have three children: Sophie (b. 1988), McCanna Anthony (b. 1990), and Ella (b. 1992). In 2003, Sinise was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Amherst College[27] He has been awarded the U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal.

Sinise is a devoted fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears (National Football League).[28]


Sinise's name was in an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times (August 17, 2006) that condemned Hamas and Hezbollah and supported Israel in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.[29] In June 2008, Sinise donated $2,300 to the Republican presidential primary campaign of Arizona Senator John McCain.[30] Nicolle Wallace, a former adviser to George W. Bush and the presidential campaign of John McCain, stated in May 2009 that she believed Sinise could help bring about a resurgence of the Republican Party. Wallace stated, "The natural strengths that an actor brings to politics would come in handy to anyone going up against Obama in 2012. We will need an effective communicator who can stand toe to toe with Obama’s eloquence." Other names mentioned were those of Generals David Petraeus and Ray Odierno.[31] Sinise narrates the online virtual tour for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and spoke at the centennial celebration of Reagan's birth at the library in February 2011.

In September 2012, Sinise donated to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.[32] Sinise's Republican leaning has been written into his character of Mac Taylor who has a picture of Ronald Reagan displayed in his office, and is once the subject of a joke by one of his colleagues about an eight-hour documentary about Reagan he keeps watching over and over. Sinise hosted a 10-minute online video tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on its website.



Year Title: Role: Notes
1978 A Wedding Extra Uncredited
1988 Miles from Home Directed
1992 Of Mice and Men George Milton Also directed
1992 Midnight Clear, AA Midnight Clear Vance 'Mother' Wilkins
1992 Witness, TheThe Witness Young Soldier Short film
1993 The Stand Stew Redman
1994 Forrest Gump Lieutenant Dan Taylor
1995 Apollo 13 Ken Mattingly
1995 Quick and the Dead, TheThe Quick and the Dead The Marshal
1996 Ransom Detective Jimmy Shaker
1996 Albino Alligator Milo
1998 Snake Eyes Commander Kevin Dunne
1999 Green Mile, TheThe Green Mile Burt Hammersmith
1999 It's the Rage Morgan
2000 Bruno Dino Battaglia
2000 Impostor Spencer Olham Also producer
2000 Mission to Mars Jim McConnell
2000 Reindeer Games Gabriel Mercer
2002 Gentleman's Game, AA Gentleman's Game Foster Pearse
2002 Made-Up Duncan Tivey
2003 Human Stain, TheThe Human Stain Nathan Zuckerman
2003 Mission: SPACE Capcom Short film
2004 Forgotten, TheThe Forgotten Dr. Jack Munce
2004 Big Bounce, TheThe Big Bounce Ray Ritchie
2005 Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D Gene Cernan Voice role
2006 Open Season Shaw Voice role
2011 None Less Than Heroes: The Honor Flight Story Narrator Video documentary
2011 Lt. Dan Band: For The Common Good Himself Documentary
2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Smithsonian Narrator Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Knots Landing Lee Maddox Episode: "Small Surprises"
1984 Family Secrets Motorcyclist Movie
1984 True West Austin American Playhouse broadcast of play
1986, 1987 Crime Story Howie Dressler 2 episodes
1989 Final Days, TheThe Final Days Richard Ben-Veniste Movie
1989 My Name Is Bill W. Ebby, Bill's best friend Hallmark Hall of Fame movie
1991 Grapes of Wrath, TheThe Grapes of Wrath Tom Joad American Playhouse broadcast of play
1994 Stand, TheThe Stand Stu Redman Miniseries; 4 episodes
1995 Truman Harry S. Truman Movie
1995 Frasier Sid Episode: "The Club"; voice only
1997 George Wallace George C. Wallace Movie
1999 That Championship Season Tom Daley Movie
2002 Path to War George Wallace Movie; uncredited
2003 Fallen Angel Terry Movie
CSI: Miami Detective Mac Taylor "MIA/NYC NonStop"
"Felony Flight"
2004–2013 CSI: NY Detective Mac Taylor All 197 episodes
2008 "When We Left Earth" Narrator Documentary miniseries; all 6 episodes
2009 WWII in HD Narrator Documentary miniseries; all 10 episodes
2013 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Detective Mac Taylor Episode: "In Vino Veritas"
2010–2012 Missions That Changed the War Narrator All 14 episodes
2015 Criminal Minds Agent Jack Garrett Episode: "Beyond Borders"
2016–present Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Agent Jack Garrett Lead role; also producer

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1994 National Board of Review Best Supporting Actor Forrest Gump Won
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor Forrest Gump Won
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Forrest Gump Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Forrest Gump Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Forrest Gump Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Forrest Gump Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Forrest Gump Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie The Stand Nominated
1995 Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Apollo 13 Won
CableACE Awards Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries Truman Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Truman Won
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Truman Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Truman Nominated
1997 CableACE Awards CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries George Wallace Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie George Wallace Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film George Wallace Won
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie George Wallace Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film George Wallace Nominated
2017 The Catholic University of America James Cardinal Gibbons Medal[33] Work on behalf of military veterans and families; humanitarian workWon


  2. John O'Mahony (July 15, 2000). "The guts and the glory". UK: The Guardian. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  3. "Gary Sinise Biography (1955–)". Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  4. The Film daily year book of motion pictures, Volume 47. J. W. Alicoate. 1965. p. 324.
  5. Byrne, Bridget (February 7, 2007). " – Living – This 'CSI' has a New York state of mind – February 7, 2007". Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  7. Petrelli, Gianni (December 22, 2005). "Un attore ripacandidese" [An actor from Ripacandida]. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  8. 2014 Alumni Directory
  9. "Gary Sinise: Ensemble Member Bio". Retrieved January 3, 2008.
  10. "Baume & Mercier and Gary Sinise". Retrieved January 3, 2008.
  11. "In Step With: Gary Sinise". Parade Magazine. September 12, 2004.
  12. "New Recipients Of Presidential Citizen Medals". WBKO. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  13. "Soldier Life > Army Families". Retrieved December 17, 2009. (Archived by WebCite at
  14. "Sinise produces pro-military documentary". March 11, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  15. "Film review: 'Brothers at War' – Military Movies". Military Times. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  16. Groves, Martha (November 16, 2009). "BELIEFS : Stars lined up for elaborate audio Bible : Michael York, Jason Alexander and many others gave voice to a 79-CD reading of Old and New Testaments". Los Angeles Times.
  17. "'Lt. Dan' flies high". June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  18. "Board of Directors". Hope for the Warriors. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  19. Rosprim, Thomas (August 27, 2012). "MCPON Names Gary Sinise Honorary Chief". Navy News Service NNS120827-07. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  20. Seck, Hope Hodge (August 30, 2013). "Lt. Dan' Gary Sinise becomes newest honorary Marine". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  21. "Actor Gary Sinise becomes Honorary Marine". USMC - Marine Barracks Washington. August 30, 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  22. "Families of Disabled Vets | National Memorial Day Concert". PBS. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  23. Sinise, Gary (March 2016). "Gary Sinise on Giving Back to Veterans". Guideposts. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  25. TWS
  26. Gary Sinise to Receive 2015 Sylvanus Thayer Award
  27. "Amherst College Commencement: 2003 Honorary Degree Citations". Retrieved January 3, 2008.
  28. "Gary Sinise In His Mission as The Messenger". Amici Journal. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  29. "Nicole Kidman and 84 Others Stand United Against Terrorism" Hollywood Grind. August 18, 2006
  30. "Gary Sinise's Federal Campaign Contribution Report".
  31. "Actor Gary Sinise floated as possible GOP savior". CNN. May 11, 2009.
  32. Dominic Patten. "Romney Eyes Hollywood Return After Successful Weekend Fundraiser". Deadline.
  33. "Alumni Association Announces Gary Sinise as Gibbons Medalist". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
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