Dennis Quaid

Dennis William Quaid (born April 9, 1954) is an American actor. Raised in Texas, he became known during the 1980s after appearing in several successful films, and has since established a career as a major Hollywood actor.


Early life

Quaid was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Juanita Bonniedale "Nita" (née Jordan), a real estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid, an electrician. He is the younger brother of actor Randy Quaid. Quaid has Irish and Cajun ancestry. He attended Pershing Middle School in Houston. He studied drama at Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas and later in college, at the University of Houston, under drama coach Cecil Pickett.


After his brother, actor Randy Quaid, was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Last Detail, he dropped out of the University of Houston before graduating and moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue an acting career of his own. He initially had trouble finding work but began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away (1979) and earned good reviews for his role in The Right Stuff (1983).

Known for his famous grin, Quaid has appeared in both comedic and dramatic roles. Quaid had starring roles in the films Enemy Mine and Innerspace. He also achieved acclaim for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire! (1989).

Quaid's career lost steam in the early 1990s, after he fought and kicked a cocaine addiction. He continued to garner positive reviews in a variety of films, however, such as Wyatt Earp (1994). Some of Quaid's most recent film credits include Far From Heaven (2002) (for which he received Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, NYFCC and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor), In Good Company (2004), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Yours, Mine and Ours (2005), and Vantage Point (2008).

Personal life

Quaid was raised Baptist and is a practicing Christian.

Quaid married actress P.J. Soles on November 25, 1978 (Thanksgiving Day). The two divorced on January 23, 1983. Quaid's second marriage was to Meg Ryan on February 14, 1991 (Valentine's Day). Quaid and Ryan have a son, Jack Henry (born April 24, 1992). Their marriage ended on June 16, 2001. Ryan later revealed Quaid had been unfaithful to her for a long time while they were married.Quaid was also engaged for three years to actress Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, Caroline in the City), whom he met on the movie set of Jaws 3-D in 1983.

Quaid married Kimberly Buffington, an Austin, Texas real estate agent, on July 4, 2004 (Independence Day). The couple welcomed twins born via a gestational carrier on November 8, 2007 in Santa Monica, California. Their son Thomas Boone was born first at 8:26 a.m. and weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces (3.06 kg). Daughter Zoe Grace made her appearance two minutes later weighing in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces (2.52 kg).

On November 20, 2007, hospital staff mistakenly gave Quaid's twelve-day-old twins a dosage of heparin 1,000 times the common dosage for infants. Their attorney said the newborns will "be fine now", but Quaid has filed a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer, Baxter Healthcare, claiming that packaging for the two doses of heparin are not different enough. In May 2008, the Quaids testified before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asking Congress not to preempt the right to sue drug manufacturers for negligence under state law.

Aside from acting, Quaid is a musician and plays with his band the Sharks. Quaid also has a pilot's license and is a scratch golfer and, in 2005, was named as the top golfer among the "Hollywood set" by Golf Digest. He lends his name to the annual "Dennis Quaid Charity Weekend" (formerly the "Jiffy Lube/Dennis Quaid Charity Classic") in Austin, Texas. The golf tournament attracts numerous celebrities with the proceeds split among local children's charities. He is a member of the Bel-Air Country Club in Bel-Air and tries to stay at homes on private courses when he is on the road.

Quaid works with the charity "International Hospital for Children in New Orleans." He makes trips to Central America to help build medical clinics and transport sick children back to the United States for treatment they cannot get locally.

In a 2006 interview with Best Life magazine, Quaid said that in the mid-1990s he suffered from 'manorexia' saying, "I'd look in the mirror and still see a 180 lb (82 kg) guy, even though I was 138 pounds (62 kg)," and "for many years, I was obsessed about what I was eating, how many calories it had, and how much exercise I'd have to do".




  • Silver, Murray, 2005. "When Elvis Meets the Dalai Lama," (Bonaventure Books, Savannah), in which the author describes Quaid's participation in the film "Great Balls of Fire."

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