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Tribute To Actor Gary Sinise At Fort Lauderdale FF

 Gary SiniseGary Sinise

Friday, November 9----------Actor Gary Sinise was honored this evening for his two-decade film career by the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. The Oscar nominee was in town to receive the Festival's prestigious Career Achievement In Film Award, as well as participate in an on-stage tribute moderated by Phoebe Flowers, chairperson of the Florida Film Critics Circle. The tribute included clips from some of Sinise's most compelling performances. After the Tribute, the crowds made their way to the Signature Grand for a grand reception to honor the celebrated film, television and theater actor.

FORREST GUMPFORREST GUMPSinise, who is currently starring on television's CSI NEW YORK, is best known for his Oscar-nominated performance of the disabled Lieutenant Dan in the Tom Hanks-starrer FORREST GUMP. The Chicago native is also one of the founding members and a former Artistic Director of the Steppenwolf Theater Company, one of the most prestigious theater troupes in America. He first came to prominence in various Steppenwolf productions, including THE GRAPES OF WRATH (for which he was nominated for the Tony and Drama Desk awards), Sam Shephard's TRUE WEST, David Rabe's STREAMERS, the stage version of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and Harold Pinter's THE CARETAKER.

Gary Sinise was born in Blue Island, Illinois. His family later moved to Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, where he became hooked on theater. In 1974, along with fellow classmates Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry, he founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. Initially performing in a church basement, the company grew and gained stature in the Chicago area. In addition to acting in many plays, Sinise also directed some of Steppenwolf's most notable productions. The company made its New York debut with Sam Shepard's TRUE WEST, which Sinise directed and also starred opposite fellow actor John Malkovich. His fim career also started in the director's chair with the 1988 feature MILES FROM HOME, starring Richard Gere, which played in competiton at the Cannes Film Festival. .

Sinise's first feature film as an actor was the World War II fable A MIDNIGHT CLEAR (1992), the same year that he combined his acting and directing talents with the critically acclaimed adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel, OF MICE AND MEN. In 1994, he starred opposite Tom Hanks as the cynical Vietnam veteran Lieutenant Dan in FORREST GUMP, a role that won him the Best Supporting Actor Award from the National Board of Review, as well as Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations. He re-teamed with Hanks as a fellow astronaut in the Ron Howard-directed APOLLO 13 (1995). That same year, he won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as the young Harry Truman in the HBO telepic TRUMAN. Two years later, he won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Alabama Governor George Wallace in the telepic GEORGE WALLACE (1997). Other notable performances in the past decade have been in the films THE GREEN MILE (1999), MISSION TO MARS (2000), THE HUMAN STAIN (2003) and OPEN SEASON (2006). 

THE HUMAN STAINTHE HUMAN STAINThe Festival presented a mini-retrospective of the Sinise canon over the past two weeks, including free public screenings of the films OF MICE AND MEN,  FORREST GUMP, TRUMAN, RANSOM (1996), GEORGE WALLACE, and THE HUMAN STAIN. Sinise is truly an "actor's actor" whose mastery of the medium of film, television and the stage makes him a unique personality in today's acting universe. As a craftsman who literally becomes the parts that he plays, it is clear that this talented thespian will be around for many years to come, and that his greatest acting challenges and triumphs could well be ahead of him.

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor

Comments (3)

My Personal Tribute to Gary

I have adored Gary since I first saw him in Stephen King's, "The Stand." Gary starred as Stu Redman aka East Texas, and was in my opinion, the best actor in the movie. But then that's just Gary. He has presence and commands attention without even trying to. I never miss an episode of CSI New York. He's one of the best actors on the screen today, be it the BIG screen, or the LITTLE screen. We love you, Gary.


Have already ordered mine. I had it on VHS and it is one of the best Gary has done. No matter what your politics, this is a MUST see movie.
carpet cleaners




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