Date of Birth : Oct 1st 1950
Quaid appeared in several National Lampoon’s Vacation movies where he proved an impressive scene-stealer as Cousin Eddie, the dim-witted, bucolic in-law of Clark Griswold (Chvy Chase). He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Last Detail (1973) and won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years (1987). He was featured (with Margaret Colin) in two science fiction movies, the unsuccessful Martians Go Home and very successful Independence Day. Other movies include Kingpin, where he played the lovable Amish bowler Ishmael, alongside Woody Harrelson and Weird Science (the television version) cast member Vanessa Angel; a loser father in Not Another Teen Movie; and an obnoxious neighbor to Richard Pryor’s character in Moving. He played the lead role in the HBO movie Dead Solid Perfect as a golfer trying to make it on the PGA Tour.
In 2004, Quaid appeared on stage undertaking the starring role of Frank in the world premiere of Sam Shepard’s The God of Hell produced by the New School University at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York. In The God of Hell Quaid’s portrayal of Frank, a Wisconsin dairy farmer whose home is infiltrated by a dangerous government operative who wants to take over his farm, was well-received and reviewed by New York City’s top theatre critics. It also marked the second time that Quaid starred in a Shepard play, the first being the long running Broadway hit True West.
In 2005, Quaid starred as Bill Geurrard in the Universal Pictures film The Ice Harvest. His chilling portrayal of a Kansas City mob boss was voted as one of the Top 10 Film Gangsters of all-time in a UK poll, the number one slot went to Marlon Brando. He had a pivotal supporting role in the SAG Award nominated ensemble drama Brokeback Mountain (2005) in which he played a homophobic rancher whose two male employees are the movie’s main characters. On March 23, 2006, Quaid filed a lawsuit for $10 million plus punitive damages against Focus Features, Del Mar Productions, James Schamus, David Linde, alleging that they both intentionally and negligently misrepresented Brokeback Mountain as being, “a low-budget, art house film with no prospect of making any money” in order to secure Quaid’s professional acting services at a considerably lower rate to his usual fee. The film then grossed over $160 million. The lawsuit was closely monitored by many actors who forgo their usual fees to make low-budget movies they believe have artistic merit. On May 5, 2006, Quaid dropped his lawsuit after he was advised that a financial resolution would be made. In 2007, Quaid portrays King Carlos the IV in Goya’s Ghosts, a role for which he learned to play the violin, and he stars in the comedy Gary the Tennis Coach alongside Sean William Scott.
Quaid received both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for his 2005 portrayal of talent manager Colonel Tom Parker in the critically acclaimed CBS television network mini-series Elvis. Quaid’s other television appearances include a season as a Saturday Night Live cast member (1985–1986), the role of real-life gunslinger John Wesley Hardin in the miniseries Streets of Laredo, and starring roles in the short-lived series The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire (2003) and Davis Rules (1991-1992). He was featured in the highly-rated TV movies Category 6: Day of Destruction and Category 7: The End of the World and starred in Last Rites, a made-for-cable Starz/Encore! premiere movie.
He also provided the voice of an animated Colonel Sanders character in a series of television commercials for fried chicken restaurant chain KFC.