David Strathairn won the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival and earned nominations from the Academy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Independent Spirit awards for his compelling portrait of legendary CBS news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow in George Clooney’s Oscar-nominated drama Good Night, and Good Luck and won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in the HBO project Temple Grandin.
His 2005 Independent Spirit nomination was the fourth in a stellar career that dates back to his 1980 motion picture debut in John Sayles’s first film, The Return of the Secaucus Seven. Strathairn subsequently collaborated with Sayles on seven titles, winning the IFP honor for his supporting performance in City of Hope, while collecting two additional nominations for Passion Fish and Limbo.
His early screen efforts included supporting roles in Mike Nichols’s Silkwood, Fred Schepisi’s Iceman, James Foley’s At Close Range, and Robert M. Young’s Dominick and Eugene, as well as Sayles’s acclaimed dramas Matewan and Eight Men Out, and his 1984 satire, The Brother from Another Planet.
Strathairn continued a busy screen career with co-starring roles in several critically acclaimed films, including Tim Robbins’s directorial debut, Bob Roberts; Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own; Losing Isaiah; Sydney Pollack’s The Firm; Sneakers; Taylor Hackford’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel Dolores Claiborne; and Jodie Foster’s Home for the Holidays; as well as two projects with Curtis Hansen: The River Wild and the Oscar-winning L.A. Confidential, in which Strathairn shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with the all-star ensemble cast. His additional movie credits include Memphis Belle, A Map of the World, Simon Birch, Lost in Yonkers, Missing in America, Michael Hoffman’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Philip Kaufman’s Twisted, HBO's The Notorious Bettie Page, The Bourne Ultimatum directed by Paul Greengrass, and The Tempest starring opposite Helen Mirren.
He has also maintained a high profile in the theatrical world, with roles at such venues as the Manhattan Theatre Club, the New York Shakespeare Festival, SoHo Rep, the Hartford Stage Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Seattle Repertory.
Strathairn will next been seen in HBO's Hemingway and Gellhorn starring alongside Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. Later this year he will appear opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg.