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Newsmaker: John C. Reilly

Perennial character actor John C. Reilly takes the lead in "Criminal," which opens today. The film is an English-language adaptation of the Argentine hit "Nine Queens" (2000).

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Perennial character actor John C. Reilly takes the lead in "Criminal," which opens today. The film is an English-language adaptation of the Argentine hit "Nine Queens" (2000).

Early years: Reilly was bornMay 24, 1965, in Chicago. On the Chicago amateur stage from age 8, he trained at the Goodman School of Drama and eventually became a member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.

Career: His film break came with a small role in the Vietnam War drama "Casualties of War" (1989), wherein director Brian De Palma recast him in a major role of a soldier bent on rape. The actor gained momentum with solid work with "Days of Thunder" (1990), "Shadows and Fog" (1992), "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993) and "The River Wild" (1994). In 1996, he starred as a compulsive gambler in director Paul Thomas Anderson's first feature, "Hard Eight." In 1997, Reilly broke out with his performance in "Boogie Nights" as fictional 1970s porn star Reed Rothchild. In Anderson's "Magnolia" (1999), he starred as a compassionate policeman having a really weird day. Reilly received a Tony nomination for "True West" .

Reilly took on several high-profile parts in 2002, including roles in "The Hours," "The Good Girl" and "Gangs of New York." Also in 2002, he co-starred in the musical "Chicago," for which he received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for best supporting actor. In 2004, directorLars von Trier replaced Reilly when the actor walked off a film set in protest against the killing of a donkey for the shoot.

Family: Reilly and wife Alison Dickey have one child.

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In his words: "I think there'ssomething about me ... that people can relate to. And, you know, beauty can be its own prison."

Web link: www.imdb.com

Compiled by Brett Gilbertson Sources: crazy4cinema.com.

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