“Careers, like rockets, don’t always take off on time. The trick is to keep the engine running,” is a quotable quote from Gary Sinise, which aptly describes how he persisted in honing his skills to enable him to latch on to the opportunity when it presented itself.
A talented actor and film director who was born on 17 March 1953 in Blue Island, Illinois, Gary Alan Sinise is best remembered for his excellent portrayal of the emotionally tortured, disabled veteran, Lt. Dan Taylor, in “Forrest Gump” where he was nominated in 1994 for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor opposite Tom Hanks.
Gary Sinise fell in love with the theater early in life for which he gives credit to his drama teacher, Barbara Patterson. At the age of 21, Gary together with friends Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry founded the Steppenwolf Theater and worked on more than 30 of the theater’s production that honed his acting and directing skills. Performing in its early days in a church basement, the theater showcased the talents of actors that made a name for themselves such as John Malkovich, Ethan Allen, Joan Allen and many others. Steppenwolf made its Broadway debut in 1990 with the “Grapes of Wrath” at the Cort Theater.
Towards the end of the 80s, Gary started his Hollywood career directing the popular TV series “Crime Story” and “Miles from Home.” In 1992, he made his first feature film as an actor in the World War II themed “A Midnight Clear.” Aside from his Academy Award nomination, Gary was also nominated for Palme d’Or and has won a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy.
Gary Sinise is a conservative Republican and has donated $2,300 to the primary campaign of Republican Senator John McCain. His articulateness and expressive skills was demonstrated when he narrated the Discovery Channels’ mini series “When We Left Earth,” History Channel’s highly acclaimed World War II on HD, the Army and Army Reserve “Army Strong” recruitment ads, and the biography for Medal of Honor recipient Naval officer Michael A. Monsoor at the Republican National Convention in support of McCain’s presidential candidacy.
He is the current National Spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and devotes much of his time raising awareness for the Memorial and other veteran’s organizations. Gary had declined considerations by the Republican Party to be included as one of those whose theatrical and communicative skills could be pitted against the eloquence of Barack Obama in 2012.
For his outstanding work supporting the U.S. military and humanitarian work for Iraqi children, he was awarded by President George W. Bush on December 2008 the Presidential Citizen Medal, which is the second highest citation medal awarded to civilians.