Richard Jenkins - Rotten Tomatoes

Richard Jenkins



A balding supporting actor with a grin that suggests he knows something you don't, Richard Jenkins has become one of the most in-demand character actors in Hollywood. Though he has worked steadily since the early '80s, Jenkins may have made his most memorable impression, at least to HBO subscribers, as the patriarch of the family of undertakers on the hit 2001 drama Six Feet Under. His character was killed off in the first episode, but Jenkins continued to appear as a spirit lingering in the family's memory -- a good metaphor for the actor's lingering impact on viewers, even when he appears in small roles.



Jenkins, who shares the birth name of Richard Burton and sometimes appears as Richard E. Jenkins, was born and raised in Dekalb, IL, before studying theater at Illinois Wesleyan University. The actor developed a long and distinguished regional theater career, most notably a 15-year stint at Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Theater, where he served as artistic director for four years. He snagged his first role as early as 1975, in the TV movie Brother to Dragons, but did not begin working regularly until a small role in the Lawrence Kasdan film Silverado (1985). Supporting work in such films as Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), and Sea of Love (1989) followed, and Jenkins spent the early '90s specializing in made-for-TV movies, including the adaptation of Randy Shilts' AIDS opus And the Band Played On (1993).

It was not until the late '90s that Jenkins started gaining wider appreciation, especially as he indulged in his talent for comedy. His appearance as an uptight gay FBI agent who gets accidentally drugged was one of the highlights of David O. Russell's Flirting With Disaster (1996), allowing him to convincingly (and riotously) act out an acid trip. Working again with Ben Stiller, Jenkins appeared as a psychiatrist in There's Something About Mary (1998), which launched a relationship with directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who hail from the state (Rhode Island) where Jenkins did much of his stage work. Jenkins appeared in the Farrelly-produced Outside Providence (1999) and Say It Isn't So (2001), as well as in the Farrelly-directed Me, Myself & Irene (2000). The actor then shifted over to another set of brother directors to portray the father of Scarlet Johansson's character in Joel and Ethan Coen's noir The Man Who Wasn't There (2001). In 2001, Jenkins also appeared in the first season of HBO's Six Feet Under as Nathaniel Fisher Sr., the sardonic funeral home director whom the characters remember as an impenetrable mystery, frugal with his praise and emotions.



Jenkins continued working steadily, carrying on his role on Six Feet Under, while turning in supporting work in varied projects like Changing Lanes, Shall We Dance, and Fun With Dick & Jane. With 2005's North Country he earned strong reviews as the father of a sexually harassed woman.



After decades in the business, he won his first starring role in Tom McCarthy's The Visitor. For his work as the repressed professor who learns to engage in life again thanks to an unexpected friendship with a Syrian immigrant, Jenkins earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, as well as a SAG nomination. That film was the highlight of his 2008, a very busy year for the actor that also saw him reunite for a third time with the Coen Brothers in Burn After Reading, and play opposite Will Ferrell and John C. Riley in Step Brothers. The coming years would continue to earn the actor both a wider audience and more accolades, in projects like Burn After Reading, Let Me In, The Rum Diary, and The Cabin in the Woods.

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Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
43% The Hollars
  • Don Hollar
2016
64% LBJ
  • Richard Russell
2016
29% 4 Minute Mile
  • Coleman
2014
31% Lullaby
  • Robert
2014
37% God's Pocket
  • Richard Shellburn
2014
50% A.C.O.D.
  • Hugh
2013
67% Turbo
  • Bobby
2013
50% White House Down
  • Raphelson
2013
54% The Company You Keep
  • Jed Lewis
2013
62% Jack Reacher
  • Rodin
2012
74% Killing Them Softly
  • Driver
2012
70% Liberal Arts
  • Professor Peter Hoberg
2012
22% Darling Companion
  • Russell
2012
92% The Cabin in the Woods
  • Hadley
2012
50% The Rum Diary
  • Lotterman
2011
67% Norman
  • Doug Long
2011
70% Friends With Benefits
  • Mr. Harper
2011
40% HappyThankYouMorePlease
  • Paul Gertmanian
2011
34% Hall Pass
  • Coakley
2011
5% Waiting for Forever
  • Richard
2011
88% Let Me In
  • The Father
2010
36% Eat Pray Love
  • Richard From Texas
2010
29% Dear John
  • Mr. Tyree
2010
56% The Tale of Despereaux
  • Principal
2008
78% Burn After Reading
  • Ted Treffon
2008
55% Step Brothers
  • Robert Doback
2008
89% The Visitor
  • Walter Vale
2008
47% The Broken
  • John McVey
2008
51% The Kingdom
  • FBI Director James Grace
2007
20% Rumor Has It
  • Earl Huttinger
2005
29% Fun With Dick and Jane
  • Frank Bascombe
2005
68% North Country
  • Hank Aimes
2005
46% Shall We Dance
  • Devine
2004
62% I Heart Huckabees
  • Mr. Hooten
2004
24% Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Shake
2003
75% Intolerable Cruelty
  • Freddy Bender
2003
41% The Core
  • General Thomas Purcell
2003
77% The Mudge Boy
  • Edgar Mudge
2003
9% Stealing Harvard
  • Mr. Cook
2002
77% Changing Lanes
  • Walter Arnell
2002
No Score Yet Sins of the Father
  • Bobby Frank Cherry
2002
81% The Man Who Wasn't There
  • Walter Abundas
2001
33% One Night at McCool's
  • Father Jimmy
2001
9% Say It Isn't So
  • Walter Wingfield
2001
48% Me, Myself & Irene
  • Agent Boshane
2000
42% What Planet Are You From?
  • Don Fisk
2000
40% Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Sheriff Art Moran
1999
15% Random Hearts
  • Truman Trainor
1999
50% Outside Providence
  • Barney
1999
62% The Impostors
  • Johnny
1999
4% The Mod Squad
  • Mothershed
1999
No Score Yet The Confession
  • Cass O'Donnell
1999
83% There's Something About Mary
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Into Thin Air: Death on Everest
  • Beck Weathers
1997
74% Eye of God
  • Sprague
1997
45% Absolute Power
  • Michael McCarty
1997
15% Eddie
  • Asst. Coach Zimmer
1996
87% Flirting With Disaster
  • Paul
1996
No Score Yet Un divan à New York (A Couch In New York)
  • Campton
1996
No Score Yet The Boys Next Door
  • Mr. Klemper
1996
61% How to Make an American Quilt
  • Howell
1995
70% The Indian in the Cupboard
  • Victor
1995
71% It Could Happen to You
  • C. Vernon Hale
1994
60% Wolf
  • Det. Bridger
1994
No Score Yet Getting Out
  • Chaplain
1994
10% Trapped in Paradise
  • Shaddus
1994
100% And the Band Played On
  • Dr. Marc Conant
1993
35% Undercover Blues
  • Frank
1993
No Score Yet Afterburn
  • Ryder
1992
No Score Yet Carolina Skeletons
  • Actor
1992
No Score Yet Doublecrossed
  • Actor
1991
No Score Yet Descending Angel
  • Debaudt
1990
No Score Yet When You Remember Me
  • Vaughan
1990
No Score Yet Rising Son
  • Tommy
1990
71% Blue Steel
  • Attorney Mel Dawson
1990
No Score Yet Challenger
  • Gregory B. Jarvis
1990
82% Blaze
  • Picayune
1989
38% How I Got Into College
  • Bill Browne
1989
No Score Yet Out on the Edge
  • Paul Evetts
1989
77% Sea of Love
  • Gruber
1989
22% Stealing Home
  • Hank Chandler
1988
55% Little Nikita
  • Richard Grant
1988
73% The Witches of Eastwick
  • Clyde Alden
1987
No Score Yet Rachel River
  • Cordell
1987
47% The Manhattan Project
  • Radiation Controls Officer
1986
No Score Yet On Valentine's Day
  • Bobby Pate
1986
93% Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Dr. Wilkes
1986
76% Silverado
  • Kelly
1985
No Score Yet Tender Age
  • Actor
1984
80% The Falls
  • Actor
1980

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Ally McBeal
1997-2002
  • Mr. Bo
96% Olive Kitteridge
2014
  • Henry Kitteridge
70% Berlin Station
2016
  • Steven Frost
No Score Yet Six Feet Under
2001-2005
  • Nathaniel Fisher Nathaniel Fisher Sr. Nathaniel Fisher, Sr.

Quotes from Richard Jenkins' Characters