Stephen Tobolowsky - Rotten Tomatoes

Stephen Tobolowsky

Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Dallas, Texas, USA
Perhaps one of the most instantly recognizable -- yet seemingly unidentifiable -- character actors to have succeeded in Hollywood, Stephen Tobolowsky's non-movie star looks have enabled the native Texan to portray a wider variety of characters more conventional movie stars simply could not. Born and raised in Dallas, Tobolowsky attended Southern Methodist University for his undergraduate degree and went on to earn a Master's degree in acting from the University of Illinois. While at S.M.U., the young Tobolowsky won his first film role in a low-budget horror film entitled Keep My Grave Open. Soon after finishing his studies, he went west to Los Angeles and started working somewhat consistently in both television and film in the early '80s -- while gaining some notice for his work in the films Swing Shift and Mississippi Burning. After toiling on the West Coast for a few years, Tobolowsky became a bi-coastal star with a role in a 1981 Broadway production of Beth Henley's play The Wake of Jamey Foster. In 1986, he collaborated with Henley -- who also happened to be a fellow student of Tobolowsky's during his undergraduate studies at S.M.U. -- and David Byrne to co-write the script for Byrne's 1986 film True Stories. The multi-talented thespian then went on to write and direct his own play, Two Idiots in Hollywood, which he also turned into a film in 1988. The early '90s brought Tobolowsky his greatest exposure to the movie-going public, with a number of diverse and interesting roles that highlighted the actor's great range and skill -- nearly to the extent of upstaging these films' higher-profile stars. Perhaps the most prototypical Tobolowsky characterization can be found in the 1993 Harold Ramis comedy Groundhog Day, in which Tobolowsky portrayed the hapless insurance salesman Ned Ryerson. Other memorable performances from this decade include Thelma & Louise, Basic Instinct, Sneakers, and The Radioland Murders. Tobolowsky continued creating endearing characters into the 2000s, starting with Christopher Nolan's indy hit Memento. As amnesiac Sammy Jankis, Tobolowsky created one of the most powerful dramatic performances of his career. His next significant film role came via the 2002 Spike Jonze/Charlie Kaufman film Adaptation, which further displayed the nearly chameleon-like actor's range and talent that make him one of the best character actors in the industry. In the years to come, Tobolowsky would remain active on screen, appearing on shows like Glee and Californication.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Guys and Girls Can't Be Friends
  • Andy
2016
91% The Confirmation
  • Father Lyons
2016
No Score Yet Mamaboy
  • Actor
2016
22% The Barber
  • Chief Hardaway
2015
No Score Yet Hollywood Adventures
  • Wronald Wright
2015
No Score Yet The Primary Instinct
  • Executive Producer
  • Screenwriter
2015
No Score Yet Christian Mingle The Movie
  • Douglas McCarver
$20.3k 2014
0% Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?
  • Hugh Akston
2014
80% Mr. Peabody & Sherman
  • Principal Purdy
$101.8M 2014
44% The Last Ride
  • Ray
$16.8k 2012
54% Dr Seuss' The Lorax
  • Uncle Ubb
$214M 2012
No Score Yet Pearblossom Hwy
  • Rick Lawler
2012
14% Hard Breakers
  • Max
2011
22% Peep World
  • Ephraim
$11.4k 2011
No Score Yet The Rainbow Tribe
  • Principal Sands
2011
86% Buried
  • Alan Davenport
$0.2M 2010
38% The Time Traveler's Wife
  • Dr. David Kendrick
$63.4M 2009
No Score Yet Starz Inside
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Beethoven's Big Break
  • Sal
2008
46% The Sasquatch Gang
  • Ernie Dalrymple
2007
25% Blind Dating
  • Dr. Perkins
$62.4k 2007
No Score Yet Totally Baked: A Pot-u-mentary
  • Actor
2007
14% Wild Hogs
  • Charley
$168.3M 2007
No Score Yet The Valley of Light
  • Littleberry
2007
No Score Yet Pope Dreams
  • Carl Venable
2006
24% Failure to Launch
  • Bud
$88.7M 2006
No Score Yet Loveless in Los Angeles
  • Jon
2006
No Score Yet Boxboarders!
  • Dr. James
2006
No Score Yet Debating Robert Lee
  • District Judge
2006
No Score Yet Living 'til the End
  • Dr. Shaw
2005
63% Robots
  • Bigmouth Executive
$128.2M 2005
100% Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party
  • Actor
2005
21% Little Black Book
  • Carl
$20.5M 2004
15% Garfield - The Movie
  • Happy Chapman
$75.3M 2004
No Score Yet Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes
  • Actor
2004
67% Frankie and Johnny Are Married
  • Murray Mintz
2004
No Score Yet Love Hollywood Style
  • Actor
2004
52% Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!
  • George Ruddy
$16.9M 2004
88% Freaky Friday
  • Mr. Bates
$110.2M 2003
14% View from the Top
  • Frank Thomas
$15.6M 2003
11% National Security
  • Billy Narthax
$35.8M 2003
No Score Yet Kingpin
  • Klein's Lawyer
2003
91% Adaptation
  • Ranger Steve Neely
$22.2M 2002
30% The Country Bears
  • Norbert Barrington
$16.9M 2002
53% Love Liza
  • Tom Bailey
2002
No Score Yet The Day the World Ended
  • Principal Turner
2001
No Score Yet On the Edge
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Dean Koontz's 'Black River'
  • Mayor Thompson
2001
92% Memento
  • Sammy Jankis
$23.9M 2000
No Score Yet Stanley's Gig
  • Abe
2000
73% Bossa Nova
  • Trevor
2000
45% The Operator
  • Doc
2000
44% The Prime Gig
  • Mick
2000
No Score Yet Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes
  • Dewey Wise
2000
No Score Yet Alien Fury
  • Actor
2000
96% The Insider
  • Eric Kluster
1999
No Score Yet Don't Look Under the Bed
  • Michael McCausland
1999
38% One Man's Hero
  • Captain Gaine
1999
No Score Yet Around the Fire
  • Doc
1998
No Score Yet The Curse of Inferno
  • Lonnie Martin
1998
40% The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars
  • Calculator
1998
10% Black Dog
  • Agent McClaren
1998
8% An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn
  • Bill Bardo
1998
No Score Yet The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story
  • Tabaqui
1998
7% Mr. Magoo
  • Agent Chuck Stupak
1997
80% Boys Life 2
  • Father Joe [Trevor]
1997
12% The Glimmer Man
  • Christopher Maynard
1996
53% Homeward Bound II - Lost in San Francisco
  • Bando
1996
14% Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde
  • Olivier
1995
24% Radioland Murders
  • Max Applewhite
1994
50% Murder in the First
  • Mr. Henkin
1994
14% My Father, the Hero
  • Mike
1994
No Score Yet Trevor
  • Father Joe
1994
20% The Pickle
  • Mike Krakower
1993
96% Groundhog Day
  • Ned Ryerson
1993
25% Josh and S.A.M.
  • Thom Whitney
1993
11% Calendar Girl
  • Antonio Gallo
1993
68% Hero
  • Wallace
1992
80% Where the Day Takes You
  • Charles
1992
81% Sneakers
  • Dr. Werner Brandes
1992
56% Single White Female
  • Mitchell Myerson
1992
53% Basic Instinct
  • Dr. Lamott
1992
21% Memoirs of an Invisible Man
  • Warren Singleton
1992
83% Roadside Prophets
  • Ranger Bob
1992
No Score Yet Wedlock (Deadlock)
  • Warden Holliday
1991
No Score Yet Megaville
  • Warren Singleton
1991
84% Thelma & Louise
  • Max
1991
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster
  • Sgt. Phil Baranski
1991
No Score Yet Face Value
  • Defense Attorney
1991
44% Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael
  • Bill Klepler
1990
0% Funny About Love
  • Hugo
1990
90% The Grifters
  • Jeweler
1990
No Score Yet Tagget
  • Actor
1990
32% Bird on a Wire
  • Joe Weyburn
1990
No Score Yet Mirror, Mirror
  • Mr. Anderson
1990
No Score Yet Last Flight Out
  • Doctor Timothy Brandon
1990
89% Breaking In
  • District Attorney
1989
70% In Country
  • Pete
1989
63% Great Balls of Fire
  • John
1989
20% Checking Out
  • Pharmacist
1989
89% Mississippi Burning
  • Townley
1988
No Score Yet 2 Idiots in Hollywood
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1988
57% Spaceballs
  • Captain of the Guard
1987
No Score Yet Nobody's Fool
  • Kirk
$0.6M 1986
76% True Stories
  • Screenwriter
1986
50% The Philadelphia Experiment
  • Barney
1984
92% Swing Shift
  • Documentary Narrator/French de Mille
1984
No Score Yet Keep My Grave Open
  • Actor
1980

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
96% One Day at a Time
2017
  • Dr. Berkowitz
  • 2017
98% Silicon Valley
2014
  • Jack Barker
  • 2017
  • 2016
No Score Yet The Goldbergs
2013
  • Principal Ball
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
No Score Yet @midnight With Chris Hardwick
2014
  • Appearing
  • 2015
73% Big Time in Hollywood, FL
2015
  • Alan
  • 2015
7% Dr. Ken
2015
  • Joe
  • 2015
87% The Mindy Project
2012
  • Dr. Marc Shulman
  • 2015
  • 2012
10% Friends With Better Lives
2014
  • Dr. Adelman
  • 2014
52% Californication
2007-2014
  • Producer Stu Beggs
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
97% Justified
2010-2015
  • Barkley Jeremy Barkley
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
70% Glee
2009-2015
  • Sandy Ryerson
  • 2013
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
5% Work It
2012
  • Dr. David Deutsch
  • 2012
84% Community
2009-2015
  • Professor Sheffield
  • 2011
75% The Defenders
2010-2011
  • Judge Gelineau
  • 2011
43% Rita Rocks
2008-2009
  • Actor
  • 2009
No Score Yet The New Adventures of Old Christine
2006-2010
  • Principal Merrow
  • 2009
  • 2007
No Score Yet CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
2000-2015
  • Spencer Freiberg
  • 2008
71% Heroes
2006-2010
  • Bob
  • 2008
  • 2007
No Score Yet Boston Legal
2004-2008
  • Alvin Azinabinacroft
  • 2007
66% Entourage
2004-2011
  • Mayor
  • 2007
No Score Yet Desperate Housewives
2004-2012
  • Bud Penrod
  • 2006
100% Deadwood
2004-2006
  • Hugo Jarry
  • 2006
  • 2005
94% Curb Your Enthusiasm
2000
  • Actor
  • 2005
No Score Yet Lass es, Larry!
2000
  • Actor
  • 2005
No Score Yet CSI: Miami
2002-2012
  • Don Haffman
  • 2005
  • 2004
No Score Yet The West Wing
1999-2006
  • Max Milkman
  • 2004
No Score Yet Will & Grace
1998
  • Ned Weathers
  • 2004
No Score Yet Law & Order: Criminal Intent
2001-2011
  • James Halliwell
  • 2002
No Score Yet Malcolm in the Middle
2000-2006
  • Mr. Fisher
  • 2002
No Score Yet The Practice
1997-2004
  • Clyde Burrows
  • 1999
No Score Yet Seinfeld
1989-1998
  • Tor Akman
  • 1991
No Score Yet The Mindy Project
  • Dr. Marc Shulman

Quotes from Stephen Tobolowsky's Characters