Born on October 31, 1963, in Alexandria, Virginia, Dermot Mulroney embarked on a Hollywood career after impressing a visiting talent agent in college. He enjoyed a breakout role in the 1988 western Young Guns, and became mainly known as a romantic lead after his star turn in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997). In addition to his film and television work, Mulroney is an accomplished cello player.
Dermot Mulroney was born on October 31, 1963, in Alexandria, Virginia. The third of five children raised by Michael, a tax law professor and amateur racecar driver, and Ellen, a former actress, Mulroney grew up in an environment where creativity was nurtured. He began playing the cello at age 7, and started performing with youth orchestra and community theater groups.
Mulroney attended Northwestern University, where he studied film and television production and acted in a few plays. Just prior to his graduation in 1985, he made a strong impression on a visiting agent from Hollywood's William Morris Agency, and he moved to Los Angeles that summer with major representation already in tow.
Mulroney began his career in a series of TV movies before landing the part of "Dirty Steve" Stephens in the Emilio Estevez-Kiefer Sutherland western, Young Guns (1988). Despite the film's success, Mulroney remained relatively unknown as he sought to find his place among the industry's hierarchy of young talent. He received critical acclaim for his role as a gay man who dies from AIDS in the 1990 drama Longtime Companion, and showed off his musical abilities by writing and performing the song "Someone Else's Used Guitar" in The Thing Called Love (1993). Mulroney also found parts in mainstream fare, playing Bridget Fonda's boyfriend in Point of No Return (1993) and a detective in the 1995 Sigourney Weaver thriller Copycat.
In 1997, Mulroney starred his most recognizable role since Young Guns as Michael O'Neal, a groom caught between Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding. He attempted to resist typecasting by turning to more eclectic parts, including Jack Nicholson's son-in-law-to-be in the 2002 dark comedy About Schmidt, but his good looks and charm made him a natural leading romantic man. He delivered an enjoyable turn as thoughtful escort Nick Mercer in The Wedding Date (2005), and as Dr. Simon Ward he spurned the advances of the teenaged Lindsay Lohan in Georgia Rule (2007).
Mulroney has remained a regular on the big screen in recent years, with prominent supporting parts in the Liam Neeson action flick The Grey (2011) and the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs (2013). Additionally, he has become more of a familiar presence on television, with recurring roles on the goofy sitcom New Girl and the HBO drama Enlightened. In 2016 Mulroney took on the role of a veteran doctor who wants to revolutionize medicine with modern technology in CBS's Pure Genius.
Mulroney met actress Catherine Keener while the two were on set for Survival Quest in 1987. They married in 1990 and had one son before divorcing in 2007. In 2008, he married his second wife, Tharita Catulle, with whom he has two daughters.
Mulroney has remained an active musician throughout the years. He played cello on a song for Melissa Etheridge's 1992 album Never Enough, and contributed to the scores for Mission Impossible III (2006) and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011). In addition to the cello, he plays the mandolin, guitar and cymbals in the band Cranky George, alongside one of his brothers.
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