Best Known For
American actor Jackie Earle Haley played a rebellious Little Leaguer in the The Bad New Bears movies of the 1970s, and has since starred in films like A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) and Lincoln (2012).
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Born in California on July 14, 1961, Jackie Earle Haley is perhaps best known for playing the rebellious Little Leaguer in The Bad New Bears movies of the 1970s. He disappeared from the screen for most of the 1990s and 2000s, but made a comeback in 2006 with the films All The Kings Men and Little Children. More recently, Haley has starred as the horror-film icon Freddy Krueger in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010),
"When I was a little kid acting, I was fascinated with what the director was doing ... By the time I was 10, I fully understood camera geography, what would cut and what wouldn't, how to tell a story visually."
and as Alexander Stephens in Lincoln (2012).
Actor Jackie Earle Haley was born on July 14, 1961, in Northridge, California. The son of a radio disc jockey, Haley caught his first break by voicing a cartoon character around the age of 5. He then moved on to commercials and television guest spots on such shows as The Partridge Family and The Waltons.
In 1976, Haley found fame with his turn in The Bad News Bears. He appeared alongside Tatum O'Neal as one of the young misfits on a troubled little league team coached by Walter Matthau. Haley's character, the rebellious loner Kelly Leak, became a hit with movie-goers. He reprised his role in two sequels.
Haley enjoyed another wave of success in 1979 with the surprise hit Breaking Away. This film was about a small-town teenager (Dennis Christopher) who becomes enamored with cycling and proves to be an unlikely success at it. In the movie, Haley played Moocher, one of the teen's friends, appearing with Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern. He reprised his role in the short-lived television series based on the movie.
Like many child actors, Haley struggled as a performer in his post-teen years. He ended up working as a limo driver, a security officer and a pizza delivery guy to make ends meet for a time. Eventually, Haley abandoned Hollywood for San Antonio, Texas. There he started up his own company, JEH Productions, and began a new career as a director of commercials. His interest in directing dated back to his early days. "When I was a little kid acting, I was fascinated with what the director was doing ... By the time I was 10, I fully understood camera geography, what would cut and what wouldn't, how to tell a story visually," Haley explained to Videography magazine.
In 2006, Haley was drawn back into acting by writer-director Steve Zaillian. Zaillian actually sought out Haley to audition for the role of Sugar Boy in All the King's Men, a political drama starring Sean Penn, Jude Law and Kate Winslet. Taken by surprise, Haley "thought I just might get a second chance" at a film career with this new role, according to the Washington Post. And his strong supporting turn as a bodyguard did indeed help open the door to another great opportunity.
That same year, Haley gave a riveting performance as a sex offender in Little Children (2006) with Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson. Critics raved about Haley, including Rolling Stone Peter Travers who wrote that "Haley's boldly implosive performance will haunt your dreams." The film brought Haley his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
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Learn more about the cast of 2012's Lincoln, the renowned biopic of President Abraham Lincoln. Stars of the film include Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, S. Epatha Merkerson and John Hawkes. Learn more about the actors of Lincoln, only at Biography.com.
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