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Equally versed in comedy and drama, John Lithgow has won raves for his work in World According to Garp, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Dexter.
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He netted his first Academy Award nomination for the film.
Lithgow appeared to be on a cinematic hot streak, continuing to take on a range of parts. In the 1983 tearjerker Terms of Endearment, he played an awkward and bumbling banker who has an affair with Debra Winger's character. Lithgow then showed his stern authoritarian side in the popular teen film Footloose (1984), starring Kevin Bacon. In the film,
he tackled the role of a preacher who bans rock 'n' roll in his small community.
In the 1990s, Lithgow became a great success on the small screen as well. He starred in the popular sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun with Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and French Stewart. As Dr. Dick Solomon, Lithgow played an alien who comes to Earth and disguises himself as a college professor. The show lasted for six seasons and brought Lithgow a wave of accolades, including three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
During the run of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Lithgow took time out for other projects. He released a collection of children's music, Singing' in the Bathtub in 1999. Lithgow also lent his voice to several animated films, including 2000's Rugrats in Paris and 2001's Shrek.
In 2009, Lithgow again shook up television with his creepy portrayal of the Trinity Killer on the popular Showtime crime series Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall. Lithgow took to the stage the following year with his own one-man show called John Lithgow: Stories by Heart, which he continued to tour well into 2011. Still working in films as well, he played James Franco's father in the film Rise of the Apes (2011).
Outside of acting, Lithgow developed a successful career as a children's author and songwriter. He wrote numerous books for young readers, including Marsupial Sue and The Remarkable Farkle McBride. In 2011, Lithgow aimed at more mature audiences with Drama: An Actor's Education.
Lithgow married Dr. Mary Yeager, a UCLA professor, in 1981. The couple had two children together, and currently divide their time between Los Angeles and New York City. He also has a son from his first marriage to Phoebe Jean Taynton.
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