Who Is Tobey Maguire?
Tobey Maguire was a teen actor before establishing a varied, rich film career in works like The Ice Storm (1997), Pleasantville (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999) and Seabiscuit (2003). He entered super-blockbuster terrain with his starring role in the Spider-Man franchise; later projects have included Brothers (2009), The Great Gatsby (2013) and Pawn Sacrifice (2015). He has also worked as a producer.
Actor Tobias Vincent Maguire was born on June 27, 1975, in Santa Monica, California. Maguire's aura of youthful sensitivity and his dry, understated delivery have allowed him to corner the market on coming-of-age roles. In the late 1990s, he was a standout in a steady stream of dramatic features. With the premiere of Spider-Man in May of 2002, Maguire has managed to parley that early success into a shot at big-budget stardom.
Maguire's father, Vincent, and mother, Wendy, were young and unwed when he was born. Although they married soon after the birth of their child, their relationship was short-lived and Maguire spent much of his early childhood shuttling between households in California, Washington and Oregon.
Maguire's mother, a secretary, encouraged her son to take acting lessons and soon she was escorting him through the standard circuit of Hollywood auditions. Maguire managed to cadge one- and two-line roles in such sitcoms as Roseanne (1988-97) and Blossom (1990-95). Maguire left school in the ninth grade to devote himself to acting. He eventually landed a lead role in the ill-fated Great Scott! (1992). The show was cancelled in 1992 after nine weeks.
In 1995, Maguire auditioned for the lead in the Generation X comedy Empire Records. He was given a small part and eventually excused himself from the production, citing personal frustration. His scenes were cut from the little-seen film.
But this personal setback proved a prelude to giant professional leap forward. After a brief sabbatical from the audition circuit, later that year he appeared in Duke of Groove, a short-film which received an Oscar nomination. He then leveraged a role in Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry (1997) and following that, a major role in the brooding, Ang Lee drama The Ice Storm (1997). Maguire's performance as Paul Hood, the sardonic-but-sensitive son of Kevin Kline and Joan Allen, earned high praise from critics. In 1998, Maguire again played the fictive son of Joan Allen in Pleasantville, but this time, it was Maguire in the lead role.
Career Highlights: 'The Cider House Rules' and 'Spider-Man'
After a small role in the film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Maguire again played the coming-of-age card in The Cider House Rules (1999), a wistful interpretation of John Irving's bestselling novel. The film garnered seven Academy Award nominations.
In Wonder Boys (2000), Maguire found himself playing a slightly quirkier version of the prodigal son. Cast opposite Michael Douglas, Maguire played James Leer, a precocious writing student with a flair for prevarication.
But with the release of Spider-Man (2002), Maguire's days as the Holden-Caulfield-in-residence seemed to be over. Reportedly paid $4 million for the title role, Maguire (with the help of a range of state-of-the-art special effects) made the transition from nerdy teen Peter Parker to comic book hero Spider-Man. The film, which was tied up in copyright wrangling for almost a decade, also features Kirsten Dunst and Willem Dafoe. The film netted $114 million in its opening weekend, a box-office record. The actor signed on for the sequel Spider-Man 2 in 2004. In 2006, Maguire starred in the Oscar-nominated film, The Good German. He returned as Peter Parker in the Spider-Man 3 in 2007.
In 2008, he made a cameo in the action comedy Tropic Thunder, and a year later received a Golden Globe nomination for Brothers (2009), in which he portrayed a soldier who returns from Afghanistan where he had experienced a traumatic abduction and torture and once home, becomes convinced his brother and wife are having an affair. In 2013, he starred as Nick Carraway, the narrator in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. Maguire took on the role of chess champ Bobby Fischer in the biopic Pawn Sacrifice (2015), directed by Edward Zwick and also starring Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky.
Maguire is a vegan and he has maintained his sobriety since he was 19 after struggling with drinking as a teen. In a 2010 interview, he said: “It doesn't seem like I'm made to have a little bit [of alcohol] - it seems to be I'm made to have more than a little bit! I had a lot of fun, but what it did cumulatively to my life was not worth it."
On September 3, 2007, Maguire married jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer in Hawaii. Their daughter Ruby was born on November 10, 2006. Son Otis was born on May 8, 2009. After nine years of marriage, the couple announced they were separating in October 2016 and Meyer filed for divorce in October 2020.
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