Timothy Francis Robbins (born October 16, 1958) is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, activist and musician. He is well known for his portrayal of Andy Dufresne in the prison drama film The Shawshank Redemption (1994).
His other roles include Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham, Jacob Singer in Jacob's Ladder, Griffin Mill in The Player, and Dave Boyle in Mystic River, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and for directing films such as Dead Man Walking and Bob Roberts, both of which received critical acclaim.
Robbins was born in West Covina, California, and raised in New York City. He is the son of Mary Cecelia (née Bledsoe; c. 1933–2011), an actress, and Gilbert Lee Robbins (1931–2011), a musician, folk singer, actor, and former manager of The Gaslight Cafe. Robbins has two sisters, Adele and Gabrielle, and a brother, David. He was raised Catholic.
He moved to Greenwich Village with his family at a young age, while his father pursued a career as a member of the folk music group, The Highwaymen. Robbins started performing in theater at age twelve and joined the drama club at Stuyvesant High School (Class of 1976). He spent two years at SUNY Plattsburgh and then returned to California to study at the UCLA Film School, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama in 1981.
Robbins's acting career began at Theater for the New City, where he spent his teenage years in their Annual Summer Street Theater and also played the title role in a musical adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. After graduation from college in 1981, Robbins founded the Actors' Gang, an experimental theater group, in Los Angeles with actor friends from his college softball team (including John Cusack).
In 1982, he appeared as domestic terrorist Andrew Reinhardt in three episodes of the television program St. Elsewhere. In 1985, he guest-starred in the second episode of the television series Moonlighting, "Gunfight at the So-So Corral". He also took small parts in films, such as the role of frat animal "Mother" in Fraternity Vacation (1985) and Lt Sam "Merlin" Wells in the fighter pilot film Top Gun (1986). He appeared on The Love Boat, as a young version of one of the characters in retrospection about the Second World War. His breakthrough role was as pitcher Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh in the 1988 baseball film Bull Durham, in which he co-starred with Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner.
He received critical acclaim and won the Best Actor Award at Cannes for his starring role as an amoral film executive in Robert Altman's 1992 film The Player. He made his directorial and screenwriting debut with 1992's Bob Roberts, a mockumentary about a right-wing senatorial candidate. Robbins then starred alongside Morgan Freeman in the critically acclaimed The Shawshank Redemption (1994), which was based on Stephen King's novella.
Robbins has written, produced, and directed several films with strong social content, such as the critically acclaimed capital punishment saga Dead Man Walking (1995), starring Sarandon and Sean Penn. The film earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. His next directorial effort was 1999's Depression-era musical Cradle Will Rock. Robbins has also appeared in mainstream Hollywood thrillers, such as 1999's Arlington Road (as a suspected terrorist) and 2001's Antitrust (as a malicious computer tycoon), and in comical films such as The Hudsucker Proxy, Nothing to Lose, and High Fidelity. Robbins has also acted in and directed several Actors' Gang theater productions.
Robbins won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar and the SAG Award for his work in Mystic River (2003), as a man traumatized from having been molested as a child. In 2005, he won the 39th annual Man of the Year Pudding Pot Award given by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals of Harvard.
His recent acting roles include a temporarily blind man who is nursed to health by a psychologically wounded young woman in The Secret Life of Words and an apartheid torturer in Catch a Fire. As of 2006, he was the tallest Academy Award-winning actor at 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m).
In early 2006, Robbins directed an adaptation of George Orwell's novel 1984, written by Michael Gene Sullivan of the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe. The show opened at Actors' Gang, at their new location at The Ivy Substation in Culver City, California. In addition to venues around the United States, it has played in Athens, Greece, the Melbourne International Festival in Australia and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Robbins is considering adapting the play into a film version.
In 2008, Robbins appeared in The Lucky Ones, with co-star Rachel McAdams as well as City Of Ember. Robbins next film role was as Senator Hammond, the disapproving father of the film's villain Hector Hammond, in the 2011 superhero film Green Lantern.
In 2010 Robbins released the album Tim Robbins & The Rogues Gallery Band, a collection of songs written over the course of 25 years that he ultimately took on a world tour. He was originally offered the chance to record an album in 1992 after the success of his film Bob Roberts, but he declined because he had "too much respect for the process", having seen his father work so hard as a musician, and because he felt he had nothing to say at the time.
Robbins directed two episodes of the HBO series Treme. The series follows the interconnected lives of a group of New Orleanians in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He helmed the episodes "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky" in Season 2 (2011) and "Promised Land" in Season 3 (2012). Robbins became interested in the show while staying in New Orleans during the filming of Green Lantern. "I had the unique experience of watching Treme with locals. It resonated for me immediately, and it resonated for them as well, because they have seen their town get misinterpreted and represented in ridiculous ways," he told The Times-Picayune in 2011. “Something about this show was different for them. I appreciated that. I loved the writing and the actors. I loved the environment it’s set in. I watched the whole first season in New Orleans, and got in touch with David Simon and said, ‘If you guys need a director next year, I’d be happy to do an episode.'"
In 1988, Robbins entered into a relationship with actress Susan Sarandon, whom he met on the set of Bull Durham. They have two sons: John "Jack" Henry (born May 15, 1989) and Miles Guthrie (born May 4, 1992). Robbins, like Sarandon, is a lapsed Catholic, and they both share liberal political views. The end of Robbins' relationship with Sarandon was announced in late December 2009.
Robbins supported Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign and appeared on stage in character as Bob Roberts during the "Nader Rocks the Garden" rally at Madison Square Garden. In December 2007, Robbins campaigned for Senator John Edwards in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. He delivered a speech critical of Hillary Clinton and the DLC while introducing Bernie Sanders at a 2016 campaign stop.
He publicly opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2003, a 15th anniversary celebration of Bull Durham at the National Baseball Hall of Fame was canceled by Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey. Petroskey, who was on the White House staff during the Reagan administration, told Robbins that his stance helped to "undermine the U.S. position, which could put our troops in even more danger." Durham co-star Kevin Costner defended Robbins and Sarandon, saying, "I think Tim and Susan's courage is the type of courage that makes our democracy work. Pulling back this invite is against the whole principle about what we fight for and profess to be about." Robbins later said that Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, and Jack Valenti were the only major Hollywood figures that stood up for his free speech rights in this case and noted that all three men are either Republicans or very conservative Democrats, adding that he felt there could be common ground between individuals with different political beliefs.
Robbins is an avid baseball and ice hockey fan. He supports the New York Mets and the New York Rangers and frequently attends games. In 1995 Robbins did a series of promos for MSG Network advertising upcoming Rangers games, and has narrated a documentary on the 1969 Mets for SNY.
|No Small Affair||Nelson|
|1985||Fraternity Vacation||Larry "Mother" Tucker|
|The Sure Thing||Gary Cooper|
|1986||Howard the Duck||Phil Blumburtt||Nominated — Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|Top Gun||Lt. Samuel "Merlin" Wells|
|Bull Durham||Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh|
|1989||Erik the Viking||Erik|
|Miss Firecracker||Delmount Williams|
|1990||Jacob's Ladder||Jacob Singer|
|1992||Bob Roberts||Bob Roberts||Also writer and director
Bronze Award for Best Actor at the Tokyo International Film Festival
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
|The Player||Griffin Mill||Best Actor Award (Cannes Film Festival)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
|1993||Short Cuts||Gene Shepard||Golden Globe Special Award for Ensemble Cast
Volpi Cup for Best Ensemble Cast
|Prêt-à-Porter||Joe Flynne||Title in English: Ready to Wear
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
|The Shawshank Redemption||Andy Dufresne||Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role|
|The Hudsucker Proxy||Norville Barnes|
|1995||Dead Man Walking||Writer and director
Golden Aphrodite Award at the Love is Folly International Film Festival
Humanitas Prize for Feature Film Category
Palm Springs International Film Festival Award for Best Director
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas
Reader Jury of the "Berliner Morgenpost"
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Director
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — Golden Berlin Bear Award for Best Film
|1997||Nothing to Lose||Nick Beam|
|1999||Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me||The President|
|Cradle Will Rock||Voice on Film Reel||Uncredited voice; also writer and director
Gran Angular Award for Best Director
Gran Angular Award for Best Film
Istanbul International Film Festival Award for International Competition
National Board of Review Special Achievement in Filmmaking Award
Nominated — Palme d'Or (1999 Cannes Film Festival)
|Arlington Road||Oliver Lang/William Fenimore|
|2000||Mission to Mars||Woodrow "Woody" Blake|
|High Fidelity||Ian "Ray" Raymond|
|Human Nature||Dr. Nathan Bronfman|
|The Party's Over||Himself|
|2002||The Truth About Charlie||Lewis Bartholomew|
|2003||Mystic River||Dave Boyle||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
|Code 46||William Geld|
|2004||Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy||Public News Anchor||Uncredited cameo|
|2005||The Secret Life of Words||Josef||ADIRCAE Award for Best Performance in a Leading Role
Nominated — Barcelona Film Award for Best Actor (Millor Actor)
Nominated — Cinema Writers Circle Award for Best Actor (Mejor Actor)
|War of the Worlds||Harlan Ogilvy|
|Zathura: A Space Adventure||Mr. Budwing|
|2006||Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny||The Stranger|
|Catch a Fire||Nic Vos|
|2008||The Lucky Ones||Fred Cheaver|
|City of Ember||Loris Harrow|
|2011||Green Lantern||Senator Robert Hammond|
|2012||Back to 1942||Father Megan|
|Thanks for Sharing||Mike|
|2013||Life of Crime||Frank Dawson|
|2014||Welcome to Me||Dr. Moffat|
|2015||A Perfect Day||B|
|1982||St. Elsewhere||Andrew Reinhardt||3 episodes|
|1983||At Ease||Medic||Episode: "A Tankful of Dollars"|
|Quarterback Princess||Marvin||Television film|
|1984||Legmen||Brewster Kingston||Episode: "How the Other Half Dies"|
|Hardcastle and McCormick||Inmate Johnson||Episode: "Scared Stiff"|
|Santa Barbara||Man||Episode #1.8|
|The Love Boat||Young Erik||2 episodes|
|Hill Street Blues||Officer Lawrence "Larry" Swann||Episode: "Rookie Nookie"|
|1985||Moonlighting||Fremmer||Episode: "Gunfight at the So-So Corral"|
|Malice in Wonderland||Joseph Cotten||Television film|
|1986||Amazing Stories||Jordan's Phantom||Episode: "Mirror, Mirror"|
|Saturday Night Live||Bob Roberts||Episode: "Steve Guttenberg/The Pretenders"; uncredited|
|1992||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||Episode: "Tim Robbins/Sinéad O'Connor"|
|1999||The Simpsons||Jim Hope (voice)||Episode: "Grift of the Magi"|
|2003||Freedom: A History of Us||Various voices||3 episodes|
|2005||Jack & Bobby||Pres. Robert McCallister (voice)||Episode: "Legacy"|
|2011||Cinema Verite||Bill Loud||Television film
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|2014||The Spoils of Babylon||Jonas Morehouse||Miniseries; 4 episodes|
|2015||The Spoils Before Dying||Red-Vested Bartender||Episode: "The Trip Trap"|
|The Brink||Secretary of State Walter Larson||Main cast; 10 episodes|
|2018||Here and Now||Greg Boatwright||Lead role|
Currently Tim Robbins is acting in a new series 11 11 as a 60 year old father of four. In the first episode, he appears to be going through a stand plot conflict of aging and feeling like life has no purpose because he’s bored instead of content. The plot is full of mystery and the characters are intriguing. I could not stop watching. The show’s characters are ironically traditional while trying to display ultra liberal ideologies. This is classic Robbins - challenging norms and inviting acceptance.
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