50 facts about actor Dennis Quaid

He is an avid golfer and musician. Learn 50 facts you missed about actor Dennis Quaid.

1. His full name is Dennis William Quaid.

2. He is an actor known for a wide variety of dramatic and comedic roles.

3. First gaining widespread attention in the 1980s, his career rebounded in the 1990s after he overcame an addiction to drugs and an eating disorder.

4. Some of his notable credits include Breaking Away, The Right Stuff, Wyatt Earp, The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, Traffic, Vantage Point, Footloose, Frequency, The Parent Trap, Yours, Mine & Ours and Soul Surfer.

5. For his role in Far from Heaven he won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male.

6. Quaid was born in Houston, Texas.

7. His mother Juanita Bonniedale "Nita" was a real estate agent.

8. His father William Rudy Quaid was an electrician.

9. He is the younger brother of actor Randy Quaid.

10. Quaid has English, Scots-Irish, and Cajun (French) ancestry.

11. Through his father, Quaid is a first cousin, twice removed, of cowboy performer Gene Autry.

12. The Quaid brothers grew up in Bellaire, Texas, which is a small city surrounded by Houston, and in southwest Houston.

13. He attended Paul W. Horn Elementary School in Bellaire, and Pershing Middle School in Houston.

14. He studied Mandarin.

15. He also studied dance at Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas, and later in college, at the University of Houston, under drama coach Cecil Pickett, who had previously taught at Bellaire High and whose daughter is actress Cindy Pickett.

16. It was during his time at Bellaire High School that he developed the nickname 'Dennis Quand', (a combination of 'Quaid' and 'Bond') in relation to his obsession with the 007 film character and was regularly referred to by this name.

17. Quaid dropped out of the University of Houston before graduating and moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career of his own.

18. He had trouble finding work but began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away and earned good reviews for his role in The Right Stuff.

19. He is known for his grin.

20. Quaid had starring roles in the films Enemy Mine, Innerspace and The Big Easy.

21. He also achieved acclaim for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire!.

22. In 1989, he also appeared throughout the Bonnie Raitt music video for the song "Thing Called Love."

23. Quaid's career lost steam in the early 1990s, after he fought anorexia nervosa brought on when he lost 40 pounds to play Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp and kicked a cocaine addiction as well.

24. Quaid was also the guest star of a season 2 episode of Muppets Tonight.

25. He starred in the lead role in the 1996 adventure film Dragonheart, the remake of The Parent Trap, playing the part of the twins' father, and as an aging pro football quarterback in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday.

26. Some of Quaid's more recent film credits include Frequency, The Rookie, Far from Heaven, Cold Creek Manor, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Alamo, In Good Company, The Day After Tomorrow, Yours, Mine and Ours, Vantage Point, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Pandorum.

27. In 2009, Quaid guest starred in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, playing Mr. Krabs' grandfather, Captain Redbeard.

28. He portrayed U.S. President Bill Clinton, alongside Michael Sheen as Tony Blair and Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton, in the 2010 film The Special Relationship.

29. In 2012 and 2013, Quaid played Sheriff Ralph Lamb in the CBS TV drama series Vegas.

30. For his role in Far from Heaven he won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male.

31. He received nominations for Best Supporting Actor from the Golden Globe Awards, the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

32. Quaid was also honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the University of Houston, in April 2012.

33. Quaid has been married three times.

34. He has three children.

35. Quaid and his first wife, actress P. J. Soles, were married on November 25, 1978. The coupl divorced on January 23, 1983.

36. On February 14, 1991, Quaid married actress Meg Ryan.

37. Quaid and Ryan are said to have fallen in love during the shooting of their second film together, D.O.A.

38. Quaid and Ryan have a son, Jack Henry. They were divorced on July 16, 2001.

39. Quaid dated model Shanna Moakler in 2001.

40. Quaid married Texas real-estate agent Kimberly Buffington, on July 4, 2004, at his ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana. Quaid and Buffington have fraternal twins, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace, born via gestational carrier on November 8, 2007, in Santa Monica, California.

41. Quaid was raised in the Baptist faith.

42. In addition to acting, Quaid is a musician. He plays with his band, the Sharks.

43. He wrote and performed the song 'Closer To You' in the film "The Big Easy".

44. Quaid also has a pilot's license and owned a Cessna Citation.

45. He also is a one-handicap golfer.

46. In 2005, he was named as the top golfer among the "Hollywood set" by Golf Digest.

47. Quaid is an avid fan of the Houston Astros, and after their 2005 National League Championship winning season, he narrated their commemorating DVD release.

48. After the filming of The Express: The Ernie Davis Story, Quaid went to Cleveland Browns Stadium to dedicate Davis's jersey.

49. Quaid lends his name to the annual "Dennis Quaid Charity Weekend" (formerly the "Jiffy Lube/Dennis Quaid Charity Classic") in Austin. The golf tournament attracts numerous celebrities with the proceeds split among local children's charities.

50. Quaid works with the International Hospital for Children in New Orleans. He makes trips to Central America to help build medical clinics and transport sick children back to the U.S. for treatment they cannot get locally.

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Dennis Quaid

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