Dennis Christopher
Christopher in 2005
Born
Dennis Christopher Carrelli

(1950-12-02) December 2, 1950 (age 73)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1967–2016

Dennis Christopher Carrelli (born December 2, 1950) is an American actor whose film credits include Breaking Away (1979), Fade to Black (1980), Chariots of Fire (1981), It (1990) and Django Unchained (2012).

Early life

Dennis Christopher Carrelli, the youngest of four children, was born in Philadelphia on December 2, 1950,[1][2][3][4] to Vincent Albert Carrelli, an insurance salesman, and the former Anna Marie Doogan.[5][6] His parents married in 1936.[5] He had two brothers, Vincent Carrelli Jr. (a talent manager who later went by the name Vince Cannon) and Edward Carrelli, and one sister, Patricia Kratzinger Laros.[6]

Christopher graduated from Monsignor Bonner High School in 1968.[7] He attended Temple University and dropped out in 1969.[8]

Career

In 1967, Christopher made a guest appearance on The Time Tunnel in the episode "Merlin the Magician" (S1E27). A chance encounter with Federico Fellini, who was filming in Rome at the time, led to the director casting him as a hippie in the film Roma (1972).[9] After that, Christopher worked as an assistant to the fashion designer Halston.[10]

Dennis Christopher with Pat Ast (left) and Shelley Duvall (right). August 1975

Christopher's breakthrough role was as Dave Stohler in the coming-of-age classic Breaking Away (1979). His performance won him the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the Youth in Film Award for Best Juvenile Actor in a Motion Picture,[11] as well as garnering a Golden Globe nomination.

Christopher's other roles include American track star Charlie Paddock in Chariots of Fire (1981), as well as tragic film-buff psychopath Eric Binford in Fade to Black (1980), Damon in The Falling (1985), Nathan Flowers in A Sinful Life (1989) and Leech in Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II (1994). Television roles include "Jack of All Trades" in the Profiler TV series, Eddie Kaspbrak in Stephen King's It (1990), Desmond Floyd in Jake Speed (1986) and in the HBO series Deadwood.

Christopher has guest starred in two Star Trek episodes: the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Search (Part II)" and the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Detained". He guest-starred as the demon-sorcerer Cyvus Vail in three episodes of Angel.

He reunited with his Breaking Away "father" Paul Dooley, playing Dooley's son for a third time, in a 2003 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The two had first played father and son in Robert Altman's A Wedding (1978). In December 2006, he played Dr. Martin Ruber in the Sci Fi Channel miniseries The Lost Room.

Christopher was cast as Leonide Moguy in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012). He learned through his agent that the screenplay had been re-written to accommodate him. Furthermore, Tarantino later told Christopher that he had seen every one of his films the week that they were released, even Dead Women in Lingerie (which Christopher considers his worst). Production of the film made a very positive impact on Christopher, who stated, "...a lot of my idea of happiness came from working on this film...".[12]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1971 Blood and Lace Pete
1971 The Young Graduates Pan
1972 Roma The Hippie uncredited
1977 3 Women Soda Delivery Boy uncredited
1977 September 30, 1955 Eugene
1978 A Wedding Hughie Brenner
1979 California Dreaming T.T.
1979 Breaking Away Dave Stohler BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year — Actor
1979 The Last Word Ben Travis
1980 Fade to Black Eric Binford Taomina International Film Festival for Bronze Mask Award
Young Artist Award for Best Juvenile Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Actor
1981 Chariots of Fire Charles Paddock
1982 Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder Brian Anderson
1983 Didn't You Hear... Kevin
1986 Flight of the Spruce Goose Stan
1986 Jake Speed Desmond Floyd
1986 Alien Predator Damon also known as "The Falling"
1988 Friends John
1989 A Sinful Life Nathan Flowers
1990 Circuitry Man Leech
1991 The Disco Years Mr. Reese Short film
1991 Dead Women in Lingerie Lapin
1993 Doppelganger Doctor Heller
1993 Necronomicon: Book of the Dead Dale Porkel part 2
1994 Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II Leech
1995 Aurora: Operation Intercept Victor Varenkov
1995 Bad English I: Tales of a Song of a Brit unknown role
1996 It's My Party Douglas Reedy
1996 The Silencers Comdor
2001 Mind Rage Steve
2004 Nine Lives Mikey
2010 Queen of the Lot Odin Johannessen
2012 Django Unchained Leonide Moguy Nominated - Gold Derby Award for Ensemble Cast
2013 Prisoners Mr. Jones uncredited
2013 The Slippery Slope Pastor Tomaso Short film

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Time Tunnel Young Merlin Uncredited
Episode: "Merlin the Magician"
1976 Bernice Bobs Her Hair Charley TV movie
1979 Elvis Nick Adams TV movie
1983 Faerie Tale Theatre Jack Episode: "Jack and the Beanstalk"
1984 Tales of the Unexpected Killer Episode: "Number Eight"
1984 Trapper John, M.D. Daryl Kirby Episode: "Promises...Promises"
1985 Moonlighting Benjamin Wylie Episode: "The Lady in the Iron Mask"
1986 Cagney & Lacey Dr. Stanley Episode: "A Safe Place"
1986 The Equalizer Father Nicholas Kostmayer Episode: "The Cup"
1987 Stingray Joshua Williams Episode: "The Second Finest Man Who Ever Lived"
1987 Hooperman Danny Welles Episode: "Blues for Danny Welles"
1988 Christabel U.S. Airmen Miniseries
Episode: "#1.3"
1989 Matlock Noel Bishop Episode: "The Star"
1990 It Eddie Kaspbrak Miniseries
1990–93 Murder, She Wrote Dr. Henry Carlson / Lyman Tagart Episodes: "Shear Madness", "Final Curtain"
1991 Monsters Laurence Bauer Episode: "Hostile Takeover"
1991 False Arrest Wally Roberts TV movie
1992 Civil Wars Jamie Berne Episode: "Oceans White with Phone"
1992 Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story Randy TV movie
1993 Curacao Friedrich uncredited
TV Movie
1994 Winnetka Road Sam Franklin Episode: "Women in Love"
1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Borath Episode: "The Search: Part II"
1994 The Cosby Mysteries Eric Humbold Episode: "Mirror, Mirror"
1995 The Watcher Sascha Episode: "Heartburned"
1995 Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare Pruitt Taylor Beachaump TV movie
1996 SeaQuest 2032 Ambassador Dillington Episode: "Reunion"
1996 The Sentinel Dr. Anthony Bates Episode: "Cypher"
1996 Pacific Blue Dr. Mortimer T. Anton Episode: "The Phoenix"
1996 Tarzan: The Epic Adventures Philip D'Arnot Episode: "Tarzan's Return: Part I"
1996 The Burning Zone Dr. Balfour Episode: "Lethal Injection"
1996–99 Profiler Jack of All Trades / Albert Newquay / Sheriff Ed Post recurring role (45 episodes)
1997 Skeletons Jim Norton TV movie
1998 New York Undercover Dr. Royce Episode: "Spare Parts"
2000–01 FreakyLinks Vince Elsing series regular (13 episodes)
2001 The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Joshua 'Carrots' Beale TV movie
2001 Roswell Bobby Dupree Episodes: "Disturbing Behavior", "How the Other Half Lives"
2001 Kate Brasher Jesus Episodes: "Jeff", "Georgia"
2001 18 Wheels of Justice Vin Malfi Episode: "The Game"
2002 Star Trek: Enterprise Danik Episode: "Detained"
2002 Crossing Jordan Charles Rutledge Episode: "One Twelve"
2003 Six Feet Under Kevin Lamb Episode: "Nobody Sleeps"
2003 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Roger Coffman Episode: "Cherry Red"
2004 Angel Cyvus Vail Episodes: "Origin", "Power Play", "Not Fade Away"
2004 NYPD Blue Gerard Prosser Episode: "The Vision Thing"
2006 Deadwood Bellegarde recurring role (5 episodes)
2006 The Lost Room Dr. Martin Ruber Miniseries
3 episodes
2006 Trapped! Adrien TV movie
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Richard Dorsey / Homeless Guy Episodes: "Cockroaches", "Lying Down with Dogs"
2008 Criminal Minds Abner Merriman Episode: "Damaged"
2013 Unforgettable Lukas Emminger Episode: "Line Up or Shut Up"
2014 Perception Fred Gorman Episode: "Cobra"
2016 Graves Martin Treadwell recurring role (4 episodes)

Theatre

Year Title Role Venue Notes
1981 The Little Foxes Leo Hubbard Martin Beck Theatre 126 performances
1983 Brothers Tommy Music Box Theatre 1 performance

References

  1. ^ "Dennis Christopher". Internet Broadway Database.
  2. ^ "Christopher, Dennis (1950–)". snaccooperative.org.
  3. ^ "Dennis Christopher". aveleyman.com. Archived from the original on May 8, 2023.
  4. ^ "Actors and Actresses Born in December 1950". onthisday.com.
  5. ^ a b "In Memoriam". The Philadelphia Inquirer. March 20, 1966.
  6. ^ a b "Death Notices". The Philadelphia Inquirer. January 3, 1981.
  7. ^ 1968 Bon-Aire (Yearbook). Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. p. 144.
  8. ^ Swift, Pamela (April 22, 1979). "Keeping Up...With Youth". The Morning Call. Christopher, who left Temple University 10 years ago to try his luck in Hollywood, plays an 18-year-old townie who convinces a sorority girl that he is an Italian.
  9. ^ "'Breaking Away' was this actor's breakout role. Fans say it changed their lives, too". PBS. November 22, 2019.
  10. ^ https://www.huffpost.com/us/entry/3698096/amp[dead link]
  11. ^ "1st Annual Youth In Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org.
  12. ^ Riley, Jenelle (December 14, 2012). "Dennis Christopher on Tarantino, DiCaprio, and 'Django Unchained'". Backstage.