Josh Brolin
Brolin in 2014
Josh James Brolin

(1968-02-12) February 12, 1968 (age 56)
Years active1983–present
WorksFull list
  • Alice Adair
    (m. 1988; div. 1994)
  • (m. 2004; div. 2013)
  • Kathryn Boyd
    (m. 2016)
Children4, including Eden
  • James Brolin (father)
  • Jane Cameron Agee (1939–1995) (mother)
FamilyBarbra Streisand (stepmother)
AwardsFull list

Josh James Brolin (/ˈbrlɪn/; born February 12, 1968)[1][2] is an American actor. A son of actor James Brolin, he gained fame in his youth for his role in the adventure film The Goonies (1985). After years of decline, Brolin had a resurgence with his starring role in the crime film No Country for Old Men (2007). Brolin received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for portraying Dan White in the biopic Milk (2008).

Brolin's career progressed with roles in W. (2008), True Grit (2010), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010), Men in Black 3 (2012), Oldboy (2013), Inherent Vice (2014), Everest (2015), and Hail, Caesar! (2016). He gained wider recognition for playing Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), including in the films Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), as well as Cable in Deadpool 2 (2018). Brolin also collaborated with filmmaker Denis Villeneuve in the action thriller Sicario (2015) and in the science fiction films Dune (2021) and Dune: Part Two (2024), in which he played Gurney Halleck.

Early life

Brolin was born on February 12, 1968, in Santa Monica, California, the son of Jane Cameron (née Agee 1939–95),[3] a casting director[4] and wildlife activist,[5] and actor James Brolin.[6][7] Brolin was raised on a ranch[8] in the Adelaida area of Paso Robles,[9] attending elementary and middle school in Templeton, California.[10] Brolin moved to the Santa Barbara area around the age of 11, where he attended Santa Barbara High School.[11] Brolin had little exposure to his father's acting career.[12] His parents divorced in 1984 when Brolin was 16.

Brolin said in a 2014 interview that during his youth, Brolin was a member of a surfing friendship group who called themselves the "Cito Rats". In his description of the group, Brolin said, "It was Santa Barbara. It was the '80s. It was punk rock. You either had the children of rich, neglectful parents or children of poor, so it was a mix. But we basically grew up the same way. I've never seen a group like that before or since." He admitted to stealing cars to pay for his drug use, which included heroin, a drug that he explained he did not like: "I mean, I never got into it and I never died from it, which is a good thing. I've had 19 friends who died. Most of those guys I grew up with, they're all dead now."[13] Brolin later said: "The group of guys that I grew up with, 37 of them are dead. 12 are in jail. 4 are in jail and also dead. I keep careful count, all 37 dead guys. I'm from a tough environment, ya know?"[14]


Early work and breakthrough (1980s)

Brolin started his career in TV films and guest roles on TV shows before landing a more notable role as Brandon Walsh in the Richard Donner-directed film The Goonies (1985).[15] Brolin was considered for the role of Tom Hanson in the series 21 Jump Street; Brolin and Johnny Depp were the finalists for the role, and the two became close and remained friends. The role ultimately went to Depp.[16][17] Brolin guest-starred in an episode of the show in its first season.[18]

Career decline (1990–2006)

Brolin played a small role in the 1994 movie Roadflower. He has implied that he turned away from film acting for years after the premiere of his second film, Thrashin', where Brolin witnessed what he called "horrendous" acting on his part.[19] For several years, Brolin appeared in stage roles in Rochester, New York, often alongside mentor and friend Anthony Zerbe. One of Brolin's more prominent roles early in his career was that of "Wild Bill" Hickok in the ABC western TV series The Young Riders, which lasted three seasons (1989–92).[15][full citation needed] Two other TV series Brolin was involved in include the Aaron Spelling production Winnetka Road (1994) and Mister Sterling (2003), both of which were cancelled after a few episodes.

Career resurgence and stardom (2006–2016)

By 2006, Brolin was trading stocks full time when he booked the lead role in the Coen brothers' Academy Award-winning film No Country for Old Men (2007).[20] The film became a critical and commercial success. Brolin would go on to book a part in the similarly successful Ridley Scott film American Gangster (2007).

Brolin in 2007

In 2008, Brolin starred in another Oliver Stone film, W., a biopic about key events in the life of President George W. Bush.[21] Stone pursued an initially hesitant Brolin for the role. He said of his decision to cast Brolin in the leading role:[22]

It always seemed to me that he was the right person. Although classically handsome, I think he would consider himself a character actor first and foremost, and it was in this context that I thought of him as W. Josh certainly has star appeal and could be a leading man, but I don't think he necessarily wants to be that. I think he really enjoys disappearing into a character.

Brolin received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Gus Van Sant's biopic Milk as city supervisor Dan White, who assassinated San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.[23] He made news by wearing a White Knot to the Academy Awards ceremony to demonstrate solidarity with the same-sex marriage movement.[24] Brolin told an interviewer that co-star Sean Penn, who portrayed Milk, decided to dispel any nerves the actors had about playing gay men by "grabbing the bull by the horns". At the first cast dinner, which included castmates James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Diego Luna, "[Penn] walked right up and grabbed me and planted a huge one right on my lips", Brolin said.[22] Brolin has received critical acclaim for his performance and, in addition to his Oscar nomination, received NYFCC and NBR Awards for Best Supporting Actor and a nomination for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

Also in 2008, Brolin hosted Saturday Night Live, the same night as musical guest, Adele. He went on to host again in April 2012 and March 2024.[25]

In 2009, Brolin executive produced and performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[26] The next year, Brolin wrote and directed the short film X as his directorial debut. The film is about an inmate who escapes prison to reunite with his daughter and searches for her murdered mother. It was the opening film at the first annual Union City International Film Festival in Union City, New Jersey in December 2010.[27][28][29]

In the early 2010s, Brolin would appear in a variety of big-budget studios film. He portrayed the titular character in Jonah Hex (2010), based on the DC Comics' character with the same name.[30] Brolin would later admit that he hated the experience making the film stating that at one point they had to "[reshoot] 66 pages in 12 days", implying that the filming schedule was hectic.[31] Brolin would go on to blame the film's failure on studio interference in the film's post-production and on director Hayward, who he called "inexperienced" and a "bad choice (of director)."[20] Brolin also appeared in the Coen Brother film True Grit (2010) and in Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010). In 2012, Brolin played the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones's character Kevin Brown / Agent K in Men in Black 3, which reunited both Brolin and Jones after their initial collaboration in No Country for Old Men and In the Valley of Elah, both in 2007.[32] Brolin later starred in the 2013 film Gangster Squad, portraying a fictional World War II veteran named John O'Mara.[33] Later that year, Brolin also portrayed Joe Doucett in Oldboy, a remake of the 2003 South Korean film of the same name. In 2014, it was announced that Brolin would play Thanos within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He portrays the character through motion capture performance, as well as voice acting.[34] Brolin cameoed as the character in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

International recognition; Marvel and Dune roles (2016–present)

Brolin promoting the film Avengers Age of Ultron at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International

Brolin reprised his role as Thanos in a starring role in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and 2019's Avengers: Endgame, which were filmed back-to-back. His performance in the role was critically acclaimed. Writing for Variety, critic Owen Gleiberman called Brolin's motion capture performance in Infinity War "supremely effective" and said, "Brolin infuses Thanos with his slit-eyed manipulative glower, so that the evil in this movie never feels less than personal."[35] Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, critic Todd McCarthy similarly said, "Brolin's calm, considered reading of the character bestows this conquering beast with an unexpectedly resonant emotional dimension, making him much more than a thick stick figure of a supervillain."[36]

Zazie Beetz, Ryan Reynolds and Brolin during an interview in 2018

In April 2017, Brolin signed a four-film contract with 20th Century Fox studios to portray the Marvel Comics character Nathan Summers / Cable in the X-Men film series.[37] Deadpool 2 (2018) was his first installment within that contract. He was set to reprise his role in Fox's planned X-Force movie until the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney.[38] In February 2019, Brolin joined the cast of Denis Villeneuve's Dune as Gurney Halleck.[39]

In 2021, Brolin voiced an alternate Thanos in What If...? series.[40] In October of that year, Dune premiered to generally positive reviews.[41] In April 2022, Brolin starred as Royal Abbot in the Amazon Prime Video series Outer Range. He also serves as an executive producer.[42]

In March 2024, Dune: Part Two premiered to rave reviews.[43][44] The second season of Outer Range appeared on May 16, with Brolin reprising his role and directing an episode.[45] On June 3, 2024, it was announced that Brolin had joined the cast of Rian Johnson's Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery.[46]

Personal life

Marriages and family

Brolin and his then-wife Diane Lane in 2009

Brolin was married to actress Alice Adair from 1988 until 1994;[47] they have two children, Trevor (born 1988) and Eden, both actors.[48] He was engaged to actress Minnie Driver for six months.[47] Brolin married actress Diane Lane on August 15, 2004.[49] They divorced in 2013.[50]

In March 2013, Brolin began dating his former assistant and model Kathryn Boyd.[51] They became engaged in March 2015.[52] The couple married on September 24, 2016,[53] and announced on May 29, 2018, that they were expecting their first child.[54] Brolin announced through Instagram on November 4, 2018, that Boyd had given birth to a daughter.[55] Their second daughter was born on December 25, 2020.[56]


On December 20, 2004, Brolin's wife at the time, Diane Lane, called the police after an altercation with him, and Brolin was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. Lane declined to press charges and the couple's spokesman characterized the incident as a misunderstanding.[57]

On July 12, 2008, Brolin was arrested after an altercation at the Stray Cat Bar in Shreveport, Louisiana, along with actor Jeffrey Wright and five other men who were crew members of W. Brolin was released after posting a cash bond of $334.[58][59] He said to a reporter, "It was nice to be in jail knowing that I hadn't done anything wrong. And it was maddening to be in jail knowing that I hadn't done anything wrong."[22] Charges against all seven men were later dropped by Shreveport prosecutors.[60]

Brolin was arrested for public intoxication on New Year's Day 2013 in Santa Monica, California.[61][62] The remainder of 2013 proved very difficult for him, and Brolin later explained: "Well, it was another turning point. It made me think of a lot of things. My mom dying when I was in my twenties. All the impact that had on me that I hadn't moved past; I was always such a mama's boy. But I realized that I was on a destructive path. I knew that I had to change and mature."[13]

Business interests

Brolin commenced in stock trading in his mid-20s and considered quitting acting. In 2014, Brolin explained that he made a large amount of money over a three-year period: "Fear and greed, that's all that there is. And I traded very specifically. I found momentum stocks that had room to breathe and I just grab a little of the breath."[13] Brolin was also co-founder of a now defunct stock trading website called MarketProbability.[63]


Main article: Josh Brolin filmography

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Josh Brolin


  1. ^ Screen World 2003, By John Willis, Barry Monush. Published by Hal Leonard Corporation, 2004. ISBN 1-55783-528-4, ISBN 978-1-55783-528-4
  2. ^ "Josh Brolin – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 21, 2024.
  3. ^ Agate, Samantha (April 27, 2023). "Who Was Josh Brolin's Mom Jane Cameron Agee? Inside Dad James Brolin's Marriage History". Closer. Retrieved March 4, 2024 – via Yahoo Entertainment.
  4. ^ Payne, Laura (March 10, 2024). "Josh Brolin". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  5. ^ Freydkin, Donna (September 7, 2013). "Josh Brolin labors in Toronto". USA Today. Retrieved March 5, 2024.
  6. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (February 19, 2009). "Josh Brolin Mines Emotional Depths". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Archived from the original on February 22, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  7. ^ Barnes, Michael; Peterman, Elizabeth (November 15, 2007). "Josh Brolin is everywhere these days, including Austin". Austin American-Statesman. Archived from the original on January 11, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
  8. ^ Linn, Sarah (September 18, 2014). "Josh Brolin speaks out". The Tribune. Archived from the original on October 3, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  9. ^ Starkey, Glen (March 9, 2017). "Locals rule! How Paso resident Josh Brolin became one of Hollywood's best character actors and a SLO Film Fest honoree". New Times. Retrieved March 5, 2024.
  10. ^ Linn, Sarah (March 10, 2017). "From Templeton 'Ranch Kid' to Oscar-Nominated Actor: Josh Brolin on his Hollywood Career". The Tribune. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  11. ^ "board of directors & staff". January 11, 2012. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  12. ^ "Josh Brolin Comes Into His Own". CBS News. November 29, 2007. Archived from the original on December 21, 2022. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  13. ^ a b c Brooks, Xan (March 13, 2014). "Josh Brolin: 'I tried heroin. Most of the guys I grew up with are dead now'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on March 16, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  14. ^ "Josh Brolin: "I'm Not Interested in Being at Ease"". GQ. February 27, 2024. Retrieved March 5, 2024.
  15. ^ a b Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2008.
  16. ^ Josh Brolin Really, Really Likes Johnny Depp, Says 'Thank God He Exists' Archived October 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, September 28, 2010
  17. ^ Mair, George (1997). "21 Jump Street". The Barry Diller Story: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Entertainment Mogul. John Wiley and Sons. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-471-29948-6.
  18. ^ "My Future's so Bright, I got to Wear Shades". Archived from the original on April 16, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  19. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (February 26, 2010). "Tough Enough". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  20. ^ a b "Josh Brolin on Owing 'Jonah Hex' Co-Stars an Apology and Finding His 'Almost Famous' Audition Tape". March 31, 2023. Archived from the original on March 31, 2023. Retrieved March 31, 2023.
  21. ^ "Stone and Brolin to make Bush biopic". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. January 21, 2008. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  22. ^ a b c Kevin West (October 2008). "Josh Brolin". W magazine. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
  23. ^ "The 81st Academy Awards | 2009". Oscars. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. February 22, 2009. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  24. ^ Finke, Nikki (February 24, 2009). "White Knot Oscars and Spirit Awards Lists". PMC. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  25. ^ "Josh Brolin Addresses 'Dune' Rumors, Ariana Grande Slips in Album Promo in New SNL Teaser". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  26. ^ "Credits". The People Speak. Archived from the original on July 13, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  27. ^ "UC International Film Festival to be held this weekend", Kaala, November 28, 2010, Page 4
  28. ^ Mestanza, Jean-Pierre. "Brolin film screening at festival", Hudson Dispatch Weekly, November 25, 2010, Page 8
  29. ^ "Union City International Film Festival to Open With Josh Brolin's Acclaimed Short Film 'X'" Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine NecioTV, November 18, 2010
  30. ^ "A New Look at Josh Brolin in 'Jonah Hex'". April 16, 2010. Archived from the original on April 19, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  31. ^ Trumbore, Dave (February 9, 2016). "Did You Hate 'Jonah Hex'? So Did Josh Brolin". Collider. Archived from the original on September 3, 2021. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  32. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (April 18, 2012). "'Men in Black 3' star Josh Brolin talks about playing a young Tommy Lee Jones". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 26, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  33. ^ Rottenberg, Josh. "'Gangster Squad: Warner Bros. pushing back release date". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 22, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  34. ^ "Exclusive: Josh Brolin To Play Thanos in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'". Latino Review. May 30, 2014. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  35. ^ Debruge, Peter (April 23, 2019). "Film Review: 'Avengers: Endgame'". Variety. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  36. ^ McCarthy, Todd (April 23, 2019). "'Avengers: Endgame': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  37. ^ Kit, Borys (April 12, 2017). "Josh Brolin to Play Cable in 'Deadpool 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 28, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  38. ^ Schmidt, JK (June 30, 2019). "Josh Brolin Is Calling Marvel About Whether His Cable Will Join the Marvel Cinematic Universe". Archived from the original on July 1, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  39. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 13, 2019). "Josh Brolin Joins Timothee Chalamet in Star-Studded Dune Reboot". Variety. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  40. ^ Gallagher, Simon (August 18, 2021). "What If...? Episode 2 Cast Guide: Every New & Returning MCU Character". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on August 18, 2021. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  41. ^ Gaughan, Liam (October 30, 2021). "'Dune' Cast & Character Guide: Who's Who Amongst the Sandworms". Collider. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  42. ^ Petski, Denise (March 9, 2022). "'Outer Range' Trailer: Josh Brolin Prays For Help From Above In Prime Video's Western Thriller". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 9, 2022. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  43. ^ Sharf, Zack (February 15, 2024). "'Dune: Part Two' First Reactions Praise Denis Villeneuve's 'Spectacular' Sequel: 'Jaw-Dropping' and Among the 'Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Ever'". Variety. Archived from the original on March 3, 2024. Retrieved March 3, 2024.
  44. ^ "Dune 2 first reviews call sequel 'one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever'". The Independent. February 16, 2024. Archived from the original on March 2, 2024. Retrieved March 2, 2024.
  45. ^ Cordero, Rosy (March 13, 2024). "Prime Video Sets 'Outer Range' Season 2 Premiere Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  46. ^ Kit, Borys (June 3, 2024). "Josh Brolin Joins Daniel Craig in 'Knives Out 3' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 3, 2024.
  47. ^ a b Stephen Rebello (October 2010). "Playboy Interview: Josh Brolin". Playboy.
  48. ^ [Jose Bastidas: 'Yellowstone' Casts Eden Brolin, 'Beyond' Star and Josh Brolin's Daughter, as Promising New Season 3 Character Archived August 5, 2020, at the Wayback Machine at, September 9, 2019
  49. ^ Schneller, Johanna (January 2005). "Changing Lane". InStyle.
  50. ^ "Exclusive: Josh Brolin, Diane Lane Divorcing After Eight Years". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  51. ^ "Josh Brolin Is Engaged to Kathryn Boyd!". Us Weekly. May 18, 2015. Archived from the original on December 18, 2018. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  52. ^ "Josh Brolin takes U-Turn at Cannes to bring in Fiancee Kathryn Boyd". May 21, 2015. Archived from the original on October 1, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  53. ^ "Josh Brolin ties the knot". Archived from the original on September 29, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  54. ^ "'Hang on to your hats': Josh Brolin and wife expecting 1st child together". May 29, 2018. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  55. ^ "Josh Brolin and Kathryn Boyd Welcome Daughter Westlyn Reign — See Her First Video!". People. Archived from the original on November 5, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  56. ^ "Josh Brolin and Wife Kathryn Welcome Their Second Child: 'Our Little Christmas Evening Angel'". Archived from the original on December 27, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  57. ^ Silverman, Stephen A. (December 20, 2004). "Josh Brolin Arrested for Spousal Battery". People. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  58. ^ "Actor Brolin arrested after fight". BBC News. July 14, 2008. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  59. ^ "Brolin, Wright, others in film crew arrested". Associated Press. July 13, 2008. Archived from the original on July 17, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  60. ^ Charges against Brolin, Wright Dropped Archived December 20, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Quirkybyte, January 6, 2009
  61. ^ "Josh Brolin arrested for public intoxication – Entertainment & Showbiz from CTV News". January 5, 2013. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  62. ^ Kandel, Jason; Arabian, Nyree (January 5, 2013). "Josh Brolin Held on Public Intoxication Charge". NBC Southern California. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  63. ^ Allis, Sam (November 4, 2007). "Josh Brolin is more than just a familiar face". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008.