Timothy Olyphant

Timothy Olyphant
Timothy Olyphant

Timothy Olyphant (Wikipedia)

Timothy Olyphant is an American actor and producer. He made his acting debut in an Off-Broadway theater in 1995, in The Monogamist, and won the Theatre World Award for his performance, and then originated David Sedaris‘ The Santaland Diaries in 1996. He then branched out to film; in the early years of his career, he was often cast in supporting villainous roles, most notably in Scream 2 (1997), Go (1999), A Man Apart (2003) and The Girl Next Door (2004). He came to the attention of a wider audience with his portrayal of Sheriff Seth Bullock in HBO‘s western Deadwood (2004–2006) and its film continuation Deadwood: The Movie (2019). He had starring roles in such films as Catch and Release (2006), Hitman (2007), A Perfect Getaway (2009), and The Crazies (2010), and he played the main antagonist, Thomas Gabriel, in Live Free or Die Hard (2007). Olyphant was a recurring guest star in season two of the FX legal thriller Damages (2009).

Olyphant’s best-known performance to date has been as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in FX’s modern-day Kentucky western Justified (2010–2015), for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Seriesin 2011. Olyphant had guest appearances in numerous television sitcoms including The Office (2010), The Mindy Project (2013), and The Grinder (2015–2016), for which he won a Critics’ Choice Award. He also starred in the Netflix comedy series Santa Clarita Diet (2017–2019) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as James Stacy (2019). 

Olyphant was born in HonoluluHawaii but moved to Modesto, California at the age of two.[1] His parents are J.V. Bevan Olyphant, who worked as vice president of production at Gallo Winery, and Katherine (née Gideon). He has an older brother, Andrew, and a younger brother, Matthew.  His parents divorced when Olyphant was a teenager; both remarried. He is of English, German, Scottish, Dutch, Irish, and one eighth Russian-Jewish ancestry.

Olyphant is a descendant of the Vanderbilt family of New York. His maternal fourth great-grandfather was family patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt; his third great-grandfather was William Henry Vanderbilt, who doubled the family’s railroad fortune; his great-great-grandmother was socialite Emily Thorn Vanderbilt; his great-grandmother was socialite Emily Vanderbilt Sloane; and his great-uncle was music producer John Hammond.The surname Olyphant is of Scottish origin. His paternal fourth great-grandfather, Dr. David Olyphant, was born in Scotland and served as director-general of the Southern hospitals during the American Revolutionary War. His third great-grandfather, David Olyphant, and great-great-grandfather, Robert Morrison Olyphant, were both prominent businessmen.

Olyphant attended Modesto’s Fred C. Beyer High School. Growing up, he was “embarrassed” by the idea of acting, but enjoyed art and drawing. He swam competitively throughout his childhood and was a finalist at the 1986 Nationals, in the 200m Individual Medley. He was then recruited to the University of Southern California by USC Trojans swimming coach Peter Daland. When Olyphant first visited the campus as part of a recruitment trip, he hoped to study architecture but was told it would be unmanageable with his training schedule.  Instead, he opted to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

After graduating in 1990,  Olyphant half-heartedly considered a career in commercial art.  While in the process of applying for a master’s degree in fine arts and working as a swimming coach at Irvine Novaquatics. Olyphant decided to move to New York to explore other options. He initially performed stand-up comedy: “I’d dabbled [before] and then there was a six-month period where I did it with a certain commitment. Then I’d occasionally go back.” Ultimately, he decided to become an actor. In his final year of college, he had taken an acting class as an elective at UC Irvine and found it “really enjoyable”. He completed a two-year acting program at New York’s William Esper Studio and began auditioning for roles.

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