A native of Houston, TX, Brett Cullen graduated from that city's university, also finding time to compete in fencing and contribute to the Houston Shakespeare Festival. Opting for a shot at stardom over continuing his theater studies, Cullen landed a role on The Chisholms as his first breakthrough. He achieved much attention as Bob Cleary in the highly successful miniseries The Thorn Birds, which led to a stint on the nighttime soap Falcon Crest. He continued to work steadily on both the stage and the screen including production of Guys and Dolls, The Little Foxes, and numerous Shakespearean plays. His film credits include Courage Under Fire and Apollo 13, a role that led to him joining the cast of the Tom Hanks-produced television spectacle From the Earth to the Moon. Cullen has had recurring roles on such respected programs as Ugly Betty, Friday Night Lights, The West Wing, and Lost. In 2007, he starred opposite Uma Thurman in the drama In Bloom. That same year, Cullen starred in the pilot for the television program Life Is Wild, but he was replaced when the show went to series by D.W. Moffett. He had a major role in 2008's The Life Before Her Eyes as well as Brothel. Two years later he played the dad of the troubled lead singer of The Runaways, and he followed that up with a part in the teen comedy Monte Carlo. In 2012 he could be seen in the blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises.