Typically cast as an American everyman -- in many ways, the most challenging of roles to play -- the slightly stocky Hollywood character actor Brian Howe began his career during the mid-'90s, as an occasional guest player on episodes of such series as Law & Order (as a variety of different characters) and the short-lived sitcom The Bonnie Hunt Show (as Sammy Sinatra). Howe re-teamed with the venerable Hunt for a small role in his first feature, which the actress directed: the romantic comedy Return to Me, starring Minnie Driver and David Duchovny. Supporting turns in an uneven series of films ensued, ranging from Iain Softley's ill-advised sci-fier K-PAX (2001) to Steven Spielberg's buoyant comedy drama Catch Me If You Can (2002). Howe received fourth billing on series creator Barry Kemp's short-lived sitcom A Minute With Stan Hooper (2003), then landed a trio of supporting roles in A-listers during 2006: one in the Robin Williams farce RV, another in the Will Smith sudser The Pursuit of Happyness, and a third in Tony Scott's sci-fi actioner Déjà Vu. Clint Eastwood cast him in the 2008 drama Gran Torino. He appeared in the 2011 action film I Am Number Four, and in 2012 Howe appeared as Randy Scheunemann in the made-for-HBO docudrama Game Change.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Made his off-Broadway theatre debut in a New York production of David Mamet's Oleanna.
- First big-screen appearance was in the Leslie Nielsen spoof Spy Hard (1996); first leading role came 10 years later, in the Will Smith drama The Pursuit of Happyness.
- Joined the cast of NBC sci-fi/drama Journeyman in 2007, playing newspaper boss Hugh Skillen.