The career of Jackie Earle Haley should be inspirational for any former child star or out-of-work actor. In his preteen years, Haley earned his living as a TV commercial actor and voice-over artist (he voiced the son on Hanna-Barbera's animated All in the Family clone Wait Till Your Father Gets Home). At 13, Haley was cast as the juvenile delinquent with home-run power in Michael Ritchie's superb little-league comedy The Bad News Bears, earning a cult following for his portrayal of the swaggering, cool loner. He repeated the iconic role in two sequels, one of the few members of the original cast to do so. Peter Yates cast Haley, alongside future celebrities Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern, as a member of the bike-racing team in the Oscar-winning Breaking Away (1979). Earle disappeared from screens after some fitful television work through the '80s, but stayed busy behind the camera as a writer and an accomplished director of commercials. After more than a decade off the big screen, Haley made a spectacular return in 2006, first as the menacing bodyguard/driver Sugar Boy in All the King's Men, and then with an Oscar-nominated turn as a suburban pedophile in Todd Field's Little Children. He had a small part in the 2008 Will Ferrell comedy Semi-Pro, and the next year he was cast as Rorschach, arguably the most psychotic member of The Watchmen. In 2010 he appeared in a memorable one-scene cameo in Shutter Island and took the iconic part of Freddy Kruger in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Two years later he was cast by Tim Burton in his big-screen version of Dark Shadows and by Steven Spielberg in the director's long-planned biopic Lincoln.
Biography by Perry Seibert
- Started doing commercials at age 5.
- Appeared in a 1983 Broadway production of Slab Boys with Sean Penn, who recommended him 23 years later for All the King's Men (2006).
- Disappeared from movies after his 1993 role in Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence. He delivered pizzas, drove limousines and worked as a security guard to make ends meet.
- Has his own post-production company called JEH Productions.
- Played a sex offender in Little Children (2006) and was nominated for a 2007 Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
- His well-received turn as masked villain Rorschach in Watchmen (2009) led to his being cast in the role of disfigured sociopath Freddy Krueger in the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street. In 2010, he joined the cast of the Fox series Human Target.