Jonathan Banks began his film career in the sort of roles described by character actor Frank Faylen as "sneezers." For example: if you sneezed, you'd miss Banks' microscopic part in 1980's Stir Crazy. He was more visible in such roles as the hitchhiker in the 1982 biopic Frances and Algren in the 1983 seriocomedy 48 Hours. On television, Jonathan Banks was cast as the scurrilous extraterrestrial Commander Kroll in Otherworld (1985) and as Frank McPike, Ken Wahl's choleric boss, in Wiseguy (1987). Banks would continue to appear in several more films over the coming years, like Dark Blue and Reign Over Me, as well as TV shows like Breaking Bad.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Mother worked for the CIA.
- Was a big fan of Jerry Lewis as a kid.
- Idol is actor Ralph Richardson.
- Was a classmate of Kevin Kline at Indiana University, and they costarred in a school production of The Threepenny Opera.
- In the mid-1970s taught drama to California prison inmates.
- In May 1988, he was honored with a "Jonathan Banks Day" in Greenbelt, MD, and was named an honorary police officer.