A muscular, darkly handsome actor who defies easy categorization, Brendan Fraser has an enviable versatility that has allowed him to be equally convincing in comedies, dramas, and adventure films alike. The son of a Canadian tourism executive, Fraser was born in Indianapolis on December 3, 1968. Thanks to his father's job, Fraser and his family led a fairly peripatetic existence, living in locales as varied as Ottawa, London, Rome, and Seattle. During his time in London, Fraser became interested in theater and eventually enrolled in Seattle's Cornish Institute for training.
He went on to gain audience prominence in diverse roles such as a Jewish football player in an all-WASP environment in School Ties (1992), a grunged-out musician in Airheads (1994), a Harvard student who loses his thesis in With Honors (1994), and a quirky baseball phenom in The Scout (1994). Fraser has been quoted in one magazine article as saying that he seeks out roles combining "silliness and sexiness"; his work during the second half of the '90s certainly reflected this. Particular highlights were George of the Jungle (1997), a satire of jungle adventure films; Gods and Monsters (1998), the acclaimed rendering of the last days of director James Whale, for which Fraser earned particular praise in his role as Whale's strapping gardener; the romantic comedy Blast From the Past (1999); and a big-budget remake of The Mummy (1999) that effectively showcased Fraser as a hero well-suited to old-school adventure. So successful were the extravagantly computer generated exploits of the revived Mummy soon became a franchise, birthing sequels like The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008).
Fraser would spend subsuquent years appearing in a number of varied projects, including comedies like Bedazzled and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, dramas like The Quiet American and Crash, and adventure movies, like Journey to the Center of the Earth and Inkheart.