An actor whom you've probably seen in more films than you realize, Zach Grenier possesses the rare ability to take the smallest of roles and transform them into memorable appearances that stick with audiences long after the credits have finished -- even if his frequently unsympathetic characters have often met an unpleasant demise. It was this ability and skill that found Grenier steadily building a career with appearances in such blockbusters as Cliffhanger (1993), Donnie Brasco (1997), Shaft (2000), and Swordfish (2001). Born in February 1954, Grenier's family lived a somewhat nomadic existence in his early years, moving 18 times before the worldly teen graduated from high school, where, in his junior year, the young man discovered his love of the stage while performing in a production of Shakespeare's Henry V. Continuing to hone his acting skills and frequently appearing on-stage following graduation, Grenier appeared in such other plays as Talk Radio and A Question of Mercy, and made his film debut in the 1987 drama The Kid Brother (aka Kenny). Soon appearing in such films as Working Girl and Talk Radio in 1988, and See No Evil, Hear No Evil the following year. The actor's parts may have been small, but his talent was growing and appearances memorable; his roles continued to expand throughout the '90s, and viewers saw the rising star in Twister and Maximum Risk (both 1996), among several other movies. A turn as Joseph Goebbels in that year's Mother Night gave him a chance to prove his dramatic skills in front of the camera, and a subsequent role in David Fincher's cult hit Fight Club (1999) found him holding his own well against the film's talented leads. Alternating between television and movies in subsequent work, Grenier starred in the little-seen thriller Chasing Sleep (2000) and joined the cast of the popular weekly suspense series 24 in 2001.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Grandfather was an art director for the Fox Film Corporation in the 1910s.
- One of his uncles was the technical director for The Ed Sullivan Show.
- Majored in Anthropology in college.
- Made his Broadway debut in the play Mastergate in 1989.
- Played Dick Cheney in David Hare's Stuff Happens at the Public Theatre in 2006.