Justin Henry

Active - 1979 - 2021  |   Born - May 25, 1971 in Rye, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Some may think that after becoming the youngest actor ever to be nominated for an Academy Award, a solid follow-up may be a near-impossible feat -- and actor Justin Henry would likely agree. Though he was indeed bestowed with this honor as a result of his affecting performance in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Henry, who had no prior experience as an actor at the time of his film debut, would later retire from the screen to pursue an education. A native of Rye, NY, Henry was chosen for the role in Kramer vs. Kramer by his next-door neighbor, who just happened to be a casting director. Though he would follow up with roles in such films as Sixteen Candles and Martin's Day (both 1984), Henry decided to eschew his film career following Sweet Hearts Dance (1988) in favor of studying at Skidmore College. After returning to his acting career with John Frankenheimer's made-for-television Civil War feature Andersonville (1996), Henry's career slowly began to gain momentum with such films as Locals (1998) and Chasing Destiny (2001). Assuming leading man status in the 2003 drama My Dinner With Jimi, it appeared as if Henry's career was once again on the fast track to success.

Movie Highlights

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  • His first movie role, 1979's Kramer vs. Kramer, earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination, making him—at the time—the youngest person ever nominated for an Oscar.
  • Auditioned for the role after casting agent Shirley Rich visited his first-grade class looking for someone to play the part. Eventually he was one of two finalists, and he was chosen because he looked more like his movie mom, Meryl Streep, than the other candidate did.
  • Was paid $5000 for Kramer vs. Kramer.
  • Cofounded the Slamdunk Film Festival in 1998.
  • Can play saxophone, guitar, piano, harmonica, drums, banjo, violin and flute.
  • Fluent in French and Spanish.
  • Has appeared a number of times on TV's World Series of Poker.