A dependable, self-assured actor who has successfully parlayed his stage success to the silver screen, Kevin Anderson has slowly built an impressive catalog of credits following his feature debut as one of Tom Cruise's onscreen buddies in Risky Business. A Gurnee, IL, native, Anderson was the last of five children, and his interest in acting became readily apparent when he became the founder and president of the drama club at Viking Junior High. After advancing to high school, Anderson joined the forensics team, specializing in oral interpretation and soon realizing that he did indeed have the talent to make it as a career actor. Higher education found Anderson enrolling in the acclaimed Goodman School of Drama, and shortly after his graduation in 1981, the burgeoning actor joined the ranks of Chicago's renowned Steppenwolf Theatre. It was while working with the respected troupe that Anderson's interpretation of wallflower Phillip in Orphans (a role he would later repeat in the 1987 film of the same name) found the actor standing out from an impressive cast to make a name for himself on-stage.
Following his film debut in Risky Business with the little-seen romantic teen comedy Pink Nights, roles in Miles from Home (1988) and In Country (1989) proved worthy precursors to a powerhouse performance in the early-'90s made-for-television feature Orpheus Descending. His stage roots increasingly obvious, a role in the 1990 effort A Little Night Music gave Anderson the chance to show off his vocal talents, and a supporting part in the following year's Sleeping With the Enemy found the up-and-coming actor sharing the screen with Hollywood beauty Julia Roberts. Though his screen appearances in the remainder of the 1990s lost a bit of momentum, roles in the short-lived television series Nothing Sacred (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination) and Tim Blake Nelson's indie thriller Eye of God (1997) offered increased recognition and a few solid dramatic roles for Anderson. Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle Awards, as well as a Tony nomination for his extensive stage work in 1999 only helped to increase Anderson's reputation as an established dramatic presence.
The millennial turnover found Anderson receiving critical kudos for his role in The Doe Boy before once again stretching his vocal chords opposite Angela Bassett in Ruby's Bucket of Blood (both 2001), and the following year he would impress as sports personality Frank Gifford in the made-for-television drama Monday Night Mayhem. A turn as John F. Kennedy in Power and Beauty and a top-billed role in the series Skin confirmed that Anderson's star appears to shine brighter and more intensely on the small screen, though a high-profile role in the 2003 feature Carry Me Home proved without a doubt that Anderson's feature aspirations were still well in place.