An actor with handsome, everyman good looks and undeniable screen presence, Thomas Jane has turned up in everything from low-budget indies to sprawling, big-budget Hollywood action spectacles. Born January 29th, 1969, the Baltimore native's unusual entry into show business found him cast in a Romeo and Juliet-inspired Bollywood musical while still in high school. At just 17 years old, Jane was spotted by a pair of Indian producers looking to cast a young, fair-haired American to act as Romeo to a young Indian actress' Juliet. Alas, the lure of Bollywood weighed heavier than the prospect of another year in high school, so Jane soon dropped out to film Padamati Sandhya Ragam in Madras, India. When filming wrapped, he quickly returned stateside despite some tempting offers in India, and a year later, the struggling actor was making the move to Los Angeles. Finding work in L.A. didn't prove easy, but thanks to persistence and hard work, Jane eventually made his way into the local theater scene. A small role in the gay-themed drama I'll Love You Forever...Tonight was followed by a small part in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Two short years later, Jane stepped into the lead for the quirky crime comedy At Ground Zero, and a role in the ill-fated Crow sequel The Crow: City of Angels followed in 1996. The next year, Jane was cast in the major starring role of real-life beatnik Neal Cassady for the independent film The Last Time I Committed Suicide with Keanu Reeves. By late 1997, Jane's star was steadily rising thanks to supporting parts in Face/Off and Boogie Nights. In 1998, he went indie once again with a role as a former heroin dealer looking to go straight in Thursday and then took a small part in the all-star ensemble cast of the war drama The Thin Red Line.
With his role as a shark wrangler in the open-water thriller Deep Blue Sea in 1999, Jane graduated to full-on Hollywood action hero. After returning to Paul Thomas Anderson's fold for Magnolia later that year, he portrayed baseball legend Mickey Mantle in the acclaimed, made-for-HBO feature 61* (2001). His role as a quick-tempered detective working alongside Morgan Freeman's character in Under Suspicion (2000) found Jane at the top of his game, and though performances in The Sweetest Thing (2002) and Dreamcatcher (2003) went largely unseen due to poor box-office performances, audiences could rest assured that they would see plenty of the newly buff actor when he donned the famous skull T-shirt and loaded up to rid the streets of crime in the eagerly anticipated comic book adaptation The Punisher (2004). Two years later Jane would continue his onscreen love-affair with firearms as a Federal Witness Protection program particpant whose cover is dangerously blown in the Elemore Leonard adaptation Killshot.
While Jane's performance as an infamous gangster was solid in the action thriller Give 'Em Hell Malone, he wouldn't find true success with mainstream audiences until he took on the leading role in HBO's Hung (2009-2012), a dark comedy following a history teacher (Jane) who moonlights as a prostitute.