Tom Hulce

Active - 1978 - 2018  |   Born - Dec 6, 1953 in Detroit, Michigan, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy Drama, Children's/Family, Comedy, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American stage actor Tom Hulce made his film debut in September 30, 1955 (1977) -- the title referred to the day James Dean died -- and attained his first starring role as Larry Kroger in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978). The sincerity of his portrayal was somewhat lost in the enthusiasm over co-star John Belushi, but Hulce was impressive enough to be cast in Those Lips, Those Eyes (1980), a heartfelt tribute to summer theater actors. Four years later, Hulce was selected over several possible candidates to play Mozart in Amadeus (1984), earning an Oscar nomination for his virtuoso portrayal of the outrageous, immature musical genius. Again, however, the honors went to a co-star, in this case F. Murray Abraham, who won an Oscar for his performance as Mozart's vindictive nemesis Salieri. Few of Hulce's subsequent roles took as full advantage of his gifts as did Amadeus, though the actor had some good moments as a family "black sheep" in Ron Howard's Parenthood (1989) and a sleazy, ambulance-chasing lawyer in Peter Weir's Fearless (1993). Hulce has also occasionally shown up on television, notably in Murder in Mississippi, a 1990 TV movie about three martyred civil rights workers.

Movie Highlights

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  • Began performing in various local theater productions while growing up in Plymouth, MI.
  • Understudied Peter Firth in the original Broadway production of Equus only two months after arriving in New York in December, 1973.
  • Landed the title role of Mozart in the 1984 feature film Amadeus, and was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for his critically acclaimed portrayal.
  • Received his first Tony Award nomination in 1990 originating the character of Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee in the Aaron Sorkin-penned play A Few Good Men; the role was later famously portrayed by Tom Cruise in the 1992 film version, directed by Rob Reiner and costarring Jack Nicholson. 
  • Produced the 2006 Broadway rock musical Spring Awakening, with music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater, which went on to receive a total of 11 Tony Award nominations and capture 8 wins, including Best Musical, in 2007.