Also Credited As:Josh J Brolin
About Josh Brolin
Brolin was born on Feb. 12, 1968 in Templeton, CA to actor James Brolin and aspiring actress Jane Cameron Agee. His parents later divorced in 1984, while his mom died in 1995 after crashing her car into a tree. From the start, he was surrounded by show business, though he grew up hating the unstable nature of the business and was adamantly determined to not follow in his dashing father's footsteps. But after performing in a high school production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," Brolin became hooked and pursued an acting career after all. He made his feature debut as the bench-pressing older brother of a young boy (Sean Astin) leading a band of misfit kids on an adventure to find mysterious treasure in the Steven Spielberg-produced "The Goonies" (1985). After starring as a skate-boarding hood in "Thrashin'" (1986), Brolin took a break from the feature world to focus on television.
After his first go on in features, Brolin found steady work on the small screen, beginning with a co-starring role on the short-lived "Private Eye" (NBC, 1987-88) as Johnny Betts, a streetwise 1950s rock 'n' roller who forms an unlikely partnership with a gritty private detective (Michael Woods). He followed by making his television movie debut as the detainee at a Boys Industrial School in "Prison for Children" (CBS, 1987). Continuing a string of TV movies, he played a student athlete pushed too hard by his former track star father in a sports drama about the tragic effects of steroids in "Finish Line" (1989), a project that gave him the opportunity to star opposite his real-life father. Brolin raised his profile as one of the stars of "The Young Riders" (ABC, 1989-1992), a revisionist take on the Pony Express and Old West. While on hiatus from the series, he cofounded the Reflections Festival in 1990 with Anthony Zerbe, who played the grizzled old stationmaster Teaspoon Hunter on "The Young Riders." Stationed at the GeVa Theatre in Rochester, NY, the Reflections Festival gave Brolin the chance to both act and direct, an affiliation he maintained through 1995. After hanging up his spurs as the young Jimmy 'Wild Bill' Hickock, Brolin returned to regular series work as a cop torn between two women in the short-lived primetime serial "Winnetka Road" (NBC, 1993-94). He soon placed television on the back burner to take advantage of feature opportunities that began to surface, though he did return some years later for the adaptation of William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Picnic" (CBS, 2000).
Looking older, Brolin enjoyed a memorable moment licking Patricia Arquette's armpit while playing the bisexual federal agent who wants a child in "Flirting with Disaster" (1996), a role that whispered promises of stardom that later never materialized. After a small role as a wiseacre lab rat in "Mimic" (1997), he reunited with Arquette as a law student who chops off his finger in the thriller "Night Watch" (1998). Brolin acted alongside his father once again in the straight-to-video political thriller "My Brother's War" (1998). Turning up as Claire Danes' druggie ex-boyfriend in the spectacular flop, "The Mod Squad," did nothing for his career. But he did fare better as the self-centered preppie jerk in the semi-stylized modern noir "Best Laid Plans" (1999). He next costarred opposite Kevin Bacon's disapproving scientist rival in "The Hollow Man," Paul Verh ven's dismal take on "The Invisible Man." Also in 2000, Brolin made his Broadway debut in Sam Shepard's "True West," alternating the lead roles of antagonistic siblings Lee and Austin with co-star Elias Koteas.
Back on television, Brolin played a poetry-spewing video store clerk and aspiring filmmaker who develops a potentially life-threatening crush on a crazy blonde woman (Anna Paquin) in James D. Stern's darkly comic anti-gun violence missive "It's the Rage" (Cinemax, 2000). Brolin returned to regular series work playing the titular role in "Mister Sterling" (NBC, 2002-03), a short-lived, one-hour drama about the son of a well-liked former governor who fills his father's vacated Senate seat despite being reluctant to take on the task. Though the show received moderately good reviews, it failed to attract high ratings and was canceled after only nine episodes. Meanwhile, Brolin received the kind of recognition most would rather not have; in 2004, he was arrested for suspicion of domestic battery against his wife, actress Diane Lane, after the police were called to their home. Though no charges were ever filed, Brolin and Lane suffered the ignominy of being publicly scrutinized for what he called a "misconstrued, awful thing that was the best lesson we ever had." Brolin and Lane remained a couple thereafter.
After a small role as a WASPy dentist in Wood Allen's mild dramedy "Melinda and Melinda" (2005), Brolin was a rival treasure hunter trying to out-hustle a group of scuba divers going after a shipwreck rumored to contain millions in gold in the wretched action thriller "Into the Blue" (2005). Brolin made a big impression in the sweeping six-part miniseries "Into the West" (TNT, 2005), playing legendary mountain man Jedediah Smith, then retreated to the confines of independent film with supporting performances in "Milwaukee, Wisconsin" (2005) and "Coastlines" (2006). After playing the lowlife pimp of a troubled young runaway (Brittany Murphy) in "The Dead Girl" (2006), Brolin appeared as the psychotic husband of an emergency room anesthesiologist (Marley Shelton) in the "Planet Terror" segment of "Grindhouse" (2007), a compilation of two 90-minute horror flicks from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez that was a throwback to the days of bloody, sex-fueled, low-rent double features that played in seedy 42nd Street theaters in New York City.
His appearance in "Grindhouse" marked the beginning of a career rebirth that saw Brolin finally landing roles worthy of his untapped talents. A small, but memorable role in the somber war drama, "In the Valley of Elah" (2007) dovetailed into playing a corrupt detective hell bent on compromising the integrity of an idealistic counterpart (Russell Crowe) trying to bring down an inner city crime boss (Denzel Washington) in Ridley Scott's excellent crime thriller, "American Gangster" (2007). Saving his best for last, Brolin delivered perhaps the performance of a lifetime in "No Country for Old Men" (2007), a role he landed only after his agent pestered filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen to give him an audition. After finally getting the part, Brolin crashed his motorcycle into a car, though fortunately he was wearing a helmet and only broke his collarbone. He showed up to set two weeks later ready to play Llewelyn Moss, a down-and-out Vietnam vet who finds a briefcase containing $2 million in the desert near the remains of a bloody drug deal gone bad. Taking the satchel of cash only makes Moss' life worse, forcing him to elude all manner of pursuers, including a deadly assassin (Javier Bardem) who flips coins for human lives. "No Country for Old Men" earned considerable praise for the Coen Brothers, but Brolin - for the first time in his long career - received previously unheard-of Oscar buzz.
Coming off the incredible success of the Coen Brothers' film, Brolin next starred as the titular character in "W" (2008), Oliver Stone's controversial biopic about the hapless life and presidency of George W. Bush. Though the film was highly anticipated to be a searing portrait of the bumbling 43rd president, especially coming from Stone - a former classmate of Bush and liberal critic of his administration - the film was surprisingly sympathetic, with critics unanimous in their praise of Brolin's restrained performance. The Shreveport, LA police department, however, was less effusive with praise during the filming, arresting Brolin, co-star Jeffrey Wright and five crew members after an altercation at a local bar. All charges were later dropped. Meanwhile, he delivered an acclaimed performance in "Milk" (2008), playing San Francisco supervisor Dan White, who assassinated Mayor George Moscone (Victor Garbor) and openly gay politician Harvey Milk (Sean Penn). Brolin earned numerous critical kudos and several award nominations, including a nod for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards. With his increased profile, Brolin had the opportunity to topline a big-budget film, the comic book adaptation "Jonah Hex" (2010). As the mysterious scarred superhero, Brolin sought revenge on John Malkovich in this supernatural-tinged Western.
|Diane Lane. Began dating in January 2002; engaged in July 2003; married Aug. 15, 2004 at Brolin's Central California Ranch|
|Minnie Driver. Began dating in 1998; acted together in "Slow Burn" (2000); announced engagement April 2001; split October 2001|
|Alice Adair. Met in 1987 while both were working on "Private Eye" (ABC); married in 1988; divorced in 1992|
|Jess Brolin. Born Feb. 7, 1972|
|Eden Brolin. Born c. 1994; mother, Alice Adair|
|James Brolin. Born July 18, 1940|
|Jane Cameron Agee. Born in 1939; met Brolin's father James when she worked as assistant casting director on the TV series "Batman" (ABC); married from 1967-85; worked with the Department of Fish and Game, reclaiming animals that had been illegally taken out of the wild; died at age 55 when she drove her car into a tree in February 1995|
|Trevor Mansur Brolin. Born June 26, 1988; mother, Alice Adair|
|Jason Gould. Born Dec. 29, 1966 to Barbra Streisand and Elliot Gould; played Streisand's son in "The Prince of Tides" (1991)|
|Eleanor Lambert. Born Sept. 5, 1993 to Diane Lane and Christopher Lambert|
|Barbra Streisand. Born April 24, 1942; married James Brolin on July 1, 1998|
|Reunited with Tommy Lee Jones, playing the younger version of Jones' Agent K in "Men in Black III"|
|Played a drifter named Tom Chaney in the Western written and directed by the Coen brothers "True Grit"|
|Co-starred in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," the sequel to his 1987 Academy Award-winning film|
|Played the title character in the Western action/drama "Jonah Hex" opposite Megan Fox and John Malkovich|
|Co-starred in Gus Van Sant's Harvey Milk biopic "Milk" as city supervisor Dan White, who assassinated San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone; earned SAG and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor|
|Portrayed George W. Bush in Oliver Stone's controversial film "W." about the 43rd President of the United States|
|Co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem in the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men"|
|Played a crooked narcotics agent in Ridley Scott's drug dealer epic "American Gangster"|
|Starred in "Planet Terror," Robert Rodriguez's half of the gore-tastic double feature "Grind House," a collaboration with Quentin Tarantino|
|Appeared in the Steven Spielberg-produced TNT miniseries "Into the West"|
|Cast in the Woody Allen comedy "Melinda and Melinda"|
|Cast as the title character on NBC's short-lived drama "Mister Sterling"|
|Co-starred opposite Timothy Olyphant in Victor Nunez' "Coastlines"|
|Portrayed Kevin Bacon's scientist rival in Paul Verhoeven's "The Hollow Man"|
|Made Broadway debut in revival of Sam Shepard's "True West"; alternated leading role of brothers with co-star Elias Koteas|
|Starred opposite Gretchen Mol in the CBS remake of "Picnic"|
|Landed featured role as a shallow, self-centered academic caught accused of assaulting a young woman in "Best Laid Plans"|
|Played the former druggie boyfriend of Claire Danes' Julie in the film adaptation of the classic TV series "The Mod Squad"|
|Cast in his father's directorial debut "My Brother's War," a political thriller set in Northen Ireland; father also acted in film|
|Cast in the thriller "Nightwatch," a remake of the 1995 Danish film "Nattevagten" (1994); film reteamed him with Arquette|
|Turned up as a wise-acre lab rat in "Mimic"|
|Co-starred in "Flirting With Disaster" as a bisexual cop who, in a memorable sex scene, licks Patricia Arquette's armpit|
|Cast as a cop romancing two women on the short-lived NBC primetime soap opera "Winnetka Road"|
|Co-founded the Reflections Festival at the GeVa Theatre in Rochester, NY and worked there five years as an artistic director, acting in, and directing productions|
|Played a young Wild Bill Hickock in "The Young Riders" (ABC); father directed him in one episode|
|Played opposite his father James Brolin (as father and son) in TNT movie "Finish Line"|
|Debut as series regular on the short-lived "Private Eye" (NBC)|
|Made TV acting debut in the movie "Prison for Children" (CBS)|
|Starred in the skateboarding drama "Thrashin'"|
|Feature debut in the Richard Donner-directed movie "Goonies," penned by Chris Columbus from a story by Steven Spielberg|
|Raised in California|