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J.K. Simmons          

American Actor Known For "Law & Order," "The Closer" & "Whiplash"

Jonathan Simmons was originally a singer, with a degree in music from the University of Montana. He turned to theater in the late 1970s and appeared in many regional productions in the Pacific Northwest before moving to New York in 1983. He appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway shows and also did some television -- his early roles included the portrayal of a white supremacist responsible for multiple murders in an episode of “Homicide: Life on the Street.” In that same vein, Simmons first gained wide exposure as Vern Schillinger, the leader of an Aryan Brotherhood-type organization in prison in the HBO series “Oz.”

Parlaying his small-screen notoriety into feature film opportunities, Simmons had a small part in the 1997 thriller “The Jackal” and played a leading role in Frank Todaro's low-budget comedy “Above Freezing.” Also in 1997, Simmons increased his television prolificacy by taking on the role of Dr. Emil Skoda, the consulting psychiatrist to the Manhattan district attorney's office in the series “Law and Order.”

By 1999, Simmons was showing up in such prominent films as “The Cider House Rules” and the baseball drama “For Love of the Game,” directed by Sam Raimi. The director again enlisted Simmons for his next film, 2000's “The Gift.” After a supporting turn in the comedy “The Mexican,” Simmons teamed with Raimi for the third time, bringing cigar-chomping comic-book newspaperman J. Jonah Jameson screaming to life in the 2002 summer blockbuster “Spider-Man.” In 2004, he would reprise the role in the highly anticipated sequel, “Spider-Man 2.”

His career subsequently kicking into overdrive, the popular character actor was in increasingly high demand in the next few years, enjoying a productive run as a voice performer in such animated television series' as “Justice League” and “Ultimate Spider-Man” as well as turning in memorable performances in Jason Reitman's “Juno,” Mike Judge's “Extract,” and as a hard-nosed captain in the 2012 crime thriller “Contraband.” Meanwhile, in 2005, he joined the cast of TNT's popular crime drama “The Closer” as Assistant Chief Will Pope -- a role which no doubt played a part in the cast earning five Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Ensemble Cast.

Simmions’ career is busier than ever with roles in the films “Whiplash” and “Men, Women & Children.”


J.K. Simmons' 'Whiplash' Role May Bring Actor Awards Buzz | Variety

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J.K. Simmons Reveals New Buff Physique

J.K. Simmons has been hitting the gym. The 61-year-old actor has seriously bulked up over the past few months, training with fitness pro and former Marine ...

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