Happy birthday to the great Oscar-nominated John C. Reilly, who turns 55 on May 24, 2020. Reilly, who is also known for his prolific stage work, broke into film with a small role in Brian DePalma‘s “Casualties of War” and carved out a successful career as a young character actor for years after that. He finally came to the public’s attention in a big way as a lovable porn star in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Boogie Nights” (1997). Since then, Reilly has proceeded to steal films in supporting roles and has even headlined more than a few movies himself.
Reilly received an Oscar nomination in Rob Marshall‘s 2002 Best Picture winner “Chicago” for his performance as the schnook of a husband to Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger). In the course of his career, Reilly has earned four Golden Globe nominations (for “Chicago,” “Stan and Ollie” and two for “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”) and won a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the ensemble of “Chicago,” as well as three additional SAG nominations. Reilly also received a Grammy nomination for the title song of “Walk Hard” and a Tony Award nomination as Best Actor for the 2000 revival of Sam Shepard‘s “True West,” during which he and his co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman swapped roles every night.
So let’s raise a glass to one of the great character actors of his generation. Tour our photo gallery featuring his 15 greatest screen performances, ranked worst to best.