Thomas Haden Church

Thomas Haden Church

Life Story

Thomas Haden Church was born Thomas Richard McMillen in Yolo, California, to Maxine (Sanders) and Carlos Richard McMillen, who was a U.S. marine and surveyor. He was raised in Texas. His mother remarried George Quesada, a widowed WWII veteran who served in Guam, in 1969. He adopted this surname Quesada. He changed it to Haden Church after "nobody could pronounce Quesada". Church began his show business career in front of a microphone instead of a camera, first as a radio deejay and then as a voice-over announcer. After landing a role in the independent film, Stolen Moments, Church moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career.


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Says he had pretty much retired from acting and was spending most of his time on his ranch in Texas when Alexander Payne asked him to star in Sideways (2004).
Invited to join AMPAS in 2005.
Graduated from high school in 1979 in Harlingen, Texas, and worked at KBFM, a local radio station, for a time.
At director Sam Raimi's request, Church worked out in a gym for more than thirteen months and put on more than twenty pounds of muscle to play the lead villain Flint Marko/Sandman in Spider-Man 3 (2007).
His breakthrough was Sideways (2004), which led to a role in Spider-Man 3 (2007).
In the last episode of Ned and Stacey (1995), he said that he intended to spend the next time on a farm in Texas -- which he did in real life.
Engaged to actress Mia Zottoli. They have a daughter, Cody (b. 2004).
Turned down the role, which eventually went to Greg Kinnear, in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), a decision he later regretted.
Director Sam Raimi thanked him for doing Spider-Man 3 (2007) by giving him a copy of Amazing Spiderman #4, the comic book issue that featured the first appearance of his Sandman character.

Personal Quotes 

Generally, when I meet prospective employers, I tiptoe into that. You don't want to shove your way through the door. But, if at all possible, you want to exact an invitation to collaborate.
"For a while, I was through with acting, and then Alexander Payne called me up and said 'Hey, Thomas! I have a script I want you to read! It'll be great; you get to sleep with my wife!'" -referring to Sideways (2004) and his sex scenes with Sandra Oh.
I am always wondering, 'Am I doing as much as I can do?' But then my wife reminds me I run four cattle ranches, a commercial beef operation, and I have an acting career. I think I have made the effort, and it has paid off. I mean, I think I have made the effort. And that effort has paid some extent.
(On Gypsy Angels) I did that movie in 1989. I met a casting director, I was living in Dallas, going to school in 1988. My best friend was an actor. I went to this cold-read audition seminar, just on a lark, just because he invited me. It was like, a hundred people. But it was an L.A. casting director, and for whatever reason, he thought I was interesting. He was like, "I'm gonna be back casting a picture that's going to shoot in Kansas, and we're gonna read some actors in Dallas," and I ended up getting a role in it. But the movie, it was a real weird, small independent, financed by a guy-he was like a Pizza Hut franchise king or something. He wanted to star in a movie that he self-financed. I went up to Kansas and shot on it for like, three weeks. But what was great about it is that this L.A. casting director then got me connected to an agent in L.A., William Morris, and I took a shot at L.A. shortly thereafter in the spring of '89, got signed away to Morris, started working. When I landed in L.A. in early '89, William Morris decided to take me on to see if I could get any jobs. I was cast in a TV movie called Protected Surf, and made $30,000 in four weeks, and I decided I needed to take acting seriously, because I had never made that much money in a year, much less four weeks. That's when I decided I thought I could make a career out of it.


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