Timothy Olyphant

Timothy Olyphant

Actor
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Life Story

From Timothy Olyphant's first screen appearances, such as his two-minute bit in The First Wives Club (1996), to "Nicko", whose presence at times dwarfed the island in A Perfect Getaway (2009), he has been a force to be reckoned with.

Born in Hawaii, Timothy David Olyphant was raised in Modesto, California. He is the son of Katherine Lyon (Gideon) and John Vernon Bevan Olyphant, a college teacher who was also an executive at E & J Gallo Winery. He has an older brother, Andy, who is in A&R for Warner Bros. Records, and a younger brother, Matt Olyphant, who was the lead singer for the punk rock group, Fetish, and is also an artist. He is a descendant of the prominent Vanderbilt and Olyphant families of businesspeople, and his ancestry includes Russian Jewish (from a maternal great-grandfather), English, German, Scottish, Dutch, and Irish. Timothy quickly became Modesto's favorite son, competing as a pro swimmer and excelling at drawing. It was, by chance, that he enrolled in an acting course as an elective and decided to pursue an acting career. He took his family and headed to New York City, where he studied the craft and began auditioning for roles. From the beginning, he tried to choose diversified roles and take chances with every genre and always approached everything he did with commitment, humor and grace. Timothy is married to his college sweetheart, Alexis Knief, and, together, they raise three children, one son and two daughters in California. He has managed to keep his personal life out of the tabloids. He obviously has his priorities straight, as this is no easy task in Hollywood.

Highlights of Olyphant's career include his riveting portrayal of "Sheriff Seth Bullock" in HBO's hit drama, Deadwood (2004). He now personifies intensity as complex Kentucky Marshal, "Raylan Givens", in FX's Justified (2010). On the big screen, in 2010's The Crazies (2010), he had the chance to infuse his character with doubts, fears and humaneness in an inhumane situation. Mr. Olyphant proved he could carry a major movie on his talent, alone. He recently appeared in I Am Number Four (2011), a Steven Spielberg sci-if thriller, in which Tim provided the adult mentorship, taking a back seat to the teen cast.

 
 
Family

Alexis Knief (1991 - present) ( 3 children)

Trivia

He was raised in Modesto, California and attended the University of Southern California.
1986 graduate of Fred C. Beyer High School, Modesto, California.
His older brother, Andy Olyphant, is an A & R executive for Warner Bros. Records. His younger brother, Matt Olyphant, was the lead singer for Fetish.
Swam competitively while attending the University of Southern California (US National Finalist in the 200m individual medley)
Lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.
While at the University of Southern California, he studied fine art and theater.
Read sports for Los Angeles radio station Indie 103.1 on its morning show until the departure of Joe Escalante in 2008.
Has three children with his wife Alexis: a daughter Grace (born 1999), a son named Henry (born 2001) and a daughter named Vivian (born 2003).
Last name is pronounced "All-uh-fint" and rhymes with "flint" (not "plant").
He was considered for the role of Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008).
Timothy was classmates with actor Jeremy Renner during their high school years, in Modesto, Ca. Both attended Beyer High School, during the 1980s, although they were not in the same graduating class.
His maternal great-grandfather, Abraham Gideon, was a Jewish immigrant from Tula, Russia. Timothy's other ancestry is mostly English, along with German, Scottish, Dutch, and Irish. Through his father, Timothy is a four times great-grandson of industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt, and a three times great-grandson of his son, William Henry Vanderbilt, who vastly expanded the Vanderbilt family fortune. Timothy's paternal grandmother, Adele Sloane Hammond, was the sister of music producer John Hammond and the sister-in-law of musician Benny Goodman. Another of Timothy's four times great-grandfathers, Dr. David Olyphant, born in Scotland, served as director-general of Southern hospitals during the American Revolutionary War. His third great-grandfather, David Olyphant, and great-great-grandfather, Robert Morrison Olyphant, were both prominent businessmen.

 

Personal Quotes 

Istanbul was unbelievable! What a city! I could go back there again and again. That was a fascinating place. It was a very foreign experience. But yeah, that is one of the perks of the job. You get to go places that you'd never imagine and see a part of the world you hadn't considered before. It was great. (On filming portions of Hitman (2007) in Istanbul).
[on Deadwood (2004)] The fact is, this job is always fun, always a good time, but it's not that often that you can be as proud of it as I am of this experience. We just had a great time making it too.
Well, bottom line with A Perfect Getaway (2009) was, I thought "I'm going to have a lot of fun at work". That part was gonna get me an opportunity to play and have fun. There's something great when you read something and you have some sense of, "I know what to do here. Give me a little room. This is going to be a lot of fun". And then when we got Steve [Steve Zahn], "Well, now it's going to be a ton of fun, because there's somebody who's going to be so fun to bounce off of". The quality of the actors I got to work with on that made it seem like I was getting away with something.
[on committing to a TV series] I can't speak for everybody, but for me, if you told actors that you wanted to do a TV series and it was going to run three years and that's it, you're done, I think the line would get a lot longer, without question. It's really easy to fall into this habit of, "Ahh, I don't know what I'm going to do next." You think every job is your last job, but there's another side to that, which is that it never gets any better than when you first get a new job. It's the most fun. When somebody says, "You got the job," that's the most fun, and from that point forward, it's so exciting, but part of the fun is when the job is over and you move on. The danger with success in television is "Haven't we shot this episode before? Didn't we shoot this scene two years ago?" I think it's really hard to just take the risk from season to season and not be afraid to give the audience something completely different, and trust that they'll come with you.

 
 
Filmography

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