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Thomas Haden Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas Haden Church
Thomas Haden Church at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Church at the 2009 premiere of Don McKay
Thomas Richard McMillen

(1960-06-17) June 17, 1960 (age 62)
EducationHarlingen High School
Alma materUniversity of North Texas
Years active1989–present
PartnerMia Zottoli (2002–2008)

Thomas Haden Church (born Thomas Richard McMillen;[2][3] June 17, 1960)[4] is an American actor. After starring in the 1990s sitcom Wings and playing the lead for two seasons in Ned & Stacey (1995–1997), Church became known for his film work, including his role of Lyle van de Groot in George of the Jungle (1997), his Academy Award-nominated performance in Sideways (2004), his role as the Marvel Comics villain Sandman in the superhero films Spider-Man 3 (2007) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), as well as his starring roles in Smart People (2008), Easy A (2010), We Bought a Zoo (2011), and Hellboy (2019). He also made his directorial debut with Rolling Kansas (2003).

Early life

Church was born as Thomas Richard McMillen in Woodland, Yolo County, California,[4] the son of Maxine (née Sanders; 1936-2021)[5] and Carlos "Carl" Richard McMillen (1936–2008), who served for eight years in the Marines and who was on active duty at the end of the Korean War; after 1962, Carlos worked as a surveyor.[6] Church's parents divorced and his mother moved to Laredo, Texas. She remarried in 1969, to widower George A. Quesada, a veteran of an Army Air Forces reconnaissance unit which served in Guam in World War II.[7] Church took his stepfather's surname for a time but changed it to 'Haden Church', extracted from the names of other relatives, when people found 'Quesada' difficult to pronounce.[2] He left high school in 1977 to work in the oil fields of Louisiana, but he returned to graduate from Harlingen High School in 1979. He attended the University of North Texas while living in Dallas.[2]


Church started in the entertainment business as a radio personality and doing voice-over work.[8] After appearing in an independent film, he moved to California to pursue an acting career. His character delivers a love letter to Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman) from her deceased former lover, Eddie LaBec, in the Cheers episode, "Death Takes a Vacation on Ice". He played the part of slow-witted aircraft mechanic Lowell Mather for six seasons (1990–95) on the NBC sitcom Wings.[9]

He worked in television for two more seasons, with a lead role in Ned & Stacey opposite Debra Messing. He has had supporting roles in films such as Tombstone, George of the Jungle, The Specials, and Demon Knight.

Church bought a ranch in Texas in 1998. In late 2000, he took a break from films.[8] After having small roles in films such as Monkeybone and 3000 Miles to Graceland, he made his directorial debut with Rolling Kansas in 2003. He has voiceover work in commercials, such as for Merrill Lynch and Icehouse beer.[citation needed]

In 2003, director Alexander Payne called him regarding the role of Jack, the selfish best friend of Paul Giamatti's character, in Sideways. During the audition, Church stripped naked to read the audition scene, later saying "To me, it was painfully obvious... I was reading the scene where Jack comes in naked and there has to be in-born vulnerability in the scene."[8] (He later found that he was the only actor to strip down for the audition).[10] Sideways earned acclaim for Church; he won an IFP Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Church at the Spider-Man 3 (2007) premiere in New York City
Church at the Spider-Man 3 (2007) premiere in New York City

He has since appeared in films such as Idiocracy, done voice-over work on films such as Over the Hedge and starred in one of AMC's highest rated television productions, Broken Trail, with Robert Duvall, in 2006, for which he won an Emmy. In 2007, he appeared as the villain Sandman in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.[11] He received praise for his portrayal of the character.[12][13] Although he was not present on set he lent his voice to Sandman (digitally created) for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Spider-Man: No Way Home, released in 2021 and linked both the Raimi and Marc Webb franchises to the MCU. Archival footage from Spider-Man 3 was used to show his human form at the end of the film where Jon Watts provided the motion-capture for Sandman.[14]

In 2005, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In October 2008, Church appeared as "Joe Six-Pack" in a video on, challenging Joe the Plumber to a beer-drinking contest.[15] Church starred in the FEARnet webseries, Zombie Roadkill, alongside David Dorfman.[16] He also appeared in the HBO original series Divorce.

In December 2021, it was announced that Church will star alongside Toni Collette and Anna Faris in the comedy film The Estate, directed by Dean Craig.[17]

Personal life

Church lives on his 2,000-acre (810 ha) ranch in Kerrville, Texas.[8][18] During the filming of Divorce, he rented a house in New Rochelle, New York.[19] He has two children from a former relationship with Mia Zottoli, but was never married to her or anyone else despite a 2008 article in the Los Angeles Times incorrectly claiming he was married to his partner.[1][20][18] Church's father, Carl, died in 2008,[6] and his stepfather, George, died in 2012.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Gypsy Angels Roommate 1989 Version
1993 Tombstone Billy Clanton
1995 Demon Knight Roach
1997 George of the Jungle Lyle Van de Groot
One Night Stand Don
1998 Susan's Plan Dr. Chris Stillman
Free Money Larry Lundstrom
1999 Goosed Steven Troy
2000 The Specials The Strobe
2001 3000 Miles to Graceland US Marshal Quigley
Monkeybone Death's Assistant Uncredited
2002 Lone Star State of Mind Killer
The Badge David Hardwick
2003 Rolling Kansas Agent Madsen / Trooper Uncredited
Also writer/director
George of the Jungle 2 Lyle Van de Groot Direct-to-video
2004 Serial Killing 4 Dummys Vince Grimaldi
Sideways Jack Cole
Spanglish Mike
2006 Over the Hedge Dwayne Voice
Idiocracy Brawndo CEO
Charlotte's Web Brooks Voice
2007 Spider-Man 3 Flint Marko / Sandman
2008 Smart People Chuck Wetherhold
2009 Don McKay Don McKay Also executive producer
Imagine That Johnny Whitefeather
Aliens in the Attic Tazer Voice
All About Steve Hartman
2010 Easy A Mr. Griffith
2011 Another Happy Day Paul
Killer Joe Ansel Smith
We Bought a Zoo Duncan Mee
2012 John Carter Tal Hajus
2013 Whitewash Bruce Landry
Lucky Them Charlie
2014 Heaven Is for Real Jay Wilkins
2015 Max Ray Wincott
Daddy's Home Leo Holt
2016 Cardboard Boxer Willie
2017 Crash Pad Grady Dott
2019 The Peanut Butter Falcon Clint / The Salt Water Redneck
Hellboy Lobster Johnson
2020 The 24th Col. Norton
2021 Spider-Man: No Way Home Flint Marko / Sandman Voice and Archive footage[21][22]
2022 Acidman Lloyd
TBA Chocolate Lizards Merle Luskey Post-production
TBA Horizon Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Protect and Surf Dwight Jesmer Television film
21 Jump Street Tony Episode: "Eternal Flame"
Cheers Gordie Brown Episode: "Death Takes a Holiday on Ice"
China Beach Jack Daniels Episode: "China Man"
Booker Leon Ross 2 episodes
1990–1995 Wings Lowell Mather 123 episodes
1992 Flying Blind Jonathan 2 episodes
1993 Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert Nelson Hareem Television film
1995–1997 Ned and Stacey Ned Dorsey 46 episodes
1995 Partners Episode: "City Hall"
1998 Mr. Murder Drew Oslett, Jr. Television film
2001 Gary & Mike Additional voices Episode: "Washington D.C."
The Cartoon Cartoon Show Doo Dah (voice) Episode: "Yee Hah & Doo Dah: Bronco Breakin' Boots"
Going to California Schwee Episode: "Apocalypse Cow"
2003 Miss Match Andrew Horn Episode: "Matchmaker, Matchmaker;
Lucky Bobby Blaine Episode: "The Method"
2004 Teen Titans Killer Moth (voice) Episode: "Date with Destiny"
2006 Broken Trail Tom Harte Television miniseries;
2 episodes
2010 Zombie Roadkill Ranger Chet Masterson Television miniseries;
6 episodes
2012 Regular Show Quillgin (voice) Episode: "The Christmas Special"
2016–2019 Divorce Robert Dufresne 24 episodes;
Also executive producer
2021 Nature Narrator Episode: "Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas"
TBA Twisted Metal Agent Stone Main role, upcoming series

Video games

Year Title Voice role Notes
1990 Ys Goban Toba English dub;
Credited as Thomas H. Church
2007 Spider-Man 3 Flint Marko / Sandman

Awards and nominations

Church has received multiple awards and nominations for his roles in both television and film. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2005 for his role as Jack in Sideways (2004), two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in 2004 for the film Sideways (2004) and Best Supporting Actor in 2007 for the miniseries Broken Trail (2006), won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie in 2007 for Broken Trail (2006), and won one of three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations in 2005 for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for Sideways (2004).

Year Title Accolade Results Ref
2004 Sideways Award Circuit Community Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Award Circuit Community Award, Best Cast Ensemble Won
Boston Society Film Critics Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Boston Society Film Critics Award, Best Cast Ensemble Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Golden Schmoes Award, Best Supporting Actor of the Year Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
National Board of Review Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
New York Film Critics Online Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award, Best Ensemble Acting Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Seattle Film Critics Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
St. Louis Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Utah Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Village Voice Film Poll Award, Best Supporting Performance Nominated
Washing D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2005 Academy Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Critics Choice Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Critics Choice Award, Best Ensemble Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Gold Derby Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Gold Derby Award, Best Ensemble Nominated
Golden Globe Award, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated
Independent Spirit Award, Best Supporting Male Won
International Online Cinema Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Iowa Film Critics Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
National Society of Film Critics Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Online Film & Television Association Award, Best Breakthrough Performance - Male Won [23]
Online Film & Television Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Satellite Award, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical Won
Screen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture Won
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2007 Broken Trail Gold Derby Award, Best Lead Actor in a Television Movie/Miniseries Nominated
Golden Globe Award, Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated
Monte-Carlo Television Festival Award, Mini-Series - Best Performance by an Actor Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Won [24]
Primetime Emmy Award, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Won
Screen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Nominated
Spider-Man 3 Teen Choice Award, Choice Movie - Rumble (shared with Tobey Maguire, James Franco, Topher Grace) Nominated
Broken Trail Western Heritage Award, Outstanding Television Feature Film Won
2014 Whitewash Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award, Best Actor in a Canadian Film Nominated


  1. ^ a b How did Thomas Haden Church land his role on Divorce? 'I was age-appropriate', Oct. 2016 in the Guardian: As he points out, he has never been divorced (or married). “But I did go through a pretty significant upheaval several years ago. I have an ex with two children. So having gone through something as sort of life-changing as that myself … ” he trails off a bit, sounding uncomfortable, and pivots to something less personal.
  2. ^ a b c Buck, Jerry (August 3, 1992). "'Wings' Character Stumbles, But He's Not Stupid, Star Says". Deseret News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 3, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2013. His birth name was McMillen, but he took his stepfather's name of Quesada. He changed it to Thomas Haden Church 'because nobody could spell Quesada or pronounce it.'
  3. ^ "Thomas Haden Church". TV Guide. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Thomas Haden Church". AllMovie. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  5. ^ "Maxine S. Quesada Obituary". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2022-08-28.
  6. ^ a b "Carl Richard McMillen, 71". Bonner County Daily Bee. April 11, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "George A. Quesada". Denton Record-Chronicle. July 18, 2012. Archived from the original on April 8, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d Pilkington, Ed (May 16, 2008). "Naked ambition". The Guardian. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  9. ^ "Overheard with Evan Smith". January 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Ascher-Walsh, Rebecca (April 10, 2008). "Thomas Haden Church's choice career". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  11. ^ "Spider-Man 3 Interviews: Thomas Haden Church - SuperHeroHype". April 22, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  12. ^ Macready, Melody (January 10, 2021). "Spider-Man: 5 Ways Sandman Was The Best Villain Of The Trilogy (& 5 Ways It Will Always Be Doc Ock)". ScreenRant. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  13. ^ Betancourt, David; Cavna, Michael (December 20, 2021). "The Top 6 Spider-Man Movie Villains, Ranked". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  14. ^ "Turns out one of Spider-Man: No Way Home's big bads wasn't needed on the movie set". SYFY Official Site. 2022-01-03. Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  15. ^ "Thomas Haden Church vs Joe the Plumber". Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  16. ^ "FEARnet Goes to Church for Zombie Roadkill",; accessed June 10, 2014.
  17. ^ Dalton, Ben (December 2, 2021). "Toni Collette, Anna Faris, Thomas Haden Church set to star in UK-US comedy 'The Estate'". Screen Daily.
  18. ^ a b Goldman, Andrew (May 23, 2007). "Church's Doctrine: Thomas Haden Church tells us why he loves older women and making out". Elle. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  19. ^ "Thomas Haden Church on Filming 'Divorce' in Westchester". 8 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Thomas Haden Church's choice career". Los Angeles Times. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2017 – via LA Times.
  21. ^ "Spider-Man: No Way Home Reuses Footage From Past Spider-Man Movies". Marvel. Retrieved 2021-12-30.
  22. ^ "Looks Like No Way Home Reused Spider-Man 3 Sandman Scenes". Screen Rant. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  23. ^ "9th Annual Film Awards (2004) - Online Film & Television Association". Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  24. ^ "11th Annual TV Awards (2006-07) - Online Film & Television Association". Retrieved 2018-04-14.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 November 2022, at 21:51
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