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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tom Noonan
Noonan at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan on October 17, 2009
Born (1951-04-12) April 12, 1951 (age 70)
Years active1978–present
(m. 1992; div. 1999)
RelativesJohn Ford Noonan (brother)

Tom Noonan (born April 12, 1951) is an American actor, director, and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his roles as Francis Dolarhyde in Manhunter (1986), Frankenstein's Monster in The Monster Squad (1987), Cain in RoboCop 2 (1990), The Ripper in Last Action Hero (1993), Sammy Barnathan in Synecdoche, New York (2008), Reverend Nathaniel in Hell on Wheels (2011–2014), the Pallid Man in 12 Monkeys (2015–2018) and as the voice of everyone but the two main characters in Anomalisa (2015).

Noonan is also a writer and director of theatre and film. His debut feature film What Happened Was (1994) won the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Early life

Noonan was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, the son of Rita (McGannon), a mathematics teacher, and John Noonan, Sr., a jazz musician and doctor of dental surgery.[1][2] He had an older brother, John Ford Noonan, a playwright,[3] and two sisters, Barbara and Nancy. Noonan was a very talented basketball player, and said "playing basketball is how I learned to perform in a lot of ways. It’s how I got interested in performing... I never acted as a kid. I never did school plays. I never acted until I was learn a lot when you’re in front of people and you’ve got a crowd going and you’re doing something that you love to do. A lot of the skills that you would need for acting come through that... It’s like a life and death struggle in front of people that you hope to impress."[4]


Noonan started working in theatre (appearing in the original Off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's play Buried Child), but in the 1980s he began working in film. At 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall, Noonan's imposing presence is probably responsible for his tendency to be cast as menacing villains, as in RoboCop 2, Last Action Hero, Manhunter, and The Pledge. His height was used for comic effect in "The Moving Finger," the series finale of the horror anthology Monsters (several episodes of which he also directed and wrote).

In 1986, Noonan played Francis Dolarhyde, a serial killer who kills entire families, in Michael Mann's Manhunter, the first movie to feature Hannibal Lecter. Another supporting role, and another collaboration with director Michael Mann was in 1995, as Kelso in Heat. He also played the Frankenstein monster in The Monster Squad. During the 1990s, he wrote various plays, including two that he made into movies, What Happened Was... (1994) and The Wife (1995). In the 2000s, Noonan appeared in various other movies, including a widely praised role as Sammy Barnathan in Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut.

Noonan has also made numerous appearances in television series, including The X-Files (in the much-praised 1996 episode "Paper Hearts" that was written specifically for him[5]), Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Tales from the Darkside and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (in which he starred alongside William Petersen, who played his nemesis, Will Graham, in Manhunter), and Detective Victor Huntley in Damages. He recently appeared on Blacklist as The Stew Maker, Louie as a doctor who takes the young Louie through the crucifixion in graphic anatomical detail. He also portrayed the Reverend Nathaniel Cole in the AMC original series Hell on Wheels.

In 2015, Noonan voiced all of the supporting characters in Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman's stop-motion comedy-drama film Anomalisa, for which he won the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor.



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Willie & Phil Man In Park
1980 Gloria 2nd Man - Gangster
1980 Heaven's Gate Jake
1981 Wolfen Ferguson
1983 Eddie Macon's Run Daryl Potts
1983 Easy Money Paddy
1984 Best Defense Frank Holtzman
1985 The Man with One Red Shoe Reese
1985 Tom Goes to the Bar Unknown Short film
1986 F/X Varrick
1986 Manhunter Francis Dollarhyde
1987 The Monster Squad Frankenstein's Monster
1989 Collision Course Scully
1989 Mystery Train Man in Arcade Diner Segment: "A Ghost"
1990 RoboCop 2 Cain
1993 Last Action Hero Ripper / Tommy Noonan
1994 What Happened Was... Michael Also writer, director, editor and composer
1995 Heat Kelso
1995 The Wife Jack Also writer, director, editor and composer
1998 Phoenix Chicago
1999 The Astronaut's Wife Jackson McLaren
1999 Wang Dang Mickey Hounsell Unreleased; also writer and director
2000 The Opportunists Mort Stein
2000 The Photographer Butler
2001 The Pledge Gary Jackson
2001 Knockaround Guys Sheriff Decker
2001 Bullet in the Brain Anders Short film
2002 Eight Legged Freaks Joshua Taft Uncredited
2003 The Egoists Bryon Bradley
2003 Madness and Genius Frank Donovan
2004 Hair High Principal Voice
2005 The Roost Horror Host
2005 They're Made Out of Meat Duncan Short film
2006 Seraphim Falls Minister Abraham
2007 Snow Angels Mr. Chervenick
2008 The Alphabet Killer Ray Gullikson
2008 Synecdoche, New York Sammy Barnathan
2009 The House of the Devil Mr. Ulman
2010 Follow the Prophet Brother John
2010 The Rendezvous Writer
2012 The Pilgrim & The Private Eye Leche Short film
2012 Skinhead Requiem Priest Short film
2014 Late Phases Father Roger Smith
2014 The Shape of Something Squashed Douglas Whymper Also writer and director
2015 Anomalisa Everyone else Voice
2017 Wonderstruck Older Walter


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Rage! Bo Television film
1984 Tales from the Darkside Bill Lacey Episode: "The Odds"
1989 The Equalizer Brandon Thorton Episode: "Making of a Martyr"
1991 Red Wind Television film; writer and producer
1991 The Ten Million Dollar Getaway Mr. Y Television film
1991 Monsters Howard Mitla Episode: "The Moving Finger"
Also wrote and directed two episodes
1994 Heaven and Hell: North and South, Book III Will Fenway 3 episodes
1996 Early Edition Frank Price Episode: "Pilot"
1996 The X-Files John Lee Roche Episode: "Paper Hearts"
2000 The Beat Howard Schmidt 13 episodes
2002 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Zephyr Episode: "Abra Cadaver"
2003 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Malcolm Bryce Episode: "Graansha"
2004 The Jury Marty McMahon Episode: "The Honeymoon Suite"
2005 Jonny Zero Chucky Episode: "No Good Deed"
2007 Kidnapped Gibson Episode: "Do Unto Others"
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jake Berlin Episode: "Confession"
2009–2011 Damages Detective Victor Huntley 17 episodes
2010 Louie Dr. Haveford Episode: "God"
2011 The Cape Preston Holloway 2 episodes
2011 Bar Karma Caleb Episode: "Man Walks Out of a Bar"
2011–2014 Hell on Wheels Reverend Nathaniel Cole 17 episodes
2013–2014 The Blacklist The Stewmaker 2 episodes
2014 How and Why Man in Black Parka Pilot
2014 The Leftovers Casper Episode: "Guest"
2015–2018 12 Monkeys Pallid Man 18 episodes
2016 Horace and Pete Tom 3 episodes
2016 Quarry Oldcastle 3 episodes
2017 Dimension 404 Bob Voice
Episode: "Bob"
2018 Animals. Phil's Dad Voice
Episode: "The Democratic People's Republic of Kitty City"


  1. ^ "Tom Noonan Biography (1951-)". Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  2. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (Dec 19, 2018). "John Ford Noonan, 'Coupla White Chicks' Playwright, Dies at 77". The New York Times. Retrieved Jul 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "Tom Noonan Biography - Yahoo! Movies". 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  4. ^ "Tom Noonan Interview - Interview - Stumped? - Stumped At the Video Store is a Magazine About Movies, DVD releases, actors, filmakers, and more". Mar 14, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved Jul 12, 2021.
  5. ^ Rabin, Nathan (November 20, 2009). "Tom Noonan | Film | Random Roles". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 15, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 November 2021, at 01:25
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