Biography

Chris Ellis is an American film and television actor who was born April 14, 1956 in Dallas, Texas. Ellis always wanted to be an actor because of television. He grew up in the 50's in the deep south in a "world of privation and violence", but saw on television people who seemed to have lives of ease and privilege.

It took him seven years to finish college however, because "I have always been shiftless". During those years Chris became involved in community theatre in Memphis, where "I did and do still think the quality of the work has always been quite good". By the time he moved to New York, he had worked with many excellent actors in about two dozen plays, classical and contemporary. "I cannot imagine what might have supplanted that background for a newcomer in New York."

His first part in either television or film came in 1979, where he played a truck driver in the TV movie The Suicide's Wife, which starred Angie Dickinson. The role resulted in very little TV or film work. After working in regional theatre for a year or so, Chris fell off the radar screen and did not work for about ten years. During that time he lived in "bone-grinding poverty" in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen. In one nine-month period of 1987, Chris accepted 102 dinner invitations. "I don't know why they kept arriving, nor why I counted them, though I do know why I accepted them."

In 1990, a break came when he got a part in Days of Thunder, which starred Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Cary Elwes, Robert Duvall, and Randy Quaid. John C. Reilly and Fred Dalton Thompson also appear. This seemed to jump-start Ellis' career as parts in films like My Cousin Vinny with Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei, a small part in Addams Family Values, and a larger one in Apollo 13 as former NASA Mercury Seven astronaut Deke Slayton, alongside Tom Hanks, followed. He also began picking up credits on well-known television shows like Melrose Place, NYPD Blue, and The X-Files.

Since working with Hanks on Apollo 13, the two have worked together on That Thing You Do, the TV miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, and Catch Me If You Can. Ellis returned to a fictional NASA Mission Control when he played a Flight Director in 1998's Armageddon.

Additional films in which Ellis has appeared include Home Fries, October Sky, Live Free or Die Hard, and Transformers. His television credits also include The West Wing, Ghost Whisperer, Chicago Hope, The Pretender, Alias, JAG, CSI: NY, Burn Notice, and Cold Case. He appeared in three season one episodes of Millennium as group member Jim Panseayres. He has established a reputation as being particularly talented at portraying Southern lawmakers or serious military or police-type characters.

He also appeared in Criminal Minds as Sheriff Jimmy Rhodes who calls for the BAU's help in investigating a string of murders in New Mexico. In addition to that, he also had two guest appearances in NCIS as Gunnery Sergeant John Deluca. Ellis's appearance in the Season 1 episode, "The Curse" was uncredited while his second and final appearance in Season 2's "The Bone Yard" was credited.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Chris Ellis (actor), licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Chris Ellis is an American film and television actor who was born April 14, 1956 in Dallas, Texas. Ellis always wanted to be an actor because of television. He grew up in the 50's in the deep south in a "world of privation and violence", but saw on television people who seemed to have lives of ease and privilege.

It took him seven years to finish college however, because "I have always been shiftless". During those years Chris became involved in community theatre in Memphis, where "I did and do still think the quality of the work has always been quite good". By the time he moved to New York, he had worked with many excellent actors in about two dozen plays, classical and contemporary. "I cannot imagine what might have supplanted that background for a newcomer in New York."

His first part in either television or film came in 1979, where he played a truck driver in the TV movie The Suicide's Wife, which starred Angie Dickinson. The role resulted in very little TV or film work. After working in regional theatre for a year or so, Chris fell off the radar screen and did not work for about ten years. During that time he lived in "bone-grinding poverty" in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen. In one nine-month period of 1987, Chris accepted 102 dinner invitations. "I don't know why they kept arriving, nor why I counted them, though I do know why I accepted them."

In 1990, a break came when he got a part in Days of Thunder, which starred Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Cary Elwes, Robert Duvall, and Randy Quaid. John C. Reilly and Fred Dalton Thompson also appear. This seemed to jump-start Ellis' career as parts in films like My Cousin Vinny with Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei, a small part in Addams Family Values, and a larger one in Apollo 13 as former NASA Mercury Seven astronaut Deke Slayton, alongside Tom Hanks, followed. He also began picking up credits on well-known television shows like Melrose Place, NYPD Blue, and The X-Files.

Since working with Hanks on Apollo 13, the two have worked together on That Thing You Do, the TV miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, and Catch Me If You Can. Ellis returned to a fictional NASA Mission Control when he played a Flight Director in 1998's Armageddon.

Additional films in which Ellis has appeared include Home Fries, October Sky, Live Free or Die Hard, and Transformers. His television credits also include The West Wing, Ghost Whisperer, Chicago Hope, The Pretender, Alias, JAG, CSI: NY, Burn Notice, and Cold Case. He appeared in three season one episodes of Millennium as group member Jim Panseayres. He has established a reputation as being particularly talented at portraying Southern lawmakers or serious military or police-type characters.

He also appeared in Criminal Minds as Sheriff Jimmy Rhodes who calls for the BAU's help in investigating a string of murders in New Mexico. In addition to that, he also had two guest appearances in NCIS as Gunnery Sergeant John Deluca. Ellis's appearance in the Season 1 episode, "The Curse" was uncredited while his second and final appearance in Season 2's "The Bone Yard" was credited.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Chris Ellis (actor), licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 64

Birthday 1956-04-14

Place of Birth Dallas, Texas, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2018 Kenny as Al
2018 The Oath as Hank
2018 What Still Remains as Harvey
2017 The Show as Keller
2017 Amelia 2.0 as Senator Thaddeus
2017 Pitching Tents as Principal Don Bishop
2014 Jessabelle as Sheriff Pruitt
2014 Faults as Dad
2012 The Dark Knight Rises as Fr. Reilly
2011 Fairly Legal (1 episode) as Maddox Resor
2010 Justified (1 episode)
2009 Teenage Dirtbag as Pops
2009 G-Force as NSA Director
2009 Warehouse 13 (1 episode) as Colonel Arnold Cassell
2008 The Mentalist (1 episode) as Sherrif Mullery
2008 Crazy as Glen the Carousel Manager
2008 Gospel Hill as L Donn Murray
2008 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2 episodes) as Hayes
2007 Mad Men (1 episode) as Del Hill
2007 Burn Notice (2 episodes)
2007 Transformers as Admiral Brigham
2007 Live Free or Die Hard as Scalvino
2006 The Unit (3 episodes)
2005 Ghost Whisperer (2 episodes)
2005 Criminal Minds (1 episode) as Sheriff Rhodes
2005 The Island as Aces & Spades Barman
2005 In Enemy Hands as Samuel Littleton
2005 Revelations (1 episode)
2004 Veronica Mars (1 episode)
2004 CSI: NY (1 episode)
2004 Death and Texas as Phillip Brodeur
2003 Cold Case (1 episode)
2003 NCIS (1 episode)
2002 Love Liza as Patriot Model Aeronautics Clerk
2002 Catch Me If You Can as Special Agent Witkins
2002 Birds of Prey (1 episode)
2002 First Monday (1 episode)
2001 Beyond the City Limits as Det. Hanson
2001 Alias (1 episode)
2001 Planet of the Apes as Commander Karl Vasich
2001 Six Feet Under (2 episodes)
2000 The Watcher as Hollis
1999 Roswell (1 episode)
1999 The West Wing (1 episode)
1999 Family Law (1 episode)
1999 October Sky as Principal Turner
1998 Home Fries as Henry Lever
1998 Armageddon as Flight Director Clark
1998 Godzilla as General Anderson
1997 Bean as Det. Butler
1997 Con Air as BOP Official Grant
1996 Her Costly Affair as Wes
1996 Millennium (3 episodes)
1996 If These Walls Could Talk as Crowd Leader
1996 That Thing You Do! as Phil Horace
1996 The Pretender (1 episode)
1996 Promised Land (1 episode) as Brian Pascal
1995 Space: Above and Beyond (1 episode) as Adm. Stenner
1995 The Tie That Binds as Security Guard #1
1995 Apollo 13 as Deke Slayton
1994 Chicago Hope (1 episode)
1993 The X-Files (1 episode)
1992 Melrose Place (1 episode)
1992 My Cousin Vinny as J.T.

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