David Strathairn

In spite of his prolific body of work, actor David Strathairn remained somewhat apart from Hollywood, thanks to his long-standing collaboration with friend and former college friend John Sayles, who directed the actor in several of the filmmaker's independent movies. Following his debut in Sayles' "The Return of the Secaucus Seven" (1980), Strathairn branched out to more mainstream fare with a supporting role in "Silkwood" (1983) and delivered one of his finer performances in "Eight Men Out" (1988), in which he played the morally flawed pitcher Eddie Cicotte from the famed Black Sox. After another acclaimed Sayles performance - this time as the off-kilter street wretch, Asteroid, in "City of Hope" (1991) - Strathairn began to stretch his wings with supporting roles in major studio productions: He was Tom Cruise's jailbird brother in "The Firm" (1993), Meryl Streep's workaholic husband in "The River Wild" (1994) and the upscale purveyor of prostitution, Pierce Pratchett, in "L.A. Confidential" (1997). He also delivered strong turns on the small screen, as he did portraying the emotionally distant father of a son with AIDS in "In the Gloaming" (HBO, 1997) and Helen Keller's father in the remake of "The Miracle Worker" (ABC, 2000). But it was his performance as the iconic news anchor Edward R. Murrow, who openly challenged Senator Joseph McCarthy during the height of the Red Scare, in George Clooney's excellent period drama "Good Night, and Good Luck" (2005), as well as his portrayal of ruthless CIA officer Noah Vosen in "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007), that propelled his career to a new level.