Tall, handsome, with a long face and piercing blue eyes, Martin Donovan established himself in independent features, notably those of Hal Hartley. Usually cast as quintessential New Yorkers, the light-haired actor became quickly identified for his straightforward yet unemotional portrayals. The California native, however, had begun his career as a stage actor while a student at The American Theatre Arts in L.A. Relocating to NYC in 1983, Donovan landed his first screen role alongside Margaret Klenck and John Sayles in Rick King's indie "Hard Choices" (1984). But it was his turn as Matthew Slaughter, an angry computer technician who carries around a 40-year-old grenade in Hal Hartley's quirky comedy-drama "Trust" (1990) that established him as a lead in independent films. He essayed similar types in other Hartley works including "Simple Men" (1992), as one of the men who fall under the charms of Karen Sillas' Kate, and the short "Flirt" (1993), which the director used in 1995 to anchor a triptych of variations on the same theme. As the amnesiac Thomas in "Amateur" (1994), Donovan was the film's catalyst linking the stories of a nun turned pornographer with that of a vengeful porno star.