Stephen Tobolowsky - Rotten Tomatoes

Stephen Tobolowsky

Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Dallas, Texas, USA
Perhaps one of the most instantly recognizable -- yet seemingly unidentifiable -- character actors to have succeeded in Hollywood, Stephen Tobolowsky's non-movie star looks have enabled the native Texan to portray a wider variety of characters more conventional movie stars simply could not. Born and raised in Dallas, Tobolowsky attended Southern Methodist University for his undergraduate degree and went on to earn a Master's degree in acting from the University of Illinois. While at S.M.U., the young Tobolowsky won his first film role in a low-budget horror film entitled Keep My Grave Open. Soon after finishing his studies, he went west to Los Angeles and started working somewhat consistently in both television and film in the early '80s -- while gaining some notice for his work in the films Swing Shift and Mississippi Burning. After toiling on the West Coast for a few years, Tobolowsky became a bi-coastal star with a role in a 1981 Broadway production of Beth Henley's play The Wake of Jamey Foster. In 1986, he collaborated with Henley -- who also happened to be a fellow student of Tobolowsky's during his undergraduate studies at S.M.U. -- and David Byrne to co-write the script for Byrne's 1986 film True Stories. The multi-talented thespian then went on to write and direct his own play, Two Idiots in Hollywood, which he also turned into a film in 1988. The early '90s brought Tobolowsky his greatest exposure to the movie-going public, with a number of diverse and interesting roles that highlighted the actor's great range and skill -- nearly to the extent of upstaging these films' higher-profile stars. Perhaps the most prototypical Tobolowsky characterization can be found in the 1993 Harold Ramis comedy Groundhog Day, in which Tobolowsky portrayed the hapless insurance salesman Ned Ryerson. Other memorable performances from this decade include Thelma & Louise, Basic Instinct, Sneakers, and The Radioland Murders. Tobolowsky continued creating endearing characters into the 2000s, starting with Christopher Nolan's indy hit Memento. As amnesiac Sammy Jankis, Tobolowsky created one of the most powerful dramatic performances of his career. His next significant film role came via the 2002 Spike Jonze/Charlie Kaufman film Adaptation, which further displayed the nearly chameleon-like actor's range and talent that make him one of the best character actors in the industry. In the years to come, Tobolowsky would remain active on screen, appearing on shows like Glee and Californication.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
88% Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'
  • Mr. Bentley
2019
61% Fractured
  • Dr. Berthram
2019
43% Strange Nature
  • Mayor Paulson
2018
No Score Yet Welcome to the Men's Group
  • Carl
2018
No Score Yet Six LA Love Stories
  • Actor
2018
No Score Yet Monsters At Large
  • Mr. Phillips
2018
No Score Yet Guys and Girls Can't Be Friends
  • Andy
2016
91% The Confirmation
  • Father Lyons
2016
No Score Yet Mamaboy
  • Actor
2016
20% The Barber
  • Chief Hardaway
2015
No Score Yet The Primary Instinct
  • Screenwriter
  • Executive Producer
2015
No Score Yet Hollywood Adventures
  • Wronald Wright
2015
No Score Yet Christian Mingle The Movie
  • Douglas McCarver
$20.3k 2014
0% Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?
  • Hugh Akston
2014
81% Mr. Peabody & Sherman
  • Principal Purdy
$101.8M 2014
44% The Last Ride
  • Ray
$16.8k 2012
53% Dr Seuss' The Lorax
  • Uncle Ubb
$214M 2012
No Score Yet Pearblossom Hwy
  • Rick Lawler
2012
14% Hard Breakers
  • Max
2011
25% Peep World
  • Ephraim
$11.4k 2011
No Score Yet The Rainbow Tribe
  • Principal Sands
2011
87% Buried
  • Alan Davenport
$0.2M 2010
39% The Time Traveler's Wife
  • Dr. David Kendrick
$63.4M 2009
No Score Yet Starz Inside
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Beethoven's Big Break
  • Sal
2008
46% The Sasquatch Gang
  • Ernie Dalrymple
2007
25% Blind Dating
  • Dr. Perkins
$62.4k 2007
No Score Yet Totally Baked: A Pot-u-mentary
  • Actor
2007
14% Wild Hogs
  • Charley
$168.3M 2007
No Score Yet The Valley of Light
  • Littleberry
2007
No Score Yet Pope Dreams
  • Carl Venable
2006
24% Failure to Launch
  • Bud
$88.7M 2006
No Score Yet Loveless in Los Angeles
  • Jon
2006
No Score Yet Boxboarders!
  • Dr. James
2006
No Score Yet Debating Robert Lee
  • District Judge
2006
No Score Yet Living 'til the End
  • Dr. Shaw
2005
64% Robots
  • Bigmouth Executive
$128.2M 2005
100% Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party
  • Actor
2005
22% Little Black Book
  • Carl
$20.5M 2004
15% Garfield - The Movie
  • Happy Chapman
$75.3M 2004
No Score Yet Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes
  • Actor
2004
67% Frankie and Johnny Are Married
  • Murray Mintz
2004
No Score Yet Love Hollywood Style
  • Actor
2004
54% Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!
  • George Ruddy
$16.9M 2004
88% Freaky Friday
  • Mr. Bates
$110.2M 2003
14% View from the Top
  • Frank Thomas
$15.6M 2003
11% National Security
  • Billy Narthax
$35.8M 2003
91% Adaptation
  • Ranger Steve Neely
$22.2M 2002
29% The Country Bears
  • Norbert Barrington
$16.9M 2002
53% Love Liza
  • Tom Bailey
2002
No Score Yet The Day the World Ended
  • Principal Turner
2001
No Score Yet On the Edge
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Dean Koontz's 'Black River'
  • Mayor Thompson
2001
93% Memento
  • Sammy Jankis
$23.9M 2000
No Score Yet Stanley's Gig
  • Abe
2000
73% Bossa Nova
  • Trevor
2000
45% The Operator
  • Doc
2000
44% The Prime Gig
  • Mick
2000
No Score Yet Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes
  • Dewey Wise
2000
No Score Yet Alien Fury
  • Actor
2000
96% The Insider
  • Eric Kluster
1999
No Score Yet Don't Look Under the Bed
  • Michael McCausland
1999
38% One Man's Hero
  • Captain Gaine
1999
No Score Yet Around the Fire
  • Doc
1998
No Score Yet The Curse of Inferno
  • Lonnie Martin
1998
40% The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars
  • Calculator
1998
10% Black Dog
  • Agent McClaren
1998
8% An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn
  • Bill Bardo
1998
No Score Yet The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story
  • Tabaqui
1998
7% Mr. Magoo
  • Agent Chuck Stupak
1997
80% Boys Life 2
  • Father Joe [Trevor]
1997
12% The Glimmer Man
  • Christopher Maynard
1996
53% Homeward Bound II - Lost in San Francisco
  • Bando
1996
14% Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde
  • Olivier
1995
24% Radioland Murders
  • Max Applewhite
1994
50% Murder in the First
  • Mr. Henkin
1994
14% My Father, the Hero
  • Mike
1994
No Score Yet Trevor
  • Father Joe
1994
20% The Pickle
  • Mike Krakower
1993
96% Groundhog Day
  • Ned Ryerson
1993
25% Josh and S.A.M.
  • Thom Whitney
1993
11% Calendar Girl
  • Antonio Gallo
1993
65% Hero
  • Wallace
1992
80% Where the Day Takes You
  • Charles
1992
79% Sneakers
  • Dr. Werner Brandes
1992
54% Single White Female
  • Mitchell Myerson
1992
52% Basic Instinct
  • Dr. Lamott
1992
25% Memoirs of an Invisible Man
  • Warren Singleton
1992
83% Roadside Prophets
  • Ranger Bob
1992
No Score Yet Wedlock (Deadlock)
  • Warden Holliday
1991
No Score Yet Megaville
  • Warren Singleton
1991
84% Thelma & Louise
  • Max
1991
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster
  • Sgt. Phil Baranski
1991
No Score Yet Face Value
  • Defense Attorney
1991
44% Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael
  • Bill Klepler
1990
0% Funny About Love
  • Hugo
1990
91% The Grifters
  • Jeweler
1990
No Score Yet Tagget
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Mirror, Mirror
  • Mr. Anderson
1990
32% Bird on a Wire
  • Joe Weyburn
1990
No Score Yet Last Flight Out
  • Doctor Timothy Brandon
1990
90% Breaking In
  • District Attorney
1989
68% In Country
  • Pete
1989
63% Great Balls of Fire
  • John
1989
20% Checking Out
  • Pharmacist
1989
83% Mississippi Burning
  • Townley
1988
No Score Yet 2 Idiots in Hollywood
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1988
57% Spaceballs
  • Captain of the Guard
1987
0% Nobody's Fool
  • Kirk
$0.6M 1986
77% True Stories
  • Screenwriter
1986
50% The Philadelphia Experiment
  • Barney
1984
87% Swing Shift
  • Documentary Narrator/French de Mille
1984
No Score Yet Keep My Grave Open
  • Actor
1980

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
73% Schooled
2019
  • Principal Ball
  • 2020
  • 2019
99% One Day at a Time
2017
  • Dr. Berkowitz
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
No Score Yet The Goldbergs
2013
  • Earl Ball Principal Ball
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
65% The Cool Kids
2018-2019
  • Leonard
  • 2019
94% Silicon Valley
2014-2019
  • Jack Barker
  • 2017
  • 2016
86% The Mindy Project
2012-2017
  • Dr. Marc Shulman
  • 2017
  • 2015
  • 2012
75% Big Time in Hollywood, FL
2015
  • Alan
  • 2015
7% Dr. Ken
2015-2017
  • Joe
  • 2015
No Score Yet @midnight With Chris Hardwick
2014-2017
  • Appearing
  • 2015
  • 2014
13% Friends With Better Lives
2014
  • Dr. Adelman
  • 2014
57% Californication
2007-2014
  • Producer Stu Beggs
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
97% Justified
2010-2015
  • Barkley Jeremy Barkley
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
5% Work It
2012
  • Dr. David Deutsch
  • 2012
74% The Defenders
2010-2011
  • Judge Gelineau
  • 2011
88% Community
2009-2015
  • Professor Sheffield
  • 2011
  • 2010
71% Glee
2009-2015
  • Sandy Ryerson
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
36% Rita Rocks
2008-2009
  • Actor
  • 2009
89% The New Adventures of Old Christine
2006-2010
  • Principal Merrow
  • 2009
  • 2007
No Score Yet CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
2000-2015
  • Spencer Freiberg
  • 2008
53% Heroes
2006-2010
  • Bob
  • 2008
  • 2007
86% Boston Legal
2004-2008
  • Alvin Azinabinacroft
  • 2007
66% Entourage
2004-2011
  • Mayor
  • 2007
58% John From Cincinnati
2007
  • Mark Lewinsky
  • 2007
50% Big Day
2006-2007
  • The Garf
  • 2007
  • 2006
72% Desperate Housewives
2004-2012
  • Bud Penrod
  • 2006
  • 2005
92% Deadwood
2004-2006
  • Hugo Jarry
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
92% Curb Your Enthusiasm
2000
  • Actor
  • 2005
No Score Yet Lass es, Larry!
2000-2017
  • Actor
  • 2005
No Score Yet CSI: Miami
2002-2012
  • Don Haffman
  • 2005
  • 2004
14% It's All Relative
2003-2004
  • Roy
  • 2004
33% Married to the Kellys
2003-2004
  • Henry Conway
  • 2004
75% The West Wing
1999-2006
  • Max Milkman
  • 2004
No Score Yet Will & Grace
1998
  • Ned Weathers
  • 2004
No Score Yet According to Jim
2001-2009
  • Actor
  • 2004
  • 2003
No Score Yet Las Vegas
2003-2008
  • Donny Rollins
  • 2003
18% Oliver Beene
2003-2004
  • Ringmaster Bob
  • 2003
No Score Yet The Dead Zone
2002-2007
  • Jim Pratt
  • 2003
No Score Yet Law & Order: Criminal Intent
2001-2011
  • James Halliwell
  • 2002
No Score Yet Malcolm in the Middle
2000-2006
  • Mr. Fisher
  • 2002
10% Off Centre
2001-2002
  • Milt Platt
  • 2001
38% The Lone Gunmen
2001
  • Adam Burgess
  • 2001
83% That's Life
2000-2002
  • Roger Robinson
  • 2000
No Score Yet Mad About You
1992-1999
  • Principal
  • 1999
20% Odd Man Out
1999-2001
  • Al
  • 1999
No Score Yet Snoops
1999
  • Bench Attorney Bench
  • 1999
No Score Yet The Practice
1997-2004
  • Clyde Burrows
  • 1999
No Score Yet Two Guys and a Girl
1998-2001
  • Father Vetere
  • 1999
No Score Yet That '70s Show
1998-2006
  • Professor Stark
  • 1999
  • 1998
No Score Yet Suddenly Susan
1996-2000
  • Dr. Mort Gerken
  • 1998
No Score Yet Promised Land
1996-1999
  • Fred Argyle
  • 1997
No Score Yet The Drew Carey Show
1995-2004
  • Councilman
  • 1997
No Score Yet Chicago Hope
1994-2000
  • Dr. Joseph
  • 1995
100% Dweebs
1995
  • Karl
  • 1995
82% Picket Fences
1992-1996
  • Sasha
  • 1993
88% Seinfeld
1989-1998
  • Tor Akman
  • 1991
No Score Yet Designing Women
1986-1993
  • Boyd
  • 1986
No Score Yet A Whole New Ballgame
1995
  • Dr. Warner Brakefield
73% Against the Grain
1994
  • Niles Hardeman
No Score Yet The Mindy Project
  • Dr. Marc Shulman

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