Dennis William Quaid is an American actor known for a wide variety of dramatic and comedic roles. First gaining widespread attention in the 1980s, his career rebounded in the 1990s after he overcame an addiction to drugs and an eating disorder. Some of his notable credits include Breaking Away, The Right Stuff, Wyatt Earp, The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, Traffic, Vantage Point, Footloose, Frequency, The Parent Trap, Yours, Mine amp Ours and Soul Surfer. For his role in Far from Heaven he won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male.
Quaid was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Juanita Bonniedale Nita , a real estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid , an electrician. His brother is actor Randy Quaid. Quaid has English, Irish, ScotsIrish, and Cajun ancestry. He attended Paul W. Horn Elementary School in Bellaire, and Pershing Middle School in Houston. He studied Mandarin and dance at Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas, and later in college, at the University of Houston, under drama coach Cecil Pickett, who had previously taught at Bellaire High and whose daughter is actress Cindy Pickett.