Gary Alan Sinise is an American actor, film director and musician. During his career, Sinise has won various awards including an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award. In 1992, Sinise directed, and played the role of George Milton in the successful film adaptation of Of Mice and Men. Sinise was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994 for his role as Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump. He won a Golden Globe Award for his role in Truman, as Harry S. Truman. In 1996, he played a corrupt police officer in the dramatic hit Ransom, Detective Jimmy Shaker. In 1998, Sinise was awarded an Emmy Award for the television film George Wallace, a portrayal of the late George C. Wallace. Since 2004, Sinise has starred in CBS's CSI: NY as Detective Mac Taylor.
Sinise was born in Blue Island, Illinois, the son of Mylles S. (née Alsip; b. 1932) and Robert L. Sinise (b. 1931), the latter of whom was a film editor. He is of part Italian ancestry (from his paternal grandfather). He attended Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois. In 1974, Sinise and two friends, Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry, founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Since its founding, Steppenwolf has showcased the talents of such notable actors as Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, Gary Cole, Ethan Hawke, Glenne Headly, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Martha Plimpton, Jim True-Frost and most recently William Petersen. At Steppenwolf, Sinise honed his acting and directing skills, received a Joseph Jefferson Award for his direction of Lyle Kessler's play Orphans, that took him from Chicago, to New York City to London's West End, and worked on more than thirty of the company's productions.
In 1982, Sinise's career began to take off when he directed and starred in Steppenwolf's production of True West. In 1983, he earned an Obie Award for his direction and a year later appeared with John Malkovich in the PBS' American Playhouse production of the play. In 1988, Sinise directed Miles from Home, a film starring Richard Gere, about two brothers' fight against the foreclosure of the family farm. Sinise has collaborated three times with fellow actor Tom Hanks; they both star in Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, and The Green Mile. Other noteworthy films Sinise has appeared in include Of Mice and Men (which he directed), Reindeer Games, Snake Eyes, Ransom, Mission to Mars, The Stand and Impostor. He narrated the audio books for John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley.
In 2004, he began his first regular television series, in the crime drama CSI: New York, in which he plays Detective Mac Taylor. He was credited as a producer from season 2 onwards and wrote the storyline of an episode. Several episodes have allowed Sinise to demonstrate his musical prowess, including a Season 2 episode where Mac Taylor plays the bass guitar in a jazz club with musicians Kimo and Carol Williams and Danny Gottlieb, members of the Lt. Dan Band, which Sinise and Kimo Williams co-founded in 2003. The band is named for Sinise's character in Forrest Gump.
Apart from his television and movie work, Sinise is the host in the video for the Epcot ride Mission: SPACE, at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, and a model for Baume & Mercier watches. He co-founded Operation Iraqi Children. Sinise said, "Iraq is in the news every day, and most of it is bad. But there are some positive stories. And how our soldiers are rebuilding schools and helping kids is one of them."
Sinise was the narrator for the Discovery Channel's mini series When We Left Earth in 2008. He was awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal by George W. Bush for work he did supporting the U.S Military and humanitarian work supporting Iraqi children.
Sinise narrated Army and Army Reserve Army Strong recruitment ads in late 2008. He is also the National Spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.
Sinise is the executive producer — along with David Scantling — of the Iraq War documentary Brothers at War. The film features an American military family and the experiences of three brothers: Jake Rademacher, Isaac Rademacher and Joseph Rademacher.
Since 2006, Sinise has co-narrated the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C., with Joe Mantegna.
Sinise serves as the National Spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. He spends much of his time raising awareness for the Memorial and other veterans' service organizations.
In November 2009, Sinise narrated the highly acclaimed "World War II in HD" on the History Channel. In 2010, he narrated the World War II documentary "Missions That Changed The War" on the Military Channel.
Since late 2002, he started the Cadillac commercials starting with the 2002–2003 Season's Best commercial and has been with the Break Through campaign since it started the campaign in the 2002 Super Bowl with Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll then ended in late 2006.
Sinise has been married to actress Moira Harris since 1981 and they have three children: Sophie Anne (b. 1988), McCanna Anthony (b. 1990), and Ella Jane (b. 1992). In 2003, Sinise was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters by Amherst College. Sinise converted to his wife's Roman Catholic faith.
He has devoted countless hours to the National Vietnam Veterans Arts Museum now called the National Veterans Art Museum. On June 8, 2011, he put on a real space suit to become one of the few people to fly in a U-2 spy plane at up to 70,000 feet.
Sinise is also on the Advisory Council of Hope For The Warriors, a national non-profit dedicated to provide a full cycle of non-medical care to combat wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen from each military branch.
In August 2012, Sinise was honored by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West as an honorary Chief Petty Officer for his efforts in helping veterans.
Sinise's name was in an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times (August 17, 2006) that condemned Hamas and Hezbollah and supported Israel in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.
In June 2008, Sinise donated $2,300 to the Republican Presidential primary campaign of Arizona Senator John McCain.
Nicolle Wallace, a former adviser to George W. Bush and the presidential campaign of John McCain, stated in May 2009 that she believed Sinise could help bring about a resurgence of the Republican Party. Wallace stated, "The natural strengths that an actor brings to politics would come in handy to anyone going up against Obama in 2012. We will need an effective communicator who can stand toe to toe with Obama’s eloquence." Other names mentioned were those of Generals David Petraeus and Ray Odierno. Sinise narrates the online virtual tour for the Ronald Reagan Presidential library and spoke at the centennial celebration of Reagan's birth at the library in February 2011.