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Overview for John Corbett
John Corbett

John Corbett


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Also Known As: John Joseph Corbett Jr. Died:
Born: May 9, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Wheeling, West Virginia, USA Profession: Cast ... actor percussionist country-western singer steelworker K-Mart check-out clerk hairdresser


Known for several high profile roles as "dream boyfriends," actor and musician John Corbett initially turned heads playing a bohemian radio DJ on the Emmy Award-winning television series "Northern Exposure" (CBS, 1990-95). Corbett was subsequently cast in the lead in a number of short-lived series including "The Visitor" (Fox, 1997-98) but was transformed into a sex symbol when he played columnist Carrie Bradshaw's (Sarah Jessica Parker) blue-collar love interest - and crowd-pleasing alternative to her villainous ex Mr. Big - in the generation-defining HBO series "Sex and the City" (1998-2004). Tall, blond, and perennially agreeable, Corbett was touted as the next romantic leading man, though following the enormous success of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (2002), he floundered with a string of low-budget movies and a side career as a country singer. Corbett resurfaced in the primetime series "United States of Tara" (Showtime, 2009-11), which helped reignite his film career by effectively showcasing the actor's easygoing charm and his way with offbeat material.

Born May 9, 1962, Corbett was raised in Wheeling, WV by his waitress mother who was essential in developing his love of music by having her son hang out at the nightclub where she worked and where his uncle was owner. He was inspired by the country and rock greats who graced the stage, and as a teenager he learned guitar and played local parties. He moved to California and worked at a steel factory while attending community college, and it was there he first sat in on a theater class. Encouraged to pursue acting by his teachers after giving solid performances in a number of school productions, Corbett hit paydirt on the audition circuit and launched a busy career in commercials. He segued into primetime with a guest spot as the free-spirited boyfriend of the protagonist's older sister in an episode of "The Wonder Years" (ABC, 1988-1993). Two years later, he was cast in the career-making role of Chris Stevens, the literary-minded and spiritually enlightened disc jockey of the quirky town of Cicely, Alaska, in the CBS comedy-drama, "Northern Exposure" (1990-95). In a role that could have easily been reduced to a one-dimensional "flake," Corbett soared as the charming ex-con, artist-in-residence and cosmic guru, anchoring the show with his narration and earning an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1992 and a similar nod from the Golden Globes in 1993.

During the five-year life span of "Northern Exposure, " the lanky blond with the easy, natural acting style made feature film appearances in "Flight of the Intruder" (1991) and the well-regarded Western "Tombstone" (1993). After the demise of his acclaimed TV series, he offered a change of pace with his portrayal of a man accused of murder in the ABC miniseries "Innocent Victims" (1996). The following year, he was cast as lead in the sci-fi series "The Visitor" (Fox, 1997-98), playing a man who lost in the Bermuda Triangle during WWII who mysteriously returns to modern day Earth with a mission to use his newfound supernatural powers to save mankind. Though the show was short-lived, Corbett remained in the spotlight, lending his Chris-In-the-Morning style vocals to a number of television advertisements before returning to primetime on one of TV's most watched-and influential series, the acclaimed HBO comedy-drama hybrid, "Sex and the City." Corbett initially came aboard in the third season with the relatively small role as furniture maker Aidan Shaw, the kind and sensitive love interest for central character Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) who was just coming off some major heartbreak after bad boy Mr. Big (Chris Noth) had taken a wrecking ball to her life. But as Carrie struggled to choose between Mr. Big and the ultimate "nice guy" Aidan, Corbett became an unexpected fan favorite and was so popular with viewers, he was invited back to the show for a second season, where his character experienced a breakup, reconciliation, engagement, co-habitation and a final goodbye with Carrie - a rocky road that attracted viewers and earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in 2002.

On the big screen, Corbett appeared in his first major film role as Kate Beckinsale's ultra-New Age-y beau in the 2001 film "Serendipity," where he practically parodied the arc of his "Sex in the City" character. His success as a romantic leading man led to his film breakout in the surprise hit indie film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," one of the biggest moneymakers of 2002. Playing the sweet, cool-tempered straight man to star Nia Vardalos and her wacky Greek family, Corbett made the most of an underdeveloped role by adding much of his personal charm and the accumulated audience goodwill he had compiled in other roles. Meanwhile, Corbett became the real-life leading man of Bo Derek, with whom he began a long-term relationship in 2002, following the 1998 death of her long-time love, controversial actor-director John Derek.

Corbett's increased profile earned him the leading role on the FX series "Lucky" (2003), where he starred as a compulsive gambler and one-time World Poker champion who, after losing it all, is trying to rebuild his life. The series proved to be short-lived and Corbett spent the next year back on the movie screen, first starring alongside Kate Hudson in "Raising Helen" (2004), where he essayed the easy-to-like love interest of the female star-driven comedy, followed by playing a faculty member at a performing arts high school in the Hilary Duff vehicle "Raise Your Voice" (2004). The lesser of his 2004 offerings was "Elvis Has Left the Building" (2004), starring Kim Basinger as a traveling cosmetics saleswoman pursued by Corbett as an ad exec. Shortly after this busy year on film, Corbett announced his intention to pursue a career in country music.

Corbett's self-titled country album debut was released in 2006, and spawned the billboard charting single "Good to Go." He performed on "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1954- ) and toured internationally to promote the Southern-style, rock-tinged country offering, resuming his screen career with a villainous role in the successful supernatural thriller "The Messengers" in 2007. In 2008, he played another bad guy - a crooked cop - in the crime actioner "Street Kings," starring Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker before he was back to his likable self in the critically acclaimed Showtime series "United States of Tara" (Showtime, 2009-11), in which Corbett played the long-suffering but infinitely patient husband of a woman with multiple personality disorder (Toni Collette). Meanwhile, his screen career as a supporting player continued unabated with roles in the romantic comedy "Baby on Board" (2009) and the drama "The Burning Plain" (2009), the directorial debut from acclaimed screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga which was met with excellent response on the festival circuit.

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