The Info List - Thomas Haden Church

Thomas Haden Church (born Thomas Richard McMillen,[2][3] June 17, 1960)[4] is an American actor, director, and writer. After co-starring in the 1990s sitcom Wings, Church became known for his film roles, including his Academy Award-nominated performance in Sideways and his role as the Sandman in Spider-Man 3. He also made his directorial debut with Rolling Kansas.

Early life

Church was born in Yolo, California,[4] the son of Maxine (née Sanders) and Carlos "Carl" Richard McMillen (1936–2008), who served for eight years in the Marines and saw action in the Korean War; after 1962, Carlos worked as a surveyor.[5] Church's parents divorced and his mother moved to Texas. She remarried in 1969, to widower George A. Quesada, a veteran of an Army Air Forces reconnaissance unit which served in Guam in World War II.[6] Church took his stepfather's surname for a time but changed it to "Haden Church" based on other relatives when people found Quesada difficult to pronounce.[2] He left high school in 1977 to work in the oil fields of Louisiana, but he returned to graduate from Harlingen High School in 1979. He attended the University of North Texas while living in Dallas.[2]


Church started in the entertainment business as a radio personality and doing voice-over work.[7] He changed his name to "Thomas Haden Church", taking "Haden" and "Church" from his ancestry.[2] After appearing in an independent film, he moved to California to pursue an acting career. His character delivers a last love letter from "Eddie Labec" to "Carla" in the Cheers episode, "Death Takes a Vacation on Ice". He played the part of slow-witted aircraft mechanic Lowell Mather for six seasons (1990–95) on the NBC sitcom Wings.[8]

He worked in television for two more seasons with a lead role on Ned & Stacey opposite Debra Messing. He has had supporting roles in films such as Tombstone, George of the Jungle, and The Specials. He has often played villains or comic relief in films, such as in Demon Knight.[citation needed]

Church bought a ranch in Texas in 1998. In late 2000 he took a break from films.[7] After having small roles in films such as Monkeybone and 3000 Miles to Graceland, he made his directorial debut with Rolling Kansas in 2003. He has voiceover work in commercials, such as for Merrill Lynch and Icehouse beer.[citation needed]

In 2003, director Alexander Payne called him regarding the role of "Jack", the selfish best friend to Paul Giamatti's character, in Sideways. During the audition, Church stripped naked to read the audition scene, later saying "To me, it was painfully obvious... I was reading the scene where Jack comes in naked and there has to be in-born vulnerability in the scene."[7] (He later found that he was the only actor to strip down for the audition).[9] Sideways earned acclaim for Church. He won an IFP Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Church at the Spider-Man 3 (2007) premiere in New York City

He has since appeared in films such as Idiocracy, done voice-over work on films such as Over the Hedge and starred in one of AMC's highest rated television productions, Broken Trail, with Robert Duvall, in 2006, for which he won an Emmy. In 2007, he appeared as the tragic villain Sandman in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.[10]

In 2005, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In October 2008, Church appeared as "Joe Six-Pack" in a video on funnyordie.com, challenging Joe the Plumber by drinking more beer.[11] Church starred in the FEARnet webseries, Zombie Roadkill, alongside David Dorfman.[12]

Personal life

Church lives on his 2,000-acre (810 ha) ranch in Kerrville, Texas.[7][13] He has two children from a former relationship with Mia Zottoli, but was never married to her or anyone else despite a 2008 article in the LA times incorrectly claiming he was married to his partner.[1][14] [13] Church's biological father died in 2008,[5] and his stepfather in 2012.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Tombstone Billy Clanton
1995 Demon Knight Roach
1997 One Night Stand Don
1997 George of the Jungle Lyle van de Groot
1998 Susan's Plan Drew Oslett Jr.
1998 Free Money Larry
1999 Goosed Steven Troy
1999 Serial Killing 4 Dummys Vince Grimaldi Originally titled Serial Killing 101
2000 The Specials The Strobe
2001 3000 Miles to Graceland Quigley
2001 Monkeybone Death's Assistant Uncredited
2002 The Badge David Hardwick
2002 Lone Star State of Mind Killer
2003 Rolling Kansas Agent Madsen/Trooper Uncredited; also director and co-writer
2003 George of the Jungle 2 Lyle Van de Groot Direct-to-video
2004 Spanglish Mike the Realtor
2004 Sideways Jack Cole Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
2006 Over the Hedge Dwayne Voice
2006 Idiocracy Brawndo CEO
2006 Charlotte's Web Brooks the Crow Voice
2007 Spider-Man 3 Flint Marko / Sandman Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Rumble (with Tobey Maguire, James Franco and Topher Grace)
Nominated – Scream Award for Best Villain
2008 Smart People Chuck Wetherhold
2009 Imagine That Johnny Whitefeather
2009 Don McKay Don McKay
2009 All About Steve Hartman Hughes
2009 Aliens in the Attic Tazer Voice
2010 Easy A Mr. Jack Griffith
2011 Another Happy Day Paul
2011 Killer Joe Ansel
2011 We Bought a Zoo Duncan Mee
2012 John Carter Tal Hajus Performance capture
2013 Lucky Them Charlie
2013 Whitewash Bruce
2014 Heaven Is for Real Jay Olson
2015 Max Ray
2015 Daddy's Home Leo
2016 Cardboard Boxer Willie
2017 Crash Pad Grady
2018 The Peanut Butter Falcon Clint
Year Title Role Notes
1989 Cheers Gordie Brown Episode: "Death Takes A Holiday on Ice"
1990–1995 Wings Lowell Mather 123 episodes
1995–1997 Ned & Stacey Ned Dorsey 35 episodes
1998 Mr. Murder Drew Oslett Jr. Movie
2004 Teen Titans Killer Moth Episode: "Date with Destiny"
2006 Broken Trail Tom Harte TV miniseries
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2012 Regular Show Quillgin Voice; Episode: "Christmas Special"
2016–present Divorce Robert Dufresne 18 episodes


  1. ^ a b How did Thomas Haden Church land his role on Divorce? 'I was age-appropriate', Oct. 2016 in the Guardian: As he points out, he has never been divorced (or married). “But I did go through a pretty significant upheaval several years ago. I have an ex with two children. So having gone through something as sort of life-changing as that myself … ” he trails off a bit, sounding uncomfortable, and pivots to something less personal.
  2. ^ a b c d Buck, Jerry (August 3, 1992). "'Wings' Character Stumbles, But He's Not Stupid, Star Says". Deseret News. Associated Pres. Retrieved March 1, 2013. His birth name was McMillen, but he took his stepfather's name of Quesada. He changed it to Thomas Haden Church 'because nobody could spell Quesada or pronounce it.' 
  3. ^ "Thomas Haden Church". TV Guide. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Thomas Haden Church". AllMovie. Retrieved February 16, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "Carl Richard McMillen, 71". Bonner County Daily Bee. April 11, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "George A. Quesada". Denton Record-Chronicle. July 18, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Ed Pilkington (May 16, 2008). "Naked ambition". The Guardian. Retrieved May 17, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Overheard with Evan Smith". January 12, 2017. 
  9. ^ Rebecca Ascher-Walsh (April 10, 2008). "Thomas Haden Church's choice career". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 17, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Spider-Man 3 Interviews: Thomas Haden Church - SuperHeroHype". Superherohype.com. April 22, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Thomas Haden Church vs Joe the Plumber". Funnyordie.com. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  12. ^ "FEARnet Goes to Church for Zombie Roadkill", dreadcentral.com; accessed June 10, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Goldman, Andrew (May 23, 2007). "Church's Doctrine: Thomas Haden Church tells us why he loves older women and making out". Elle. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Thomas Haden Church's choice career". Latimes.com. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2017 – via LA Times. 

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