Who is Pruitt Taylor Vince?
Pruitt Taylor Vince is an American actor who is best known for his role of serial killer Clifford Banks on the ABC television series 'Murder One: Diary of a Serial Killer', for which he received a 'Primetime Emmy Award' in 1997. Recognized as one of the best character actors of his generation, he has portrayed a diverse array of characters throughout his career. Some of his other notable performances were in films like 'Shy People', 'Mississippi Burning', 'Nobody's Fool', 'Heavy', 'Legend of 1900', 'Love from Ground Zero', 'Identity', and 'Flypaper'. He has acted in several telefilms and had major roles on television series such as 'Touching Evil', 'Deadwood', 'House', 'The Mentalist', 'The Walking Dead', and 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’. Vince, who often alternated between heroic and villainous characters, was once quoted saying, "I think the bad-guy roles are fun - there are more of them, and they're written more colorfully."
Rise to Stardom
Pruitt Taylor Vince made his acting debut in Jim Jarmusch's 1986 independent film 'Down by Law'; however, his scenes were edited out of the final version of the film. In the following years, he got recognition for his excellent performances in the films 'Shy People' and 'Mississippi Burning'. While he played something of a blathering redneck idiot in both films, the pathos in his performances made it impossible to dismiss the characters as plain bad people. He later played several prominent supporting roles in major films, such as Lee Bowers in 'JFK' in 1991 and Rub Squeers, the main character's best friend, in 'Nobody's Fool' in 1994.
In 1995, he landed his first lead role in James Mangold's independent film 'Heavy'. In the film, he played the role of a sweet, silent and overweight cook who harbored a crush on a waitress, played by Liv Tyler, who was playing her first proper role as well. He packed a powerful performance in the film, making it heart wrenching to watch him gradually lose grip on his life. Nevertheless, it remained one of the most underrated performances of the 90s. His performance as serial killer Clifford Banks on the second season of the legal drama 'Murder One: Diary of a Serial Killer', in 1997, earned a cult status. He went on to win the 1997 'Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Performance by an Actor' for the role, beating out 'Oscar' winners Alan Arkin and Louis Gossett Jr., and 'Oscar' nominee William H. Macy for the award.
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While Pruitt Taylor Vince hardly got more opportunities to showcase his acting prowess in the later years, he continued to appear in remarkable roles in films and on television throughout his career. He played a lovable small-town pub owner in the 1996 romantic comedy 'Beautiful Girls'. In 1998, he had a starring role as Max Tooney in Giuseppe Tornatore's 'Legend of 1900' and co-starred in 'Love from Ground Zero'. He appeared as a pompous sheriff in the 2000 black comedy film 'Nurse Betty', a disheveled gossip columnist in the 2002 sci-fi film 'Simone', a serial killer with multiple personalities in the 2003 psychological slasher film 'Identity', and a priest with psychic abilities in the 2005 occult detective film 'Constantine'.
His film credits in the following years included 'Captivity', 'The Echo', 'The Smell of Success', 'Flypaper', 'On the Inside', 'Jules Verne's Mysterious Island', 'Dark Tourist', '13 Sins', 'The Devil's Candy' and 'Gotti'. He most recently appeared in the 2018 Netflix post-apocalyptic thriller 'Bird Box' starring Sandra Bullock.
On television, he had recurring roles, such as Cyril Kemp in 'Touching Evil', Mose Manuel in 'Deadwood', J.J. LaRoche in 'The Mentalist', Finn in 'True Blood', Casper Abraham in 'Heroes Reborn', and Grill in 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’. He appeared as Otis on three episodes of the AMC television series 'The Walking Dead' and had a guest role playing a 600-lb patient in Fox's medical drama 'House'. Some of his other notable guest appearances were in 'Alias', 'The X-Files', 'Miami Vice', 'Quantum Leap', 'Chicago Hope', 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation', and 'Highlander: The Series'.
Family & Personal Life
Pruitt Taylor Vince was born on July 5, 1960 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. While studying in high school, he ended up in a drama class due to a computer error in his school registration that had scheduled him for an acting class. He later attended Louisiana State University. He suffers from a condition called nystagmus which causes involuntary movement of the eye. Considering that he often plays disturbed individuals, the twitches caused by his eye condition seem to enhance his acting.
Pruitt Taylor Vince is twice married. His first marriage was to a woman named Anne Schneider, but it is unknown when they married or how long they were married. He later married Julianne Mattelig on May 24, 2003.