Stephen Lang –

Stephen Lang in TERRA NOVA.

About Stephen Lang (1952 – )

Lang was born in New York City, the youngest child of Theresa (née Volmer, d. 2008) and Eugene Lang, a prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist. He has two elder siblings - Jane, an attorney and activist, and David, who served as an executive at REFAC, the company their father founded in 1952. Lang's father has donated much of his net worth (in excess of $150 million) to charity and will not leave an inheritance to his children, believing they each needed to learn to become self-sufficient. Lang's mother was of German-Irish Catholic descent, and his father is Jewish (Lang's paternal grandparents were immigrants from Hungary).

Lang attended school in Jamaica Estates, Queens. For high school, he attended George School, a Quaker boarding school in Newtown, PA. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1973 with a degree in English Literature; on May 30, 2010, Swarthmore awarded him an Honorary Degree from College in recognition of his distinguished career in theatre, television, and film. His youngest son, Noah, received his bachelor's degree during the same ceremony. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Jacksonville University and was an artist in residence at Northeastern University in 2011. In the fall of 2015, Lang served as a Jury Member for the Woodstock Film Festival.

Lang has been married to Kristina Watson, a costume designer and teacher, since June 1, 1980. They have four children.

Lang played Harold (Happy) Loman in the 1984 Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman and the 1985 television film with Dustin Hoffman as Willy Loman, and appeared in the first Hannibal Lecter film Manhunter, as reporter Freddy Lounds. He played attorney David Abrams in the television series Crime Story. He played the title role in the NBC movie Babe Ruth. He later played the "One Armed Man" in the 2000 revival of The Fugitive starring Tim Daly. The series was a modest success but lasted only one season because of its large production budget.

In 1992, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his lead role in The Speed of Darkness. His film role in Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) garnered him widespread critical acclaim, but its limited release prevented the film from reaching a wider audience. On stage, he was the first to play the role of Colonel Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men, a role made famous on film by Jack Nicholson. He is the winner of over half a dozen theatre awards including the Drama Desk and Helen Hayes awards.

In films, he played Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett in Gettysburg and the lead role of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in the Gettysburg prequel Gods and Generals, both from director Ronald Maxwell. He considers Gods and Generals to be his finest performance. Arguably, his most famous film role, before Avatar, was his portrayal of the villainous Ike Clanton in the successful Western Tombstone with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.

Shortly before Arthur Miller's death in February 2005, Lang appeared in his long-time friend's last play, Finishing the Picture. It premiered in 2004 at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, where Lang had the second run of his own play Beyond Glory, which had premiered in Arlington, Virginia, early in 2004, and his Tony-nominated portrayal in The Speed of Darkness. Lang also performed Beyond Glory, a one-man show, for troops overseas. In 2006, he played the role of Colonel Littlefield in John Patrick Shanley's play Defiance. He brought Beyond Glory to Roundabout's Off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre in 2007. Since its New York City premiere, Beyond Glory has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award and a Lucille Lortel Award both for outstanding solo performance.

Lang has a role in the ESPN mini-series The Bronx is Burning, as well as roles in independent features Save Me and From Mexico With Love. He is most well-known for a lead role in James Cameron's Avatar as the villainous Colonel Quaritch.

In 2009, he appeared in Michael Mann's film Public Enemies as Texas Ranger Charles Winstead, the man widely considered to have fired the shots that killed John Dillinger and in Grant Heslov's The Men Who Stare at Goats alongside Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor and George Clooney.

Also in 2009, he narrated the audiobook Road Rage—which combines the short stories "Duel" by Richard Matheson and "Throttle" by Stephen King and Joe Hill—and guest-starred in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent Season 8 finale, "Revolution" in the role of Axel Kaspers. In 2010 he performed the narration for "The Gettysburg Story: Battlefield Auto Tour," the top-selling audio tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield at Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA. Written and produced by filmmaker Jake Boritt and based on works by historian Gabor Boritt it tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg National Cemetery. Lang is also the narrator of the companion Public Television documentary The Gettysburg Story presented by Maryland Public Television.

Lang played the villain Khalar Zym in the 2011 Conan the Barbarian reboot starring Jason Momoa. He also played one of the leads, Nathaniel Taylor, in the Steven Spielberg-produced TV series Terra Nova.

In February 2012, he signed on to play Mary Shannon's estranged father in a three episode arc on the final season of the USA television series In Plain Sight.

In 2013 Lang appeared in The Monkey's Paw for Chiller TV.

Lang has been confirmed as reprising his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch in the upcoming sequels to Avatar.

He plays Increase Mather, in a recurring role, on WGN America's first original scripted series, Salem.

Recently, Lang joined the cast of AMC's martial arts drama Into the Badlands as well as Fede Alvarez's upcoming horror-thriller Don't Breathe.

In Feb 2016, Lang was reportedly lobbying for the role of Cable in the Deadpool sequel through captioned Instagram pictures.

Stephen Lang's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1985Death of a SalesmanHappy
1985Twice in a LifetimeKeith
1986Band of the HandJoe
1986ManhunterFreddy Lounds
1987Project XWatts
1989Last Exit to BrooklynHarry Black
1991The Hard WayParty Crasher
1991Another YouDibbs
1992Human CargoAramco Contractor
1993Guilty as SinPhil Garson
1993GettysburgMaj. Gen. George E. Pickett
1993The Making of GettysburgHimself/Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett
1993TombstoneIke Clanton
1995Tall TaleJonas Hackett
1995The Amazing Panda AdventureMichael Tyler
1996Loose WomenProphet Buddy
1996The WestHimself
1996Gang in BlueMoose Tavola
1996An Occasional HellAlex Laughton
1997Shadow ConspiracyThe Agent
1997Niagara, NiagaraClaude
1997Fire Down BelowEarl Kellogg
1998Escape: Human CargoDennis McNatt
1999Story of a Bad BoySpygo
2000TrixieJacob Slotnick
2000Running MatesRon Noble (Financier) (uncredited)
2001The ProposalSimon Bacig
2002The Making of TombstoneHimself/Ike Clanton
2003The I InsideMr. Travitt
2003Code 11-14Justin Shaw
2003Gods and GeneralsGen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
2003Gods and Generals: Journey to the PastHimself/Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
2006The TreatmentCoach Galgano
2007Save MeTed
2008From Mexico with LoveBig Al Stevens
2008Medal of HonorNarrator
2009Public EnemiesCharles Winstead
2009The Men Who Stare at GoatsGeneral Hopgood
2009AvatarCol. Miles Quaritch
2010ChristinaInspector Edgar Reinhardt
2010False Creek StoriesNarrator
2010White Irish DrinkersPatrick
2011Conan the BarbarianKhalar Zym
2011Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to YouBarry Rogers
2013Officer DownLieutenant Jake LaRussa
2013The Gettysburg StoryHimself/Narrator
2013The Monkey's PawTony Cobb
201323 BlastCoach Farris
2014The Nut JobKing
2014Gutshot StraightDuffy
2014In the BloodCasey
2014Jarhead 2: Field of FireMajor James Gavins
2014A Good Marriage
2015Beyond Glory: Tour of DutyHimself
2015ExeterFather Conway
2015Band of RobbersInjun Joe
2016Don't BreatheThe Blind Man

Stephen Lang's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
Crime StoryAttorney David Abrams
1995The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirCriminal Gun Shooter
1997The Outer LimitsDr. James Houghton
1997Liberty! The American RevolutionGeorge Washington
The FugitiveBen Charnquist
2002EdJack Foster
2003Law & Order: Special Victims UnitMichael Baxter
2005Johnny ZeroOfficer Tanner
2005Law & OrderTerry Dorn
2007The Bronx Is BurningInspector Dowd
2009Law & Order: Criminal IntentAxel Kaspers
2009PsychMr. Salamatchla
2011Terra NovaCommander Nathaniel Taylor
2012In Plain SightJames Wiley Shannon
SalemIncrease Mather
2015To AppomattoxJohn Brown
2015Into the BadlandsWaldo

Memorable Quotes by Stephen Lang

[about his role as Stonewall Jackson] “It's not about flag waving to me, it's about showing a real American hero.”

[on reasons for his role in White Irish Drinkers]“One, I really liked the title, that's how shallow I am. But the main reason was, I was afraid of it. You kind of heave a sigh and go, "Oh God, I'm going to have to go there?".”

“Acting can be a very reactive profession. Acting is a fantastic thing, and it's my life, but writing is also part of me too, so I did it and in so doing took responsibility for my own life. And it was very directly and specifically because of "Beyond Glory" that Jim Cameron cast me in Avatar (2009). And Avatar is responsible for the good fortune I've had over the last few years.”

“I have a penchant for playing God's clowns. Actually, I played Nijinsky once, and he used to call himself God's clown.”

“In a rehearsal room, your real resources as an actor aren't the things around you; your resources are your imagination and your director and the other actors. In those close quarters, your imagination and your skills are what you turn to.”

“As you get older, stuff starts to wear down. I can't play four basketball games a week anymore. It takes me three days to recover from one. I'm a little older, a little scrappier. So now I do yoga instead. And whatever else happens in the day, I'm set up in the best way possible. I feel great. I'm so flexible.”

Things You May Not Know About Stephen Lang

Has narrated numerous audiobooks and was recently awarded the Audiofile Earphone award.

Has played Colonel Nathan R. Jessep in the hit Broadway show "A Few Good Men". Jack Nicholson enacted the stern, officious "You can't handle the truth!" role when it moved to film starring Tom Cruise and Demi Moore.

Has played Happy, one of Dustin Hoffman's sons, in the acclaimed 1984 Broadway revival of "Death of a Salesman". John Malkovich played the other son, Biff. Next followed the acclaimed 1985 TV adaptation of Death of a Salesman, directed by Volker Schlöndorff.

Gave special performances of his one-man show "Beyond Glory" which deals with America's greatest war heroes who were awarded the Medal of Honor, for both the U.S. Senate in Washington and the U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf. The show was backed by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Has appeared in two films about serial killers: Manhunter and The Hard Way. Manhunter was based on the novel Red Dragon.

His parents have been large contributors to Swarthmore College. Their name appears on several buildings, including the Lang Center For Civic and Social Responsibility, the Lang Music Building, and the Eugene and Theresa Lang Performing Arts Center.

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Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch in James Cameron's Avatar (2009)...
with Sam Worthington in second picture from bottom.
Lang in his one-man show Beyond Glory (2015).
Lang in Christina (2010)... top picture with Nicki Aycox.
In Code 11-14 (2003).
In Conan the Barbarian (2011).
Lang in Don't Breathe (2016)... top picture with Dylan Minnette.
As Father Conway in Exeter (2015).
In From Mexico with Love (2008).
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Lang as Stonewall Jackson in Gods and Generals (2003)...
bottom picture with Robert Duvall.
Lang in Gridlocked (2015).
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Lang in Into the Badlands (2015).
In Jarhead 2: Field of Fire (2014).
In Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989).
In Officer Down (2013).
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In Michael Mann's Public Enemies (2009).
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As Increase Mather in Salem (2014-2015).
Lang, center, in Save Me (2007).
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As Commander Taylor in Terra Nova (2011).
As Tony in The Monkey's Paw (2013).
Stephen Lang as Patrick in White Irish Drinkers (2010).