Josh Brolin

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Josh Brolin
Josh Brolin Berlin 2016.jpg
Brolin at the 66th Berlin International
Film Festival
in February 2016
Born Josh James Brolin
(1968-02-12) February 12, 1968 (age 50)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1984–present
Spouse(s) Alice Adair (m. 1988; div. 1994)
Diane Lane (m. 2004; div. 2013)
Kathryn Boyd (m. 2016)
Children 2
Parent(s) James Brolin (father)
Jane Cameron Agee (mother)

Josh James Brolin[1] (/ˈbrlɪn/; born February 12, 1968)[2] is an American actor. His first role was in the 1985 film The Goonies. Since then he has appeared in a wide number of films, and is best known for his work as Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men, young Agent K in Men in Black 3, George W. Bush in W., and Dan White in Milk, for which he received Academy Award and SAG Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Other roles include Hollow Man, In the Valley of Elah, American Gangster, True Grit, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and Inherent Vice. In 2015, he appeared in Everest and Sicario.

Brolin plays the villain Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a role he has made two appearances in thus far through motion capture and voice acting, and which he is slated to reprise in the upcoming films Avengers: Infinity War and the as-yet untitled Avengers film. In April 2017, Brolin was cast as Nathan Summers / Cable as a part of a four-film contract in the X-Men film series, with his first appearance intended to be in Deadpool 2.[3]

Early life[edit]

Brolin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Jane Cameron (Agee), a wildlife activist who was a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, and actor James Brolin.[4][5] Brolin was raised on a ranch in Templeton, California,[6] with little exposure to his father's acting career.[7] His parents divorced when he was 16 years old. In 1998 his father married his third wife, singer/actress Barbra Streisand.[8] Brolin became interested in acting after taking an improv acting class in high school.[7]

Brolin explained in a 2014 interview that during his teenage years, he was a member of a surfing friendship group who called themselves the "Cito Rats". In his description of the group, he stated: "It was Santa Barbara. It was the '80s. It was punk rock. You either had the children of rich, neglectful parents or children of poor, neglectful parents, so it was a mix. But we basically grew up the same way. I've never seen a group like that before or since." He admitted to stealing cars to pay for his drug use, which included heroin, a drug that he explained he did not like: "I mean, I never got into it and I never died from it, which is a good thing." The majority of the friends whom he grew up with died; he confirmed the total number of fatalities as 24.[9]



Brolin at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.

Brolin started his career in TV films and guest roles on TV shows before getting a more notable role as Brand Walsh in the Richard Donner-directed film The Goonies (1985).[7] He was considered for the role of Tom Hanson in the series 21 Jump Street; he and Johnny Depp were the finalists for the role, and at that time the two became close and remained friends. The role was ultimately awarded to Depp.[10][11] Brolin guest-starred in an episode of the show in its first season.[12]

Brolin implied that he turned away from film acting for years after the premiere of his second film, Thrashin', where he witnessed what he called "horrendous" acting on his part.[13] For several years, he appeared in stage roles in Rochester, New York, often alongside mentor and friend Anthony Zerbe. One of Brolin's more prominent roles early in his career was that of "Wild Bill" Hickok in the ABC western TV series The Young Riders, which lasted three seasons (1989–92).[7] Two other TV series he was involved in include the Aaron Spelling production Winnetka Road (1994) and Mister Sterling (2003), both of which were cancelled after a few episodes.

Brolin's extensive film work consists of many villainous roles in late-2000s/early-2010s films, including Planet Terror (one of two feature-length segments of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez collaboration Grindhouse), Gus Van Sant's Milk, American Gangster, and Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.[7] He also played the lead role in the Coen brothers' Academy Award-winning film No Country for Old Men.

Brolin also starred in another Oliver Stone film in 2008 called W., a biopic about key events in the life of President George W. Bush.[7][14] Stone pursued an initially hesitant Brolin for the role. He said of his decision to cast Brolin in the leading role:[15]

Brolin received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Gus Van Sant's biopic Milk as city supervisor Dan White, who assassinated San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.[16] He made news by wearing a White Knot to the Academy Awards ceremony to demonstrate solidarity with the marriage equality movement.[17] Brolin told an interviewer that co-star Sean Penn, who portrayed Milk, decided to dispel any nerves the actors had about playing gay men by grabbing the bull by the horns. At the first cast dinner, which included castmates James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Diego Luna, Brolin said, "[Penn] walked right up and grabbed me and planted a huge one right on my lips."[15] Brolin has received critical acclaim for his performance and, in addition to his Oscar nomination, received NYFCC and NBR Awards for Best Supporting Actor and a nomination for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

In 2010, Brolin was cast to portray the titular character in Jonah Hex, based on the DC Comics' character with the same name.[18] Brolin later was cast the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones's character, Kevin Brown / Agent K, in Men in Black 3 (2012).[19] A year later he starred in the film Gangster Squad, portraying fictional WWII Veteran named John O'Mara.[20]

Brolin was one of the actors who was considered for the role of Bruce Wayne / Batman in the DC Extended Universe, a deal which would have begun with Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but Ben Affleck was chosen for the role instead.[21] The following year, it was announced that Thanos would be played by Josh Brolin within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Brolin portrays the character through motion capture performance, as well as voice acting. He made appearances as the character in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) while reprising the character in a starring role for Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and the as-of-yet untitled Avengers film (2019), two films which are being filmed back-to-back.[22]

In April 2017, Brolin signed a four-film contract with 20th Century Fox studios to portray the Marvel Comics character Nathan Summers / Cable in the X-Men film series, with Deadpool 2 intended to be the first installment within that contract.

Writing and directing[edit]

In 2009, Brolin executive produced and performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[23]

Brolin wrote and directed the short film X, as his directorial debut. The film, about an inmate who escapes prison to reunite with his daughter and search for her murdered mother, was the opening film at the first annual Union City International Film Festival in Union City, New Jersey in December 2010.[24][25][26]

Personal life[edit]

Marriages and family[edit]

Brolin with then-wife Diane Lane in December 2009

Brolin was married to actress Alice Adair from 1988 until 1994;[27] they have two children, Trevor Mansur (born June 1988) and Eden (born 1994). He was engaged to actress Minnie Driver for six months.[27] He later married actress Diane Lane on August 15, 2004.[28] Brolin and Lane filed for divorce in February 2013. The divorce was made official November 27, 2013.[29] In March 2015, Brolin became engaged to his former assistant and model Kathryn Boyd.[30] The couple married on September 24, 2016.[31]

Legal issues[edit]

On December 20, 2004, Brolin's wife Diane Lane called the police after an altercation with him, and he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. Lane declined to press charges and the couple's spokesman characterized the incident as a misunderstanding.[32]

On July 12, 2008, Brolin was arrested after an altercation at the Stray Cat Bar in Shreveport, Louisiana, along with actor Jeffrey Wright and five other crew members of W. Brolin was released after posting a cash bond of $334.[33][34] Brolin said to a reporter, "It was nice to be in jail knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong. And it was maddening to be in jail knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong."[15] Charges against all seven men were later dropped by Shreveport prosecutors.[35]

Brolin was arrested for public intoxication on New Year's Day, 2013 in Santa Monica, California.[36] The remainder of 2013 proved very difficult for him, and he later explained: "Well, it was another turning point. It made me think of a lot of things. My mom dying when I was in my 20s. All the impact that had on me that I hadn't moved past; I was always such a momma's boy. But I realized that I was on a destructive path. I knew that I had to change and mature."[9]

Business interests[edit]

Brolin commenced active stock trading in his mid 20s and briefly considered quitting acting. In 2014, he explained that he made a large amount of money over a three-year period: "Fear and greed, that's all that there is. And I traded very specifically. I found momentum stocks that had room to breathe and I just grab a little of the breath." He was also co-founder of the now defunct stock trading website[37]



Year Title Role Director Notes
1985 Goonies, TheThe Goonies Brandon "Brand" Walsh Richard Donner
1986 Thrashin' Corey Webster David Winters
1993 The Road Killers Tom
1996 Bed of Roses Danny Michael Goldenberg
Flirting with Disaster Tony Kent David O. Russell
1997 Mimic Josh Guillermo del Toro
Nightwatch James Gallman Ole Bornedal
1999 Mod Squad, TheThe Mod Squad Billy Waites Scott Silver
Best Laid Plans Bryce Mike Barker
It's the Rage Tennel James D. Stern
2000 Hollow Man Matt Kensington Paul Verhoeven Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Science Fiction
Slow Burn Duster Christian Ford
2003 Milwaukee, Minnesota Gary Allan Mindel
2005 Melinda and Melinda Greg Earlinger Woody Allen
Into the Blue Derek Bates John Stockwell
2006 Dead Girl, TheThe Dead Girl Tarlow Karen Moncrieff
2007 Grindhouse Dr. William Block Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino Segment: Planet Terror
In the Valley of Elah Chief Buchwald Paul Haggis
No Country for Old Men Llewelyn Moss Joel and Ethan Coen National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
American Gangster Det. Reno Trupo Ridley Scott Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2008 W. George W. Bush Oliver Stone Nominated—IFTA Award for Best International Actor
Nominated—London Film Critics' Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Milk Dan White Gus Van Sant Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supportting Role
2009 Women in Trouble Nick Chapel Sebastian Gutierrez Comedy
People Speak, TheThe People Speak Himself Howard Zinn, Chris Moore, & Anthony Arnove Documentary
2010 Jonah Hex Jonah Hex Jimmy Hayward
Tillman Story, TheThe Tillman Story Himself Amir Bar-Lev Narrator[38]
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Roy Woody Allen
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Bretton James Oliver Stone
True Grit Tom Chaney Joel and Ethan Coen
2012 Men in Black 3 Young Agent K Barry Sonnenfeld
2013 Gangster Squad John O'Mara Ruben Fleischer
Oldboy Joe Doucett Spike Lee
Labor Day Frank Chambers Jason Reitman
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Thanos James Gunn Uncredited cameo
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Dwight McCarthy Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller
Inherent Vice Lt. Det. Christian "Bigfoot" Bjornsen Paul Thomas Anderson Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Detroit Film Critics Society for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (runner-up)
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron Thanos Joss Whedon Uncredited cameo
Sicario Matt Graver Denis Villeneuve
Everest Beck Weathers Baltasar Kormákur
2016 Hail, Caesar! Eddie Mannix Joel and Ethan Coen
2017 Only the Brave Eric "Supe" Marsh Joseph Kosinski
2018 The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter Buck Ferguson Jody Hill Post-production
Avengers: Infinity War Thanos Joe and Anthony Russo Post-production[39]
Deadpool 2 Nathan Summers / Cable David Leitch Post-production
Sicario 2: Soldado Matt Graver Stefano Sollima Post-production
2019 Untitled Avengers film Thanos Joe and Anthony Russo Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Highway to Heaven Josh Bryant Episode: "Finish Line"[40]
1987–1988 Private Eye Johnny Betz 7 episodes
1987 21 Jump Street Taylor Rolator Episode: "My Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"
1989 Finish Line Glenn Television movie
1989–1992 Young Riders, TheThe Young Riders James Butler Hickok 67 episodes
1994 Winnetka Road Jack Passion 6 episodes
1995 Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits Jack Pierce Episode: "Virtual Future"
1997 Gang in Blue Keith DeBruler Television film
2000 Picnic Hal Carter Television film
2003 Mister Sterling Senator Bill Sterling 10 episodes
2005 Into the West Jedediah Smith Episode: "Wheel to the Stars"
2008–2012 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) 2 episodes
2012 Mankind: The Story of All of Us Narrator (voice) 12 episodes


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  6. ^ "board of directors & staff". 11 January 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
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  10. ^ Josh Brolin Really, Really Likes Johnny Depp, Says 'Thank God He Exists' Archived 2010-10-01 at the Wayback Machine., September 28, 2010
  11. ^ Mair, George (1997). "21 Jump Street". The Barry Diller Story: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Entertainment Mogul. John Wiley and Sons. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-471-29948-6. 
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  23. ^ "Credits". The People Speak. Archived from the original on July 13, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010. 
  24. ^ "UC International Film Festival to be held this weekend", The Union City Reporter, November 28, 2010, Page 4
  25. ^ Mestanza, Jean-Pierre. "Brolin film screening at festival", Hudson Dispatch Weekly, November 25, 2010, Page 8
  26. ^ "UNION CITY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TO OPEN WITH JOSH BROLIN’S ACCLAIMED SHORT FILM 'X'" Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine. NecioTV, November 18, 2010
  27. ^ a b Stephen Rebello (October 2010). "Playboy Interview: Josh Brolin". Playboy. 
  28. ^ Schneller, Johanna (January 2005). "Changing Lane". In Style. 
  29. ^ "Exclusive: Josh Brolin, Diane Lane Divorcing After Eight Years". Us Weekly. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  30. ^ "Josh Brolin takes U-Turn at Cannes to bring in Fiancee Kathryn Boyd". 21 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  31. ^ "Josh Brolin ties the knot". Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
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  33. ^ "Actor Brolin arrested after fight". BBC News. July 14, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Brolin, Wright, others in film crew arrested". Associated Press. July 13, 2008. Archived from the original on July 17, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008. 
  35. ^ Attorney says charges against Brolin to be dropped Yahoo News, January 6, 2009[dead link]
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  37. ^ Sam Allis (November 4, 2007). "Josh Brolin is more than just a familiar face". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
  38. ^ Josh Brolin Scores Touchdown with 'The Tillman Story' Narration Archived 2011-05-19 at the Wayback Machine. accessAtlanta, August 10, 2010
  39. ^ Filmed back to back with Avengers 4
  40. ^ "Paul Walker stars in 'Highway to Heaven', 1986". 1 December 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2017. 

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