Danny Huston is an American actor and director who has worked with Academy award-nominated actors from the very start of his career. No surprise for a man who was born into a legendary Hollywood family whose most noted members included his half-sister, his father, his grandfather, his nephew, and of course, himself.
Born in Rome, Huston's parents were Zoe Sallis and John Huston. Sallis was an established author in her own right. John Huston was, by that point, famous for his many high caliber films, and notorious for his personal life, which included five marriages, two children, another adopted child, and many affairs, one of which resulted in Danny's conception.
Like his half-sister, Anjelica Huston, Danny Huston chose to follow his father into the world of film. His birthright served as a blessing, so that his first film appearance as an actor was in The 'Human' Factor (1975), a revenge film directed by and starring men who already had Oscar nominations under their belts. Following that small appearance, Huston turned to directing for the next few years. It wasn't until the late 1980s that Huston directed his first made-for-television film, Mister Corbett's Ghost (1987). Based on a novella by Leon Garfied, the film starred such screen legends as Paul Scofield and Burgess Meredith. It is also notable for being the final acting project of Huston's father John, who spent his final years assisting his children in their own budding film careers. Shortly before his death, John helped produce his son's first feature length film, Mr. North (1988). The film was directed by Huston, and included his half-sister Anjelica in the cast, as well as Virginia Madsen, whom Huston would marry for a few years.
Huston followed this up with the sexual drama Becoming Colette (1991), starring Klaus Maria Brandauer, and the horror film The Maddening (1995), starring Burt Reynolds. Neither film made a huge impact, and it was around this time, twenty years after his last acting role, that Huston returned to appearing in front of the camera. Starting modestly as a barman in the highly acclaimed Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Huston followed up with a supporting role in Anna Karenina (1997), alongside such would-be thespians as Sean Bean, Sophie Marceau, and Alfred Molina. The film was unfortunately a flop, as were Huston's next few film roles. In 2000, however, the tide finally turned, and Huston was able to break out as an established character actor.
Re-uniting with his Anna Karenina director, Bernard Rose, Huston starred in the small-budget film Ivansxtc (2000), which was an adaptation of a book by Leo Tolstoy. While not a financial triumph, the film received very positive reactions from critics. The same fate awaited the film Hotel (2001), which included Huston in a diverse cast which included Lucy Liu, Rhys Ifans, Salma Hayek, and John Malkovich. It was also around this time that Huston met and married his second wife, Katie Jane Evans, though this marriage would end in great tragedy several years later.
For now, though, Huston's career as an actor was just getting started. It was 21 Grams (2003) which secured Huston his first bona fide financial and critical success. Starring such names as Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro, the film follows a non-linear storyline dealing with the lives of several people who are affected by an automobile accident. Huston followed up this success by appearing in John Sayle's Silver City (2004), the controversial feature film Birth (2004), and Martin Scorsese's wildly successful film about Howard Hughes known as The Aviator (2004). Nominated for many awards, the film was also a success financially. But nothing Huston had done up to this point would equal to what he did next.
John Hillcoat's Australian western The Proposition (2005) is a very dark film set mostly in a small community in the Australian Outback during the 19th century. A criminal is dispatched by the local law enforcement to hunt down his older brother, Arthur Burns, and kill him. As played by Huston, Burns is a psychopath who cares nothing for the various rapes and murders that he has committed. He does, however, find some chasm of his heart to enjoy music, poetry, and the glorious beauty of the Australian sunsets. This layered performance as the film's villain arguably ranks as Huston's greatest performance to date. That same year, Huston played in the highly acclaimed film The Constant Gardener (2005), which tackled corruption, love, and humanitarian efforts by the West in Africa.
Huston moved from Oscar-winning film to Oscar-winning film the following year with the films Marie Antoinette (2006) and Children of Men (2006). In the former, Huston portrays the Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph II, as a cautious and thoughtful monarch who warns Marie Antoinette of her excessive lifestyle. He proves to be prophetic when the French mobs storm the Bastille and launch a revolution. In the latter film, set in a dystopian world of global human infertility, Huston portrays Nigel, a government official who uses his position to preserve famous artwork. Both films were highly successful, and further cemented Huston as a noted actor.
Huston proceeded to play Orson Welles in the thriller Fade to Black (2006), and also acted in the financially successful war film The Kingdom (2007) and the poorly received The Number 23 (2007). From this point onward, Huston would appear in many films, portraying characters of various importance. Among the more noted examples would be the superhero film X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), where Huston played the villainous role of William Stryker, the man who imprisons Wolverine and is responsible for his experimentation with adamantium. Huston also portrayed the Greek god Poseidon in Clash of the Titans (2010), as well as its sequel two years later. Whether the crime film Edge of Darkness (2010), the historical epic Robin Hood (2010), the biographical Hitchcock (2012), or the comedy 2 Jacks (2012) (which was another adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's work, again directed by Bernard Rose and also starred Huston's nephew Jack Huston ), Huston has constantly showed his range of accents, characters, and genres.
More recently, Huston has continued to appear in films, including the upcoming Tim Burton -directed biopic Big Eyes (2014) and "Frankenstein", which will once again reunite him with Bernard Rose. Huston has also moved into the world of television with such series as "Magic City" (which earned him a Golden Globe nomination), "American Horror Story", and "Masters of Sex". As busy and talented as he always has been through nearly four decades of work in the film industry, Danny Huston continues to work as one of Hollywood's veteran character actors.View Full Bio