John Arthur Lithgow (pron.: /ˈlɪθɡoʊ/ lith-goh; born October 19, 1945) is an American character actor, musician, and author. Lithgow has been involved with a wide range of media projects, including stage, television, film, and radio. He also has written and published several books of poetry and children's literature. He appeared in the films The World According to Garp (1982) and Terms of Endearment (1983), receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for each. Lithgow is well known for his roles as the Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose, Dick Solomon on the NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, the voice of Lord Farquaad in Shrek, and Arthur Mitchell on Showtime's Dexter, for which he won Golden Globe and Emmy awards. On the stage, he appeared in the musical adaptation of Sweet Smell of Success, winning the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He again appeared in a musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, again receiving a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He has also recorded music, such as the 1999 album of children's music, Singin' in the Bathtub, and has written poetry and short stories for children, such as Marsupial Sue.
He is one of the voice actors from Dr. Seuss Video Classics.
You will hear him in
The Big Brag as the Narrator, the Rabbit, the Bear and The old Worm
In terms of his television career, Lithgow is probably most widely known for his starring role as Dick Solomon in the 1996–2001 NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in each of the program's six seasons and won three times, in 1996, 1997, and 1999. His son Ian regularly appeared alongside him as Leon, one of his physics students. In 1986, Lithgow received a Primetime Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for his appearance in the episode The Doll of the Amazing Stories anthology series. Additionally, Lithgow has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for The Day After (1983), and two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for Resting Place (1986) and My Brother's Keeper (1995). Lithgow was approached about playing Dr. Frasier Crane on Cheers, but turned it down. Lithgow starred with Jeffrey Tambor in the NBC sitcom Twenty Good Years. Since 2006 he has starred in Campbell Soup Company's commercials advertising their Campbell's Select premium soup brand. On March 5, 2009, Lithgow made a cameo on NBC's 30 Rock, in the episode "Goodbye, My Friend," with several references to his role in Harry and the Hendersons. In September 2009, Lithgow joined the cast of Dexter as Arthur Mitchell, a serial killer and Dexter Morgan's nemesis. He won a Golden Globe Award for this role, and won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series. He guest starred on How I Met Your Mother in the role of Barney Stinson's father, Jerry.
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