Actor Jeff Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia but raised in Chelsea, Michigan, where his father Robert owned The Chelsea Lumber Company. (His father passed away in 2012). Jeff attended Central Michigan University, but became involved in acting and dropped out to pursue a career as an actor. Daniels made his feature film debut in Milos Forman's Ragtime (1981). He went on to prove himself to be one of Hollywood's most reliable and versatile actors with roles in successes such as Terms of Endearment(1983), The Purple Rose of Cairo(1985), Something Wild(1986), Arachnophobia(1990), Dumb & Dumber(1994), Pleasantville(1998), The Hours(2002) and Good Night, and Good Luck.(2005), to name a few. He is currently starring on “The Newsroom” an HBO series. It has been renewed for a second season, to premier in June 2013.
Alongside screen work, Daniels has many stage credits to his name and is the founder of The Purple Rose Theater Company in Chelsea, Michigan. He is also a musician and songwriter and has written song diaries for over thirty years. He has focused on recording a number of songs that he has written throughout his life, apparently marking key moments. He has kept busy with frequent gigs and two full length albums, Grandfather's Hat and Jeff Daniels Live and Unplugged.
Daniels is married to his childhood sweetheart, Kathleen Treado and they have three children. They reside in Chelsea, Michigan.
Jeff was inducted into the Michigan Walk of Fame on May 25, 2006 in Lansing, Michigan. He was a commencement speaker at the University of Michigan in 2009 and was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts.
(Quote from Jeff in 2009 - on living in Michigan) “I love living in Michigan, which has been great for my kids and my family. I just never did buy this idea that you have to live in Los Angeles to be an actor. I didn't see that as a requirement in my job description. We do have an airport in Michigan. Basically, years ago we had a child and wanted to raise our baby in a part of the country that we understood. My agent said, 'If you're willing to go to L.A. at your own expense for a meeting, then we're fine. Don't ever tell us that you can't afford it.' I think Michigan keeps you sane and on an even keel through the ups and downs. In Michigan, I do fireworks, shovel snow and live life.”