Jaws 3-D, The Right Stuff, Enemy Mine, Great Balls of Fire!, The Big Easy, Far from Heaven, The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, Vantage Point, Footloose, The Parent Trap, Soul Surfer and Innerspace.
Early lifeQuaid was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Juanita Bonniedale "Nita" (née Jordan), a real estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid (November 21, 1923 – February 8, 1987), an electrician and a third cousin of performer Gene Autry. He is the younger brother of actor Randy Quaid. The Quaid brothers grew up in Bellaire, Texas, which is a small city surrounded by Houston, and in southwest Houston. Quaid has English, Irish, and Cajun (French) ancestry. He attended Paul W. Horn Elementary School in Bellaire and Pershing Middle School in Houston. He studied Mandarin and dance at Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas, and later in college, at the University of Houston, under drama coach Cecil Pickett, who had previously taught at Bellaire High and whose daughter is actress Cindy Pickett. It was during his time at Bellaire High School that he developed the nickname 'Dennis Quand', (a combination of 'Quaid' and 'Bond') in relation to his obsession with the 007 movie character and was regularly referred to by this name.
CareerAfter his brother, Randy Quaid, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Last Detail (1973), Quaid dropped out of the University of Houston before graduating and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career of his own. He initially had trouble finding work but began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away (1979) and earned good reviews for his role in The Right Stuff (1983).
Known for his grin, Quaid has appeared in both comedic and dramatic roles. Quaid had starring roles in the films Enemy Mine (1985) and Innerspace (1987). He also achieved acclaim for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire! (1989). In 1989, he also appeared throughout the Bonnie Raitt music video for the song "Thing Called Love."
Quaid's career lost steam in the early 1990s, after he fought anorexia nervosa and kicked a cocaine addiction. He continued to garner positive reviews in a variety of films, however, such as Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp (1994). Quaid was also the guest star of a season 2 episode of Muppets Tonight (1997). He starred in the remake of The Parent Trap (1998), playing the part of the twins' father, and as an aging pro football quarterback in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday (1999). Some of Quaid's more recent film credits include Frequency (2000), The Rookie (2002), Far From Heaven (2002), Cold Creek Manor (2003), The Flight of the Phoenix (2004), In Good Company (2004), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Yours, Mine and Ours (2005), Vantage Point (2008), G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), and Pandorum (2009).
In 2009, Quaid guest starred in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, playing Mr. Krabs' grandfather, Captain Redbeard.
He portrayed U.S. President Bill Clinton, alongside Michael Sheen as Tony Blair and Hope Davis as Hillary Clinton, in the 2010 film The Special Relationship.
AwardsFor his role in Far from Heaven (2002) he won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male. He received nominations for Best Supporting Actor from the Golden Globe Awards, the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Relationships and childrenQuaid and actress P. J. Soles were married on November 25, 1978. The couple were divorced on January 23, 1983.
On February 14, 1991, he and Meg Ryan were married. Quaid and Ryan have a son, Jack Henry (born April 24, 1992), who played Marvel in the movie The Hunger Games. They were divorced on July 16, 2001. In a 2008 interview with Insight, Ryan stated, "Dennis was not faithful to me for a very long time, and that was very painful. I found out more about that after I was divorced."
Quaid dated Shanna Moakler in 2001. They were together when she was approached by Playboy, and they discussed it before she posed nude in the magazine. The relationship lasted for eight months.
Quaid married Kimberly Buffington, an Austin, Texas real-estate agent, on July 4, 2004 at his ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana. The couple had twins, born via a gestational carrier, on November 8, 2007, in Santa Monica, California. Their son Thomas Boone was born first at 8:26 A.M. and weighed six pounds, twelve ounces (3.06 kg). Daughter Zoe Grace was born two minutes later, weighing five pounds, nine ounces (2.52 kg).
On November 18, 2007, hospital staff mistakenly gave Quaid's ten-day-old twins a dosage of heparin 1,000 times the common dosage for infants; Their attorney said the newborns will "be fine now," but Quaid filed a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer, Baxter Healthcare, claiming that packaging for the two doses of heparin are not different enough. In May 2008, the Quaids testified before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asking U.S. Congress not to preempt the right to sue drug manufacturers for negligence under state law.
Buffington filed for divorce from Quaid in March 2012. According to the divorce petition, the marriage had "become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities." Buffington's attorney withdrew the divorce papers on April 26, 2012.