CAST OF DOLPHIN TALE
ACTORS & ACTRESSESWant to learn more about the cast of Dolphin Tale? Click on each actor's name for more information about their involvement in Dolphin Tale as well as past and future filming projects.
Dr. Clay Haskett, played by Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr. is among today's most successful and multi-talented artists, who has garnered acclaim in both the music and acting arenas. In addition to his role in "Dolphin Tale," he returns to Broadway later this fall to star in the revival of the musical "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever."
His love of music and performing dates back to his childhood in New Orleans, where he studied piano with such luminaries as James Booker and Ellis Marsalis. He first performed publicly at age five, appeared on his first recording at age ten, and released his self-titled major label debut for Columbia Records at 19, only a year after his high school graduation and his move to New York City. In the two decades since, he has released more than 20 albums, totaling more than 25 million in sales, and has received numerous music honors, including three Grammy Awards.
Connick's initial foray into the world of motion pictures came in 1989 when director Rob Reiner asked him to perform a number of standards for the romantic comedy smash "When Harry Met Sally." The movie's soundtrack brought Connick mainstream success, becoming his first multi-platinum album and also earning him his first Grammy, for Best Jazz Male Vocal Performance.
The following year, he made his feature film acting debut in the World War II drama "Memphis Belle." His acting credits also include Jodie Foster's "Little Man Tate"; Jon Amiel's "Copycat"; "Independence Day," with Will Smith; "Hope Floats," opposite Sandra Bullock; "Mickey," written by John Grisham; William Friedkin's "Bug"; Richard LaGravenese's "P.S. I Love You," with Hilary Swank; and "New in Town," opposite Renée Zellweger.
On the small screen, Connick starred in the ABC presentation of the musical "South Pacific" and played the recurring role of Grace's love interest, Dr. Leo Markus, on the hit NBC series "Will &Grace." In addition, he won an Emmy Award for the PBS Great Performances concert special "Harry Connick, Jr: Only You," and earned Emmy nominations for the Great Performances concert specials "Swinging Out Live" and, most recently, "Harry Connick, Jr. In Concert on Broadway." He also starred in two holiday specials, "When My Heart Finds Christmas" and "Harry for the Holidays," both built around his best-selling holiday albums.
In 2006, Connick made his Broadway acting debut in the Tony Award-winning revival of "The Pajama Game," earning nominations for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical. He had earlier received a Tony nomination for Best Original Score for the 2001 musical "Thou Shalt Not." In 1990, he played to sold-out audiences in "An Evening with Harry Connick, Jr. and His Orchestra – Live on Broadway" at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. In the summer of 2010, he again performed in concert on Broadway, in a sold-out limited engagement at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Lorraine Nelson, played by Ashley Judd
Ashley Judd has been recognized for her work as an acclaimed actress, as well as for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of a number of worthy causes.
Judd first gained attention from critics and audiences in Victor Nunez's 1993 film "Ruby in Paradise." She won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress, as well as the Emerging Actress Award from the Chicago Film Critics Association, for her performance in the movie's title role. In 2004, she earned a Golden Globe nomination in the category of Best Actress – Musical or Comedy for her portrayal of Linda Lee Porter in "De-Lovely," the Cole Porter biopic directed by Irwin Winkler.
Judd's recent film credits include the indie film "Flypaper," with Patrick Dempsey; the family comedy "Tooth Fairy," with Dwayne Johnson; Wayne Kramer's drama "Crossing Over," with Harrison Ford; the title role in Sandra Nettelbeck's drama "Helen," which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival; William Friedkin's horror thriller "Bug"; and Philip Kaufman's thriller "Twisted."
Her previous notable film work includes Julie Taymor's acclaimed biopic "Frida"; Callie Khouri's "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood"; "High Crimes," with Morgan Freeman; "Someone Like You"; "Where the Heart Is"; the Bruce Beresford-directed smash hit thriller "Double Jeopardy," with Tommy Lee Jones; "Eye of the Beholder"; "Simon Birch"; "Kiss the Girls," directed by Gary Fleder and also starring Freeman; Joel Schumacher's "A Time to Kill"; Michael Mann's "Heat," with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro; and Wayne Wang's "Smoke."
On the small screen, Judd next stars in the ABC one-hour drama "Missing," which will premiere in January 2012. In 1996, she earned Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for her performance as Norma Jean in the HBO movie "Norma Jean &Marilyn."
Judd has also received applause for her work on the Broadway stage. She starred in the 2003/04 revival of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," taking on the role of the tempestuous Maggie. Ten years earlier, she played Madge Owens in the 1994 revival of William Inge's "Picnic." She had made her stage debut in 1993 in the Naked Angels' production of "Busted," directed by Timothy Hutton.
Apart from her busy acting career, Judd has traveled the world as a passionate advocate and spokesperson for a variety of human rights and environmental organizations. A 2007 National Geographic documentary featured Judd's travels to India as part of her commitment as the Global Ambassador for YouthAids. Her efforts have also been spotlighted in documentaries for the Learning Channel and VH1.
Judd is on the board of directors of Population Services International (PSI), which strives to improve the lives and health of the poor and other vulnerable people in developing nations. Among her endeavors on the environmental front, she is on the board of directors of Defenders of Wildlife. She has also visited legislators on Capitol Hill, addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations on the scourge of human trafficking, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the protection of women, and served as an expert panelist at Clinton Global Initiative on the subjects of safe water and the empowerment of girls.
An eighth-generation Eastern Kentuckian, Judd graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky, where she majored in French. In May 2010, she received her mid-career Masters in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She was also awarded the Dean's Scholar Award for her work in the Harvard Law class Gender Violence: Law and Social Justice.
Sawyer Nelson, played by Nathan Gamble
Nathan Gamble is barely in his teens but has already worked on a wide range of film and television hits and collaborated with some of the industry's top directors and actors.
He made his feature film debut as the young son of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett's characters in Alejandro González Iñárritu's acclaimed 2006 drama "Babel," winning the role over thousands of other young actors in a nationwide talent search. Gamble earned a Young Artist Award nomination for his performance in the film. He received another Young Artist Award nomination for his work in the thriller "The Mist," for director Frank Darabont.
In 2008, Gamble appeared as Commissioner Gordon's son in Christopher Nolan's blockbuster "The Dark Knight," with Gary Oldman and Christian Bale, and in the family hit "Marley &Me," with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, under the direction of David Frankel. His other film credits include starring roles in Joe Dante's adventure thriller "The Hole" and the independent film "25 Hill."
On television, he was a regular on the series "Hank," and has also had guest roles on such shows as "Private Practice," "House MD," "Ghost Whisperer," "CSI" and "Without a Trace."
Gamble lives in Seattle, where he started acting in community theatre. He has appeared in productions of "Peter Pan," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Annie."
Reed Haskett, played by Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson is an award-winning actor, singer and songwriter with more than 50 film roles to his credit. He next stars in "Joyful Noise," with Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, and he is reunited with Harry Connick, Jr. in the upcoming independent film "When Angels Sing."
Early in his film acting career, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of John Norman Howard in "A Star is Born," opposite Barbra Streisand. Kristofferson later earned acclaim for his performance in John Sayles' "Lone Star." He also worked with Sayles in the films "Silver City" and "Limbo." His more recent films include "He's Just Not That Into You," with an all-star ensemble cast, and the indie Western "The Last Rites of Ransom Pride."
Among Kristofferson's many other film credits are Richard Linklater's "Fast Food Nation"; the trilogy of "Blade" films; "Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story"; "Where the Red Fern Grows"; Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes"; James Ivory's "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries"; Brian Helgeland's "Payback"; Michael Cimino's "Heaven's Gate"; Michael Ritchie's "Semi-Tough"; Martin Scorsese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"; and Sam Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid."
In addition, he earned an Academy Award® nomination for his composing work on Alan Rudolph's 1984 film "Songwriter," in which Kristofferson also starred with Willie Nelson. Over the past four decades, his songs have also been heard in a wide range of film and television projects.
A three-time Grammy Award winner, Kristofferson first came to fame as a charttopping singer and songwriter. In the early 1970s, he emerged as one of the most sought-after concert performers and songwriters of the time, with songs like "Me and Bobby McGee," "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "For the Good Times," "Loving Her Was Easy" and "Why Me," among others. He was also one of the legendary Highwaymen, together with his friends Willie Nelson and the late Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. He has continued to tour several months of the year with his own band.
Kristofferson has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition to his other awards, he is a winner of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was honored in 2002 with the American Veteran's Association's "Veteran of the Year" Award. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Johnny Cash Visionary Award from Country Music Television.
Hazel Haskett, played by Cozi Zuehlsdorff
Cozi Zuehlsdorff makes her feature film debut in "Dolphin Tale."
She began her acting career at the age of eight when she was encouraged to audition for "Annie" at a local theater company in Aliso Viejo, California. She won the title role and has been performing ever since. She has played lead roles in such shows as "The Wizard of Oz," "Seussical the Musical" and "Willy Wonka."
Zuehlsdorff has also been seen in commercials for Nestle, Hallmark, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Regions Bank and Amica Insurance.
She lives in Orange County, California, with her parents, her older sister and their dog, Bandit. In addition to acting, Zuehlsdorff has a passion for singing, playing piano, and making home movies with her friends.
Dr. Cameron McCarthy, played by Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman won an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby," for which he also won a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® and received a Golden Globe nomination. In 2009, he reunited with Eastwood to star in the director's true-life drama "Invictus," on which Freeman also served as an executive producer under his Revelations Entertainment banner. For his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in the film, Freeman garnered Oscar®, Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award nominations, and won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor.
Freeman has been honored with three additional Oscar® nominations, the first for his chilling performance in the 1987 drama "Street Smart," which also brought him Los Angeles Film Critics, New York Film Critics, and National Society of Film Critics Awards, and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as his first Golden Globe Award nomination. He earned his second Oscar® nomination and won Golden Globe and National Board of Review Awards for Best Actor for the 1989 film "Driving Miss Daisy," in which he recreated his award-winning off-Broadway role. He gained his third Oscar® nod, as well as Golden Globe and SAG Award® nominations, for his performance in Frank Darabont's 1994 drama "The Shawshank Redemption." Among his many other accolades, Freeman was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2008. Next summer, Freeman stars in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises," reprising his role from the blockbusters "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight." His upcoming films also include Rob Reiner's "Summer at Dog Dave's."
His long list of film credits also includes "RED"; Reiner's "The Bucket List," opposite Jack Nicholson; Robert Benton's "Feast of Love"; Ben Affleck's "Gone Baby Gone"; Lasse Hallström's "An Unfinished Life"; the Jet Li actioner "Unleashed"; the comedy "Bruce Almighty" and its sequel, "Evan Almighty"; "The Sum of All Fears"; "Along Came a Spider"; "Nurse Betty"; "Deep Impact"; Steven Spielberg's "Amistad"; "Kiss the Girls"; David Fincher's "Se7en"; "Glory"; "Lean on Me"; "Harry &Son," directed by and starring Paul Newman; and "Brubaker." He also lent his distinctive voice to such projects as Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" and the Oscar®-winning documentary "March of the Penguins."
In 1993, Freeman made his directorial debut on "Bopha!" and soon after formed Revelations Entertainment. Other Revelations productions include "Levity," "Under Suspicion," "Mutiny," "Along Came a Spider," "Feast of Love," "10 Items or Less" and "Maiden Heist."
The Memphis-born actor began his career on the stages of New York in the early 1960s, following a stint as a mechanic in the Air Force. A decade later, he became a nationally known television personality when he created the popular character Easy Reader on the acclaimed children's show "The Electric Company."
Throughout the 1970s, he continued his work on stage, winning Drama Desk and Clarence Derwent Awards and receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance in "The Mighty Gents" in 1978. In 1980, he won two Obie Awards, for his portrayal of Shakespearean anti-hero Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival and for his work in "Mother Courage and Her Children." Freeman won another Obie in 1984 for his performance as The Messenger in the acclaimed Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Lee Breuer's "The Gospel at Colonus" and, in 1985, won the Drama-Logue Award for the same role. In 1987, Freeman created the role of Hoke Coleburn in Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Driving Miss Daisy," which brought him his fourth Obie Award. In 1990, Freeman starred as Petruchio in the New York Shakespeare Festival's "The Taming of the Shrew," opposite Tracey Ullman. Returning to the Broadway stage in 2008, Freeman starred with Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher in Clifford Odett's drama "The Country Girl," directed by Mike Nichols.
Kyle Connellan, played by Austin Stowell
Austin Stowell next stars in the independent feature "AWOL," playing an American soldier in Vietnam who is dumped by his girlfriend and goes "absent without leave" to win her back.
Stowell is perhaps best known for the role of Jesse on the ABC Family drama series "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Stowell made his professional acting debut on an episode of Comedy Central's "Secret Girlfriend." He has also appeared on "90210" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."
Phoebe, played by Austin Highsmith
Austin Highsmith has appeared in guest roles on such series as "Castle," "Criminal Minds," "Grey's Anatomy," "Big Love," "CSI: Miami," "Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles," "Ghost Whisperer," "Boston Legal" and "CSI: NY." She will next be seen in an episode of "Private Practice."
She has also had roles in a number of independent and short films, including "Dinner with Fred," "Fractalus," "The Last Harbor," "Little Odessa," "Circle of Eight," "Room 33," "Breathing Room" and "Loving Annabelle."
A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Highsmith graduated from the University of North Carolina with a dual degree in Fine Arts and Political Science. Moving to Los Angeles, she attended the Ruskin School of Acting, and is considered one of the founding members of the Ruskin Group Theatre.