Dennis Christopher (born Dennis Carrelli; December 2, 1955) is an American film actor. He is best known for his roles in Breaking Away (1979), Fade to Black (1980), It (1990), Chariots of Fire (1981) and Django Unchained (2012). He has appeared in nearly 40 movies and made-for-TV movies since 1975.


Christopher was born Dennis Carrelli in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is of half-Italian[1] and half-Irish descent.[2]


Christopher's breakthrough role was as Dave Stoller in the coming-of-age classic Breaking Away (1979). His performance won him the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the Youth in Film Award for Best Juvenile Actor in a Motion Picture,[3] as well as garnering a Golden Globe nomination.

Christopher's other roles include American track star Charlie Paddock in Chariots of Fire (1981), as well as tragic film-buff psychopath Eric Binford in Fade to Black (1980), Damon in The Falling (1985), Nathan Flowers in A Sinful Life (1989) and Leech in Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II (1994). Television roles include "Jack of All Trades" in the Profiler TV series, Eddie Kaspbrak in Stephen King's It (1990), Desmond Floyd in Jake Speed (1986) and in the HBO series Deadwood.

Christopher has guest starred in two Star Trek episodes: the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Search (Part II)" and the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Detained". He guest-starred as the demon-sorcerer Cyvus Vail in three episodes of Angel.[citation needed]

He reunited with his Breaking Away "father" Paul Dooley, again as his son, in an episode of TV's Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The two had first played father and son in Robert Altman's A Wedding.

In December 2006, he played Dr. Martin Ruber in the Sci Fi Channel miniseries The Lost Room.

Christopher's career, and life in general, changed dramatically when he was cast as Leonide Moguy in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012). He learned through his agent that the screenplay had been re-written to accommodate him. Furthermore, Tarantino later claimed to Christopher that he had seen every one of his films the week that they were released, even Dead Women in Lingerie (which Christopher considers his worst). Production of the film made a very positive impact on Christopher, who has said "...a lot of my idea of happiness came from working on this film...".[4]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Time Tunnel Young Merlin Season 1, Episode 27
1971 Blood and Lace Pete
The Young Graduates Pan
1972 Fellini's Roma The Hippie Uncredited
1976 Bernice Bobs Her Hair Charley
1977 3 Women Soda Delivery Boy Uncredited
September 30, 1955 Eugene
1978 A Wedding Hughie Brenner
1979 California Dreaming T.T.
Breaking Away Dave Stoller
The Last Word Ben Travis
1980 Fade to Black Eric Binford
1981 Chariots of Fire Charles Paddock
1982 Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder Brian Anderson
1983 Faerie Tale Theatre Jack Season 2, Episode 4
1984 Tales of the Unexpected Killer Season 7, Episode 5
Trapper John, M.D. Daryl Kirby Season 6, Episode 8
1985 Alien Predator Damon
Moonlighting Benjamin Wylie Season 2, Episode 2
1986 Flight of the Spruce Goose Stan
Cagney & Lacey Dr. Stanley Season 5, Episode 22
Jake Speed Desmond Floyd
The Equalizer Father Nicholas Kostmayer Season 2, Episode 10
1987 Stingray Joshua Williams Season 2, Episode 9
Hooperman Danny Welles
1988 Friends John
Christabel U.S. Airman
1989 A Sinful Life Nathan Flowers
Matlock Noel Bishop Season 2, Episode 7
1990 It Eddie Kaspbrak
Circuitry Man Leech
1991 Dead Women in Lingerie Lapin
Monsters Laurence Bauer Season 3, Episode 22
False Arrest Wally Roberts
1992 Civil Wars Jamie Berne
Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story Randy
1993 Doppelganger Doctor Heller
Murder, She Wrote Lyman Taggart/Dr. Henry Carlson Season 6, Episode 20/Season 9, Episode 11
Curacao Friedrich Uncredited
1994 Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II Leech
Boys Life Mr. Reese
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Borath Season 3, Episode 2
The Cosby Mysteries Eric Humbold
The Disco Years Mr. Reese
1995 Bad English I: Tales of a Son of a Brit
The Watcher
Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare Pruitt Taylor Beauchamp
Aurora: Operation Intercept Victor Varenkov
2001 The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Joshua Beale
Roswell Bobby Dupree 2 episodes
Kate Brasher Jesus 2 episodes
18 Wheels of Justice
FreakyLinks Vince Elsing 13 episodes
2002 Star Trek: Enterprise Danik
Crossing Jordan Charles Rutledge
2003 Six Feet Under Kevin Lamb
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Roger Coffman
2004 Mind Rage Steve
Angel Cyvus Vail
Nine Lives Mikey
NYPD Blue Mr. Prosser
2006 Trappped! Adrien
Deadwood Bellegarde 5 episodes
The Lost Room Dr. Martin Ruber
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Richard Dorsey
2008 Criminal Minds Abner Merriman
2010 Queen of the Lot Odin Johannessen
2012 Django Unchained Leonide Moguy
2013 Prisoners Mr. Jones Uncredited
Perception Fred Gorman
Unforgettable Lukas Emminger
The Slippery Slope Pastor Tomaso


External links