With the handsome looks and winning sarcasm that befit a late-night television talk show host, it is no surprise that Greg Kinnear first shot to stardom as the host of the E! channel's Talk Soup. More surprising, and thus more impressive, has been Kinnear's success in making the leap from television to the big screen. With only his fourth major celluloid outing, As Good As It Gets, Kinnear scored his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, effectively establishing himself as someone whose scope included screens small and large.
Born June 17, 1963, in Logansport, IN, as the youngest of three sons, Kinnear led a peripatetic childhood. His father was a Foreign Services diplomat for the State Department, and his family accompanied him to places as far-flung as Beirut and Athens. While a student in Athens, Kinnear first ventured into the role of talk show host with his radio show School Daze With Greg Kinnear. Returning to the States for a college education, Kinnear attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he graduated in 1985, with a degree in broadcast journalism. From Arizona, he headed out to Los Angeles, where he landed his first job as a marketing assistant with Empire Entertainment. It was there that Kinnear got his first taste of show business, creating promotional campaigns for such films as Space Sluts in the Slammer. Following this stint, Kinnear found a job with the Movietime cable channel. Using an audition tape from a failed attempt at an MTV VJ position, Kinnear became a host and on-location reporter for the channel. All went swimmingly until he was fired, when Movietime became the E! Entertainment Network, and Kinnear soon found himself taking bit parts on such television shows as L.A. Law and Life Goes On.