One of the most versatile and respected actors of his generation, Kevin Kline has made a name for himself on the stage and screen. Equally comfortable in comedic and dramatic roles, he is one of those rare actors whose onscreen characterizations are not overshadowed by his offscreen personality; remarkably free of ego, he has impressed both critics and audiences as a performer in the purest sense of the word.
A product of the American Midwest, Kline was born in Saint Louis, MO, on October 24, 1947. He became active in theater while growing up in the Saint Louis suburbs, performing in a number of school productions. He continued to act while a student at Indiana University at Bloomington, and following graduation, moved to New York, where he was accepted at the Juilliard School. In 1972, Kline added professional experience to his formal training when he joined New York's Acting Company, led at the time by John Houseman. He toured the country with the company, performing Shakespeare and winning particular acclaim for his portrayals of Romeo and Hamlet. This praise translated to the New York stage a few years later, when Kline won Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his role in the 1978 Broadway production of On the Twentieth Century. Three years later, he earned these same honors for his work in the Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance (he later reprised his role for the musical's 1983 film adaptation).