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Not to be confused with Tim Nelson (lacrosse).

Tim Blake Nelson (born May 11, 1964) is an American director, writer, singer and actor.

Personal life

Nelson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of Ruth Kaiser Nelson,[1][2] who is a noted social activist and philanthropist in Tulsa.[3] Nelson is Jewish;[4] his maternal grandparents escaped the Nazis shortly before World War II, fleeing to the UK in 1938 and immigrating to the United States in 1940.[5][6]

Nelson attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain Resort Arts and Conference Center in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma.[7] He is a 1982 graduate of Holland Hall School in Tulsa,[1] and a graduate of Brown University, where he was a Classics major as well as Senior Orator for his class of 1986. Additionally, Nelson won the Workman/Driskoll award for excellence in Classical Studies.[8][9] He graduated from Juilliard in 1990,[10] and currently resides in New York City with his wife, Lisa Benaveides, and his three sons.[1] On May 8, 2009, Nelson was inducted as an honorary member of the University of Tulsa's Beta of Oklahoma chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa national collegiate honor society.


Nelson's debut play, Eye of God was produced at Seattle Repertory Theatre in 1992. The Grey Zone premiered at MCC Theater in New York in 1996 where his 1998 work Anadarko was also produced.

Nelson has appeared as an actor in the film, TV and theatre. He had a featured role as Delmar in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. According to directors Joel and Ethan Coen, he was the only one in the cast or crew who had read Homer's Odyssey, a work upon which the film is loosely based.[11] He sings "In the Jailhouse Now" on the soundtrack.[12]

He plays Samuel Sterns in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, and has signed on to play his alter ego, the Leader, in the sequel.[13]. Tim plays an ACLU attorney in the film American Violet.[14]

He also narrates the 2001 audiobook At the Altar of Speed: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of Dale Earnhardt, Sr.. He has appeared on stage at theatres including Manhattan Theater Club, Playwrights Horizons and Central Park's Open Air Theater plus a show at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester New York to talk to kids about their life.

He has directed film versions of his plays The Grey Zone, and Eye of God as well as writing and directing two original screenplays: 1998's Kansas, and Leaves of Grass which was released in 2009. He is also the director of O, based on William Shakespeare's play Othello but set in a modern-day high school. He is on the Board of Directors for The Actors Center in New York City, as well as Soho Rep Theatre.

Tim guest starred on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation season 10 episode "Working Stiffs".


As Actor

  • This Is My Life (1992)
  • Motel Blue 19 (1993)
  • Amateur (1994)
  • Heavyweights (1995)
  • Dead Man's Walk (1996)
  • Joe's Apartment (1996) (voice)
  • Donnie Brasco (1997)
  • Prix Fixe (1997)
  • The Thin Red Line (1998)
  • Hamlet (2000)
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
  • The Good Girl (2002)
  • Cherish (2002)
  • Minority Report (2002)
  • A Foreign Affair (2003)
  • Holes (2003)
  • Wonderland (2003)
  • Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)
  • The Last Shot (2004)
  • Bereft (2004) (TV)
  • Meet the Fockers (2004)
  • The Amateurs (2005)
  • My Suicidal Sweetheart (2005)
  • Warm Springs (2005) (TV)
  • The Big White (2005)
  • Syriana (2005)
  • Come Early Morning (2006)
  • The Darwin Awards (2006)
  • Hoot (2006)
  • Fido (2006)
  • The Astronaut Farmer (2007)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • American Violet (2008)
  • Leaves of Grass (2009)
  • Saint John of Las Vegas (2009)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Working Stiffs (2009)

As Director

  • Eye of God (1997)
  • Kansas (1998)
  • O (2001)
  • The Grey Zone (2001)
  • Haskett's Chance (2006) (TV)
  • Leaves of Grass (2010)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Michael Smith, "Bloomer Sooner: Tulsa native Tim Blake Nelson's roots are showing", Tulsa World, May 6, 2009.
  3. Tulsa Historical Society, 1999 Hall of Fame Inductee: Ruth K. Nelson
  4. Feature Article and Interviews - THE GREY ZONE (2001)
  5. Interview about The Grey Zone on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition
  6. Blunt Review: Film Reviews, Celebrity Interviews, Music Reviews with Web Celeb Emily Blunt
  7. Oklahoma Arts Institute, Alumni Listing (retrieved January 21, 2009).
  8. Tim Blake Nelson Biography
  9. Kari Molvar,"Q&A: Tim Blake Nelson", Brown Alumni Magazine (March/April 2001).
  10. "Alumni News: Reflections", at Juilliard website, March 2006 (retrieved May 6, 2009).
  11. Romney, Jonathan. "The Coen brothers: Double vision", The Guardian, 19 May 2000.
  12. Tim Blake Nelson
  13. Hollywood Reporter (2007-06-26). "The Hulk to Face Tim Blake Nelson". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  14. Tim Blake Nelson

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:IMDb name

Template:Tim Blake Nelson

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