Appearing in films since the mid-1970s, his earliest successes include the 1979 Breaking Away and the 1983 The Right Stuff (in which he portrayed real-life astronaut Gordon Cooper).
Quaid's connection with Disney began with the 1988 Touchstone Pictures release D.O.A., in which he portrayed an English Professor who becomes embroiled in a series of murders.
In 1998 he appeared in Walt Disney Pictures' The Parent Trap, a remake of the 1961 Disney classic. He played Nick Parker, the father of identical twins (played by a young Lindsay Lohen).
Disney fans probably know him best for his starring role in the 2001 Walt Disney Pictures release The Rookie. Quaid played real-life teacher & coach-turned-Major League pitcher Jim Morris.
"He (Jim Morris) came over right after I signed on and we were throwing baseballs in the front yard. Myself, I like to meet whoever I am playing. I consider it a resource. Plus, it's his story and I feel if someone was doing my life story, I'd like to try and do him justice." -Dennis Quaid
In 2003, Quaid starred in the Touchstone Pictures thriller Cold Creek Manor. He played the role of Cooper Tilson, the father of a family terrorized by the former owner of the rural estate they bought in foreclosure.
The following year, Quaid starred in The Alamo, a war film (distributed by Touchstone) about the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution. He played historical figure General Sam Houston, the overall commander of the Texan forces.
In 2008, he appeared as Lawrence Wetherhold in the comedy-drama Smart People (distributed by the Disney-owned Miramax Films). The film centers on the life of a widowed professor who finds new love and gets an unexpected visit from his adopted brother.
Also a musician and avid golfer, Dennis Quaid turns 56 today!
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