Known for a variety of roles on TV and in movies, Gary Sinise is also a producer and director. A good part of his time is spent on charity work to help veterans, their families, and veterans’ organizations.
The star of the TV series “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” drew the attention of fans worldwide in such films as “Forrest Gump,” “Apollo 13,” and “Mission to Mars.” He also starred in the TV bios “Truman” and “George Wallace.”
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He also lends his voice and narration to documentaries, but here are five things you probably didn’t know about Gary Sinise:
1. He holds military honors — The Gary Sinise Foundation, a non-profit charity organization, has helped families of servicemen and women with a variety of programs. Sinise’s contributions earned him the U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal in 2008. It’s the second-highest civilian award in the nation, CBS reported. He was also named an Honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy.
2. He formed a band in honor of his “Forrest Gump” character — Sinise plays electric bass in the Lieutenant Dan Band. Fans of the movie will remember Forrest’s long-time pal, Lt. Dan. The band plays at various events for veterans’ organizations.
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3. He formed a well-known theater company shortly after high school — He started the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago that has attracted some of the best names in Hollywood. He also helped raise funds for veterans through theater in the 1980s before he took on the role of Lt. Dan. The company performed a play written by Vietnam veterans and vets were allowed in free on certain nights to see it, he told RI Magazine.
4. Sinise was a director first — His theater experience helped make him a director in television and film before he made his name as an actor. He directed episodes of “Crime Story” and “thirtysomething,” as well as the feature film “Miles from Home” in the 1980s. He then directed the remake of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” which he also produced and starred in.
5. He's a conservative —Sinise donated to Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008 and he supported Mitt Romney in 2012. He's also the founder of Friends of Abe, a Hollywood conservative group.
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