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Sweeney History


D.B. Sweeney

Full Name: Daniel Bernard Sweeney
Born: November 14th 1961 in Shoreham, New York
Siblings: Kathleen, Barbara and Tommy
High School: Shoreham-Wading River High School
Graduated From: Tulane University
Marital Status: Married
Theatre Appearances: The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (Broadway), Distant Fires (LA Production), Blue Light, Death of a Salesman (Biff Loman - Seattle, 1998)

Believe it or not, before acting came along, D.B. Sweeney saw himself as a professional baseball player. Unfortunately in 1980, he suffered a debilitating motorcycle accident that put an end to a potential sports career. This could be seen as some kind of sick twist of destiny as it led to him discovering drama.

After beginnings in an Army commercial, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial in 1983, and tiny roles in Out of the Darkness and Power; he landed the role of Baxter in Fire With Fire, 9th billed. But his major break came in the form of Jackie Willow in Francis Ford Coppola's Gardens of Stone. D.B. says of the experience "Francis is so very open and supportive, and he treats his film as a true collaboration. In fact, I enjoyed working on Gardens of Stone so much I dreaded the day it would end, knowing that I'd have to go on to work with a mortal 'director' again."

Next along was No Man's Land, co-starring Charlie Sheen. Sweeney is essentially the leading man in this film, but due to the release of Platoon prior, his role was overshadowed by Sheen. Obviously there were no bad feelings as the pair appeared together again in John Sayles' excellent Eight Men Out, bringing together these talents along with John Cusack, Michael Rooker, Christopher Lloyd, Gordon Clapp and David Strathairn. Here was D.B. Sweeney's forte. He had never lost his love for baseball, and had even formed a New York team (The Skins) with old schoolfriends. He says, "the funny thing is, back in 1919 (when the film is set) I probably would have been good enough to compete professionally…it was much more a strategic game back then, less about raw athletic ability". His love for the game eventually cost him $25,000 as he prepared for his role travelling with a minor-league baseball team - The Twins. He even went to the extreme of being completely authentic in his representation of Shoeless Joe, and learned to hit the ball southpaw, even though he is right-handed. Sweeney rightly likes to think, "as far as actors go, you're not going to find many ballplayers better than me."

Next along was Sons, followed by the successful TV mini-series Lonesome Dove. He did as many of his own stunts as was allowed and worked for a week at Tommy Lee Jones' ranch cattle-roping. Memphis Belle gave Sweeney the opportunity to film in England alongside a talented American ensemble cast (including his Eight Men Out co-star David Strathairn). His role was of the 'chicken' navigator Phil Lowenthal.

After this he worked on four low-key films: A Day In October, Blue Desert, Leather Jackets , and Heaven Is A Playground. Next came the role of Doug Dorsey in The Cutting Edge alongside Moira Kelly - Dorsey tragically almost mirroring Sweeney's real life in the fact that he can no longer play professional hockey due to the loss of peripheral vision, the consequence of an accident. He then joins up with skater Kelly to become a figure-skating pair. The film became Sweeney's first solo hit, and was highly amusing in places (watch for the 'toe-pick' scene!) This was followed with a role in the TV movie Miss Rose White. Next came Hear No Evil, co-starring Martin Sheen, Marlee Matlin and John C. McGinley. Unfortunately, this film was not a hit, unlike the following Fire In the Sky. Based on a true story, Sweeney plays Travis Walton, a logger who is abducted for five days, and during this time his friends are accused of murdering him. The film is notorious for it's horrific interpretation of alien testing (kudos to Sweeney if that liquid really does go into his eye), and gives a clever reasoning to why all aliens appear to look the same.

After a two-year break, Sweeney appeared on TV screens as Chance Harper in Strange Luck. Although it only lasted one season, it was enough to be picked out by a large amount of fans, who enjoyed following Chance through his 'jinxed' world. Chance was the sole survivor of a plane crash, and consequently trouble and weirdness were always finding him. Co-starring Frances Fisher and Pamela Gidley, Strange Luck was a refreshing change, a drama/comedy with a twist. Next came a demanding and dramatic role in the form of Michael Holezcek in Roomates. The legendary Peter Falk played Sweeney's grumpy, but full of character grandfather who is always with him in life (literally), almost hindering his romantic interests with Julianne Moore. Following an uncredited role in Patrick Swayze starrer Three Wishes, Sweeney had a major role in the big-budget comic book adaptation of Spawn, playing Terry Fitzgerald. Sweeney says about the film, "I can't remember a movie that took us to hell to begin with, that was a literal kind of mythical hell, where it's fire and the hoards of hell. So in that sense that's all new ground that they've broken in terms of that and it doesn't let you down". It certainly didn't and became a box-office smash worldwide. But there was one downside for Sweeney - not getting an action figure made of him: "I do not have one, it's a sore spot for me, I thought I was a lock to get one because I'm one of the main characters. But apparently there's not a big market for computer guys who wear tuxedos."

A return to TV followed in the twelve part series C16: FBI. D.B. Sweeney played Scott Stoddard, the womaniser of the group. Again, he was joined with a talented ensemble cast including Eric Roberts, Zach Grenier, Christine Tucci, Morris Chestnut and Angie Harmon. This was not a 'crime of the day' series, it followed the characters through the crimes rather than study on the crimes themselves. Next in line for release are Book of Stars, with Mary Stuart Masterson and Delroy Lindo, The Weekend with Brooke Shields and Gena Rowlands, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, a TV movie with Halle Berry, and Dinosaur, with Sweeney providing a voice for one of the dinosaurs. Other vocal talents in the cast includes Julianna Margulies, Joan Plowright, Kiefer Sutherland and Alfre Woodard.

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