AKA Ethan Green Hawke
Birthplace: Austin, TX
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Dead Poets Society
Ethan Hawke first appeared on stage when he was 13, in a high school production of St. Joan. He was 14 when he made his first movie, starring opposite River Phoenix in Explorers, about teen boys in outer-space. Four years later, he had his first mainstream exposure as a fragile boy in Dead Poets Society. His films are usually as serious as Hawke himself, including Alive: The Miracle of the Andes, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Gattaca, Snow Falling on Cedars, Training Day, and 2000's high-rise corporate-backstabbing Hamlet. He directed the starving-artist mood piece Chelsea Walls. Reality Bites was a rarity, a Hawke film that could arguably be called a comedy.
Hawke's five-year marriage to Uma Thurman collapsed in 2003, as both he and she apparently had concurrent affairs. Hawke frolicked with a Montreal woman, Jennifer Perzow, as he was in Canada filming Taking Lives, while Thurman was taking direction from Kill Bill's Quentin Tarantino.
Father: James Steven Hawke
Mother: Leslie Carole Green
Wife: Uma Thurman (actress, m. 1998, div. 2004)
Daughter: Maya Ray Thurman-Hawke (b. 8-Jul-1998)
Son: Roan Thurman-Hawke (b. 2002)
High School: Hun School, Princeton, NJ (1988)
University: BA English, New York University (1992)
FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Chelsea Walls (21-Sep-2001)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Fast Food Nation (19-May-2006)
Lord of War (16-Sep-2005)
Assault on Precinct 13 (19-Jan-2005)
Taking Lives (16-Mar-2004)
Before Sunset (10-Feb-2004)
The Jimmy Show (13-Sep-2001)
Training Day (7-Sep-2001)
Waking Life (23-Jan-2001) [VOICE]
Snow Falling on Cedars (12-Sep-1999)
Joe the King (22-Jan-1999)
The Velocity of Gary (22-Sep-1998)
The Newton Boys (14-Mar-1998)
Great Expectations (30-Jan-1998)
Search and Destroy (28-Apr-1995)
Before Sunrise (27-Jan-1995)
Reality Bites (18-Feb-1994)
Rich in Love (5-Mar-1993)
A Midnight Clear (24-Apr-1992)
Mystery Date (16-Aug-1991)
White Fang (18-Jan-1991)
Dead Poets Society (2-Jun-1989)
Author of books:
The Hottest State (1996, novel)
Ash Wednesday (2004, novel)
Ethan Hawke: Uma a 'Phenomenal' Mom
Though both Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman have never publicly discussed the private reasons for the 2004 break-up of their marriage, being in the limelight did not help the relationship, he now says.
"To be honest, it was an undue pressure on my marriage," Hawke, currently appearing in a New York stage production of Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia, tells Parade magazine for its Sunday issue.
"I didn't like being famous when I was single, and what it did to my celebrity status to be married to another famous person was a huge pressure – one I didn't enjoy. And it had nothing to do with her. Nothing to do with her," Hawke, 36, says with a shake of his head.
Hawke says he considers being father to his two children with Thurman – daughter Maya, 8, and son Levon, 4 – "the greatest pleasure in my life. It's the only role that, if I fail, I will consider my life a failure."
Having had parents who divorced, Hawke is aware of how such a split affects the kids. Speaking of himself and Thurman, he says, "Our burden is just getting along, not hurting each other's feelings, and letting each other grow – letting the tides take our lives away from each other and dealing with the disappointment of a dream that didn't happen."
When it comes to speaking about Thurman, also 36, Hawke takes the high road, says the magazine. "She's my children's mother," he says. "You have to keep that above anything else. If you bring two people into the world together, that supersedes anything else."
He also says about her devotion to raising the children properly, "She's a great mother, and raising the kids is a priority for both of us. We're so fortunate that we have each other's back in that way. Because I write and act in theater, it's a lot easier for me to stay in the city. But my ex-wife has done a phenomenal job of that as well. She plans all her movies to shoot in New York."
As for sharing parental duties with Thurman in the big city, Hawke adds, "We live down the street from each other. If we lived down the street from each other in Minneapolis, I'd have to watch every car go in and out of the driveway. I'd know how late she stayed out. I don't have to know any of that stuff."