Early lifeStoltz was born September 30, 1961 in Whittier, California, the son of Evelyn B. (née Vawter), a violinist and schoolteacher who died in 1994, and Jack Stoltz, an elementary school teacher. He has two sisters, mezzo soprano Catherine Stoltz and writer Susan R. Stoltz Eric was raised in both American Samoa and Santa Barbara, California, where as a child, he once earned money playing piano for local musical theatre productions. He attended the University of Southern California but dropped out after his junior year.
CareerIn the 1970s Stoltz joined a repertory company that performed ten plays at the Edinburgh Festival. He returned to the United States in 1979, when he entered USC as a drama student, but subsequently dropped out to pursue film and TV roles. In the late 1970s he was cast as Carol Burnett and Charles Grodin's son in the TV adaptation of Erma Bombeck's "The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank". In 1981 he studied with Stella Adler and Peggy Feury in New York.
Director Cameron Crowe and Stoltz became friends while making Stoltz's first feature film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). According to Stoltz, Crowe promised Stoltz a role in all of his future films, but that did not happen.
Originally cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future (1985), he was replaced after five weeks of filming, when Michael J. Fox (the director's first choice for the role) agreed to divide time between the movie and his television sitcom, Family Ties. The director, Robert Zemeckis, said that while Stoltz provided an admirable performance, it lacked the precise comedic sense that Zemeckis was looking for. Some of the original footage, where Stoltz does not appear but was on set, was used in the film. This was referenced in a 2010 episode of Fringe where, in an alternate universe, a theater marquee reads "Back to the Future starring Eric Stoltz".
In 1985, Stoltz garnered attention with a Golden Globe nomination starring as Rocky Dennis in Mask. Among other roles in the 1980s, he appeared in the 1987 hit, John Hughes's Some Kind of Wonderful.
During the 1990s, Stoltz went back and forth between stage, film, and television, appearing in studio and independent films such as Independent Spirit Award Winner Pulp Fiction (1994) and Sundance Festival Winner The Waterdance (1992). He was also a production assistant on Say Anything and Singles, and produced the films Bodies, Rest & Motion in 1993, Sleep with Me in 1994, and Mr. Jealousy in 1997. He continued to appear on the New York stage both on Broadway (Three Sisters, Two Shakespearean Actors, Arms and the Man) and off-Broadway (The Importance of Being Earnest, The Glass Menagerie, Sly Fox and Our Town). He was nominated for a Tony Award as Featured Actor for his performance as George Gibbs in the 1989 Broadway revival of Thorton Wilder's Our Town. A performance of this production was featured on Great Performances: Live From Lincoln Center, which received a 1989 Emmy nomination.
On television, he had a recurring role as Helen Hunt's character's ex-boyfriend on Mad About You (5 episodes, 1994–1998), spent a year on Chicago Hope (1994), and did some TV and cable movies such as Inside (1996) (TV) (directed by Arthur Penn) and The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999) (with Helen Mirren).
Stoltz received the Indie Support Award at the 1998 Los Angeles Film Festival.
During the first part of the 2000s, he starred with Gillian Anderson in The House of Mirth (2000), based on the novel by Edith Wharton. From 2001 to 2002, he had a recurring role as the English teacher-poet August Dimitri in ABC's Once and Again, where Julia Whelan's character, a teenager, fell in love with him. He directed an episode of the show in 2002.
In 2003, he played his first leading TV role in Out of Order, which was canceled after five episodes. In 2004, he appeared in The Butterfly Effect as a child molester; the following year, he guest-starred in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace as Debra Messing's love interest.
He was nominated for a daytime Emmy for his direction of the cable movie My Horrible Year! (2001). He also directed a short film entitled The Bulls, as well as the highest rated episode of Law & Order in 2005, entitled "Tombstone."
He appeared in the music video of The Residents' "Give it to Someone Else," featured on The Commercial DVD.
He has contributed essays to the books City Secrets — New York as well as Life Interrupted by Spalding Gray, and appears on the children's CD Philadelphia Chickens.
Beginning in 2007, Stoltz directed episodes of the 20-something drama Quarterlife, which began airing as webisodes and were then picked up to air on the NBC network in 2008.
Stoltz played a serial killer in need of medical attention in three episodes of the fifth season of Grey's Anatomy. He has also directed two episodes of Grey's Anatomy. The actor is currently shooting the film Fort McCoy.
Stoltz recently starred as Daniel Graystone, the inventor of Cylons, in the canceled science fiction television series Caprica, a prequel set 58 years before the Battlestar Galactica series.
Personal lifeStoltz has been a vegetarian for 25 years.
|1982||Fast Times at Ridgemont High||Stoner Bud|
|1984||The Wild Life||Bill Conrad|
|1985||Mask||Rocky Dennis||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture|
|1985||The New Kids||Mark|
|1985||Code Name: Emerald||Lt. Andy Wheeler|
|1987||Some Kind of Wonderful||Keith Nelson|
|1987||Sister, Sister||Matt Rutledge|
|1988||Our Town||George Gibbs|
|1988||Haunted Summer||Percy Shelley|
|1989||The Fly II||Martin Brundle|
|1990||Memphis Belle||Sgt Danny 'Danny Boy' Daly|
|1992||The Waterdance||Joel Garcia||Also producer|
|1993||Bodies, Rest & Motion||Sid|
|1993||Naked in New York||Jake Briggs|
|1994||Pulp Fiction||Lance||Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male|
|1994||Little Women||John Brooke|
|1994||Sleep with Me||Joseph||Also producer|
|1995||Rob Roy||Alan MacDonald|
|1995||Kicking and Screaming||Chet|
|1996||Don't Look Back||Jesse Parish|
|1996||Grace of My Heart||Howard Cazsatt|
|1996||2 Days in the Valley||Wes Taylor|
|1996||Jerry Maguire||Ethan Valhere|
|1997||Keys to Tulsa||Richter Boudreau|
|1997||Anaconda||Dr. Steven Cale|
|1997||Mr. Jealousy||Lester Grimm, aka Vince||Also producer|
|1997||The Rocking Horse Winner||The Man|
|1998||A Murder of Crows||Thurman Parks III|
|1998||Blackout Effect||John Dantley|
|1999||Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge|
|1999||The Passion of Ayn Rand||Nathaniel Branden|
|2000||The Simian Line||Sam Donovan|
|2000||The House of Mirth||Lawrence Selden|
|2000||Common Ground||Johnny Burroughs|
|2000||It's a Shame About Ray||Mr. Stoltz||Short film|
|2001||Things Behind the Sun||Dan|
|2001||Harvard Man||Teddy Carter|
|2002||The Rules of Attraction||Mr. Lawson|
|2003||When Zachary Beaver Came to Town||Otto|
|2004||The Butterfly Effect||George Miller|
|2005||The Honeymooners||William Davis|
|2006||The Lather Effect||Mickey|
|2007||The Grand Design||Josh|
|2009||Fort McCoy||Frank Stirn|
|1983||St. Elsewhere||Eddie Carson||3 episodes|
|1994–1998||Mad About You||Alan Tofsky||6 episodes|
|1998–1999||Hercules: The Animated Series||Theseus||2 episodes|
|1998–1999||Chicago Hope||Dr. Robert Yeats||22 episodes|
|2001–2002||Once and Again||August Dimitri||7 episodes|
|2002||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Father Michael Sweeney||1 episode|
|2003||Out of Order||Mark Colm||5 episodes|
|2005||The Triangle||Howard Thomas||three part TV mini-series|
|2005||Will & Grace||Tom||2 episodes|
|2007||Medium||Sonny Troyer||1 episode|
|2007||Close to Home||Det. Chris Veeder||3 episodes|
|2009||Grey's Anatomy||3 episodes|
|2010||Caprica||Daniel Graystone||18 episodes|
|2003||Once and Again|
|2005||The Bulls||short film, 18 min.|
|2007||Grand Design||short film, 18 min., also actor|
|2001||My Horrible Year!||TV film|
|2002||Once and Again||Episode: "Falling in Place"|
|2005||Law & Order||Episode: "Tombstone"|
|2007||Boston Legal||Episodes: "The Object of My Affection", "Dumping Bella"|
|2008||Quarterlife||Episodes: "Anxiety", "Home Sweet Home"|
|2008||Grey's Anatomy||Episodes: "Brave New World", "These Ties That Bind"|
|2009–2011||Private Practice||Episodes: "Do the Right Thing" (2009), "Eyes Wide Open" and "War" (2010), "If You Don't Know Me by Now" (2011)|
|2010||Huge||Episode: "Talent Night"|
|2010–2011||Glee||Episodes: "Duets" (2010), "Blame It on the Alcohol" and "Prom Queen" (2011)|