Chris Mulkey has had a long, successful career in Hollywood. An accomplished film and movie star, Mulkey’s resume features an incredible list of projects he has comprised in a career spanning 40-plus years. Mulkey has appeared in over 80 Hollywood films including Captain Phillips, Cloverfield and Behind Enemy Lines, just to name three.
Mulkey’s television resume is just as impressive as his movie credits. The actor appeared in 13 episodes of the cult-classic ABC television series Twin Peaks and 83 episodes of Any Day Now alongside actress Annie Potts. He also featured in hit shows such as Matlock, CSI: Miami and Jag.
It isn’t just acting that Mulkey is invested in. The Wisconsin-born, Minnesota raised Midwesterner turned Hollywood star is also an accomplished musician. Mulkey’s southern blues band, known as Chris Mulkey and The Seekers, have played numerous shows around the United States and recorded numerous songs.
Born in Viroqua, Wisconsin on May 3, 1948, Mulkey got his start in showbusiness in the 1970s. Often times, he has been called a character actor, but Mulkey has proven many times during his career that he is far more. Prior to moving to Hollywood and getting his big break in the 1970s, Mulkey worked for the Children’s Theatre of Minnesota. He spent five years with the group.
Before joining the Children’s Theatre of Minnesota, Mulkey attended the University of Minnesota. There, he studied theater and dreamed of his big break in acting. After finishing with the Children’s Theatre of Minnesota, Mulkey landed his first film role. The actor portrayed the character Billy Regis in the 1975 film Loose Ends. In the movie, Mulkey’s character came from a working-class background and hoped to move out of his depressing circumstances. It was a film that made Mulkey known, and by 1977, his star was on the rise.
In 1988, after years of acting in Hollywood films and big-budget television series, Mulkey finally got the chance write. Along with his co-writers, Mulkey wrote and acted in the late 80s independent film comedy, Patti Rocks. It was a poignant portrayal of the working class, Midwestern life Mulkey had grown up around.
The film also gave Mulkey the chance to spend time on set with his wife, Karen Landry, who also acted in and co-wrote the film. The two actors had married in 1981 and had two daughters, Amelia and Elizabeth.
Like Mulkey, Landry was a born and bred Midwesterner. The two had met a year prior to getting married, but Mulkey had actually been watched his future wife act in shows around Minneapolis since 1972. The two never forgot their Midwest roots and split time between their homes in Los Angeles and Minnesota.
On New Year’s Eve 2015, Landry lost her battle with cancer. In an interview with Minneapolis’ Star Tribune, Mulkey paid tribute to his late wife and fellow actor.
“I’m losing my acting coach,” Mulkey said. “All of the stuff I’ve done, she was a part of it. I always would ask her about a role and we’d pick it all apart together.”
The pair had been married for 34 years.