BODY SHOTS - Biography of Jerry O'Connell
Jerry O'Connell (Michael Penorisi). Probably best known for his breakthrough performance in Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-nominated JERRY MAGUIRE, O'Connell made his screen debut at age 11 in Rob Reiner's coming-of-age classic, STAND BY ME. Though his career was off to an auspicious start, his parents decided to keep Jerry in school and allowed him to act only during summers and holidays.
In that time and while at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Jerry completed several projects including four Hallmark Hall of Fame pictures: THE ROOM UPSTAIRS, THE HOLE IN THE SKY, BLUE RIVER and WHAT THE DEAF MAN HEARD. The actor was also able to complete two television series, MY SECRET IDENTITY for Universal and CAMP WILDER for ABC. He also appeared in the film CALENDAR GIRL opposite Jason Priestley which he made during a summer break from college.
Just before graduation, O'Connell landed a four season starring role on the sci-fi drama SLIDERS where eventually, in addition to acting, he produced twenty-five episodes, directed five and wrote one. During his first summer hiatus from the show, Jerry starred in the MTV production JOE'S APARTMENT and followed up with the box-office success SCREAM 2 opposite Neve Campbell and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
O'Connell was seen earlier this year in Lynda Obst's event mini-series THE SIXTIES with Julia Stiles and Josh Hamilton as a family torn apart by the forces that divided the decade: the civil rights movement, the student revolution and the war in Viet Nam. He will next be seen starring in MISSION TO MARS, directed by Brian DePalma.