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.
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