Aidan Quinn, born March 8, 1959 in Rockford, Illinois is an American actor of Irish descent who plays the part of President Grant. He was raised Roman Catholic in Chicago and Rockford, IL - as well as in Dublin and Birr, County Offaly in Ireland. His father was a professor in literature, his mother was a homemaker, and he has three brothers and a sister. His older brother, Declan Quinn, is a noted cinematographer. Though a roofer by trade, Quinn got his start in the Chicago theater at age 19, and trained at the Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston, IL.
His first significant film role was in 1984's "Reckless", followed by a breakthrough role in "Desperately Seeking Susan" as the character "Dez" - the love interest of the character played by Rosanna Arquette. Quinn next starred in the controversial 1985 NBC TV movie "An Early Frost," about a young lawyer dying of AIDS which co-starred such luminaries as Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara and Sylvia Sidney. He received his first Emmy Award nomination for the role which allowed him to gain recognition in Hollywood.
Quinn lost the role of Jesus Christ when Paramount Pictures dropped the controversial Martin Scorsese movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" in 1989, and when Universal Pictures picked up the film, the role went to Willem Dafoe. In the meantime, Quinn starred as protagonist in the film "Crusoe," finished in 1989.
During the 1990s Quinn's career grew immensely, and he found work alongside such Hollywood names as Brad Pitt in "Legends of the Fall," Johnny Depp in "Benny & Joon," Robert Duvall in "The Handmaid's Tale" and Sir John Gielgud in "Haunted." He has repeatedly starred in films that allowed him to return to his Irish roots, such as "Michael Collins, Song for a Raggy Boy" and "Evelyn."
In 2000, Quinn portrayed Paul McCartney in the VH1 television drama, "Two of Us." Sources have stated that he later met McCartney at a hotel, and they became good friends. Quinn was able to gain his first regular television role as the lead in the short lived and controversial NBC drama "The Book of Daniel," in 2006. The show was canceled after the first three weeks of its run, and its last five episodes never aired. In 2007, Quinn received his second Emmy nomination for the television movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."