Queens-born Jason Patric a Hollywood mainstay

By The Greater Historical Society

In conjunction with the Greater Astoria Historical Society, TimesLedger newspapers presents noteworthy events in the borough’s history:

Born Jason Patric Miller, Jr., in Queens on June 17, 1966, Jason Patric is a film, stage and television actor who has over 20 movies to his credit in a career spanning more than 30 years. He has also appeared in TV shows including “Saturday Night Live,” “Entourage, “and the mystery series “Wayward Pines.”

Patric comes from a long line of acting talent, from grandfather Jackie Gleason to his parents, actor and playwright Jason Miller and actress Linda Miller, as well as half-brother actor Joshua John Miller. The publicity-shy Queens native also gained fame in 1991 as the love interest of superstar actress Julia Roberts.

In addition to Queens, Jason Patric spent his early years in New Jersey and Santa Monica, California. He first found his calling while a student at Saint Monica Catholic High School, where he acted in stage productions of “Grease” and “Dracula.” During his high school years, he also worked as a production assistant on his father’s 1982 film “That Championship Season.”

Following graduation, Patric first appeared on television in the 1985 drama “Toughlove.” Through the remainder of the 1980s, the rising actor from Queens starred in movies such as the post-apocalyptic “Solarbabies” and the horror comedy “The Lost Boys.”

In the 1990s, his acting resume and Hollywood good looks landed him a starring role alongside Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall in the 1993 movie “Geronimo: An American Legend,” but in the same year he turned down the lead role in the box office hit “The Firm,” which went to Tom Cruise instead.

Although Jason Patric has never gained the fame or critical acclaim of some of his co-stars, he has shown great versatility and devotion to his craft as an actor. He garnered outstanding reviews for his starring role alongside Ray Liotta as an undercover narcotics officer in the 2002 crime thriller “Narc,” and went so far as to drink shots of Tabasco sauce to ensure agony in his death scene in the 2004 war film “The Alamo.” Around this time in his career, the acting scion returned to his early roots on stage. The following year he starred in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and in 2011 he appeared in a stage version of “That Championship Season.”

More recently, Patric has appeared the psychological thriller series “Wayward Pines,” which started in 2015, and “The Yellow Birds,” a 2017 film drama about the Iraq War.

Reflecting on his career choices, which include starring in some lesser known works and turning down some box office blockbusters, Patric once told a Hollywood interviewer, “I’m willing to take less money and fourth billing and do interesting roles. I hate putting limitations on myself. I don’t set out to sell popcorn or make money for the major studios. What I’d like is for my work to have meaning.”

Compiled by Dan McDonald for the Greater Astoria Historical Society. For further information, contact the Society at 718-278-0700, or visit our website at www.astorialic.org.

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