5 Fun Facts About Jeff Daniels, ‘Gander Readers’ Favorite Actor

Jeff Daniels attends the premiere of Hulu's limited drama series "The Looming Tower" at The Paris Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

By Maddison Hill

August 10, 2023

It’s clear ‘Gander readers love Jeff Daniels, and the Chelsea native is more than just an actor. 

MICHIGAN — Earlier this summer, we asked our Facebook followers to answer the following question: The best actor/actress from Michigan is ____?

An overwhelming number of Michiganders responded with Jeff Daniels.

Daniels is an actor, musician and playwright from the small town of Chelsea. He is best known for his roles in The Purple Rose of Cairo, Terms of Endearment, Dumb and Dumber, The Martian, and The Newsroom. Daniels has also won two Primetime Emmy Awards.

Because of the overwhelming love Daniels got from readers, today we’re highlighting a few lesser-known facts about him. 

He attended Central Michigan University 

Jeff Daniels attended Central Michigan University, where he was part of the university’s theater department. During his time at the university, he got involved in acting. He left university to pursue a career in acting. Despite this, Jeff has maintained a close relationship with CMU, showing his appreciation for the university by speaking highly of it and attending and performing at the Bush Theatre.

He founded a theater company in his home town

Courtesy/ The Purple Rose Theater Company

Daniels founded The Purple Rose Theatre Company in 1991 in an old pizza parlor. The theater is named after the Woody Allen movie Daniels stars in, The Purple Rose of Cairo. Daniels writes, directs, and works on plays at the theater.

He absolutely loves music and is a songwriter

He has written and recorded six full-length albums plus released singles, all of which are beloved by his fans. A portion of the proceeds from his music go towards the Purple Rose Theatre. According to Daniels, his acoustic guitar is his best friend, and the two have been inseparable for decades. 

He has a Broadway career 

Daniels has starred in many Broadway plays, including To Kill a Mockingbird, God of Carnage, and Blackbird. He also has off-Broadway theater credits, including performances in The Fifth of July, Gemini, and Redwood Curtain. As a Broadway actor, Daniels has received several nominations for his roles on stage, including Tony Award nominations for Best Actor.

He’s a playwright 

Daniels is an acclaimed playwright and director. He has written and directed nine plays for the Purple Rose Theatre Company. He often composes the music for his plays, too, he has also won and been nominated for multiple awards for his works. His 2002 play, Across the Way, was a finalist for the American Theatre Critics Association National Award for Best New Play.


CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


Local News

Related Stories
Share This