Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthJune 17, 1957
FactIn one of his appearances on Seinfeld (1989), he plays a homeless man that refuses to give Kramer's (Michael Richards) Tupperware back. In Napoleon Dynamite (2004), his character is a door-to-door salesman of Tupperware-like products.


Who is Jon Gries?

Born in Glendale, California, on 17 June 1957, under the air sign of Gemini, Jonathan Francis Gries is a 62-year-old American actor, director and writer. He is sometimes credited as Jonathan/Jonathon Gries and Jon Francis, depending on the project he’s involved in. As he’s been acting for more than 50 years now, there’s no genre, situation or demand that’s too challenging for him. Jon is perhaps best known for being Uncle Rico in “Napoleon Dynamite”, and Roger Linus in “Lost”. We could also see him in seminal titles such as “Monster Squad”, “Martin”, “Real Genius” and, unbeknownst to most – “Seinfeld”. Coming from an art-obsessed family, he knew what he wanted to be from the get go and exceeded all expectations by becoming one of the most respected names in show business.

Happy birthday, Jon Gries!

Posted by BuzzFeed Entertainment on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Early Life an Education: Growing Up in California

Jon was raised in his birthplace by very famous parents – his mother, Mary Eleanor Munday, was a popular actress in the last century, amassing roles in cult classics such as “Ghost Dad”, “The Twilight Zone” and “The Golden Hawk”. Thomas Stephen Gries, a prominent producer, writer and director, was his father. A man respected throughout Hollywood, Gries Sr. introduced his son to the art of acting at a very young age. ‘Our house was not your average household’, Jon recalls. ‘There were movie scripts all over the place, and often my dad’s celebrity friends would stop by for a chat or a meeting.’ With exposure to such an artistic environment, he had little choice but to follow the footsteps of his influential parents. As for his education, Jon Gries attended an unspecified high school in his hometown, matriculating in 1975.

Given the fact that he devoted his life to acting, he forewent his college education and never looked back. Throughout the years, he attended several seminars and programs in France, Britain and other countries. His will to learn and improve as an actor have turned him into a living legend, with his peers having only kind words about him.

Career Beginnings: Working with Charlton Heston, More American Graffiti, Real Genius and More

While most actors need years of small-time roles to work with big names, Jon didn’t. At the tender age of 11, he was thrown into the fire by being cast as Horace in the hit Charlton Heston film “Will Penny”. Even though his father Thomas was both the writer and director, young Gries impressed Heston and the rest of the crew with his composure and maturity. Despite the success of his debut, he put acting aside in order to complete his education. In 1976, as a fresh high school graduate, he made appearances in “Helter Skelter” and “Born of Water”, followed by a series of roles in various popular TV shows and movies.

This was a rather interesting development, as he didn’t face any significant difficulties when it came to picking roles. “More American Graffiti”, “Swap Meet” and “Sunnyside” were the most important of the bunch. Critics began writing about him, which lead to more directors and producers wanting to work with him. While Jon wasn’t a star by any means, but his talent was evident.

Gaining Recognition: The Monster Squad, September Gun, Real Genius, TerrorVision and More

The 1980s were an important period for Gries. He started the decade off with supporting roles in “The White Shadow”, “The Texas Rangers” and “Joysticks”. People were wondering why he was silent in 1982, but they found out the answer when he caught everyone’s attention by having five critically praised roles, especially in “September Gun” and “High School U.S.A.” His jam-packed schedule stayed pretty much the same, with seminal parts in “The Monster Squad”, “Number One with a Bullet”, and even an appearance in “The Twilight Zone”.

In equal measure, Gries was in both films and series, slowly establishing himself as one of the premier supporting actors in the industry. In such a short period, he managed to build up his portfolio more than most actors manage over the course of several decades. It’s also worth noting his performances in “Kill Me Again”, “Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog”, amongst the many credits he had in the 1980s. The first part of the 1990s decade included stints in “L.A. Law”, “Quantum Leap” and “Baskersfield P.D.”. At this time, he was finally handed the opportunity to showcase character development in a recurring role.

1990s and 2000s: Martin, Beverly Hills 90210, Men in Black, The Pretender, Napoleon Dynamite and More

In 1992, John Bowman and Martin Lawrence wanted to work with Jon on “Martin”, a cult 1990s sitcom in which Lawrence himself was the star. Initially, they wanted to feature him in a few episodes, but fans immediately took a liking to Shawn McDermott, so we got to seem him a lot in the next few seasons.

Jon Gries

Appearing in over 50 episodes, Gries showcased that he can handle complex characters and implement changes in his approach to individual scenes. Hollywood took notice of his talents, as he went on to appear in “The X Files”, “Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Chicago Hope” and even “Seinfeld”. By the mid-1990s, the man was everywhere. His second big role was as Broots in “The Pretender”; the story features Michael T. Weiss as a man who escaped from a government testing facility and has the ability to master any skill. When his time on the show concluded after 82 episodes, he mostly focused on movies, the most important of which was “Napoleon Dynamite”. Throughout the 2000s, we would rarely see Jon performing in TV shows, but when he did – he was nothing short of impressive.

Recent Works: Napoleon Dynamite (the series), The Bridge, Dream Corp LLC and More

After highly praised performances in “Lost”, “Cold Case” and “CSI: NY”, Gries was ready to leave his mark on the 2010s. He reprised his role as Uncle Rico in the “Napoleon Dynamite” TV series, but only as a voice actor. Later on, he would make appearances in “Supernatural”, “Dr. Fubalous”, “Skinwalker Ranch” and other movies and shows. In “The Bridge”, he was Bob for eight episodes before moving onto “Dream Corp LLC”. As the lead star of this Daniel Stessen-created show, he played the quirky and absent-minded genius who records and analyzes dreams of various patients. Despite being in the sixth decade of his career, Gries is showing no signs of slowing down. He regularly hosts panels, gives speeches at Comic Cons and interacts with fans. According to multiple reports, he is always kind and never refuses to take a picture or give an autograph. With several projects in the making, who knows what this seemingly ageless man has in store for us?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFRtkP0ysZc

Personal Life: Is Jon Gries Married? Does He Have Children?

Jon’s current love life is quite a mystery. In 2011, it became known that he was dating actress Kimberly Rose McConnell. They got together on 11 November that year and immediately set tabloids ablaze with frequent social media posts and public displays of affection. However, in late 2015, they seemingly dropped off the grid as a couple. Nobody knew what they were up to and they stopped showing up to events together. It’s obvious that they broke up at a certain point, but didn’t want to create a fuss around the whole thing. Because he’s never married and there wasn’t any controversy involving the opposite sex, there were rumors that he might, in fact, be gay. Gries himself stated that he is heterosexual, putting these allegations to rest. Still, he is a very private person, so don’t expect any of his relationships to be publicized. As for his siblings, Jon has one sister – actress Cary Gries.

Trivia and Fun Facts About Jon Gries

In 2004, fans noticed a strange parallel between two of Gries’ many roles. In 1989, he played a homeless guy in “Seinfeld”, and proceeded to steal Tupperware from another character. 15 years later, in “Napoleon Dynamite”, his character was a door-to-door Tupperware salesman! In “Lost”, his plays the father to Michael Emerson’s character. Unbeknownst to most, Emerson is three years older than him in real life. On multiple occasions, he tried to become a vegan, but was unable to completely get rid of meat and dairy. His dad’s stepfather is famous jazz virtuoso Muggsy Spanier. Also, he played a wolf-man hybrid on two separate occasions – in “The Monster Squad” and “Fright Night Part 2”.

View this post on Instagram

#filmfesttucson

A post shared by Jon Gries (@jongries) on

Net Worth: How Rich is Jon Gries?

Have you ever wondered how affluent this famous actor really is? According to authoritative sources, Jon Gries has a net worth of approximately $2 million, as of October 2019. While this amount of money might not seem much for such a seasoned actor, Jon never prioritized big paydays. ‘It’s not about the money’, he said on the topic. ‘It’s not about the prestige or being recognized. It’s about doing work that you really think has integrity.’ Given the fact that he’s still active, we can expect this number to change in the following years.

Online Presence

When compared to most actors, Jon isn’t particularly active on social media. He has a Twitter profile and is followed by 1,400 people, but hasn’t posted anything since September 2018.

General Info

Full NameJon Gries
Date Of BirthJune 17, 1957
Height1.8 m
ProfessionFilm producer, Voice Actor, Film director, Writer
NationalityAmerican

Family

ParentsMary Munday, Tom Gries
SiblingsCary Gries

Accomplishments

NominationsIndependent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male, Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Rumble, Teen Choice Award for Film - Choice Sleazebag, Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Blush
MoviesNapoleon Dynamite, Taken, Taken 3, Taken 2, The Rundown, Real Genius, Men in Black, Get Shorty, Will Penny, Unicorn City, The Astronaut Farmer, Stick It, Faults, Northfork, The Monster Squad, September Dawn, Fright Night Part 2, Deep in the Heart, Bad Turn Worse, Noobz, The Sasquatch Gang, Skinwalke...
TV ShowsDr Fubalous, Napoleon Dynamite, The Pretender, Martin

Social profile links

Quotes

#Quote
1(On Get Shorty) I was probably the 250th person they saw for that. They saw Matthew McConaughey, Steve Buscemi, a lot of people. Getting it was kind of an anomaly. It's very difficult being nobody and getting a part in a movie like that. My personal feeling is that what I did in the audition didn't translate on film, and part of that was Barry Sonnenfeld's insecurity. There was so much dialogue, so he thought everything should be sped up. He kept saying, "Make it faster," and I think it lost something. When we had the cast and crew screening, there wasn't a peep from the audience. Barry was sweating profusely. He thought everyone hated it. I walked out of there thinking it was gonna be a big flop. Of course, seeing it now, I think it worked just fine, and we were all being too hard on it.
2On Napoleon Dynamite (2004): The fun of this kind of experience, which I think, unfortunately, a lot of people in the film industry miss, is really the adventure of making a movie that is being nurtured almost like a child and having to go through a channel where there are not millions of hands kind of massaging it to the screen.
3On his definition of success: It's not about the money. It's not about the prestige or being recognized. It's about doing work that you really think has integrity.

Facts

#Fact
1Played the role of a wolf man in 2 films, in The Monster Squad (1987) as Desperate Man (wolf man in human form) and in Fright Night Part 2 (1988) as Louie.
2Brother of Cary Gries.
3On Lost (2004) he played the father of Michael Emerson, who is actually 3 years older than him.
4In one of his appearances on Seinfeld (1989), he plays a homeless man that refuses to give Kramer's (Michael Richards) Tupperware back. In Napoleon Dynamite (2004), his character is a door-to-door salesman of Tupperware-like products.
5Does not drink milk and eats very little red meat.
6Son of noted writer/director/producer Tom Gries and actress Mary Munday. His paternal step-grandfather was jazz musician Muggsy Spanier (who was married to Jon's grandmother, Ruth).

Pictures

Movies

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Around June2008Murry
So Long Jimmy2008Levi Franklin
South of Heaven2008Hood 1
Bar Starz2008Ricky Fabulous
Taken2008/ICasey
The Comebacks2007Barber
September Dawn2007John D. Lee
Fathom2007Short
Bicentennial Curious2007ShortMick Jones
American Pastime2007Ed Tully
Frank2007/IColin York
Car Babes2006Gary
The Astronaut Farmer2006FBI Agent Killbourne
Stick It2006Brice Graham
The Sasquatch Gang2006Chilcutt
Last Best Chance2005VideoBernard Wheeler
Waterborne2005Ritter
Confessions of an Action Star2005Donald Buckheim
Carnivàle2003-2005TV SeriesTexas Ranger
Las Vegas2004TV SeriesGreg Walker
Napoleon Dynamite2004Uncle Rico
The Rundown2003Harvey
The Snow Walker2003Pierce
The Big Empty2003Elron
Northfork2003Arnold
242002TV SeriesJoseph Wald
The Pretender: Island of the Haunted2001TV MovieBroots
Jackpot2001Sunny Holiday / Glen Allen Johnson
The Beatnicks2001B Cool
ER2001TV SeriesDefense Attorney Marty Nesmith
The Pretender 20012001TV MovieBroots
The Pretender1996-2000TV SeriesBroots
Twin Falls Idaho1999Lawyer Jay Harrison
Seinfeld1995-1998TV SeriesRusty Homeless Man
Mitzi & Joe1997Joe
The Maze1997Dr. Holmes
Men in Black1997Van Driver
Casualties1997Bill Summers
Race Against Time: The Search for Sarah1996TV MovieSteve
Get Shorty1995Ronnie Wingate
Strange Luck1995TV SeriesHenry Bloom
Chicago Hope1995TV SeriesJack Kimball
Beverly Hills, 902101994TV SeriesMr. Trilling, Dope Dealer Dope Dealer
The X-Files1994TV SeriesSalvatore Matola
Martin1992-1994TV SeriesShawn McDermott Shawn
Bakersfield P.D.1993TV SeriesRay Coombs
Ed and His Dead Mother1993Rob Sundheimer
Four Eyes and Six-Guns1992TV Movie as Jonathan Gries
L.A. Law1992TV SeriesDr. Harold Benson
Fever1991TV MovieBobby
Quantum Leap1989-1991TV SeriesFlash McGrath / Roscoe
The Grifters1990Drunk's Friend (as Jonathan Gries)
Rainbow Drive1990TV MovieAzzolini
Tour of Duty1990TV SeriesMaj. Rex Chapman, USAF
Jake and the Fatman1990TV SeriesLenny Maddox
Falcon Crest1990TV SeriesStone
Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog1989Max (as Jonathan Gries)
Kill Me Again1989Alan Swayzie (as Jonathan Gries)
Guns of Paradise1989TV SeriesEmmett
Tattinger's1988TV SeriesRick Jurasky
Fright Night Part 21988Louie (as Jonathan Gries)
Che's Revenge1987ShortJack (as Jonathan Gries)
Cagney & Lacey1987TV SeriesHands Callahan
The Monster Squad1987Desperate Man (as Jonathan Gries)
The Twilight Zone1987TV SeriesNick Gatlin (segment "Shelter Skelter")
Number One with a Bullet1987Bobby Sweet (as Jonathan Gries)
Running Scared1986Det. Tony Montoya (as Jonathan Gries)
TerrorVision1986O.D. (as Jonathan Gries)
Real Genius1985Lazlo Hollyfeld (as Jonathan Gries)
High School U.S.A.1984TV MovieLeo Bandini (as Johnathan Gries)
High School U.S.A.1983TV MovieDirty Curt (as Jonathan Gries)
The Jeffersons1983TV SeriesFrank
September Gun1983TV MovieBrian Brian (as Jonathan Gries)
The Powers of Matthew Star1983TV SeriesBrad
Joysticks1983King Vidiot (as Jonathan Gries)
The White Shadow1980TV SeriesUri Kogenski
240-Robert1979TV SeriesBrad
Swap Meet1979Doug
More American Graffiti1979Ron (as Jonathan Gries)
Sunnyside1979Wild Child (as Jonathan Gries)
Mulligan's Stew1977TV SeriesAdams
The Chicken Chronicles1977Tom (as Jonathon Gries)
Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn1977TV Movie uncredited
Helter Skelter1976TV MovieWilliam Garretson
Born of Water1976Friend
Will Penny1967Horace (button) (as Jon Francis)
The Knife Throwerpre-productionCircus Manager
All About the Money2016Jon Waters
Dream Corp LLC2016TV SeriesDr. Roberts
Falsely Accused2016/IGus
The Axe Murders of Villisca2016Greg
Dice2016TV Series
Durant's Never Closes2016Dizzy Dean
A Country Called Home2015Tyler (uncredited)
Endgame2015/IPrincipal Thomas
Pass the Light2015Franklin
Americons2015Billy
Brothers2014/VIIIShortRonnie
Dream Corp LLC2014TV MovieDr. Roberts
Taken 32014Mark Casey
The Bridge2013-2014TV SeriesBob
The Last Survivors2014Carson
After We Rest2014ShortMr. Norman
Locker 132014Archie (segment "title story")
Faults2014Terry
Eternity: The Movie2014Barry Goldfield, Jr.
Criminal Minds2014TV SeriesClifford Walsh
Skinwalker Ranch2013Hoyt
A True Story2013Richard Simpkins
Bad Turn Worse2013Sheriff Shep
Byron's Theme2012ShortButcher
Supernatural2010-2012TV SeriesMartin Creaser
Hitman: Absolution2012Video GameSkurky (voice, as John Gries)
Taken 22012Casey
Noobz2012Greg Lipstein
BlackBoxTV2012TV SeriesDad
Napoleon Dynamite2012TV SeriesUncle Rico
Unicorn City2012Shadowhawk
Deep in the Heart2012Dick Wallrath
Dr. Fubalous2012TV SeriesDr. Reed
Hawaii Five-02011TV SeriesLiam Miller
Redemption: For Robbing the Dead2011Tom Sutter
Not Quite College2011Tone Cash
Natural Selection2011Peter
5 Time Champion2011Melvin Glee
Pearblossom2010ShortHarry
Nikita2010TV SeriesThe Engineer
Psych2010TV SeriesStrabinsky
Sons of Anarchy2010TV SeriesMagoo
Good Intentions2010/ISherriff Ernie
Lost2007-2010TV SeriesRoger Linus
Crazy on the Outside2010Edgar
A Lone Star State2009ShortWyatt Kinney
The Smell of Success2009Early Dunchamp
Elsewhere2009Mr. Tod
CSI: NY2008TV SeriesJim Warren

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Napoleon Dynamite2012TV Series performer - 1 episode
Deep in the Heart2012arranger: "Under The Bottle" / performer: "Under The Bottle" / producer: "Under The Bottle" / writer: "Under The Bottle"
The Big Empty2003writer: "SILVER PIECES"
Twin Falls Idaho1999writer: "Wish"

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Second Coming2012/IIco-producer
Pickin' & Grinnin'2010producer
Northfork2003associate producer
Jackpot2001co-producer
Twin Falls Idaho1999associate producer

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Cokerattached announced
Pickin' & Grinnin'2010
The Pretender2000TV Series 1 episode

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Pickin' & Grinnin'2010

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Sunday2016Short music engineer completed

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
You're So Cool Brewster! The Story of Fright Night2016DocumentaryHimself
Teens Wanna Know2015TV SeriesHimself
Full Burn2014Documentary shortJJ Perry
Featured by Fameus2013TV SeriesHimself
The Playboy Morning Show2012TV SeriesHimself
48 Hours2008TV Series documentaryHimself - Witness
The 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards2005TV Special documentaryHimself
Napoleon Dynamite: Still Gallery2004Video documentary shortHimself
Make the Movie Live the Movie2004TV Movie documentaryHimself
The 19th Annual People's Choice Awards1993TV SpecialHimself - Accepting Award for Favourite New Television Comedy Series

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lost: Destiny Calls2009TV MovieRoger Linus (uncredited)

Awards

Won Awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovie
2012Filmed in Utah AwardFilmed in Utah AwardsBest Supporting Actor: FeatureUnicorn City (2012)

Nominated Awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovie
2005Independent Spirit AwardIndependent Spirit AwardsBest Supporting MaleNapoleon Dynamite (2004)
2005Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Blush SceneNapoleon Dynamite (2004)
2005Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice Movie SleazebagNapoleon Dynamite (2004)
2005Teen Choice AwardTeen Choice AwardsChoice Movie RumbleNapoleon Dynamite (2004)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia
Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. Cary Gries is not Jon’s sister. That’s one of his brothers.

Write A Comment

Pin It