Gil Birmingham’s Move From Body Building to Acting and Unknown Facts About His Personal Life

Gil Birmingham is a Comanche actor who has been in the Hollywood scene for more than three decades. The actor’s talents and versatility are evidenced in an exhaustive list of film credits. Gil is presumed to be a good fit for Native American male roles in the industry, which can be seen in movies such as Twilight Saga film series, The Lone Ranger, and Wind River.

Before acting, he briefly pursued a career in bodybuilding. He also harbors a great ardor for music and has performed as a singer and guitarist in some music events. More so, his contributions to the entertainment industry have not gone unnoticed as the bodybuilder turned actor is a recipient of many awards.

Gil Birmingham First Took Interest In Music Before Switching To Bodybuilding 

Gil Birmingham is a Texan, born on July 13, 1953, in San Antonio. He is the eldest child of five children born to Gilbert and Rozale (Becky) Birmingham. Not much is known about his family and elementary education. However, the actor once revealed that he grew up as an angry and lonely child because of his father’s military career, which made them move around often. His first love is music, and he learned to play the guitar at an early age.

Before his career as an actor, Gil used to play in bands around cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. After graduating with a degree in Administration from the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development in 1981, Gil Birmingham worked for a few years as a petrochemical engineer before he became fascinated with sculpting his body like a piece of sculpture. Following rigorous training, he participated in bodybuilding competitions at the time, although it’s uncertain whether he emerged victoriously in them.

His Well-built Physique Paved a Way For Him To Land His First Acting Gig

Gil Birmingham
(Image Source)

Despite developing a well-toned attractive physique, Gil Birmingham never stopped training. One day, while working out at the gym, he was spotted by a talent scout who recommended him for a role in a music video. He made his debut in the entertainment industry in 1982, with a feature in the legendary singer Diana Ross‘s video ‘Muscles,’ which saw him flaunt his charming bodybuild as the title of the song suggests.

It was after the music video that Gil decided to fully switch into acting. Being aware of how competitive the industry is, Birmingham chose to first hone his acting skills under Larry Moss and Charles Conrad’s tutelage. He made his acting debut in a theme park attraction by Universal Studios titled The Adventure of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular. He played a lead role as Conan the Barbarian in the stage production between 1983 and 1993.

The actor followed it up with a debut on the small screen in the 1986 TV series Riptide, portraying a traffic cop in one episode. In the next year, Gil made his feature film debut in House II: The Second Story and subsequently had roles in many TV series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), Night Man (1987), and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1997).

His Other Notable Acting Roles

In the year 2001, Gil Birmingham appeared as Manny Deardmarsh in The Doe Boy and was also cast as Sonny Yellow Lodge in the 2002 film, Skins. Later in the same year, the talented actor had a recurring role in Body & Soul. Before having a career breakthrough with Twilight in 2008, he scored over five acting roles, and later in the 2010s, Gil had a rise in his career, as he featured in a good number of films and TV series.

Some of these films and TV series include Love Ranch (2010), The Mentalist (2010), Shouting Secrets (2011), Crooked Arrows (2012), Vegas (2012), The Lone Ranger (2013), Banshee (2014), House of Cards (2014), and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-17).

In recent years, he has starred as Shaman Neka in The Space Between Us (2017) and Chief Sherman in Transformers: The Last Knight (2017). He also appeared as Detective Pearce in 10 episodes of Animal Kingdom (2017-19) and Navy Captain Steven Douglas in the season finale of NCIS: Los Angeles.

As a voice actor, Gil Birmingham had his first voice-over role in the 1999 animated TV series, The Wild Thornberrys, where he provided the voice of Jim’s Dad. Later in 2008, he voiced the character of Nashoba in Turok: Son of Stone and subsequently lent his voice in Night at the Museum (2006), as well as the critically and commercially successful animated movie, Rango (2011).

A Look At The Actor’s Most Prominent Works

Gil Birmingham gained prominence in the acting scene in the year 2008 when he portrayed Billy Black, a wheelchair-bound father of werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), in the mega-hit romantic fantasy film, Twilight. The movie, which also stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, grossed over $400 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of $37 million.

He moved on to reprise his role in other installments of The Twilight Saga film series, which were all box office hits namely; The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012). In 2016, Gil starred opposite Jeff Bridges in the critically acclaimed film, Hell or High Water, followed by his portrayal of Martin Hanson in the 2017 murder mystery film, Wind River. At this point, Gil Birmingham has successfully established himself as a movie star with his terrific acting talent.

He subsequently landed roles in TV series, Siren and Yellowstone in 2018, which he still stars in to date. Birmingham further proved his mettle in the acting scene in the same year 2018, with his portrayal of Michael Bowman, an attorney, and boss to influential Los Angeles immigration lawyer, Judy Wood (Michelle Monaghan), in the biographical drama film, Saint Judy.

Gil Has Received Multiple Awards

Siren actor’s numerous endeavors in the entertainment industry have been rewarded not just financially, but also with awards. Gil Birmingham has been honored both locally and across the globe. Notably, he is a recipient of the 2001 Sundance International Filmmaker’s Award for his performance in The Doe Boy. The next year, the movie Body and Soul earned him the First Americans in the Arts award.

Again, in 2005, Gil’s outstanding performance in the film, Dreamkeeper, won him the American Indian LA Film and Television Award. Yet again, in 2017, the actor clinched the Jury Prize for Outstanding Actor Lead Role at the Red Nation Film Festival for his role in Wind River.

How Much Is He Worth?

Birmingham has been in the acting scene for more than three decades. He has so far accrued more than sixty acting credits to his name and is still not showing signs of slowing down. Though some online sources have estimated his net worth at $700 thousand, his exact salary figure is unknown. However, we do know that he undoubtedly earns a decent amount and can afford to live a comfortable lifestyle. As of this writing, the Comanche actor’s net worth is yet to be made public as it is still under review.

Truths About Gil Birmingham’s Marital Status

Gil Birmingham
Gil Birmingham and Jane Krakowski in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Gil Birmingham is one of those stars who prefer to keep details of their personal life under wraps. Despite the mystery that shrouds his love life, the actor is believed to have never been married, and he doesn’t have any children. More so, there are trivial details available on his past and present relationships. However, he revealed in an interview that sometime in the past, he dated a wannabe actress, who relocated from Hawaii to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, as such, she began attending acting classes in L. A.

He further disclosed that she was the one that encouraged him to enroll in acting classes, which eventually proved pivotal in his acting career. Given that Gil’s relationship status is uncertain at the moment, it is safe to presume he is secretly dating or is single and willing to mingle.

Hendy I
I am Hendy, an enthusiastic and creative writer who likes to keep in touch with all that is going on in the world of entertainment. You would usually catch me reading or watching the next blockbuster when I am not writing.
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