Conservative actor Gary Sinise named Rose Parade Grand Marshal

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Actor Gary Sinise, best known as Lt. Dan from the film “Forrest Gump”, has been chosen as grand marshal for the 2018 Rose Parade.

The announcement was made on the steps of Tournament House in Pasadena by Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet. He was joined by Sinise.

“The 2018 theme, ‘Making A Difference,’ is a way to honor and celebrate all of the people in our communities, who quietly and without desire for reward or recognition, act in selfless, generous and kind ways to aid or benefit others. Gary Sinise is absolutely one of those people,’ Tibbet proclaimed. “Gary’s humanitarian work with our defenders, veterans, first responders and their families over the years, embodies our theme to the fullest.”

According to a bio published by Rose Parade, Sinise has been working in support of veterans for nearly 40 years. His Gary Sinise and Lt. Dan Band entertains troops around the world and the Gary Sinise Foundation was formed in 2011 with the mission to honor Americas defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need.”

In Hollywood, Sinise is a well-known for his conservative politics. He is the leader of a group known as Friends of Abe, which counts about 2,500 members on its roster after being launched about a decade ago.

The group doesn’t endorse candidates.

As grand marshal, Sinise will lead the 129th Rose Parade on Jan. 1 and
take part in festivities at the 104th Rose Bowl Game.

A lifetime of acting

The 62-year-old actor’s best-known television role was starring as New York Police Department Detective Mac Taylor in the 2004-13 CBS police procedural “CSI: NY.”

Sinise has received two Emmy nominations in his career, both for
portrayals of elected officials. He received the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie in 1998 for TNT’s “George Wallace,” two years after being nominated in the category for HBO’s “Truman.”

Sinise’s other television credits include the 1994 ABC miniseries “The
Stand”; the 1989 and 2003 “Hallmark Hall of Fame” productions “My Name is Bill W.” and “Fallen Angel”; and Showtime’s 1999 adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “That Championship Season.”

Sinise received a best supporting actor Oscar nomination in 1995 for his portrayal of Army platoon leader Lt. Dan Taylor in “Forrest Gump.” Sinise later appeared in two other films with “Forrest Gump” star Tom Hanks, “Apollo 13” and “The Green Mile.”

Sinise’s other film credits include “Ransom”; “Snake Eyes”; “The
Forgotten”; “The Human Stain”; “Imposter”; “It’s the Rage”; “Reindeer Games”; “Mission to Mars”; “A Midnight Clear”; “Jack the Bear”; “The Quick and the Dead”; “The Big Bounce” and “Albino Alligator.”

Sinise was born March 17, 1955, in the Chicago suburb of Blue Island,
Illinois. His acting career began on the stage when he was 18 and co-founded the famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago with friends Jeff Perry, now a cast member on the ABC drama “Scandal,” and Terry Kinney, whose career as an actor and director includes a Tony nomination in 1990 for best featured actor in a play for “The Grapes of Wrath.” Sinise starred in that play and received a Tony nomination for best featured actor in a play.

Sinise was the company’s artistic director for seven years and has starred in more than a dozen of its productions including the 2001 revival of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which brought him a best actor in a play Tony nomination under Kinney’s direction.

— City News Service contributed to this story

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