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Veteran American actor known for iconic roles in several blockbusters



Arliss Howard is, no doubt, an accomplished movie actor veteran in his own right. Doubling as a screenwriter and movie director, he is known for his diverse contributions to the entertainment industry. His journey, influenced by a creative upbringing, has led him to iconic roles and directorial ventures that span film and television.

Continue reading this piece to know more about Arliss Howard’s dynamic career and the artistic legacy he is building.

Arliss Howard’s biography

Arliss Howard's face

Leslie Richard “Arliss” Howard was born on October 18, 1954, in Missouri, United States. He is an actor, screenwriter and movie director. He was born into the household of Richard “Dick” Howard and Barbara Peavy. His family was inclined towards the arts. 

He grew up alongside his three siblings, including his brother Jim Howard, who is a screenwriter, author, poet and computer game creator. Arliss’s upbringing encouraged his passion for acting and storytelling from a young age.

Howard attended Truman High School. He subsequently enrolled at Columbia College in Missouri. His academic career served as a springboard for developing his creative talents and performing arts interests. He continued his education by enrolling at the Elite Performers Studio in New York, a renowned school that has produced an impressive number of successful performers.

The talented actor stands at 5’9 inches tall and he was born under the Libra zodiac sign.

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Arliss Howard’s career

Arliss Howard smiling

Howard’s career began to flourish with notable performances in a variety of roles across film, television and stage. He scored some of his first roles in notable films like Full Metal Jacket, Men Don’t Leave, Ruby and Natural Born Killers. He received praise for his performances in TV movies, including Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture and The Man Who Captured Eichmann, for which he received nominations for two CableACE Awards.

Throughout the 1990s, Howard continued to impress audiences with his acting prowess. He starred in notable movies, including Men Don’t Leave (1990), Crisscross (1992) and For the Boys (1991).

He played the evil “Peter Ludlow” in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 film, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and “John C. Calhoun” in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad.

On the CBS drama series Medium, Howard made notable repeat appearances and even directed a few episodes. In addition to writing and directing, he also collaborated on scripts with his brother, Jim Howard. Big Bad Love (2002) and Dawn Anna (2005) are notable examples of his directorial work. His wife, Debra Winger, who is also a well-known actress in her own right, appeared in these movies as well.

In 2010, he portrayed “Kale Ingram” in the television series Rubicon.

Howard also has a vivid experience in the world of theatre. In 2009, he made an appearance in the Broadway revival of August Wilson Turner’s Come and Gone. He has performed in plays, including How I Learned to Drive and In the Jungle of the Cities at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Alongside his wife, Winger, he performed in Chekhov’s plays, Uncle Vanya and Ivanov.

In June 2020, Howard and Patrick Dempsey joined forces for the CBS political drama pilot, Ways & Means. Howard’s most recent work was on the 2022 comedy film, With/In.

Arliss Howard movies

Arliss Howard in a war movie

Howard has appeared in several movies and sitcoms throughout his illustrious career. Highlighted below are a few of his notable works over the years, as seen on his official IMDb profile.

  • The Prodigal (1983) – The movie follows a young man named Luke who leaves his family to experience life in the big city. Howard played the character “Scott Stuart” in this coming-of-age story.
  • The Lightship (1986) – This thriller revolves around the crew of a lightship who encounter a mysterious stranger. Howard portrayed “Eddie”.
  • Full Metal Jacket (1987) – This iconic war film is split into two parts: the brutal training of U.S. Marine recruits and their experiences in the Vietnam War. Howard played “Sergeant ‘Cowboy’ Evans”.
  • Tequila Sunrise (1988) – This crime drama features Howard as Gregg Lindroff. The film explores the complex relationships between a drug dealer, a detective, and their shared romantic interest.
  • Plain Clothes (1988) – This comedy-drama stars Howard in the lead role, “Nick Dunbar”. The movie follows a cop who goes undercover in a high school to solve a murder case.
  • Men Don’t Leave (1990) – This drama features Howard as “Charles Simon”. The film explores the challenges faced by a woman and her family after her husband’s sudden death.
  • For the Boys (1991) – In this musical drama, Howard portrays “Sergeant Michael Leonard”. The film follows the careers of a USO entertainer and her partner through several decades.
  • CrissCross (1992) – This crime drama features Howard as “Joe”. The movie centres on a man’s struggles to protect his son from a dangerous criminal.
  • Ruby (1992) – In this crime drama, Howard portrays the character “Maxwell”.
  • Wilder Napalm (1993) – In this comedy-drama, Howard portrays “Wilder Foudroyant” in a story about two brothers with pyrokinetic abilities.
  • The Sandlot (1993) – This film revolves around a group of young baseball players. Howard appeared as the older “Scotty Smalls”. 
  • Natural Born Killers (1994) – This controversial crime film follows a couple on a killing spree. Howard played “Owen Traft”, also known as “Mickey” and “Mallory’s Guardian Angel” or “The Demon”.

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Arliss Howard’s net worth

Howard has an estimated net worth of $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth

Arliss Howard’s family

Arliss Howard and Debra Winger

Howard is the son of Richard “Dick” Howard and Barbara Peavy. His parents provided a foundation and supported his artistic aspirations. The actor has previously acknowledged his parents’ support for his artistic career.

He has three siblings, each of whom has made their contributions to the world of arts and entertainment. Notably, his brother Jim Howard is a multi-talented individual who is a screenwriter, author, poet and computer game creator. 

In 1996, Howard married Debra Winger, an accomplished actress known for her roles in iconic films. The union has created a dynamic partnership between the duo, both personally and professionally. Winger has collaborated with Howard on various projects.

Howard is the father of two sons from different marriages. His first son, Sam Howard, was born in 1987 from his previous marriage to Karen Mary Sellars. His second son, Gideon “Babe” Howard, was born in 1997 from his marriage to Debra Winger.

Arliss Howard’s age

Howard was born on October 18, 1954. He is currently 68 years old and will be 69 years old in October 2023.

Arliss Howard Instagram

Arliss Howard does not have an active Instagram account currently. 

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