The youngest member of the Baldwin clan, Stephen Baldwin is one of the few Hollywood actors versatile enough to boast roles in everything from The Usual Suspects (1995) to Bio-Dome (1996). Equally adept at comedy and drama, Baldwin's popularity surged in the '90s and carried the increasingly busy actor into a series of low-budget action thrillers. A Massapequa, NY, native, Baldwin gained notice in his teens as a successful opera singer and took home top prizes in numerous local competitions. Opting for a career as an actor a few short years later, the aspiring thespian refined his talents at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts before making his way to the screen in the mid-'80s. Baldwin made his film debut in the 1987 made-for-TV feature The Prodigious Mr. Hickey, with small screen appearances in Family Ties and China Beach soon to follow. In 1989, he took a featured role in the short-lived television Western The Young Riders. His feature career gained momentum with the adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr.'s Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989), and it wasn't long before he was turning up in such highbrow Hollywood fare as Born on the Fourth of July.
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After putting his Young Riders experience to good use in Mario Van Peebles' Posse (1993), Baldwin turned up in the Hollywood sex comedy Threesome (1994). It was around this time that roles in 8 Seconds and A Simple Twist of Fate (also 1994) began to catch the attention of the movie-going public. The following year's The Usual Suspects, however, found the rising star gaining both top billing and the best reviews of his career. Taking top billing as a criminal taken in by police for questioning following a truck hijacking, Baldwin's kinetic and humorous performance propelled him through such comedies as Bio-Dome (1996) and Fled (both 1996). Taking a stab at dramatic action with One Tough Cop (1998), the film did little to forward public perception of Baldwin as a serious actor, although he would make a successful transition into thrillers with Scarred City (1999) and Mercy (2000). His roles in big-budget Hollywood fare began decreasing after that, but the youngest Baldwin sibling was still as busy as ever with an average of four films per year. In 2002, he took to the screen for the comedy sequel Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice. Outside of his film work, Baldwin is well known for charitable contributions to such organizations as the Los Angeles AIDS Project. Married to Kennya Deodato in 1990, the couple reside in Tucson, AZ, with their children when Baldwin is not on location.
Although Baldwin continued to work regularly, he gained notoriety with the release of an autobiography in 2006 in which he explained his conversion to born-again Christianity, and began to campaign for different conservative politicians, often putting him at odds publically with his liberal-minded brother $Alec. Baldwin became enough of a name that he appeared on a pair of reality programs - I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here} and The Celebrity Apprentice. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi