• Biography

Rainn Wilson is an American actor, director, scriptwriter, and producer. In his early career, Rainn Wilson struggled to get a decent platform; he acted in various television series, settling for minor roles. Wilson worked in different series like 'Six Feet Under,' 'Law & Order,' 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,' 'Entourage,' etc., also appearing in movies like 'House of 1000 Corpses,' 'Almost Famous,' 'America's Sweethearts,' etc.

But in 2005, everything changed for him; he became a household name in the states and all over the world with his brilliant portrayal of 'Dwight Schrute' in the US version of the famous British show 'The Office.'

Things started to get better for Wilson after 'The Office,' he began to get more opportunities to shine his talents with projects like 'The Rocker,' 'Monsters vs. Aliens,' 'Bonzai Shadowhands,' etc.

Rainn Wilson also directed three episodes of The Office.

Childhood and Early Life

Rainn Wilson was born on January 20, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, USA. His father, Robert G. Wilson, was an artist, a business consultant, and an author. He wrote the science fiction novel 'Tentacles of Dawn.' Rainn's mother, Shay Cooper, was a yoga teacher and an actress.  

Rainn Wilson once described his childhood and adolescence life as 'geeky' and spent his time playing 'Dungeons & Dragons.' He was raised in the Washington state partway through his high school until his family moved to Wilmette, IL. His family lived in financially tight conditions, they never had enough money, but Rainn reminisces about not realizing they were poor while growing up. 

As Rainn was a 'nerd' in school, he loved to participate in chess clubs, debate clubs, and band classes. He loved playing the xylophone, wearing a kit for the marching band. He and his friends would spend most of the time playing board games, watching Saturday Night Live, and Monty Python comedy sketches.

Having a creative gene in his body from his parents, Rainn Wilson would involve himself in school plays and dramas. He played the clarinet and the bassoon in high school. He enrolled at 'Kellogg Middle School' and 'Shorecrest High School.' By the time Rainn Wilson graduated, his passion for acting had thrived; he then diverted his energy into his love. He went to 'Tufts University' and the 'University of Washington' to learn acting. 

He received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from New York University's 'Graduate Acting Program' from the 'Tisch School of the Arts.' He also became a member of 'The Acting Company,' a foundation for many prestigious actors.

Family and Religion

Rainn Wilson was born into a family fanaticized by the Baha'i faith. Baha'u'llah's teaching emphasizes achieving world peace through unity, justice, and equality. Baha'ullah's teaching advocates for racial unity, gender equality, and universal education in harmony or science and religion. Their devotion to their faith was why they moved to Illinois; Rainn's parents wanted to work at the Baha'i National Center.

Rainn was a skeptic, and he left his faith to experiment whether he genuinely believed in his faith. He spent almost ten years soul-searching, researching, and deciding if his faith was right; he tried drugs and alcohol, became active in politics. Later, he rejoined his faith and has never left it since. 

Rainn Wilson and Holiday Reinhorn (Holly) first met in an acting class during their college years. Rainn married his longtime girlfriend, Holly, in Washington in 1995 in a Baha'i ceremony. The family spends their time between their home in California and Oregon. They love farming and also have several pets, including dogs, pigs, and a zonkey. The couple has a son, Walter Mckenzie Wilson, born in 2004; the couple waited for nine long years before welcoming him into the world.


Rainn Wilson had a challenging journey, struggling in his early career without good opportunities, forcing him to take odd jobs. After graduating from university, Wilson spent the next decade working on stages all over New York City, performing in off-broadway and broadway productions.

Rainn was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actors three times during his Arena Stage work. Rainn took part in the revival production of the comedy London Assurance but was unpleased with his performance, prompting him to find acting or jobs that felt more related to him and his beliefs. 

Ever since 1997, he started taking roles in television shows and movies. He commenced with shows like One LifeLife to live, Dark Angel, and Charmed, acting in movie roles in Galaxy Quest (1999) and Almost Famous(2000). 

But then came the series The Office, and Rainn's LifeLife changed for good. He is best known for playing Dwight Schrute on the American version of The Office. He began the role in 2005 and played until the show finished in season nine. Rainn countless times said that he would be happy to play Dwight for the rest of his LifeLife, and for many years he wrote a blog as Dwight. His performance for the role earned him three Emmy nominations, and the show won the award for Best Comedy Ensemble at Screen Actors Guild (SAG). 

After 'The Office, Rainn never had to look back; his performance and popularity landed him more television shows and movies. He played a lead role in Backstrom, a crime drama on the Fox channel. Rainn also voiced Gallaxhar of the animated film Monsters vs. Aliens, opposite Reese Witherspoon.

Date modified: Oct 13, 2021
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