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A Quaid quadrilater plus one

Next year Dennis Quaid turns 60. The year after that, he celebrates his 40th anniversary onscreen. Along the way, he’s played Bill Clinton, Jerry Lee Lewis, astronaut Gordon Cooper, Sam Houston, Doc Holliday, and a very George W. Bush-like president. He’s not just a movie star. he’s an American history textbook.

Here are five career highlights.

THE RIGHT STUFF (1983)

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Quaid steals the movie as Cooper, the least astronaut-like of the Mercury 7
astronauts.

THE BIG EASY (1986)

“I have bad luck with men,” says earnest prosecutor Ellen Barkin. “Honey, your luck’s about to change,” replies slick
cop Quaid.

EVERYBODY’S ALL-AMERICAN (1988)

Quaid’s Southern gridiron hero may
not age well, but his performance has.

FLESH AND BONE (1993)

Quaid and then-wife Meg Ryan star
in this tense rural-Texas thriller from writer-director Steve Kloves.

FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002)

As a closeted gay man married to Julianne Moore in suburban Connecticut in the ’50s, Quaid reveals a depth — and anguish — new to his acting

MARK FEENEY

Mark Feeney can be reached at mfeeney@globe.com.
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