Jeremiah "Jerry" O'Connell (born February 17, 1974), is an Irish-American television and film actor. He was born in New York City, and was raised in Manhattan with his younger brother Charlie O'Connell. He is probably best known as "the fat kid from Stand By Me".
O'Connell began his acting career at a young age. As a youngster, he did commercial work for Duncan Hines cookies. Shortly after at the age of eleven, he landed his first feature starring role in Rob Reiner's Stand By Me. As a teenager, he starred in the series My Secret Identity, and attended Manhattan's Professional Children's School.
O'Connell went on to attend New York University (NYU) in 1992 where he majored in film and served as captain of the saber team. While in film school, Jerry studied screen writing and eventually graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. During a summer break from NYU, Jerry starred in the feature film Calendar Girl along side Jason Priestley and Gabriel Olds. He also appeared in the short-lived ABC sitcom, Camp Wilder with Jay Mohr and Hilary Swank in 1992. In his Junior year, O'Connell auditioned for two TV pilots: Sliders and Party of Five. He was offered the role of Quinn Mallory in the TV series Sliders, which ran for three seasons on Fox and two seasons on the Sci-Fi Channel. He served as producer during his fourth and final season, and is credited with writing and directing several episodes.
O'Connell has since gone on to star in such movies as Body Shots, Mission to Mars, Tomcats and Kangaroo Jack. O'Connell has also tried his hand at screenwriting and sold his first screenplay, for First Daughter, to New Regency in 1999. The film was released in 2004 by 20th Century Fox-based Davis Entertainment. O'Connell served as executive producer on the film, which was about a young secret service agent sent to keep an eye on the president's college-age daughter and starred Katie Holmes.
His younger brother Charlie O'Connell, also an alumnus of NYU and who was most recently seen as The Bachelor, has also appeared with Jerry in several projects, and in some other roles, as well, but is not as successful an actor.
Filmography & TV Appearances
- Charles in Charge (1984) playing David Landon in episode: "The Organization Man" (episode # 4.20) 1989
- The Equalizer (1985) playing "Bobby" in episode: "The Child Broker" (episode # 3.13) 1/20/1988
- Stand By Me (1986) - Vern Tessio
- The Room Upstairs (1987) (TV) - Carl
- My Secret Identity (1988) (TV Series) - Andrew Clements
- Ollie Hopnoodles' Haven of Bliss (1989) (TV) - Ralphie Parker
- Camp Wilder (1992) (TV Series) - Brody Wilder
- Calendar Girl (1993) - Scott Foreman
- Sliders (1995-1999) (TV Series) - Quinn Mallory
- The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky (a.k.a. Hole in the Sky) (1995) (TV) - Mac
- Blue River (1995) (TV) - Lawrence Sellars
- Joe's Apartment (1996) - Joe
- Jerry Maguire (1996) - Frank Cushman
- What the Deaf Man Heard (1997) (TV) - Reverand Perry Ray Pruitt
- Scream 2 (1997) - Derek
- Can't Hardly Wait (1998) - Trip McNeelly
- Tree Weeks (aka Petit sapin va loin) (Canada: French title: TV title)(1998).... NYC Tree Buyer
- The 60's (1999) (TV mini series) - Brian Herlihy
- Body Shots (1999) - Michael Penorisi
- Mission to Mars (2000) - Phil Ohlmyer
- Tomcats (2001) - Michael Delaney
- Night Visions (2001) playing Andy in episode: "Rest Stop" (episode # 1.9) 8/2/2001
- Buying the Cow (2002) - David Collins
- The New Guy (2002) - Highland High Party Twin
- Crossing Jordan (2002 - ) - Detective Woody Hoyt
- Romeo Fire (2002) TV series pilot - Ryan Wheeler
- Kangaroo Jack (2003) - Charlie Carbone
- Sliders (1995) TV Series (producer: 1998-1999)
- First Daughter (2004)
- Sliders (1997) TV series - "Stoker"
- Sliders (1999) TV series - "Slidecage," "Lipschitz Live," "Data World," "Roads Taken"
- Sliders (1999) - "Way out West",
- First Daughter (2004) - screenplay
Jerry O'Connell says that "[t]here was a good six months that I didn't have a bed [at my new apartment]-- I was sleeping on a towel."