John Lithgow (pronounced "lith-go") is a stage, television, and film actor best known for his starring role as Dick Solomon in the 1996-2001 NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the category "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series" each of the program's six seasons and won three times, in 1996, 1997 and 1999.
Lithgow was born on October 19, 1945 in Rochester, New York. His mother was a retired actress and his father was a theatrical producer and director; because of his father's job, the family moved frequently during Lithgow's childhood. Lithgow won a scholarship to Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1967. (He later served on its Board of Overseers.)
In 1973, Lithgow debuted on Broadway in David Storey's "The Changing Room", for which he received a Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic).
In 1983 and 1984, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performances as Roberta Muldoon in The World According to Garp and as Sam Burns in Terms of Endearment; both films were screen adaptations of popular novels.
In 1986, Lithgow received a Primetime Emmy Award in the category "Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series" for his appearance in an episode of the Amazing Stories anthology show.
In 2002, Lithgow won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of J.J. Hunsecker in the Broadway adaptation of the 1957 film Sweet Smell of Success.
For his work in Broadway theatre, in 2005 he was elected into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
Additionally, Ligthgow has been nominated for an "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special" Emmy for "The Day After" (1984), two "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special" Emmys for "Resting Place" (1986) and "My Brother's Keeper" (1995), two "Best Actor (Play)" Tonys for "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (1985) and "M. Butterfly" (1988), and a "Best Leading Actor in a Musical" Emmy for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." (2005)
Lithgow originated the character of Dr. Emilio Lizardo/Lord John Whorfin, a psychotic Italian physicist inhabited by an evil alien, in the cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. He also voiced the character of Yoda in the National Public Radio adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Lithgow makes occasional appearances on stage and television singing children's songs and accompanying himself on guitar. He resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Lithgow appeared in the most recent Campbell's Selectâ„¢Soups, portraying a restaurant waiter, serving 'customers' in their own household.