Oscar Might Have Eyes For Ed

Ed Harris is known for much more than his intense blue eyes and hard features.

The actor has built a career portraying intense characters in movies, such as "Apollo 13," "The Truman Show" and "Pollack." His performance in each of those movies was nominated for an Academy Award.

Harris is once again creating Oscar buzz for his performance in "The Hours." Harris plays Richard, a brilliant poet dying of AIDS. He visited The Early Show to discuss the film which stars Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman.

"The Hours" is based on a 1998 book of the same name by Michael Cunningham. It tells three stories in three eras, all somehow connected.

First, there is Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman), in London in the early 1920s as she writes her first great novel, "Mrs. Dalloway."

More than two decades later, Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is a wife and mother in Los Angeles at the end of World War II, who reads "Mrs. Dalloway" and finds it relevant to her life.

And then, in modern New York City, there is Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep), a version of Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, in love with her friend, Richard.

Some Facts About Ed Harris

  • Born Edward Allen Harris in Tenafly, N.J., Nov. 28, 1950
  • Attended Columbia University in New York (1969-71) with aspiration to become a pro-football player; At 5 feet 9 inches, he was smaller than the other players and not as fast, so he dropped out after
    two years
  • Attended Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma and majored in acting (1972-73)
  • Attended California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Calif., and received his BFA in theater in 1975
  • In 1977, he made his television-movie debut in "The Amazing Howard Hughes" on CBS
  • He made his feature acting debut in the film "Coma" in 1978
  • Harris' first lead role was "Knightriders" in 1981
  • In 1983, Harris made his New York stage debut as Eddie in the off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love"; starred in the movie "The Right Stuff"
  • In 1989, Harris had his first lead in a major feature, "The Abyss," directed by James Cameron
  • In 1992, he co-starred in the feature version of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross"
  • In 1994, Harris appeared in the ABC miniseries "Stephen King's 'The Stand'"
  • In 1995, Harris received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as NASA mission control flight director Gene Krantz in "Apollo 13"
  • In 2000, Harris made his feature directorial debut with "Pollock", a biopic of artist Jackson Pollock; garnered first Best Actor Oscar nomination
"The Hours" opens nationwide Jan. 17.