Gary Sinise is not your typical performer. The Golden Globe-winning philanthropist has devoted his life to performing, his family, and helping others in any way he can.

Unlike other famous marriages, Sinise and his wife Moira Harris have been married for 40 years and have three beautiful children. Gary has divulged the secret behind his wonderful and long-lasting marriage to his fans.

Gary Sinise’s work has been unlike many others. It’s usual for actors and actresses to have a big break at a young age, but here’s why Sinise’s career has been different from the start.

Gary Sinise is an actor.

We’re not saying the now-65-year-old actor didn’t have a successful profession when he was younger. However, he had to wait until his big breakthrough part in the classic 1994 film Forrest Gump.


Gary Sinise Shutterstock

Gary Sinise’s primary occupation has always been acting, but he has made the most of his life by being a wonderful father and husband and assisting veterans.

I fell in love with theater.

Gary went into acting in high school, according to reports.

Gary was born on March 17, 1955, in Blue Island, Illinois, and grew up in Highland Park. He was a bit of a rebel in high school and performed in bands.

“Well, my dad was always working,” Sinise told Ability Magazine. “My mom had her hands full. I was kind of free to do what I wanted. And I wasn’t good in school.”

Gary received his first guitar in fourth grade and continued to perform throughout high school. He began playing in ensembles as a child and continued to do so until he was in his early twenties.

However, something else cropped up while he was in high school. According to Gary Sinise, he was bitten by the theatrical bug.

“I was playing in bands, doing plays, and started a theater company after high school, but I kept playing to make a living while doing theater until I was 22,” he said. “Then, the theater just took over everything, and all I did was focus on building our theater company.”

Gary Sinise Youtube/sola174

As previously stated, Gary Sinise did not have success at a young age. He didn’t start acting until later in his career, preferring to spend most of his time behind the camera.

Gary Sinise – activity as a director

Gary auditioned for West Side Story as a joke in high school. By the show’s end, he knew he wanted to act for the rest of his life. Barbara Pattersson, his acting teacher, is responsible for his passion for the industry.

By age 21, he and friends Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry decided to establish the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. They started by performing in a church basement, but as the company grew, they acquired more and more influence in the Chicago area.

He was appointed creative director in 1981. Gary wanted the business to expand by moving their plays to New York City.

“It was challenging at the time; not everybody agreed,” Sinise explained.

“We were trying to open a new theater at the same time here in Chicago, so there was some disagreement back then about how and whether we should do it at all. I thought it would be good, and we just pushed for it. And once we got things open there in New York, we started taking plays every year after that.”

Gary Sinise Youtube/American film institute

Gary oversaw some of the company’s most important productions. It included Sam Shepherd’s True West, in which Steppenwolf Theatre Company made their off-Broadway debut, featuring Gary and John Malkovich.

Gary Sinise – Forrest Gump

Steppenwolf made their Broadway premiere with The Grapes of Wrath in 1990 at the Cort Theatre. Gary was also making his way to Hollywood at the time, directing two episodes of the television series Crime Story and Miles from Home, featuring Richard Gere.

Gary had previously been on the other side of the camera. However, he made his acting début in 1992, in the World War II film A Midnight Clear.

Gary Sinise became well-known throughout the globe in 1994. Despite his many successes as a director, he had not been in the public spotlight until now.

Sinise played Stu Redman in the blockbuster drama The Stand. The following year, he was cast as Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, opposite Tom Hanks.

Gary Sinise received much-deserved acclaim for his portrayal as the disabled and emotionally tortured veteran. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture and an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Forrest Gump Youtube/vejai

Sinise’s life had altered forever since he was a young theater lover in Chicago, but he didn’t realize it yet.

Committed to assisting soldiers

“We didn’t know that the movie would be as big a hit as it was. I knew I wanted to play that part; I had Vietnam veterans in my family. I had supported Vietnam veterans in the ’80s, ’70s, and ’80s, trying to help them in various ways in Chicago,” Sinise said.

“And then along comes this opportunity very early in my movie career. I’d only done a few things to audition to play a wounded Vietnam veteran. I very much wanted to do it, I was lucky to get the part.”

Gary had always wanted to help veterans, and since he had some veterans in his family, getting the opportunity to play one in Forrest Gump was an honor. His grandfather fought in World War I, his uncles in World War II, and his father in Korea.

However, because Gary wasn’t that old then, they never really talked about the wartime experiences of his older family members.

This was not special to Gary and his family. According to him, Lt Dan in Forrest Gump assisted many other military families and the community.

“They recognize some of the things Lieutenant Dan goes through, some of the understandable confusion, despair, anger, frustration, and loneliness as an isolated Vietnam veteran,” Sinise told the Military Officers Association of America.

“But also. Lieutenant Dan is okay at the end of the film. We hadn’t seen that kind of story about a Vietnam veteran before. If you look back at movies on the Vietnam experience, you always had a question as to whether the veteran would be okay.”

Formed the “Lt. Dan Band”

Gary Sinise has always tried to assist soldiers in any way he can. In the 1970s and 1980s, he attempted to help them by doing theater work, and when Forrest Gump became a huge success, it opened another door.

Later, Sinise created the “Lt. Dan Band,” which performed for troops in the United States and abroad. He has also established the “Gary Sinise Foundation,” which assists the military in various ways, including the construction of homes for injured soldiers. They’ve already erected more than 80 homes, and more are coming.

“I just tried to share what I’ve experienced,” Sinise explained.

“Certainly, the events of Sept. 11 were a terrible catalyst to drive me into a service life more than I ever would have expected. It’s the journey from this singular focus on acting and myself to trying to do more for others. It’s impacted me over the years and given me a greater purpose.”

Gary Sinise proceeded to work on several major film projects, including The Green Mile and Apollo 13. He also earned the lead role in CSI: NY.

Gary Sinise’s family

Despite his celebrity, he has always made it a point to assist others. Of course, his family is most important to him.

Many times in Hollywood, one learns about celebrities getting married and then divorcing a year or two later. However, in Gary Sinise’s instance, this is not the case.

He has married his wife, Moira Harris, for 40 years. The couple met before Gary became renowned. Gary and Mary attended Illinois State University together.

Lee Celano/WireImage

Gary and Moria met just as their lives were taking off. His wife, a talented actress at the time, worked in the film business and starred in several television series in the 1980s.

Moira was discovered by Gary when she portrayed Laura in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in the mid-1970s.

”It’s a good way first to see your future wife in a negligee,” Gary told The Guardian in 2000.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Moria claims she met her prospective husband at a party.

”It was at some party in a friend’s house after the show. I loved him because he was very quiet, sweet, and shy. And, of course, I thought he was handsome, like a young Paul Newman. And he took me home, and that was it”.


According to Amomama, Sinise disclosed in his book “Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service” that their first wedding was called off.

According to Gary, the couple had planned everything – the date was fixed, and all invitations had been sent. But, just a few days before the wedding, the pair called it off.

What’s the reason? Gary and Moira thought they were too young to commit such a long commitment. Fortunately, a ceremony was held later, and the pair have been together ever since. They married in 1981 and have three daughters together.

Sinise family Shutterstock

Funny meeting with the father-in-law

Gary and Moira’s love story is genuinely unique. But things didn’t go well the first time he met his in-laws.

Gary Sinise was working at the moment in the theater. He was scheduled to meet his future wife and her father at New York’s prestigious Union League Club one night.

However, Gary was working at the theater the same night, and when he finished, it was late, and he had to rush to the club in his vehicle. When he arrived, he wasn’t allowed in because he wore torn jeans and a shirt; you required a suit to get in.

Gary began crying, explaining that he was meeting his girlfriend and her father inside, but they refused to enter.

He begged the people at the door to assist him, and they eventually did. They gave him a suit coat and snuck him into the club via the service elevator. Finally, he encountered his father-in-law.

Years later, after becoming a star, he returned to the Club. This time was different.

“I’m successful in the movie business,” he said. “I show up in a suit; they put me in the presidential suite. I make a speech. It was a different trip to the Union League Club after that.”

Gary and Moira have been close since their wedding in 1981. They’ve produced two wonderful children: Sophie (born in 1988), McCanna Anthony (1990), and Ella. (1992).

Secret to a long-lasting marriage

Such a long-lasting marriage is uncommon, particularly among people in show business, but Moira and Gary have shown it is possible.

So, what is the key to such a long-lasting union?

“A sense of humor,” Gary told Parade. “My wife’s a loving, funny, Irish-spirited person, and I’m still surprised at what she says. She makes me laugh every day.”

Gary Sinise chose to take a break from acting in 2017 after his appearance on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. He and his wife Moira then revealed that their daughter would be a mother, and they would be first-time grandparents!

Gary Sinise has had a successful career. Sure, we appreciate seeing him in movies. But, most significantly, we appreciate what he is doing for our community, particularly our veterans.

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