Richard Dale Jenkins (born May 4, 1947) is an American stage, film, and television actor. After beginning his career in theatre, Jenkins made his television debut in 1974 and has since appeared in supporting roles in several film and television productions. He became famous in the early 2000s for playing Nathaniel Fisher in the HBO drama series Six Feet Under, and along with the show's principal cast, he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2002. He gained mainstream success for his lead role in the film The Visitor (2008) that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Jenkins was born and raised in DeKalb, a farming town in Illinois. His mother, M. Elizabeth (née Wheeler), was a housewife, and his father, Dale Stevens Jenkins, was a dentist. Before he was an actor, Jenkins drove a linen truck (his boss was actor John C. Reilly's father). Jenkins earned a degree in drama from Illinois Wesleyan University before relocating to Rhode Island.
He worked as an actor with the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island while breaking into film with a bit part in Feasting with Panthers (1974), a television movie, and continued as a celebrated member of Trinity's resident acting company and served as Artistic Director of the theatre from 1990-4.