Rainn Dietrich Wilson (born January 20, 1966) is an American actor, writer, and producer. He is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom The Office, for which he earned three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.A native of Seattle, Wilson began acting at the University of Washington, and later worked in theatre in New York City after graduating in 1986. Wilson made his film debut in Galaxy Quest (1999), followed by supporting parts in Almost Famous (2000), Steven Soderbergh's Full Frontal (2002), and House of 1000 Corpses (2003). He also had a recurring part as Arthur Martin in the HBO series Six Feet Under from 2003 to 2005. Since 2018, he has starred as Trevor on the CBS sitcom Mom.Wilson was cast as Dwight Schrute in The Office in 2005, a role which he played until the show's conclusion in 2013. Other film credits include lead roles in the comedies The Rocker (2008) and Super (2010), as well as supporting roles in the horror films Cooties (2014) and The Boy (2015). In 2009, he provided his voice for the computer animated science fiction film Monsters vs. Aliens as the villain Gallaxhar and voiced Gargamel in Smurfs: The Lost Village. More recently, he has played a recurring role on Star Trek: Discovery (2017) as well as a supporting role in The Meg (2018). In addition to acting, Wilson published an autobiography, The Bassoon King, in November 2015, and also co-founded the digital media company SoulPancake in 2008.
Wilson is married to writer Holiday Reinhorn. The couple met in an acting class at the University of Washington; Reinhorn had relocated to Seattle to attend the university from her native Portland, Oregon. The couple married on the Kalama River in Washington in 1995, and have a son, named Walter, born in 2004. They have a home outside of Sisters, Oregon and a house in Los Angeles. They have three pit bulls, Oona, Pilot, and Diamond; two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, Snortington and Amy; a donkey named Chili Beans; as well as a zonkey named Derek. He enjoys playing chess. He and his family are members of the Baháʼí Faith. He hosts a podcast for the Baháʼí blog called the Baháʼí Blogcast, where he interviews notable people about the intersection of their faith and their work. He is also the voice of Terry Carnation on Payne Lindsey's podcast Radio Rental. On Bill Maher's Real Time, Wilson described himself as a diverse independent, voting for Republican, Green Party, and Democratic candidates.Wilson's charitable works include fundraising for the Mona Foundation, a charity operating in developing countries. In 2013, along with Dr Kathryn Adams, he co-founded Lidè Haiti, an educational initiative that uses the arts and literacy to empower adolescent girls in rural Haiti. They currently work in 13 locations with over 500 girls, providing scholarships to many of them. In 2018, Wilson stated he had adopted a vegan diet since adopting pigs.
Wilson was born at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, the son of Shay Cooper, a yoga teacher and actress, and Robert G. Wilson (1941-2020), a novelist, artist, and business consultant who wrote the science fiction novel Tentacles of Dawn. Wilson is of part Norwegian ancestry. From the ages of three to five, Wilson lived with his father and stepmother, Kristin, in Nicaragua before they returned to Seattle after their divorce. He attended Kellogg Middle School and Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Washington, where he played the clarinet and bassoon in the school band. He transferred to and graduated from New Trier High School after his family moved to Wilmette, Illinois, to serve at the Baháʼí National Center.Wilson attended the University of Washington in Seattle, graduating with a bachelor's degree in drama in 1986. He then enrolled in New York University's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts where he graduated with an MFA in acting and was a member of The Acting Company. While acting in theatrical productions in New York City, he drove a moving van to make ends meet.Wilson worked extensively in the theater in his early career, performing with the Public Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Roundabout, and The Guthrie Theater, among others. He was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his work at the Arena Stage.