Went to Williams College in Williamstown, MA. and Ringling Bros. Clown College, FL.
Has a brother, Tom, who is a teacher, and a sister named Anne.
Attended Williams College with director John Sayles, who regularly casts Straithairn in his films.
Father of Tay Strathairn and Ebbe Strathairn (born 1987).
David's paternal grandfather, Thomas Scott Strathairn, was a Scottish immigrant, who was of Scottish and Irish ancestry. David's paternal grandmother, Jessie Lei Alana, who was from Hawaii, was of one half Native Hawaiian, one quarter Chinese, and one quarter Portuguese, descent. On his mother's side, David has English and Scottish ancestry, partly through Canada (his maternal grandmother was from Bruce, Ontario).
Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.
Recently filmed an Edward R. Murrow-esque campaign ad for Kirsten Gillibrand's congressional campaign in New York's 20th District, his Congressional District.
Last name is pronounced struh-THAIRN.
Has worked with Joseph Mazzello in two films: The River Wild (1994) and Simon Birch (1998).
His stage work includes playing Abraham Lincoln in "Lincoln in Illinois." He subsequently went on to play Lincoln's Secretary of State, Henry Seward, in Lincoln (2012), which also featured Hal Holbrook, who also has played Lincoln several times.
Won the Coppa Volpi Award for best actor with Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), directed by George Clooney at the 2005 Venice FilmFestival. [September 2005]
Lives in Upstate New York where he shops at Adams Farms. [March 2002]
As of 2018, has appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: L.A. Confidential (1997), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), Lincoln (2012) and Darkest Hour (2017).
Has twice played J. Robert Oppenheimer, in Day One (1989) and American Experience: The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer (2009).