He played his break-through role so convincingly that women ran from him, believed he was dumb

Vincent D’Onofrio is best remembered for his iconic role as the chubby, inept Marine recruit Leonard in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket.” However, after this career-defining performance, his popularity waned. The ruggedly handsome actor, who turned 64 on June 30, 2023, underwent a dramatic physical transformation for the role, repelling the women who once swooned over his curly dark hair and athletic build.

D’Onofrio’s diverse résumé reflects his commitment to his craft, always giving 200% to every part. He started in stage productions, both off-Broadway and on, supporting his dreams with side hustles like being a bodyguard and a nightclub bouncer.

After appearing in a few low-budget films, D’Onofrio’s friend, actor Matthew Modine, urged him to audition for Kubrick. Winning the role of Leonard required him to shave his head and gain 70 to 80 pounds, the most weight gained by any actor for a role.

Working with Kubrick was transformative for D’Onofrio, allowing him to deeply explore his acting abilities. The physical demands of the boot-camp scenes were grueling, especially at 280 pounds. Despite the challenges, his portrayal earned critical acclaim, though fans often mistook him for the character, affecting his personal life.

A year later, D’Onofrio returned to his earlier size and regained his full head of hair. Today, he credits his lengthy career to Kubrick. His numerous roles in both film and TV include “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and Marvel’s “Daredevil.” He has also starred in “Dying Young,” “The Break-Up,” and “Jurassic World.”

D’Onofrio’s personal life has seen its share of challenges, including his parents’ divorce and his own recent separation from his wife of 26 years, Carin van der Donk. Despite these trials, he continues to captivate audiences with his performances, including roles in “The Unforgivable” and the upcoming comedy “Dumb Money.”

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