Ethan Green Hawke (born November 6, 1970) is an American actor, writer and film director.
Hawke was born in Austin, Texas to James Steven Hawke and Leslie Carole Green, who were students in the University of Texas at the time of his birth, and separated three years later; Hawke's great-grandfather was the brother of Cornelius Williams, who was the father of well-known playwright Tennessee Williams. At an early age, Hawke moved to Princeton, New Jersey with his single mother, where he took acting classes at the McCarter Theatre and attended the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School. He first appeared in various high school performances, including George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan.
At the age of fourteen he made his feature film debut in Explorers (1985). Hawke studied acting at the British Theatre Association in England and at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He has twice enrolled in New York University's English program and is one of the founding fathers and artistic director of Malaparte, a New York City theatre company. He also attended the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn.
In 1988, Hawke was cast in a role in director Peter Weir's Dead Poets Society; the film's success was considered Hawke's breakthrough. He left school and appeared in A Midnight Clear, Alive, Reality Bites, Before Sunrise, Gattaca, The Newton Boys, Great Expectations and many other movies. In 2001, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Training Day.
Hawke has recently directed Chelsea Walls and has written two novels, The Hottest State (in 1996) and Ash Wednesday (in 2002). In 2005, he received his first screenwriting Oscar nomination for co-writing the 2004 film, Before Sunset (a sequel to Before Sunrise).
On May 1, 1998, Hawke married actress Uma Thurman. The couple has two children, daughter Maya Ray (born July 8, 1998) and son Levon Roan (born January 15, 2002). They separated in July 2004, amid tabloid rumours of Hawke's infidelity with an unknown woman.
Hawke owns a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia. This land was purchased before his divorce from Thurman as a family retreat