Kevin Norwood Bacon (born July 8, 1958) is an American actor. His films include the musical-drama film Footloose (1984), the controversial historical conspiracy legal thriller JFK (1991), the legal drama A Few Good Men (1992), the historical docudrama Apollo 13 (1995), and the mystery drama Mystic River (2003). Bacon is also known for voicing the title character in Balto (1995), and was taking on darker roles, such as that of a sadistic guard in Sleepers (1996), and troubled former child abuser in The Woodsman (2004). He is further known for the hit comedies National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), Diner (1982), Tremors (1990) and Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011). His other well-known films are Friday the 13th (1980), Flatliners (1990), The River Wild (1994), Wild Things (1998), Stir of Echoes (1999), Hollow Man (2000), Frost/Nixon (2008), X-Men: First Class (2011), Black Mass (2015) and Patriots Day (2016). He is equally prolific on television, having starred in the Fox drama series The Following (2013–2015). For the HBO original film Taking Chance (2009), Bacon won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, also receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. More recently, Bacon portrayed the title character, and was the series lead, of the Amazon Prime streaming television series I Love Dick, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
The Guardian named him one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination. In 2003, Bacon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion picture industry.
Bacon has become associated with the concept of interconnectedness among people, having been popularized by the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". In 2007, he created SixDegrees.org, a charitable foundation. He is a brand ambassador for British mobile network operator EE and has been featured in several ads for the company.
Bacon left home at age 17 to pursue a theater career in New York City, where he appeared in a production at the Circle in the Square Theater School. "I wanted life, man, the real thing", he later recalled to Nancy Mills of Cosmopolitan. "The message I got was 'The arts are it. Business is the devil's work. Art and creative expression are next to godliness.' Combine that with an immense ego and you wind up with an actor." Bacon's debut in the fraternity comedy National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) did not lead to the fame he had sought, and Bacon returned to waiting tables and auditioning for small roles in theater. He briefly worked on the television soap operas Search for Tomorrow (1979) and Guiding Light (1980–81) in New York.