Edward Harrison Norton (born August 18, 1969) is an American actor and filmmaker. He has received numerous awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe Award and three Academy Award nominations.
Born in Massachusetts and raised in Maryland, Norton was drawn to theatrical productions at local venues as a child. After graduating from Yale College in 1991, he worked for a few months in Japan before moving to New York City to pursue an acting career. He gained immediate recognition for his debut in Primal Fear (1996), which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination in the same category. His role as a reformed neo-Nazi in American History X (1998) earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He also starred in the film Fight Club (1999), which garnered a cult following.
Norton emerged as a filmmaker in the 2000s. He established the production company Class 5 Films in 2003, and was director or producer of the films Keeping the Faith (2000), Down in the Valley (2005), and The Painted Veil (2006). He continued to receive critical acclaim for his acting roles in films such as The Score (2001), 25th Hour (2002), The Illusionist (2006), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). His greatest commercial successes have been Red Dragon (2002), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Incredible Hulk (2008), and The Bourne Legacy (2012). For his role in the black comedy Birdman (2014), Norton earned another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Despite critical plaudits, Norton has gained notoriety for being difficult to work with, including incidents such as editing the final cuts and rewriting screenplays against the will of other producers. He is discreet about his personal life and has expressed no interest in being a celebrity. Outside of acting and filmmaking, he is an environmental activist and social entrepreneur. He is a trustee of Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit organization which advocates for affordable housing, and serves as president of the American branch of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. He is also the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. He is married to Canadian film producer Shauna Robertson, with whom he has one child.