John Lithgow was born on October 19, 1945, in Rochester, New York.
Although Lithgow is the son of a retired actress and a theatrical producer and director, Lithgow did not show an interest in acting until after winning a scholarship to Harvard University. After Harvard, Lithgow received a Fullbright scholarship to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
After returning from London, Lithgow received a Tony award for his performance in "The Changing Room" and was later nominated for "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and "M. Butterfly."
Lithgow received Oscar nominations for his roles in The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment.
In 1996 he starred in the hit TV series "3rd Rock from the Sun."