John Arthur Lithgow (born October 19, 1945) is an American actor, musician, and author. Presently, he is involved with a wide range of media projects, including stage, television, film, and radio. He has also written and published several books of poetry and children's literature.
He appeard in the films The World According to Garp (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for each. Lithgow is known for his roles as the Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose, Dick Solomon on the NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, the voice of Lord Farquaad in Shrek, and Arthur Mitchell on Showtime's Dexter, for which he won Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.
On the stage, he appeared in the musical adaptation of Sweet Smell of Success, winning the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He again appeared in a musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels again receiving a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.
He has also recorded music, such as the 1999 album of children's music, Singin' in the Bathtub, and has written poetry and short stories for children, such as Marsupial Sue.