We know Dennis Quaid for his captivating on-screen roles in movies like The Rookie, Any Given Sunday, The Parent Trap, and Legion. Now Dennis is back for another dramatic part, but this time, his character is an abusive father who finds redemption through the grace of God.
While Dennis is used to falling deep into his characters, he never thought that this role would reunite him with his faith…
Before Dennis was a superstar living in Hollywood, he was a Texas boy with big dreams. He was born to Juanita and William Rudy Quaid, a real estate agent and electrician respectively on April 9, 1954. The Houston-based family was devout Baptists, and growing up in a religious household was something Dennis loved.
He spoke on camera about his decision to live a devout life:
“I grew up in a Baptist church, went to Sunday school, and then I got baptized when I was nine and made the decision the same day as my brother. My brother and I, Randy, were both baptized on the same day.”
After doing decently in high school, Dennis was accepted into the University of Houston. However, Dennis quickly realized the collegiate life wasn’t for him – he dropped out before graduating and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting.
The thought of making it big in the industry was a long shot, but he knew he had to give it a try!
Months after moving to Hollywood, Dennis was still struggling to find steady work as an actor. Thankfully, his big break happened when he got a role in the movie Breaking Away. Shortly after earning critic praise for that performance, he landed another big gig as an astronaut named Gordon Cooper in The Right Stuff.
From there, Dennis’ career took off and he was landing impressive movie and television shows roles right and left.
Unfortunately, the dark of Hollywood enveloped Dennis. He later revealed that he battled anorexia and drug addiction after gaining fame. It was clear God and faith weren’t as important to Dennis once he became a celebrity.
Fortunately, Dennis realized his lifestyle was extraordinarily unhealthy and decided to get help for both problems. He gained back the 40 pounds he lost to anorexia and vowed never to use drugs again.
Despite his mental well-being, his relationship with God was still on the backburner. It wasn’t until he had the opportunity to travel the globe in his late 20s when he finally started to reconnect and ask the important questions.
“The question I had as I went around the world was ‘Who is God?’ I became a seeker really… I read the Bible cover to cover. For me, it’s Jesus… it’s the red words of Jesus. How simple it is. There really is redemption and that was the inspiration.”
It was during that trip when Dennis wrote “On My Way to Heaven” for his mother. She was the one who supported him through thick and thin, and showed him how to revel in the love of God.
Unfortunately, Dennis never could figure out the appropriate bridge for the song. It went unfinished for 25 long years until he landed the role in I Can Only Imagine.
“What moved me about finishing it really was my character of Arthur and how he found grace. That’s the beautiful thing about the good news that Jesus was talking about.”
Dennis’ faith in God was renewed and he was able to complete the song just in time for his mother’s 91st birthday. We know that she loved the song and we wish him nothing but the best in the years to come.
No matter how long you stray away from your faith, God is always there to guide the way back to His love.
Learn more about Dennis’ faith in the video below: