Chris Ellis is an American actor best known for his portrayal of astronaut Deke Slayton on Apollo 13.


Ellis was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 14, 1951, and grew up in the suburb of Frayser in a middle class and working class area. Despite his aspirations to become an actor, he finished college after seven years due to indecisiveness. During those years, Ellis became involved in the local community theatre. His first actual acting role was as a truck driver in the made-for-TV movie The Suicide's Wife, but he did not find work for the next ten years. In 1990, he got a big break when he landed a role in Days of Thunder. This was followed by roles in My Cousin Vinny, Addams Family Values, and Apollo 13. Ellis also began starring on TV shows such as Melrose Place, NYPD Blue, and The X-Files.

After working with Tom Hanks on Apollo 13, the two partnered up again on That Thing You Do, the television miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, and Catch Me If You Can. Eventually, Ellis returned to a fictional NASA Mission Control role when he played a flight director in the 1998 disaster film Armageddon. Additional credits in his acting career include the films Bean: The Movie, Home Fries, Jessabelle, Gospel Hill, October Sky, Live Free or Die Hard, Planet of the Apes, and Transformers. His television credits include The West Wing, Ghost Whisperer, Chicago Hope, The Pretender, Alias, JAG, CSI: NY, Burn Notice, Cold Case, Veronica Mars, and Political Animals. Ellis guest-starred in an episode of the CBS-produced police procedural series Criminal Minds, playing Sheriff Jimmy Rhodes.

On Criminal MindsEdit

Ellis portrayed Sheriff Jimmy Rhodes in the Season One episode The Tribe.


For a full filmography, see here.

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