Thanks to his iconic role as the surly but soft-hearted Chief Jim Hopper on Netflix's smash hit “Stranger Things,” David Harbour is currently one of television’s biggest stars. Harbour's acting career stretches back to the late 90s, and he's since gained a reputation as one of the most versatile actors around, consistently delivering compelling performances on film, television, and stage. In fact, he was nominated for a Tony Award back in 2005 for his work in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” His long list of recognitions also includes Emmy Awards in 2017 and 2018, a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2017, and a Golden Globe Award in 2018. He most recently portrayed Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian in the 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film “Black Widow.”
More than just another pretty face in Hollywood, Harbour is also incredibly intelligent. He received an Ivy League education at the prestigious Dartmouth College. As a theatre major at Dartmouth, Harbour wowed audiences in stage productions of Shakespearean classics. It was during a guest lecture from the playwright Tony Kushner, however, that the young man really had an epiphany—he later credited Kushner with giving him the confidence to dive into life as an artist. In 1997, he graduated with majors in drama and Italian. Harbour was also a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
In 2018, Harbour returned to the Hanover campus, this time with the perspective of a veteran performer. The former theatre major was recognized by his alma mater with an evening celebrating his dedication to his craft. This event, sponsored by Dartmouth's Hopkins Center, included a 90-minute viewing of Harbour's work in the college's Spaulding Auditorium, after which the award-winning actor shared stories from his Dartmouth days and participated in a Q&A. “I thought something like this was going to happen, but that it would happen a lot sooner,” Harbour said when asked about his success on “Stranger Things.” "As time has gone on, I’ve figured out that things don’t come along until you’re ready for them. That’s when things have come to me—when I really want them and when I really need them.”