Educated at the prestigious The Circle in The Square Theatre School, where he was the youngest student ever to appear in a production, he left home at 18 to attend the Manning Street Actor’s Theatre.
In 1978, he made his screen debut in the infamous John Landis frat-boy comedy ‘Animal House’ with John Belushi. After winning an Obie for his stage work as a drug-addicted prostitute in ‘Forty Deuce’, he appeared in such movies as ‘Friday the 13th’ in 1980 and ‘Hero At Large’.
Drawing upon his role in ‘Forty Deuce’, Bacon portrayed a similarly troubled character in 1982’s ‘Diner’, directed by Barry Levinson.
Departing from such cutting-edge, independent fare, Bacon appeared in ‘Footloose’ in 1984, breaking into the big-time and becoming a teen icon.
The actor suffered some setbacks with the films that followed, with flops such as ‘White Water Summer’, ‘Quicksilver’ and ‘Lemon Sky’. On the latter film he met Kyra Sedgwick, whom he later married. After ‘Tremors’ in 1989 and ‘Flatliners’ in 1990, Bacon regained his feet in Oliver Stone’s ‘JFK’ in 1991.
Appearing opposite Gary Oldman in ‘Murder in The First’ in 1995, he won critical plaudits for his harrowing and emaciated portrayal, before starring in ‘Apollo 13’ the same year.
Bacon appeared in the ensemble piece ‘Sleepers’ with Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt, and made his directorial debut with ‘Losing Chase’ in 1996.
Most recently seen in the steamy ‘Wild Things’, as well as 'Mystic River' opposite Meryl Streep, Bacon has been devoting time to a band formed with his brother, called The Bacon Brothers, and they enjoy touring low-key venues.