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Kevin James (born Kevin George Knipfing on April 26, 1965) is an Americanmarker comedian, actor, writer and producer, perhaps best known for his playing the lead character Doug Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens and periodically on Everybody Loves Raymond. He is also known for his lead roles in the films I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Early years

James was born Kevin George Knipfing in Stony Brook, New Yorkmarker, to Janet, a homemaker who also worked in a chiropractor's office, and Joseph Valentine Knipfing, who owned an insurance company. He was raised in the "S-Section" of Stony Brook and graduated from Ward Melville High Schoolmarker in 1983, where one of his teammates on the wrestling team was (professional wrestler) Mick Foley. James has two siblings, Gary Joseph Knipfing, known as Gary Valentine, also a comedian, and Laura Knipfing. Leslie Knipfing works for James, helping raise money through charity events for retinitis pigmentosa, with which he is afflicted. James was a student at, but did not graduate from, the State University of New York at Cortlandmarker, where he was a member of Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity.



James began doing stand-up comedy, gaining popularity through numerous appearances on various talk shows, including Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Dennis Miller Live, The Late Late Show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Live with Regis and Kelly. James was #89 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians. James has also done his stand-up routine on Just for Laughs, an annual comedy festival in Montrealmarker.

A friend of Ray Romano, James guest-starred on a few episodes of Romano's hit CBS sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond. These appearances led to the development of his own sitcom, The King of Queens, which ran on the same network from September 21, 1998 to May 14, 2007. James played the lead as an overweight and hilarious delivery man who worked for a company known as IPS and was also Carrie's (Leah Remini's) husband, and as a result of his work on the show he was nominated for an Emmy for the most outstanding lead actor in a comedy show. In 2001, James did his own stand-up special called Kevin James: Sweat the Small Stuff. He has also appeared as a musical guest on Just for Laughs. In 2007, James was considered a candidate to replace Bob Barker as host of The Price Is Right (of which he is a major fan), but the job went to fellow actor-comedian Drew Carey.


James made his film debut in the 2005 romantic comedy, Hitch, which he got very high praise for alongside Will Smith and Eva Mendes. In 2006, he starred with old friend Ray Romano in the comedy Grilled and voiced characters in the animated films Monster House and Barnyard. The following year, he starred opposite Adam Sandler in the comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and made a cameo in Sandler's 2008 film You Don't Mess with the Zohan. His comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop was released January 16, 2009, by Columbia Pictures and opened as the #1 film in the country with a weekend gross of $39 million, far exceeding expectations, and eventually grossed $219 million dollars from box office, and home video sales.


A web series titled Dusty Peacock produced by James and starring his brother Gary Valentine began streaming on Crackle in July of 2009.

Personal life

On June 19, 2004, James married actress Steffiana de la Cruz. He has two daughters, Sienna-Marie (born September 30, 2005) and Shea Joelle (born June 14, 2007), who was named after the ballpark Shea Stadiummarker. He is also a close friend of ex- MMA fighter Bas Rutten, and has accompanied him to the octagon on one occasion.


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Everybody Loves Raymond Kevin 6 episodes; 1996-1998
1998 Doug Heffernan "The Lone Barone" (Season 3, Episode 9)
"Ray Home Alone" (Season 3, Episode 18)
"Be Nice" (Season 3, Episode 23)

1998 The King of Queens Doug Heffernan Main role (1998-2007)
1999 Martial Law Dallas Hampton
Becker Doug Heffernan
2001 Arli$$ Kevin
2002 Pinocchio Mangiafuoco Voice: English version
2004 50 First Dates Factory Worker
2005 Hitch Albert Brennaman Co-star
2006 Monster House Officer Landers Voice
Grilled Dave
2007 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Larry Valentine Co-star
Elmo's Christmas Countdown Santa Claus
2008 You Don't Mess with the Zohan Celebrity Judge (uncredited)
2009 Paul Blart Mall Cop Paul Blart Lead role
2010 Grown Ups Eric Lamonsoff post-production


  1. Kevin James Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  2. 1
  3. Kevin James Biography (1965-)
  4. Konig, Susan. "L.I.'s Biggest Export? Try Standup Comedy", The New York Times, November 14, 1999. Accessed October 27, 2007. "Mr. James was born in Mineola, but his family soon moved to Stony Brook, where he graduated from Ward Melville High School."

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