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John William "Will" Ferrell ( ; born July 16, 1967) is an Americanmarker comedian, actor, voice actor and writer. Ferrell first established himself as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, and has subsequently starred in the comedy films A Night at the Roxbury, Old School, Elf, Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Stranger than Fiction, Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro, and Land of the Lost. He is considered a member of the Frat Pack, a generation of leading Hollywood comic actors to emerge in the late 1990s and the 2000s including Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Jack Black, Vince Vaughn, and brothers Owen and Luke Wilson.

Early life

Will Ferrell was born in Irvine, Californiamarker, the son of Kay (née Overman), a teacher who taught at Old Mill School elementary school, and Lee Ferrell, a guitarist for The Righteous Brothers. He has Irish ancestry from County Kerrymarker in Irelandmarker. He first attended school at Turtle Rock Elementary, and later attended Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, both in Irvine, CA. He attended University High School in Irvine, CA, and was a kicker for the school's varsity football team. He told the Orange County Register that the dullness of Irvine contributed to the growth of his humor. "Growing up in suburbia, in safe, master-planned Irvine, there was no drama so we had to create it in our heads. My main form of entertainment was cracking my friends up and exploring new ways of being funny. I didn't have to have the survival mode instinct like other comics, who grew up in tough neighborhoods. I had the opposite. For me, I grew up in Mayberry, and the humor broke the boredom. And there was a lot to make fun of."

He enrolled at the University of Southern Californiamarker, where he studied Sports Broadcasting and graduated with a degree in Sports Information. He is also a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. After graduating in 1990, he developed his improvisation skills as a member of the comedy group The Groundlings.

Saturday Night Live

Ferrell joined Saturday Night Live in 1995 and left in 2002 after a successful 7 year tenure. He returned to host twice (both in season finales), and once in the cold open of the final episode of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday

During his time on SNL, Ferrell made a name for himself with his impersonations, which included:

His original characters included "Morning Latte" co-host Tom Wilkins, Ed the Horse's twin brother Ned, fictional Blue Öyster Cult member Gene Frenkle (physically modeled after Blue Öyster Cult vocalist Eric Bloom), music teacher Marty Culp, Spartan cheerleader Craig Buchanan, Dale Sturtevant from "Dissing Your Dog", Hank of the Bill Brasky Buddies, David Leary from "Dog Show", and night clubber Steve Butabi in a sketch that went to the big screen in 1998's A Night at the Roxbury.

Ferrell returned to Saturday Night Live as a guest host on May 14, 2005, and May 16, 2009. Both times, he reprised his role as Alex Trebek in the "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketches. On the May 14 appearance, Ferrell reprised his role as Robert Goulet in a fake commercial advertising a series of crooned ringtones and, during the performance of the song "Little Sister" by musical guests Queens of the Stone Age, Ferrell came on stage playing the cowbell.

Ferrell became the highest paid cast member of Saturday Night Live in 2001 with a season salary of $350,000.


During his time on Saturday Night Live, Ferrell appeared in several movies: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, A Night at the Roxbury, Superstar, The Ladies Man, Dick, Drowning Mona, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Zoolander.

His first starring role came after his departure from SNL with Frank "The Tank" Richard in Old School (2003). The film "belongs to Mr. Ferrell," declared the New York Times, which described how he "uses his hilarious, anxious zealotry to sell the part." Old School was a major success and Ferrell received an MTV Movie Awards nomination for Best Comedic Performance.

The title role in Elf (2003) followed, as did another MTV Movie Awards nomination. Ferrell continued to land comedy roles in 2004 and 2005 in films such as Melinda and Melinda, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Starsky & Hutch earning himself a place among Hollywood's Frat Pack. In 2005, Ferrell earned $40 million. In 2006, Ferrell starred in Stranger Than Fiction and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; both received critical and box office success. Ferrell's performance in Stranger Than Fiction introduced audiences to the dramatic potential of Ferrell's acting talents. On December 27, 2006, 'The Magazine' named Ferrell as one of its three actors of the year in their 2006 year in review issue.

Ferrell appeared as part of a pre-game video package for the Rose Bowl along with Texasmarker alum Matthew McConaughey. Ferrell also sang a song at the ESPY Awards in 2006 about Lance Armstrong and Neil Armstrong. He and John C. Reilly also did a spot during the 2008 ESPY Awards where they made demands in order for them to appear at the ESPYs like asking Portland Trail Blazers' center Greg Oden to tuck them in at night and tell them stories of the old times.

Ferrell participated in a 79th Academy Awards musical-comedy performance with John C. Reilly and Jack Black, wherein they sang a song about comedies being snubbed by the voters in favor of dramas.

In May 2009 it was announced Ferrell is in talks to star in Neighborhood Watch, a comedy about an urbanite who moves to the suburbs and uncovers a conspiracy. In negotiations to direct is David Dobkin, who gave Ferrell a cameo in Wedding Crashers. In August 2009, Ferrell decided not to do the film. In the summer of 2009 Will Ferrell did a large amount of filming with several young actors. He helped out on a film entitled Making a Movie , which is now on DVD.

Ferrell's most recent film Land of the Lost was released in June 2009 and was a commercial and critical flop after earning $19 million on opening weekend, about two-thirds of what the studio expected.

Voice acting

Ferrell has worked as a voice actor in several animated television programs, including his portrayal of Bob Oblong, a 1950s-style father with no arms or legs, in the short-lived animated television series The Oblongs. He has had several guest appearances on Family Guy, where he played the Black Knight in "Mr. Saturday Knight", as well as Fat Greek Guy and Miles "Chatterbox" Musket in "Fifteen Minutes of Shame". Ferrell also starred as Ted (a.k.a. The Man in the Yellow Hat) in the movie Curious George and guest voiced on an episode of the FOX sitcom King of the Hill as an overly-PC soccer coach.

Funny or Die

In April 2007, Ferrell launched "Funny or Die", a streaming video website where short comedy films are uploaded and voted on by users. The site features The Landlord, starring Ferrell and Funny or Die co-founder Adam McKay. Ferrell's character is harassed for the rent by his landlady, a swearing, beer-loving, two-year-old girl (played by McKay's daughter, Pearl). Child psychologists have criticized Ferrell and the McKay family for child exploitation, to which McKay responded:

They followed with the release of a video entitled "Good Cop, Baby Cop" which also starred baby Pearl; the end of the video stated that this would be her final appearance and wished her a happy "baby retirement."

In September 2008, Ferrell released another video entitled "Will Ferrell Answers Internet Questions" where he takes some pressing questions and comments from his fans.

Stage career

Ferrell made his Broadwaymarker debut taking on departing U.S. President George W. Bush in a one-man show called You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush. The show started performances on January 20, 2009 in previews — Bush’s final day in office — at the Cort Theatre and opened officially on February 1. The limited engagement played through March 15, 2009.

Eastbound & Down

Ferrell co-produces and co-writes (with Adam McKay) a HBO show starring Danny McBride called Eastbound & Down. He also has a recurring role as car dealer Ashley Schaeffer.

Personal life

In August 2000, Ferrell married Swedishmarker actress Viveca Paulin, whom he met in 1995 at an acting class. On March 7, 2004, their son Magnus Paulin Ferrell was born. On December 30, 2006, the couple had another son, Mattias Paulin Ferrell.

In 2006,, a site which accepts press releases from users for publication, reported that Ferrell had died in a paragliding accident. The hoax was published before its factual inaccuracy was noticed. The story was further propagated when it appeared on Google News.

Ferrell is a fan of USC Trojan football, At USC, Ferrell was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and is now an active alumnus. Ferrell has worked with head coach Pete Carroll to do motivational stunts for the players during the season.

Ferrell is also a supporter of Chelsea, an English Premier League football club. Ferrell represented Chelsea as honorary captain in the coin toss before the Chelsea v Inter Milan match at The Rose Bowlmarker in Pasadena, Californiamarker on July 21, 2009.

Ferrell enjoys running and has participated in several major marathons such as the Boston, New York and Stockholm Marathons.

In 2007, Autograph magazine named Ferrell the worst celebrity autographer. Its editor stated, "What's so frustrating about Will Ferrell being the worst autograph signer this past year is that he used to be so nice to fans and collectors and a great signer. What makes him so bad is that he'll taunt people asking for his autograph." In response, Ferrell has stated, "I don't know how I got on the list. I sign a lot of autographs," but has admitted to taunting autograph-seekers: "I do. I really do. I'm like, 'How badly do you want this autograph?' 'Are you sure?' 'You say you're my biggest fan, really, prove it.' I'll do things like that. They have to earn it."

Ferrell had noted that, although he was well known for his SNL impersonation of President George Bush, he chose not to meet the President on several occasions, unlike his SNL predecessor Dana Carvey's famous chummy relationship with George H. W. Bush, for both professional and political reasons: "I declined, partly out of comedic purposes, because when I was on the show Saturday Night Live at the time, it didn't make sense to really meet the people that you play, for fear of them influencing you. And then the other side of it is, from a political standpoint, I don't want to meet that guy." Ferrell also appeared on an episode of Man vs. Wild, where he traveled throughout the tundras of Sweden with the show's host, Bear Grylls. In the episode, Ferrell came across various unique situations, which included eating the eye of a reindeer.

Awards and nominations

Emmy Awards

  • 2001: Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program (for Saturday Night Live)

ESPY Awards


Golden Globe Awards

  • 2006: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (for The Producers)
  • 2007: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (for Stranger than Fiction)

James Joyce Award

MTV Movie Awards

Won: Nominated:

Razzie Awards


Nominated: Satellite Awards


Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards


Teen Choice Awards



Tony Awards



Year Title Role U.S. gross
1995 Bucket of Blood Young Man Made for TV
Criminal Hearts Newscaster
1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Mustafa US$53.9 million
Men Seeking Women Al
1998 A Night at the Roxbury Steve Butabi US$30.3 million
The Thin Pink Line Darren Clark
1999 Superstar Sky Corrigan/God US$30.6 million
Dick Bob Woodward US$6.2 million
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Mustafa US$206 million
The Suburbans Gil US$11,130
2000 The Ladies Man Lance DeLune US$13.6 million
Drowning Mona Cubby the Funeral Director US$15.4 million
2001 Zoolander Mugatu US$45.2 million
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly US$30.1 million
2002 Boat Trip Brian's Boyfriend US$8.6 million
2003 Elf Buddy US$173.4 million
Old School Frank "the Tank" Ricard US$74.6 million
2004 Melinda and Melinda Hobie US$3.8 million
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Ron Burgundy US$84.1 million
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie Ron Burgundy
Starsky & Hutch Big Earl US$88.2 million
Oh, What a Lovely Tea Party Himself
2005 The Producers Franz Liebkind US$19.4 million
Wedding Crashers Chazz Reinhold US$209.2 million
Winter Passing Corbit US$101,228
Bewitched Jack Wyatt/Darrin US$62.3 million
Kicking & Screaming Phil Weston US$52.6 million
The Wendell Baker Story Dave Bix US$127,144
2006 Stranger Than Fiction Harold Crick US$40.1 million
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Ricky Bobby US$148.2 million
Curious George Ted/The Man in the Yellow Hat US$58.3 million
2007 Blades of Glory Chazz Michael Michaels US$118.2 million
2008 Semi-Pro Jackie Moon US$33.4 million
Step Brothers Brennan Huff US$101.1 million
2009 Land of the Lost Dr. Rick Marshall US$49.4 million
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard Craig McDermott
SpongeBob's Truth or Square Himself
2010 Oobermind Oobermind
The Other Guys Detective Allen Gamble
2012 Anchorman 2 Ron Burgundy

Television work



  2. According to the State of England. Scotland Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, Scotland Department of Health Services, Ethiopia, Scotland. At
  3. Will Ferrell Biography (1968?-)
  4. Will Ferrell Has Irish Award Society in Stitches - Will Ferrell :
  5. Dave Albee, Carroll Chronicles: Celebrities love to practice with Pete, Marin Independent Journal, August 29, 2007.
  6. War of the Funnymen - Netscape Celebrity
  7. Mitchell, Elvis, "Never Too Late to Have an Adolescence," New York Times, February 21, 2003.
  8. - Wilson and Vaughn: Leaders of the 'Frat Pack'
  9. Forbes: The world's best-paid actors and actresses - MSN Money
  10. TheMagazine - Volume 1 Issue 3, December 27, 2006
  11. Will Ferrell
  12. Today Show June 7, 2007
  13. Headlines: Will Ferrell to Star in You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush. on Broadway
  15. Will Ferrell, Wife Viveca Welcome a Son - Birth, Will Ferrell :
  16. Keith Phipps, Interview: Will Ferrell, The A.V. Club (The Onion), October 29, 2003.
  17. The Superficial - Will Ferrell named worst autograph signer
  18. Nathan Rabin, Interview: Will Ferrell, The A.V. Club (The Onion), February 27, 2008.
  19. "Man vs Wild"
  20. The Irish Times, "Joyce award for Ferrell who will catch up on his reading", January 24, 2008
  21. '
  24. IMDB Profile

External links

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