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Ed O'Neill

Ed O'Neill

American actor
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American actor
Countries United States of America
Occupations Television actor Actor Teacher American football player
A.K.A. Edward Leonard "Ed" O'Neill
Gender male
Birth April 12, 1946 (Youngstown)
Spouse: Catherine Rusoff
Height: 1.8542 m
The details

Edward Leonard "Ed" O'Neill (born April 12, 1946) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as the main character, Al Bundy, on the Fox Network sitcom Married... with Children, for which he was nominated for two Golden Globes.
Since 2009, O'Neill has played patriarch Jay Pritchett on the award-winning ABC sitcom Modern Family, a role for which he has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards and won four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Early life

O'Neill was born into a Catholic family in Youngstown, Ohio. His mother, Ruth Ann (née Quinlan), was a homemaker and social worker, and his father, Edward Phillip O'Neill, was a steel mill worker and truck driver. O'Neill attended Ursuline High School and won a football scholarship to Ohio University, where he majored in history, also having joined the Mu chapter of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. O'Neill left Ohio after his sophomore year; he spent more time playing sports and partying than studying and also feuded with his coach.

He transferred to Youngstown State University (YSU), where he was a defensive lineman. While an undergraduate, O'Neill pledged Delta Sigma Phi and was initiated into the Delta Sigma chapter there. Rumors abound that he was an avid partier. O'Neill was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 but was cut in training camp. Later, on Married... with Children, O'Neill played a former high-school football star who had failed to make it big and constantly reminisced about his "glory days" at Polk High ("I once scored four touchdowns in a single game"). As part of this theme, former Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw also made two guest appearances on the show. O'Neill was also a social studies teacher at Ursuline High School before becoming an actor.


O'Neill re-enrolled at YSU after being cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers and was one of the first students at the school's then new theatre program. He played Lennie in a stage production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1979, he played a boxer opposite Danny Aiello in the Broadway play Knockout. In 1985, O'Neill appeared alongside Jeff Kinsland in a Red Lobster commercial and made a brief guest appearance in The Equalizer. In 1986, he was cast as the character of NYPD Police Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle for the planned television series Popeye Doyle. The Popeye Doyle character originally appeared in the motion picture The French Connection (played by Gene Hackman). The two-hour made-for-television movie/pilot was filmed and shown on network television. O'Neill received good reviews for his performance, and the pilot received good ratings, but the series was not picked up for production.

In 1986, O'Neill landed the lead role of Al Bundy in Fox Network's Married... with Children, an American sitcom about a dysfunctional family living in Chicago. It was the first primetime television series to air on the Fox Network as a midseason replacement, debuting April 5, 1987, and concluding after 11 seasons on June 9, 1997.

During and following the success of Married... with Children, O'Neill appeared in several movies, including The Bone Collector, Little Giants, and Dutch. He also had small parts in Wayne's World and Wayne's World 2, and appeared as Relish the Troll King in The 10th Kingdom. O'Neill made a brief appearance on the comedy variety show In Living Color, playing the "Dirty Dozens" champion who defeats the challenger, played by Jamie Foxx. He also made a cameo on the sitcom 8 Simple Rules as the ex-boyfriend of Cate S. Hennessy (played by Katey Sagal, who portrayed O'Neill's TV wife Peg Bundy on Married... with Children). He appeared in the movie The Adventures of Ford Fairlane with Andrew Dice Clay and in Cruising with Al Pacino. During the mid-1990s, he had a long string of appearances in commercials for 1-800-COLLECT.

Law & Order franchise creator Dick Wolf cast O'Neill as Sgt. Joe Friday in his 2003 remake of Jack Webb's classic TV crime series Dragnet. The series was canceled by ABC in its second season. O'Neill went on to appear as Governor Eric Baker, a recurring character on NBC's The West Wing. O'Neill also played Bill on HBO's television series John From Cincinnati.

In 2008, O'Neill appeared in an advertisement for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama as "Al the Shoesalesman".

In January 2009, O'Neill reunited with David Faustino (Bud Bundy from Married... with Children) for two episodes of Faustino's show Star-ving. O'Neill also appeared with the entire cast of Married... with Children again when they were honored at the 7th Annual TV Land Award show in 2009.

Since 2009, O'Neill has played the role of Jay Pritchett on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, a role that earned him three Primetime Emmy Award nominations in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Since 2012, O'Neill has done voice-overs in TV advertisements for allergy pill Zyrtec.

In 2016, O'Neill starred as Hank the Octopus in the highly successful Pixar animated film Finding Dory. According to O'Neill, he didn't realize at first that he had a starring role in the film. As his voice recording sessions continued and most of his interactions turned out to be with Dory, he finally began to suspect that Hank was a major character in the film.

Personal life

Since 1986, O'Neill has been married to actress Catherine Rusoff, who appeared in two episodes of Married... with Children. In 1989, the couple separated but reconciled in 1993. They have two daughters: Sophia, born in 1999, and Claire, born in 1996. The couple currently lives in Los Angeles.

After being introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by his friend writer/director John Milius, O'Neill has trained in the martial art for 22 years under the mentoring of Rorion Gracie. In December 2007, O'Neill received his black belt. In the 2012 TV documentary I Am Bruce Lee, O'Neill states that he considers getting his black belt "the greatest achievement of my life, apart from my children."



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Cruising Detective Schreiber
1980 The Dogs of War Terry
1980 The Day the Women Got Even Ed
1982 Farrell for the People Detective Jay Brennan
1983 When Your Lover Leaves Mack Sher
1986 A Winner Never Quits Whitey Wyshner
1986 The Three Little Pigs Elvis Presley
1987 Right to Die Himself Documentary
1988 Police Story: Gladiator School Sergeant Stanley Bivens
1990 A Very Retail Christmas Max Crandall
1989 Disorganized Crime George Denver
1989 K-9 Sergeant Brannigan
1990 The Adventures of Ford Fairlane Lieutenant Amos
1990 Sibling Rivalry Wilbur Meany
1991 Dutch Dutch Dooley
1991 The Whereabouts of Jenny Jimmy O'Meara
1992 Wayne's World Glen
1993 Wayne's World 2 Glen
1993 Nick's Game Ron Hawthorne
1994 Blue Chips Ed
1994 Little Giants Kevin O'Shea
1995 W.E.I.R.D. World Dr. Monochian
1997 Prefontaine Bill Dellinger
1997 The Spanish Prisoner FBI team leader
1999 The Bone Collector Detective Paulie Sellitto
2000 Lucky Numbers Dick Simmons
2001 Nobody's Baby Norman Pinkney
2004 Spartan Burch
2005 Steel Valley Congressman Cardone Short film
2008 Redbelt Hollywood producer
2010 Lost Masterpieces of Pornography Chief Justice Renato Corona Short film
2012 Wreck-It Ralph Mr. Litwak Voice only
2015 Entourage Himself Cameo
2016 Finding Dory Hank Voice only


Year Title Role Notes
1970 All My Children Unknown episodes
1984 Miami Vice Arthur Lawson / Artie Rollins Episode: "Heart of Darkness"
1985 Moonlighting Taxi driver Episode: "Pilot"
1985 Hunter Dan Colson Episode: "The Garbage Man"
1985 Braker Danny Buckner
1985 The Equalizer Doctor Episode: "The Children's Song"
1985 Spenser: For Hire Buddy Almeida Episode: "Widow's Walk"
1986 Popeye Doyle James "Popeye" Doyle TV Pilot film
1987–1997 Married... with Children Al Bundy 259 Episodes
1988 Midnight Caller Hank Episode: "Twelve Gauge"
1990 Saturday Night Live Guest host January 13, 1990
1990 The Earth Day Special Al Bundy
1991 Top of the Heap Al Bundy Episode: "Top of the Heap"
1994 In Living Color Himself Episode: "The Dirty Dozens Tournament of Champions"
2000 The 10th Kingdom Relish the Troll King
2001 Big Apple Detective Michael Mooney 8 episodes
2003–2004 L.A. Dragnet Lieutenant Joe Friday 22 episodes
2004 In the Game Buzz TV pilot
2004–2005 The West Wing Governor Eric Baker 4 episodes
2005 8 Simple Rules Matt Walsh Episode: "Old Flame"
2005 In the Game Buzz
2006 Inseparable Alan
2006 Twenty Good Years Brock Manley Episode: "Between Brock and a Hard Place"
2006 The Unit William Partch Episode: "Silver Star"
2007 John from Cincinnati Bill Jacks 10 episodes
2009 WordGirl Panicking Man (Uncredited) Episode: "The Wrong Side the Law"
2009–present Modern Family Jay Pritchett Main Role
2011 Handy Manny Mayor Thompson Episode: "Great Garage Rescue"
2011 Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil Grandpa Episode: "Truth or Daredevil"
2012 The Penguins of Madagascar Hunter's father Episode: "Operation: Antarctica"
2013 Real Husbands of Hollywood Himself Episode: "Thicke and Tired"
2015 Family Guy Bud Swanson Episode: "Papa Has a Rollin' Son"

Awards and nominations

O'Neill received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 30, 2011.

Year Award Category Title Result
1992 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy/Musical Married... with Children Nominated
1993 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy/Musical Married... with Children Nominated
2009 TV Land Award Innovator Award Married... with Children Won
2010 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated
2011 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Modern Family Won
2011 Golden Nymph Award Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated
2011 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated
2012 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Modern Family Won
2012 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated
2013 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Modern Family Won
2013 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated
2014 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated

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