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Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell has come a long way since his days on Saturday Night Live, crossing over from television icon to motion picture star.

Ferrell most recently starred in the acclaimed independent feature Everything Must Go, directed by Dan Rush. Based on a Raymond Carver short story, Ferrell portrays an alcoholic who has relapsed and in turn loses his wife and job. In an attempt to start over, he holds a yard sale on his front lawn where he discovers a new neighbor may be the key to his recovery. This dramatic departure from comedies for Ferrell premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

Ferrell also recently lent his voice as the title character super villain, Megamind in the Dreamworks Animation 3-D animated film. Released last fall, Megamind also stars Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill, and went on to make over $140 million in the domestic box office.

Prior to Megamind, Ferrell was seen opposite Mark Wahlberg, as he collaborated with his long-time producing and writing partner, Adam McKay to release the buddy-cop film, The Other Guys. The film went on to make over $100 million domestically.

In 2009, Ferrell debuted on Broadway by headlining the sold out, one-man comedy show You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush. Nominated for a Tony Award in the "Best Special Event¯ category and directed by Adam McKay, Ferrell perfected his infamous Saturday Night Live character President George W. Bush in this show that Daily Variety called consistently funny. At the end of its Broadway run, Ferrell performed the show in its entirety live on HBO.

In 2007, Ferrell and McKay founded the popular and award-winning video website Funnyordie.com. With hundreds of exclusive celebrity videos and a steady stream of huge viral hits, Funny Or Die has become the "place to be seen¯ for comedic celebrities, and the obvious destination for a daily comedy fix. The site's first video, "The Landlord,¯ has received over 78 million views and features Ferrell confronted by a swearing, beer-drinking two-year-old landlord. The site averages over 7 million unique viewers per month and over 24 million video views per month.

Soon thereafter, Ferrell and McKay joined forces to open their own production company, Gary Sanchez Productions. Gary Sanchez is in production on the third season of the dark HBO comedy series, Eastbound and Down starring Danny McBride who will be co-writing with director Jody Hill, as well as the new Comedy Central show Big Lake. Additionally, he and McKay produced Virginity Hit a chronicled adventure of four teenage boys set out to experience the terrifying rite of passage: losing their virginity. Virginity Hit is scheduled to release domestically in September.

Thus far, Gary Sanchez supported the 2006 Sundance hit The Foot Fist Way starring McBride (Tropic Thunder), who also co-wrote with director Hill, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard starring Jeremy Piven, and Step Brothers which earned over $100 million domestically. In 2006 Ferrell starred in the hit comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby with co-stars John C. Reilly and Sacha Baron Cohen. Earning nearly $150 million at the U.S. box office, the film became the season's #1 comedy (non-animated) and continues to set records on DVD.

In the summer of 2004, Ferrell starred in the cult comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy for DreamWorks Pictures. Produced by Judd Apatow, Ferrell co-wrote the script with McKay. Ferrell portrayed Ron Burgundy, a 1970s anchorman with an inflated ego threatened by the arrival of an ambitious female newscaster who, unlike him, has mastered journalism.

Ferrell starred for seven seasons on Saturday Night Live in 2002, having taken the nation by storm during "Indecision 2000€¯ by his portrayal of President George W. Bush on the show. Some of his most memorable SNL characters include Craig the Spartan Cheerleader, musical middle school teacher Marty Culp, and President George W. Bush. Among his many impressions are Janet Reno, Alex Trebek, Neil Diamond and the late, great Chicago Cubs sportscaster Harry Caray. His work on SNL earned two Emmy nominations in 2001 (Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, and Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program).

Ferrell's previous film credits include Zoolander, Elf, the Woody Allen feature Melinda and Melinda, Old School, and the screen adaptation of The Producers, which earned Ferrell his first Golden Globe nomination in 2006 for Best Supporting Actor. In 2007, Ferrell earned his second Golden Globe nomination (Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical) for his portrayal of IRS agent Harold Crick in Stranger Than Fiction.

A testament to his impact on the American comedic landscape, Ferrell was recently named the recipient of the 2011 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The award recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in the same vein as social commentator, satirist, and creator of memorable characters, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). Previous recipients of the prize include comedy greats such as the late Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, and Tina Fey.

Raised in Irvine, California, Ferrell attended USC and graduated with a degree in sports information. Upon graduation, he worked as a sportscaster on a weekly show broadcast over a local cable channel. Soon after, he enrolled in acting classes and stand-up comedy workshops at a nearby community college and was eventually asked to join the esteemed comedy/improv group The Groundlings after just one year of training. It was at The Groundlings that Ferrell was discovered for Saturday Night Live.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2012.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Will Ferrell Facts

Birth NameJohn W. Ferrell
OccupationActor
BirthdayJuly 16, 1967 (50)
SignCancer
BirthplaceIrvine, California, USA
Height6' 3½" (1m92)  How tall is Will Ferrell compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Daddy's Home
Zoolander No. 2: The Magnum Edition
The Lego Movie
Step Brothers
Good Cop, Baby Cop
Old School
Megamind
Michael Cera
Bat Fight with Will Ferrell
Anything You Want
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