Mostly Credited As: Ed O'Neill
Sometimes Credited As: Edward O'Neill
Birth Name: Edward O'Neill
Date Of Birth: April 12, 1946 (Age 69)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Youngstown, Ohio
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Ed O'Neill is an American actor, and was born on April 12, 1946 in Youngstown, Ohio. In a precursor to his most famous acting role, O'Neill played college football at both Ohio University and Youngstown State University. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969, but was sadly cut in training camp. Undeterred, O'Neill returned to school, and started down a different road as an actor. He worked in various theater productions before landing his first film role in 1980's 'Cruising.' In the mid-80's, O'Neill booked guest roles on such shows as 'Miami Vice', 'Hunter', 'The Equalizer', and 'Spenser: For Hire.' In 1986, O'Neill played the lead in a TV movie pilot based on the film 'The French' Connection. While his performance earned raves, the show was not picked up to series.
In 1987, O'Neill was cast in what would turn out to be his career defining role. 'Married with Children' was unlike any sitcom ever before seen on television, and the character of Al Bundy was truly a TV dad for the modern age. Al hated his job, he hated his wife's laziness, and he hated his kids' selfish greed. Despite his exaggerated nature, Al Bundy finally gave the common, blue-collar man someone they could relate to on TV. 'Married with Children' became the first hit ever for the fledgling FOX network, and would go on to run for 11 successful seasons.
Unfortunately, O'Neill's type casting as Bundy led to a dry period for his career after 'Married's cancellation. He landed the lead in a 2003 revival of 'Dragnet', but the show didn't take off and was canceled after a single season. He was also a regular on the short-lived HBO series 'John From Cincinnati.' Finally, in 2009, Ed O'Neill hit upon his next great role. He was cast as Jay Pritchett on the ABC sitcom 'Modern Family', which quickly became one of the most popular shows on television. Still going strong today, 'Family' enters its fifth season this fall.