John William "Will" Ferrell (ˈfærəl; born July 16, 1967) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor, and writer who first established himself as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, and has since gone on to a successful film career, starring in the comedies A Night at the Roxbury (1998), Old School, Elf (both 2003), Anchorman (2004), Kicking & Screaming (2005), Talladega Nights, Stranger than Fiction (both 2006), Blades of Glory (2007), Semi-Pro and Step Brothers (both 2008). 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 Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Vince Vaughn, and brothers Owen and Luke Wilson.
He enrolled at the University of Southern California, 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.
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, 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. During this guest stint, he reprised his role as Alex Trebek in the popular "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketches and Robert Goulet, advertising a series of crooned ringtones. In the same episode, 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" Ricard in Old School (2003). The movie "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.
In March 2007, Ferrell, along with Jon Heder, co-starred in Blades of Glory. During an interview in support of the ice skating comedy, Ferrell denied relying on performance enhancing drugs to assist with his work in the film, but did admit to using "a lot of human growth hormone and a little bit of Robitussin" for his work in Stranger Than Fiction. In 2005, Ferrell was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Ferrell appeared as part of a pre-game video package for the Rose Bowl along with Texas alum Matthew McConaughey. Ferrell also sang a song at the ESPY Awards in 2006 about Lance Armstrong and Neil Armstrong, and is often noted as looking very similar to Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.
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 McKays for child exploitation, to which McKay responded: They recently released 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.
In 2006, I-Newswire.com, 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.
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 has noted that, though he is well known for his SNL impersonation of President George W. Bush, he chose not to meet the President on several occasions, unlike his SNL predecessor Dana Carvey's famous chummy relationship with George Bush, Sr., 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 supports Democrat nominee Barack Obama for president.
|1995||Bucket of Blood||Young Man||Made for TV|
|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|
|2000||The Ladies Man||Lance DeLune||US$13.6 million|
|Drowning Mona||Cubby the Funeral Director||US$15.4 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|
|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|
|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||Rick Marshall||post-production|
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