Sometimes megastars come in surprising packages. Such is the case with Sandler, a stand-up comedian who quickly earned fame playing a host of silly characters on Saturday Night Live. After landing a few acting roles, including stints on The Cosby Show and the MTV game show Remote Control, he began writing for SNL in 1990 and soon became a popular on-screen player, known for his crude humor and underdog appeal. He parlayed his small-screen success into a number of supporting film roles before graduating to leading man in 1995's Billy Madison, which he cowrote with college buddy and frequent collaborator Tim Herlihy. Despite being critically lambasted, this lowbrow flick about a twentysomething slacker who returns to school was a big hit and paved the way for a slew of other vehicles (Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy,  The Wedding Singer) that helped make Sandler a member of the $20-million-per-picture club, even when his flicks flopped (Little Nicky). Inevitably, the funnyman yearned to tackle more serious fare and did so with more nuanced roles in Punch-Drunk Love and Spanglish, which were basically serious variants of his well-established persona. Sandler never lost sight of what his fans wanted and always reverted to his coarse but lovable ways. Even his critics admit that for a major Hollywood star, he has remained an affable, down-to-earth guy, who is happy to help out his less fortunate SNL cronies (David Spade, Rob Schneider) by producing their movies and frequently hires his old school chums for supporting roles in his films.

Fast Facts

  • Appeared four times as Theo's friend Smitty on The Cosby Show.
  • Lived with Judd Apatow when they were both struggling comics; footage from this time was shown in the film Funny People (2009).
  • Dennis Miller helped him get a shot at writing for Saturday Night Live in 1990 after seeing him at a Los Angeles comedy club.
  • Released a number of comedy albums, which included both sketches and songs. In 1995, the first edition of his holiday anthem "The Chanukah Song" became a surprise radio hit.
  • Although he doesn't appear onscreen in 1999's Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, he can be heard yelling "Freak!" in one of the scenes.
  • His bulldog, Meatball, was ring bearer at his wedding.
  • Has a film production company called Happy Madison. The name is derived from the titles of his films Happy Gilmore (1996) and Billy Madison (1995).


  • 2012, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Comedic Movie Actor: Winner
  • 2014, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Comedic Movie Actor: Winner
  • 2005, People's Choice Awards — Favorite On Screen Match Up: Winner
  • 1993, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 2009, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Funny Male Star: Winner
  • 2006, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Funny Male: Winner
  • 2000, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Comedy: Winner
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1992, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 2011, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Comedic Star: Winner
  • 1991, Emmy — Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 2013, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Comedic Movie Actor: Winner
  • 2015, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Comedic Movie Actor: Winner


  • Jackie Titone — Wife
  • Stan Sandler — Father
  • Valerie Sandler — Sister
  • Elizabeth Sandler — Sister
  • Judy Sandler — Mother
  • Sunny Madeline Sandler — Daughter
  • Sadie Madison Sandler — Daughter
  • Scott Sandler — Brother


  • New York University, New York, New York, United States (BFA, 1988)

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  • Birth Name: Adam Richard Sandler
  • Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Birthday: September 9, 1966, Virgo
  • Profession: Actor, Comedian, Producer, Screenwriter

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