Despite his Jackass
roots, this goofy but good-looking daredevil is a shrewd talent who earned straight A's in high school and then a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, California. However, the traditional route to showbiz didn't appeal to this Tennessee native, and he soon ditched acting school. A prankster since childhood, Knoxville (who took his stage name from his hometown) pitched an idea for a stunt column to the skating magazine Big Brother
. But instead of recording his crazy and disgusting antics in words, he filmed himself and his friends, and the resulting video became a cult hit, leading to his career-making series Jackass
in 2000. But Knoxville was far from a one-trick pony. Not only did he spin off Jackass
into two movies, he landed a handful of plum supporting roles (Men in Black II
, The Dukes of Hazzard
). In 2005, he graduated to leading man in the Special Olympics comedy The Ringer
. Since then, Knoxville has continued to be a part of the extreme-reality craze: in 2010, he signed on as an executive producer for Dudesons in America
, an MTV series about four Finnish friends who perform insane stunts while journeying through the United States. Off screen, Knoxville is a huge fan of Johnny Cash and owns a cabin that once belonged to the Man in Black.Johnny Knoxville Fast Facts:
- Already a prankster at age 13, changed his report card — from straight A's to failing grades — to trick his parents.
- Played baseball and football in high school.
- Friends and family call him "P.J."
- After a video of his nutty stunts became an underground hit in the mid-90s, he was reportedly the object of a bidding war between Comedy Central and MTV and offered a spot on Saturday Night Live (which he turned down).
- Had his daughter Madison's name tattooed over his heart.
- Was knocked unconscious three times during the filming of Jackass: The Movie (2002).
- Purchased a cabin once owned by Johnny Cash.
- Johnny Knoxville Relationships:
- Melanie Clapp - Ex-wife
- Naomi Nelson - Wife
- Rocko Akira Clapp - Son
- Arlo Clapp - Daughter
- Lemoyne Clapp - Mother
- Madison Clapp - Daughter
- Phil Clapp - Father