Will Ferrell

  • Birth Name: John William Ferrell
  • Birth Place: Irvine, California, United States
  • Profession: Actor, Comedian, Writer
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One of the many comic actors to make the leap from Saturday Night Live to the big screen, Ferrell exudes a gawky, everyman likability. This tall, curly-haired player performed with the Groundlings before landing on SNL, where he became popular for his hilarious impressions (James Lipton, Alex Trebek, George "Dubya") and broad characterizations (an overgrown cheerleader, an overzealous lover). The popularity of his and Chris Kattan's popular head-bobbing clubgoing characters led to Ferrell's first leading movie role: 1998's A Night at the Roxbury (he and Kattan were also writers on the film). He then played a variety of small parts in movies before making a splash in Ben Stiller's 2001 comedy Zoolander. Ferrell left SNL the following year to concentrate exclusively on the big screen, and by 2003 he was a bankable star with his turns in Old School and Elf.  Ferrell returned to writing vehicles for himself with 2004's successful comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He also got into producing, working as an executive producer on films and shows such as HBO's Eastbound & Down. In 2007, he and some friends launched the popular Web site "Funny or Die," and in 2009, Ferrell made his Broadway debut in the political spoof You're Welcome America---A Final Night With George W. Bush. This outrageous and versatile performer puts no boundaries on where he'll display his talents, be it behind the scenes, in Web videos, on Broadway, on talk shows or on an episode of Man vs. Wild.

Fast Facts

  • Read public address announcements in high school and often imitated other students.
  • Worked as a sportscaster on a weekly show broadcast on a local cable-access channel.
  • Was a member of the Groundlings comedy group.
  • Was inspired by the comedy of Chevy Chase, and admires the versatility of Bill Murray's career.
  • Ran in several marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2003.
  • Launched the Web site "Funny or Die" along with Adam McKay and Chris Henchy in April 2007.
  • Made his Broadway debut in 2009 in the political spoof Will Ferrell: You're Welcome America---A Final Night With George W. Bush.
  • Spent time in the Swedish tundra to appear in a 2009 episode of Man vs. Wild.
  • Was a guest on Conan O'Brien's first and last episodes as host of The Tonight Show (he also appeared on O'Brien's final episode of Late Night); his third son was born mere hours after he and his wife donned hippie garb and performed "Free Bird" to close out O'Brien's stint on The Tonight Show.


  • 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2006, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Nominee
  • 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Nominee
  • 2019, Emmy — Outstanding Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2016, Emmy — Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Nominee
  • 2015, Emmy — Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Nominee
  • 2017, Emmy — Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Nominee
  • 2019, Writers Guild Awards — Comedy/Variety - Music, Awards, Tributes - Specials: Nominee
  • 2019, Emmy — Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Nominee


  • Axel Ferrell — Son
  • Magnus Paulin Ferrell — Son
  • Mattias Ferrell — Son
  • Patrick Ferrell — Brother
  • Kay Ferrell — Mother
  • Viveca Paulin — Wife
  • Lee Ferrell — Father


  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States (BA in Sports Information, 1990)