Date of Birth: April 12, 1946
Ed O'Neill's first stage performances were in his Youngstown, Ohio high school's plays. He was also an award-winning member of the school debate team. Although he liked the stage, O'Neill initially preferred playing football for both Ohio University and Youngstown State. He was actually drafted in 1969 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. But after being cut from the Steelers training camp, he went back to Youngstown and tried out for a production of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest at the local playhouse.
He found his calling in the theater, but he needed money and soon found himself working in the steel mills and later teaching social studies to Grade 6 students. While teaching, he decided to enroll in a series of acting classes. "I think subconsciously I always wanted to be an actor. It just took time to work it out emotionally."
Seven years later he moved to New York in hopes of becoming a professional actor. During this time he worked as a waiter and eventually won a role in the off-off-Broadway production of Requiem for a Heavyweight. He then became the understudy for the lead in the Broadway show Knockout.
Spotted by director William Friedkin during the run of the play, he was cast in the film Cruising starring Al Pacino, followed by Dogs of War starring Christopher Walken.
O'Neill's biggest break came in television. After stints in a number of TV films such as The Ferrell for the People, and Popeye Doyle, O'Neill found huge success on the hit television series Married
with Children playing the man of the house, Al Bundy. The show granted him continual work for the next ten years as well as a Golden Globe Nomination for Best TV Comedy in 1993.
With his popularity on the rise, O'Neill won lead roles on the big screen including the films Dutch and Little Giants. He also had supporting roles in hit films, Wayne's World (1992 and sequel 1993), Blue Chips (1994), and The Bone Collector (1999).
Also during the '90s, O'Neill could be found on the small screen in commercals for 1-800-COLLECT and in television films such as The Whereabouts of Jenny (1991), W.E.I.R.D. World (1995), and the miniseries The 10th Kingdom (2000). He returned to series television in the short-lived CBS drama Big Apple in 2001, then took on the role of Joe Friday in the ABC crime drama Dragnet in 2003.
Separated from his wife, Cathy Rusoff in 1989, the two reconciled in 1993 and live in Los Angeles.
Nobody's Baby (2001)
The Bone Collector
The Spanish Prisoner
Blue Chips (1994)
Little Giants (1994)
Wayne's World 2 (1993)
Sibling Rivalry (1990)
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)
Disorganized Crime (1989)
The Dogs of War (1980)
Deliverance (1972) (uncredited)