Stephen Tobolowsky

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Stephen Tobolowsky
Stephen tobolowsky 2012.jpg
Stephen Tobolowsky at the 2012 Texas Book Festival.
Born Stephen Harold Tobolowsky
(1951-05-30) May 30, 1951 (age 63)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Ann Hearn (1988–present; 2 children)

Stephen Harold Tobolowsky (born May 30, 1951) is an American actor and author. He played annoying insurance salesman Ned Ryerson in the Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day,[1] as well as such television characters as Commissioner Hugo Jarry in Deadwood and Bob Bishop in Heroes. He has had recurring roles as Sandy Ryerson on Glee, and as Stu Beggs on Californication.

In addition to acting, Tobolowsky does an audio podcast about once a month of autobiographical stories of his acting and personal life.[2] He has also authored The Dangerous Animals Club and Cautionary Tales based on these original stories.[3]


Tobolowsky has appeared in over 200 films and at least as many television projects with mostly minor roles. In 1994's Radioland Murders, he portrayed Max Applewhite, a gentle sound man with a dark secret. He appeared on Seinfeld as Tor Eckman, Kramer's holistic healer, in the second season episode, "The Heart Attack". He is also known for having played "Sammy Jankis" in 2000's Memento, starring Guy Pearce. In 2005, he was the eponymous subject of the documentary film, Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party, that featured him preparing for, and hosting, his own birthday party, while delivering a series of anecdotes from his life. He was a member of the cast of NBC's television series Heroes for its second season, portraying Bob, the new boss of "The Company".

He has worked in the theater as well, directing and acting in plays in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He directed one movie, Two Idiots in Hollywood, based on his play of the same name. He also co-wrote the film True Stories with David Byrne and then-girlfriend Beth Henley.[4] He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for the 2002 revival of Morning's at Seven.

On October 29, 2009, Tobolowsky started a new podcast on /Film called The Tobolowsky Files, where he tells stories, in a similar fashion to Tobolowsky's film Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party.[5][6] The show was picked up by Public Radio International in 2012.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Tobolowsky was born in Dallas, Texas to a Jewish family. He graduated from Justin F. Kimball High School in Dallas and Southern Methodist University.[8][9]

Selected filmography[edit]




  1. ^ "The Tobolowsky Files Ep. 29 – The Classic". /Film. 
  2. ^ "iTunes - Podcasts - The Tobolowsky Files by PRI". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Stephen Tobolowsky: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  4. ^ Phipps, Keith (2011-08-02). "Random Roles Stephen Tobolowsky". The A. V. Club. Retrieved 2011-08-03. 
  5. ^ Tobolowsky, Stephen (September 16, 2010). "Op-Ed Contributor - They Had Great Character". ( Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  6. ^ Chapman, Glen (March 16, 2010). "Celebrating Stephen Tobolowsky". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  7. ^ Public Radio International® signs actor, writer Stephen Tobolowsky to create new storytelling series for radio
  8. ^ Currey, Mason. "Stephen Tobolowsky: What I learned in the seventh grade". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  9. ^ Cohen, Susan (2012-11-07). "Character actor Stephen Tobolowsky writes his first book | Features". Charleston City Paper. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 

External links[edit]