Pamela Adlon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pamela Adlon
Adlon in 2017
Pamela Segall[1][2]

(1966-07-06) July 6, 1966 (age 57)[3]
  • United States
  • United Kingdom[4][5]
Years active1982–present
Felix O. Adlon
(m. 1996; div. 2010)
Children3, including Gideon Adlon and Odessa A'zion
RelativesPercy Adlon (former-father-in-law)

Pamela Adlon (/ˈædlɒn/; née Segall) (born July 6, 1966) is an American actress. She is known for voicing Bobby Hill in the animated comedy series King of the Hill (1997–2010),[6] for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award. She also voiced Baloo in Jungle Cubs (1996–1998), the title role in the Pajama Sam video game series (1996–2001), Lucky in 101 Dalmatians: The Series (1997–1998), Ashley Spinelli in Recess (1997–2001), Otto Osworth in Time Squad (2001–2003), and Brigette Murphy in Milo Murphy's Law (2016–2019), among numerous others.

Adlon is also known for her roles in the comedy-drama series Californication (2007–2014) and Louie (2010–2015), the latter of which she additionally wrote and produced alongside Louis C.K.[7] Her work on Louie garnered her four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. From 2016 to 2022, Adlon starred as Sam Fox on the acclaimed FX comedy-drama series Better Things, which she also co-created, wrote, produced, and directed. The series won a Peabody Award, and she was nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.[8] She also starred alongside Redd Foxx on The Redd Foxx Show as 'Toni' in 1986.

Adlon was featured in numerous films since making her acting debut in Grease 2 (1982). Her most notable films include Say Anything... (1989), Bed of Roses (1996), Lucky 13 (2005), Conception (2011), I Love You, Daddy (2017), All Square (2018), and Holler (2020).

Early life[edit]

Adlon was born in New York City.[1][9] She is the daughter of Marina Lucy (née Leece) and Donald Maxwell "Don" Segall, who was a television comedy writer-producer and author of comic books and science fiction pulp novels.[2][10][11][12] Her father produced The Dave Garroway Show, which became AM New York and then The Today Show. He was a page at NBC with Gil Cates and wrote erotic fiction under various pseudonyms, including Troy Conway.[12] Adlon's mother is English, while her father, an American, was from Boston.[13] Her father was born to a Jewish family of Russian-Jewish and Ukrainian-Jewish descent and her mother, originally an Anglican, converted to Judaism.[12][14][15] Adlon has said that her parents met at a USO event in Paris.[6]

As a child, Adlon lived in the Carnegie House at 100 West 57th Street.[16][17] She has said that she and her family lived bi-coastally, moving between Los Angeles and New York because her father was a journeyman writer and producer for TV. She began performing at age nine; one of her father's friends had a radio studio, so she would do voice-over work there. While in Los Angeles she did TV and film acting work.[6] She attended Sarah Lawrence College for a semester.[12] After moving to Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, she shared a house with Anna Gunn.[18]


Adlon made her acting debut as Dolores Rebchuck in the 1982 musical sequel film Grease 2. She had a recurring role as Kelly Affinado in the sitcom The Facts of Life (1983–1984). This was followed by appearances in Bad Manners (1984), Night Court (1984), Willy/Milly (1986), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1989), Say Anything... (1989), Sgt. Bilko (1996), and Plump Fiction (1997). Although successful as a child actress, she struggled to find parts in her 20s. It led her to develop a substantial voice-over career which she cited as saving her career.[10]

Adlon gained further acclaim and recognition for voicing the starring role of Bobby Hill in the animated comedy series King of the Hill (1997–2010), for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 2002.[19] Adlon also gained recognition for voicing Margaret "Moose" Pearson in Pepper Ann (1997–2000), Ashley Spinelli in Recess (1997–2001),[20] Brigette Murphy in Milo Murphy's Law (2016–2019), and the voice of newborn Halley Wolowitz in The Big Bang Theory.

Adlon is recognizable for her husky voice, which led to her voicing young boys in numerous animated series and films. She voiced Baloo in Jungle Cubs (1996–1998), the title role in the video game series Pajama Sam (1996–2001), Lucky in 101 Dalmatians: The Series (1997–1998), Hector McBadger in Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (2003–2007), and Andy in Squirrel Boy (2006–2007), among numerous others. She was nominated for an Annie Award for her role as Otto Osworth in the Cartoon Network animated comedy series Time Squad (2001–2003). She continued to voice characters in films, such as The Animatrix (2003) and as Vidia in the Tinker Bell film series (2008–2015).

Adlon had notable live-action roles as Emma Path in the ABC legal drama series Boston Legal (2007–2008), Marcy Runkle in the Showtime comedy-drama series Californication (2007–2014), and as Pamela in the FX comedy series Louie (2010–2015). She was also a writer and consulting producer for the lattermost series.[21]

Adlon at the San Diego Comic-Con 2011

Adlon's professional relationship with Louis C.K. began in 2006 when she played his wife in the short-lived HBO sitcom Lucky Louie. She appeared as the friend of Louie (a fictional character based on C.K.) in his FX single-camera series Louie. She appeared in every season but the third.[22] Adlon co-wrote seven episodes of the series and became a consulting producer. She earned a total of four Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her work on Louie. She earned two nominations as a producer for Best Comedy Series, one nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for co-writing the episode "Daddy's Girlfriend Part 1", and one nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.[23]

In 2015, FX gave a pilot order to Better Things, a comedy created by and starring Adlon. She plays an actress raising three daughters. The pilot was written by Adlon and Louis C.K., who also directed it.[24] It was picked up for a 10-episode series on August 7, 2015.[25][26] The show, which premiered on September 8, 2016, is semi-autobiographical.[27] C.K. served as a co-writer and occasional director for the first two seasons, while Adlon has served as director and writer throughout the series' run.

The series received widespread critical acclaim and was honored with a Peabody Award. Adlon received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the first two seasons of Better Things.[28] She also received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, and four nominations for the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. Adlon was represented by manager Dave Becky until November 2017, when she fired him following his involvement in the Louis C.K. sexual harassment scandal.[29]

Adlon had recent live-action roles in the romantic drama film First Girl I Loved (2016), the science fiction action film Bumblebee (2018), and the comedy-drama film The King of Staten Island (2020). She had a guest role as Mrs. Wolowitz in the CBS sitcom Young Sheldon (2017) and a recurring role as Dr. Leigh in the acclaimed NBC drama series This Is Us (2020).

Adlon will make her feature directorial debut with Babes.[30][31][32]

Personal life[edit]

In 1996, Adlon married Felix O. Adlon, the son of German director Percy Adlon.[12] Felix O. Adlon directed Pamela in Eat Your Heart Out (1997).[33] They divorced in 2010, and he then moved to Germany.[12] They have three daughters who are actresses: Gideon, Odessa, and Valentine "Rocky" Adlon.[6]

Adlon was the inspiration for Toto's song, "Pamela". She was in a short-lived relationship with Toto vocalist Joseph Williams in the 1980s.

Adlon splits her time between the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Los Angeles.[16]

In January 2020, Adlon became a citizen of the United Kingdom.[34][4][5]


Adlon is known for her collaborations with Louis C.K and her performances in Lucky Louie (2006), Louie (2010–2015), and Better Things (2016–2022). She has had major performances in The Facts of Life (1983–1984) and Californication (2007–2014) as well as making guest appearances in The Jeffersons (1984), Boston Legal (2007–2008), Parenthood (2012), and This is Us (2020). She is also a well known voice artist. Her voice credits include the animated programs Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Bobby's World (1992–1998), Rugrats (1992–2004), Recess (1997–2001), King of the Hill (1997–2010), and Bob's Burgers (2012–2020).

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2018 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Better Things Nominated [35]
2016 Peabody Awards Area of Excellence Won [36]
2002 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Voice-Over Performance King of the Hill: Bobby Goes Nuts Won [37]
2013 Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Daddy's Girlfriend: Part 1 Louie Nominated
2014 Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
2015 Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2017 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Better Things Nominated
2018 Nominated
2015 Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producers of Episodic Television Louie Nominated
2017 Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Comedy Better Things Nominated [38]
2018 Nominated
2019 Nominated
2020 Nominated
2022 Nominated
2012 Writers Guild of America Awards Best Comedy Series Louie Nominated
2013 Won
2015 Won
2017 Best New Series Better Things Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Pamela Adlon Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Stated on Finding Your Roots, January 25, 2022
  3. ^ Adlon, Pamela. "Finding your roots". PBS.
  4. ^ a b Tube, Stage. "VIDEO: Pamela Adlon Revisits Her Bobby Hill Voice on THE TONIGHT SHOW".
  5. ^ a b "Pamela Adlon wants you to know she has your back". Fortune.
  6. ^ a b c d Gross, Terry (January 4, 2012). "Pamela Adlon: From 'Hill' Kid To 'Californication'". Fresh Air. NPR. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  7. ^ Harris, Will (April 1, 2014). "Pamela Adlon on snorting fake coke, Louie, and the fate of her Vulcan ears". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 16, 2016). "Louis C.K.-Pamela Adlon FX Comedy Series 'Better Things' Sets Fall Premiere Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  9. ^ Southern, Nathan. "Pamela Adlon Biography". AllMovie. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Rhodes, Joe (November 21, 2008). "Her Life as a Mom, an Actress and a Boy". New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "Donald M Segall, "United States Public Records"". United States Public Records. FamilySearch. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Maron, Marc (May 20, 2013). "Episode 390 - Pamela Adlon". WTF with Marc Maron. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "Pamela Adlon Revisits Her Bobby Hill Voice from King of the Hill". Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. YouTube. March 3, 2020. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  14. ^ Adlon, Pamela (November 7, 2017). "Pamela Adlon: The First Time I Ever Tried a Tampon". The New York Times.
  15. ^ "Pamela Adlon Wants You to Know 'Better Things' is Scripted". Jewish Journal. February 27, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Salisbury, Vanita (March 7, 2014). "21 Questions: Louie's Pamela Adlon Thinks Louis C.K. Is the Mickey Mouse of New York". New York. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  17. ^ "Building: Carnegie House". Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  18. ^ Actress Pamela Adlon Says Better Things Is Dedicated to Her Daughters. Fresh Air. NPR. September 6, 2016. Event occurs at 7:20.
  19. ^ Harris, Will (August 25, 2009). "A Chat with Pamela Adlon". Bullz-Eye. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  20. ^ Boardman, Madeline (April 20, 2016). "10 Voices Behind Your Favorite 'Recess' Characters". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  21. ^ Haglund, David (February 2, 2012). "Character Studies: Pamela from Louie". Slate. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  22. ^ Goldman, Andrew (June 17, 2011). "Grumpus Maximus". New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  23. ^ "Pamela Adlon". Television Academy.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 18, 2015). "FX Orders Comedy Pilot Starring Pamela Adlon From Louis CK". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  25. ^ Rose, Lacey (August 7, 2015). "Louis C.K., Pamela Adlon's Better Things Comedy Lands Series Order at FX". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 7, 2015). "Louis C.K.-Pamela Adlon Comedy Better Things Gets FX Series Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  27. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (September 8, 2016). "Pamela Adlon Can't Believe She Has Her Own Show". Vulture. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  28. ^ "69th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  29. ^ Holloway, Daniel (November 13, 2017). "Pamela Adlon Fires 3 Arts' Dave Becky Following Louis C.K. Harassment Claims". Variety. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  30. ^ Gardner, Chris (June 14, 2022). "Pamela Adlon Sets Feature Directorial Debut With Ilana Glazer Pregnancy Comedy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 20, 2023.
  31. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 13, 2022). "Pamela Adlon-Directed Pregnancy Comedy From FilmNation And Range Media Partners Rounds Out Its Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2023.
  32. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 5, 2023). "Neon Lands U.S. Deal For 'Babes', Pamela Adlon's Directing Debut Starring Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau & Hasan Minhaj". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2023.
  33. ^ "Eat Your Heart Out". Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  34. ^ "Pamela Adlon on Instagram: "Oi! I am now a Citizen of the UK. Or a British Citizen. I can now work and play and live across the pond. (Also, I may have done it just to…"". Instagram. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  35. ^ "Pamela Adlon". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  36. ^ "Better Things". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  37. ^ "Pamela Adlon". Television Academy. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  38. ^ Hailu, Selome (August 6, 2022). "'Abbott Elementary' Tops 2022 TCA Awards". Variety. Retrieved August 6, 2022.

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