Carell at the 2014 Montclair Film Festival
|Born||Steven John Carell
August 16, 1962
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Alma mater||Denison University|
|Spouse(s)||Nancy Walls (m. 1995)|
Steven John "Steve" Carell (//; born August 16, 1962) is an American actor, comedian, director, producer and writer. After a five-year stint on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Carell found even greater fame playing Michael Scott on the American version of The Office, on which he also worked as an occasional writer and director.
He has also starred in lead roles in the films, The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Evan Almighty (2007), Get Smart (2008), Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and The Way, Way Back (both 2013). He has also voiced characters in the animated films, Over the Hedge (2006), Horton Hears a Who! (2008), Despicable Me (2010), and Despicable Me 2 (2013).
Carell was nominated as "America's funniest man" in Life magazine, and received a Golden Globe Award Best Actor in a Television Series for his work on The Office. His dramatic role as wrestling coach and convicted murderer John Eleuthère du Pont in the 2014 film Foxcatcher earned him several awards and nominations, including a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He also received acclaim for his roles in Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and The Big Short (2015), the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
The youngest of four brothers, Carell was born at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts, and raised in nearby Acton, Massachusetts. His father, Edwin A. Carell, was an electrical engineer, and his mother, Harriet Theresa (née Koch; 1925-2016), was a psychiatric nurse. His maternal uncle, Stanley Koch, worked with scientist Allen B. DuMont to create cathode ray tubes. His father is of Italian and German descent, and his mother was of Polish ancestry. His father, born under the surname "Caroselli", later changed it to "Carell".
Carell was raised Roman Catholic, and was educated at Nashoba Brooks School, The Fenn School and Middlesex School. He also played ice hockey and lacrosse while in high school. He played the fife, performing with other members of his family, and later joined a reenacting group portraying the 10th (North Lincoln) Regiment of Foot. He attributed his interest in history to this, earning a degree in the subject from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, in 1984.
While at Denison, Carell was a member of Burpee's Seedy Theatrical Company, a student-run improvisational comedy troupe and was a goalie on Big Red hockey team for four years. He also spent time as a disc jockey under the name "Sapphire Steve Carell" at WDUB, the campus radio station.
Carell states that he worked as a mail carrier in Littleton, Massachusetts. He later recounted that he quit after six months because his boss told him he was not very good as a mail carrier and needed to be faster. Early in his performing career, Carell acted on the stage in a touring children's theater company, later in the comedy musical, Knat Scatt Private Eye and in a television commercial for Brown's Chicken in 1989. In 1991, Carell performed with Chicago troupe The Second City where Stephen Colbert was his understudy for a time. Carell made his film debut in a minor role in Curly Sue. In spring 1996, he was a cast member of The Dana Carvey Show, a small, short-lived sketch comedy program on ABC. Along with fellow cast member Stephen Colbert, Carell provided the voice of Gary, half of The Ambiguously Gay Duo, the Robert Smigel-produced animated short which continued on Saturday Night Live later that year. While the program lasted only seven episodes, The Dana Carvey Show has since been credited with forging Carell's career. He starred in a few short-lived television series, including Come to Papa and Over the Top. He has made numerous guest appearances, including on an episode of Just Shoot Me! titled "Funny Girl." Carell's other early screen credits include Brad Hall's short-lived situation comedy Watching Ellie (2002–2003) and Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda. Carell was a correspondent for The Daily Show from 1999 to 2005, with a number of regular segments including "Even Stevphen" with Stephen Colbert and on the Daily Show.
In 2005, Carell signed a deal with NBC to star in The Office, a mockumentary about life at a mid-sized paper supply company, which was a remake of a successful British TV series. He played the role of Michael Scott, the idiosyncratic regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Inc, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Although the first season of the adaptation suffered mediocre ratings, NBC renewed it for another season due to the anticipated success of Carell's film The 40-Year-Old Virgin,[verification needed] and the series subsequently became a ratings success. Carell won a Golden Globe Award and Television Critics Association Award during 2006 for his Office role. He also received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his work in the series (2006–2011). Carell earned approximately US$175,000 per episode of the third season of The Office, twice his salary for the previous two seasons. In an Entertainment Weekly interview, he commented on his salary, saying, "You don't want people to think you're a pampered jerk. Salaries can be ridiculous. On the other hand, a lot of people are making a lot of money off of these shows."
Carell was allowed "flex time" during filming to work on theatrical films. Carell worked on Evan Almighty during a production hiatus during the second season of The Office. Production ended during the middle of the fourth season of The Office because of Carell's and others' refusal to cross the picket line of the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike. Carell, a WGA member, has written two episodes of The Office: "Casino Night" and "Survivor Man". Both episodes were praised, and Carell won a Writers Guild of America Award for "Casino Night". On April 29, 2010, Carell stated he would be leaving the show when his contract expired at the conclusion of the 2010–2011 season because he wanted to focus on his film career. His last episode as a main character, "Goodbye, Michael", aired April 28, 2011, with his final shot showing Carell walking to a Colorado-bound plane to join his fiancée, Holly Flax, in Boulder, Colorado. Although he was invited back for the series finale in 2013, Carell originally declined believing that it would go against his character's arc. Ultimately in the final version of the finale Carell reprised the role.
Carell's first major film role was as weatherman Brick Tamland in the 2004 hit comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Struck by Carell's performance in the film, Anchorman producer Judd Apatow approached Carell about creating a film together, and Carell told him about an idea he had involving a middle-aged man who is still a virgin. The result was the 2005 film The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which Carell and Apatow developed and wrote together, starring Carell as the title character. The film made $109 million in domestic box office sales and established him as a leading man. It also earned Carell an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance and a WGA Award nomination, along with Apatow, for Best Original Screenplay.
Carell played Uncle Arthur, imitating the camp mannerisms of Paul Lynde's original character, in Bewitched, a TV adaptation co-starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. He also voiced Hammy the Squirrel in the 2006 computer-animated film, Over the Hedge and Ned McDodd, the mayor of Whoville, in the 2008 animated film Horton Hears a Who!. He starred in Little Miss Sunshine during 2006, as Uncle Frank.
His work in the films Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Bewitched established Carell as a member of Hollywood's so-called "Frat Pack", a group of actors who often appear in films together, that also includes Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson. Carell acted as the title character of Evan Almighty, a sequel to Bruce Almighty, reprising his role as Evan Baxter, now a U.S. Congressman. The film received mostly negative reviews. Carell starred in the 2007 film Dan in Real Life, co-starring Dane Cook and Juliette Binoche.
Carell played Maxwell Smart in the 2008 film Get Smart, an adaptation of the TV series starring Don Adams. It was successful, grossing over $200 million worldwide. During 2007, Carell was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Carell starred with Tina Fey in Date Night during late 2008 and was released on April 9, 2010 in the U.S. He voiced Gru, the main character in the Universal CGI film, Despicable Me along with Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, and Kristen Wiig, The film was Carell's other 2010 film. He reprised the role in the 2013 sequel Despicable Me 2. He has several other projects in the works, including a remake of the 1967 Peter Sellers film The Bobo. He is currently doing voice-over work in commercials for Wrigley's Extra gum. Carell has launched a television division of his Carousel Prods., which has contracted a three-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios, the studio behind his NBC comedy series. Thom Hinkle and Campbell Smith of North South Prods., former producers on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, were hired to manage Carousel's TV operations.
Carell played millionaire E.I. du Pont family heir and convicted murderer John Eleuthère du Pont in the 2014 true crime drama film Foxcatcher. Since the film's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, it has received widespread acclaim and Carell was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama and for the Academy Award for Best Actor, both of which he lost to Eddie Redmayne.
Carell played activist Steven Goldstein in the gay rights drama Freeheld, replacing Zach Galifianakis, who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. The film co-stars Julianne Moore, Ellen Page and Michael Shannon, and was released in October 2015. He followed this with another biographical drama, The Big Short, in which he portrayed banker Steve Eisman, whose name was changed in the film to Mark Baum. Directed by Adam McKay, the film stars Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, and it was released in December 2015, The film also received widespread critical acclaim, earning Carell a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, making it the second film starring Carell to be nominated for the award, with Little Miss Sunshine being the first. He next starred in Woody Allen's Café Society (2016), alongside Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg.
In addition to working with Steve as a fellow correspondent on The Daily Show, Nancy acted with him on The Office as his realtor and short-lived girlfriend Carol Stills. She also cameoed as a sex therapist in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and played Linda in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Nancy and Steve also created the TBS comedy series Angie Tribeca starring Rashida Jones, which premiered on January 17, 2016.
The couple had two children, Elisabeth (born May 2001) and John (born June 2004).
In February 2009, Carell bought the Marshfield Hills General Store in Marshfield, Massachusetts. During 2011, Carell earned $17.5 million, making him the thirty-first highest paid actor (excluding television-related projects).
Awards and nominations
|1991||Curly Sue||Tesio||Credited as "Steven Carell"|
|1998||Tomorrow Night||Mailroom Guy without Glasses|
|Homegrown||Party Extra with Funny Pants||Uncredited|
|2003||Street of Pain||Mark||Short film|
|Bruce Almighty||Evan Baxter||Credited as "Steven Carell"|
|2004||Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy||Brick Tamland|
|Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie||Brick Tamland||Direct-to-video|
|Sleepover||Officer John Sherman|
|2005||Melinda and Melinda||Walt Wagner|
|The 40-Year-Old Virgin||Andy Stitzer||Also writer and executive producer|
|2006||Little Miss Sunshine||Frank Ginsburg|
|American Storage||Rich||Short film|
|Over the Hedge||Hammy (voice)|
|2007||Evan Almighty||Evan Baxter|
|Dan in Real Life||Dan Burns|
|Stories USA||Mark Ronson|
|2008||Horton Hears a Who!||Ned McDodd (voice)|
|Get Smart||Maxwell Smart||Also executive producer|
|2010||Date Night||Phil Foster|
|Despicable Me||Gru (voice)|
|Dinner for Schmucks||Barry Speck|
|2011||Crazy, Stupid, Love||Cal Weaver||Also producer|
|2012||Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem||Gru (voice)||Simulator ride|
|Seeking a Friend for the End of the World||Dodge Petersen|
|Hope Springs||Dr. Bernie Feld|
|2013||The Way, Way Back||Trent|
|The Incredible Burt Wonderstone||Burt Wonderstone||Also producer|
|Despicable Me 2||Gru (voice)|
|Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues||Brick Tamland|
|Puppy||Gru (voice)||Short film|
|Panic in the Mailroom||Gru (voice)||Short film|
|Training Wheels||Gru (voice)||Short film|
|2014||Foxcatcher||John Eleuthère du Pont|
|Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day||Ben Cooper|
|2015||Minions||Young Gru (voice)|
|The Big Short||Mark Baum|
|2017||Battle of the Sexes||Bobby Riggs||Post-production|
|Despicable Me 3||Gru / Dru (voice)||Filming|
|Last Flag Flying||Larry Meadows||Filming|
|1996||The Dana Carvey Show||Various characters||8 episodes; also writer|
|1996–2011||Saturday Night Live||Gary, Big Head (voice)||14 episodes|
|1997||Over the Top||Yorgo Galfanikos||12 episodes|
|1998||Just Shoot Me!||Mr. Weiland||Episode: "Funny Girl"|
|1999–2005||The Daily Show||Himself||277 episodes|
|2000||Strangers with Candy||Teacher||Episode: "Behind Blank Eyes"|
|2002–03||Watching Ellie||Edgar||16 episodes|
|2004||Fillmore!||Mr. Delancey (voice)||Episode: "Field Trip of the Just"|
|Come to Papa||Blevin||4 episodes|
|2005–11, 2013||The Office||Michael Scott||149 episodes
Writer ("Casino Night" and "Survivor Man")
Director ("Broke", "Secretary's Day", and "Garage Sale")
|2007||The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show||Brian||Episode: "T-Bones TV"|
|2011||Life's Too Short||Himself||Episode: "1.4"|
|2012||The Simpsons||Dan Gillick (voice)||Episode: "Penny-Wiseguys"|
|2013||Web Therapy||Jackson Pickett||3 episodes|
|2014||The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon||The Ragtime Gals||Episode: "Mark Wahlberg/Kevin Nealon"|
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Carell has no witty speech rehearsed when you ask the Catholic comic...
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-  Archived December 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
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