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Will Ferrell Edit Profile

also known as John William Ferrell

actor , impressionist , writer

American actor.

Background

Ethnicity: Son of Lee and Kay Ferrell; Married Viveca Paulin, August 12, 2000; children: Magnus Paulin, Mattias, Axel.

Ferrell was born in Irvine, California, the son of Betty Kay (née Overman), a teacher who taught at Old Mill School elementary school and Santa Ana College, and Roy Lee Ferrell, Jr., a musician with The Righteous Brothers. His parents were both natives of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and moved to California in 1964; Ferrell has Irish ancestry. Ferrell has a younger brother, Patrick. When he was 8, his parents divorced. Ferrell said of the divorce, "I was the type of kid who would say, 'Hey Look at the bright side! We'll have two Christmases.'" The divorce was amicable and both parents were committed to their children. The biggest problem was Lee's line of work. As a person in show business, his paychecks were never steady and he was gone from home months at a time. Growing up in the environment made Ferrell not want to go into show business, but get a steady job.



Will first attended school at Turtle Rock Elementary and later attended Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, both in Irvine. He attended University High School in Irvine, and was a kicker for the school's varsity football team. He was also on the soccer team and captain of the basketball team, and served on student council. As a joke, he started the reptile club (even though he didn't know anyone who owned one), but the club only lasted for two meetings.

Ferrell called third grade "a pivotal year". He realized he could make his classmates laugh if he pretended to smash his head against the wall, or if he tripped and fell on purpose, and said it was a great way to make friends. He told the Orange County Register that the dullness of Irvine contributed to the growth of his humor:



Growing up in suburbia, in safe, master-planned Irvine, there was no drama so we had to create it in our heads. My main form of entertainment was cracking my friends up and exploring new ways of being funny. I didn't have to have the survival mode instinct like other comics, who grew up in tough neighborhoods. I had the opposite. For me, I grew up in Mayberry, and the humor broke the boredom. And there was a lot to make fun of.

Career

In his senior year of high school, Ferrell and a friend would perform comedy skits over the school's intercom system, with cooperation from the principal. The two had to write their own material though. Ferrell also performed comedic skits in the school's talent shows. He won the "Best Personality" superlative voted by his classmates.



He enrolled at the University of Southern California, where he studied Sports Broadcasting and joined the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. In college, he was known for a few pranks. On occasion, he would dress in a janitor's outfit and stroll into his friends' classes. He was also known for streaking around campus with a few other people from the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Ferrell earned an internship at a local television station in the sports department. He did not enjoy the work.



After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Sports Information in 1990, he knew he did not want to do broadcasting. He took up jobs as a hotel valet, and on his second day he tore a baggage rack off the top of a van by trying to drive it under a low-lying beam. He also worked as a teller at Wells Fargo, but came up short $300 the first day and $280 the second—he was not stealing the money, he was just careless and error-prone.



In 1991, he moved out of the house (thanks to his mother's encouragement to pursue something he liked) and to Los Angeles. He auditioned (and got in), and developed his improvisation skills as a member of the comedy group The Groundlings.

Ferrell co-produces (with Adam McKay) an HBO show starring Danny McBride called Eastbound & Down. He also has a recurring role as car dealer Ashley Schaeffer.

Views

realism

Quotations: winners get to do what they want

Interests

  • Philosophers & Thinkers

    Aristotle

  • Sport & Clubs

    golf, tennis

  • Other Interests

    photography

  • Music & Bands

    classic