Ed Begley Jr. Biography


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Birth Name: Ed Begley Jr.
Born: 09/16/1949
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA


Ed Begley Jr. was born on September 16th, 1949 in Los Angeles. The son of Academy Award winning actor Ed Begley and actress Allene Jeanne Sanders, Begley Jr spent his formative years in the sleepy town of Merrick, Long Island, before the family moved back to California in 1962. He graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks and Los Angeles Valley College in Hollywood. Inspired by his father's storied career, Begley Jr. began his acting career while still a teen, appearing in sitcoms like "My Three Sons" (1960-1972) and "Room 222" (1969-1972). He also spent eight years performing around Los Angeles as a stand-up comedian, and served as a crew member on several B-movie productions in the early 1970's. His first substantial television role came in 1979, when he portrayed Flight Sargeant Greenbeen in sci-fi series "Battlestar Gallactica" (1978-1979). Although the show only lasted a year, it was a cult hit, and the exposure pushed Begley Jr. into the public eye. In 1982, he joined the cast of "St Elsewhere" (1982-1988), a wildly popular Boston-based hospital drama that launched the careers of several then up and coming actors, including Denzel Washington, Mark Harmon, and Howie Mandel. Begley Jr portrayed conflicted doctor Victor Ehrlich for the show's entire 127 episode run. "St. Elsewhere" made Begley Jr a household name and a star, and he used his celebrity to advocate for the environment, a novel concept in the 1980's.

Begley Jr's acting career post "Elsewhere" has been a hodge-podge of one-off television appearances, voice acting, and off-kilter film appearances, usually in the role of the slightly clueless, uptight straight man. In 1990, he starred in "Parenthood" (1990), a short-lived television spin-off of the popular Steve Martin film, notable as one of future "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon's first writing projects. In 1992, he performed as the voice of super villain 'Germs' in "Batman the Animated Series" (1992-1995), and in 1995 appeared in "Batman Forever". In 2000, Begley Jr. joined the improvisational cast of Christopher Guest's "Best in Show" as a sympathetic hotel clerk. The film, and Guest's troupe of off-the-cuff actors, was a huge hit. From that point Begley's acting hit a new plateau. He began evenly dividing his time between more mainstream roles in television series like the Christian-themed "7th Heaven" (1993-2002) and "The West Wing" (1999-2006), and looser, more improvisational comedies like cult hit "Arrested Development" (2005-2006) and Guest's "Best in Show" follow-ups, "A Mighty Wind" (2003) and "For Your Consideration" (2006). At the same time, his interest in ecological concerns deepened, and he became as well known for his acting as his environmentalism, often appearing on talk shows and at political events advocating for, among other concerns, electric cars, global warming awareness, and energy conservation.

In 2007, Begley Jr. finally found the perfect vehicle to deliver his message about living an environmentally responsible life. "Living With Ed" (2007-) debuted in 2007 on the HGTV channel. A reality series that followed the day to day activities of Ed and his long-suffering wife Rachelle as they worked towards making their modest 1,500 square foot home more energy efficient, the show provided as many laughs as it did helpful hints. One memorable show found Begley Jr. timing his exasperated wife's shower with a stopwatch, to gauge how much water she wasted. "Living With Ed" also featured other like-minded celebrities on the show, including Jackson Browne, Cheryl Tiegs, Jay Leno,

Larry Hagman, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Begley Jr. often visited with regular people as well, to see how ordinary citizens discovered unique ways to conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint. The show was a modest hit, and was renewed for a second season on the Planet Green Channel.

Although he will always be known foremost as a comedic actor, and has continued to appear in dozens of films and television shows each year, Ed Begley Jr. has made environmentalism his life's work. In 2007, he received the Thomas Alva Edison award for his tireless ecological advocacy, and he is affiliated with a host of prominent environmental organizations, including The American Oceans Campaign, which fights to clean pollution from US waters, Friends of the Earth, the world's largest grassroots environmental organization, and the League of Conservation voters, which advocates for environmental policies. In 2007, he also introduced a line of eco-friendly cleaning products, 'Begley's Best'. In 2008, aside from his advocacy work and "Living With Ed", Begley Jr. somehow found the time to become a regular on CBS sitcom "Gary Unmarried" (2008-) and make small-but-memorable appearances on everything from Fox's cult-hit "King of the Hill"(Fox, 1997- 2008) to smash stoner-comedy "Pineapple Express". Through it all, he has remained remarkably humble and down-to-Earth. The ultimate green celebrity, Ed Begley Jr. has remained that rare commodity: an actor more concerned with living responsibly than with fame or fortune. "Live simply," he has often said, "so that others may simply live."




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