Worked With:

Bryan Cranston

Fred Armisen

Jimmy Fallon

Jay Leno

Conan O'Brien

Christian Bale

David Steinberg

Cate Blanchett

Amy Poehler

Jimmy Kimmel

Louis C.K. Biography

Home > Actors > C > C.K., Louis > Biography

Birth Name: Louis C.K.
Born: 09/12/1967
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA

Born Louis Szekely (pronounced SEK-kay) in New York City on Sept. 12, 1967, C.K.'s family moved to Mexico shortly after his birth, making Spanish his first language. His heritage was an eclectic mixture of Mexican and Hungarian from his father, and Irish on his mother's side. After six years in Mexico, the family returned to the States and settled into middle class, Newton, MA. In grade school, he resorted to going by C.K. when it became clear that "Szekely" was too difficult for anyone to pronounce correctly. Though underage, C.K. began performing in Boston-area comedy clubs during his senior year of high school. In 1990, he made the big leap and moved to New York, continuing to make the rounds on the comedy circuit, as well as gain exposure by appearing on many televised comedy shows. In the early nineties, C.K. took his talent behind the scenes when he became one of the original writers for "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (NBC 1993-2009) as well as "The Dana Carvey Show" (ABC, 1996), the latter of which may have been too raunchy for American audiences and was soon canceled.

In 1996, C.K. formed two pivotal business relationships - one, with HBO, which gave him his own comedy special, and the second, with comic Chris Rock, who hired him as a writer/producer for "The Chris Rock Show," (HBO 1997-2000), earning C.K. an Emmy in 1998. That same year he wrote and directed his first feature film, "Tomorrow Night," an independent comedy shot in black and white about a loner who marries an elderly woman, only to decide that she has too much baggage and ends up retreating back to his loner ways. His collaboration with Rock provided C.K. with the mother of all gigs: writing and directing his first major studio film, the critically maligned yet nonetheless cult classic "Pootie Tang" (2001). The film, starring Rock, chronicled the exploits of a crazy musician-actor-folk hero of the ghetto, and was a C.K. idea created for "The Chris Rock Show."

As the years went by, the more domesticated C.K. grew with home and family, the more brash his stand-up comedy became. His wife and daughters bore the brunt of his comic wrath, with jokes conceding that he understood why people threw their babies in dumpsters. Even with the comic flying under the radar, HBO continued its lovefest for C.K., commissioning another comedy special from him in 2005. That same year, he was chosen by both Variety and Hollywood Reporter as a comic to watch. 2006 was a benchmark year for C.K. He collaborated yet again with friend Chris Rock, sharing writing credits on the Rock-directed feature "I Think I Love My Wife" (2007). In June of 2006, HBO debuted its sitcom "Lucky Louie" - written, directed, produced by and starring C.K. Based on his real life, the sitcom was unafraid to offend the viewing audience and became famous for its rampant foul language, full-frontal male nudity, and ugly, T-shirt-wearing sex between C.K. and his onscreen wife, Kim (Pamela S. Adlon) - all daringly performed in front of a live studio audience. Unfortunately, the show was canceled by September of that same year, a victim more of the lack of critical esteem HBO deemed vital to its image than to its ratings.

Also that year, the comedian starred in his first hour stand-up special, called "Louis CK: Shameless." When it aired the following year, its success fueled a cross-country tour where the comedian performed to sold-out venues. He notched several movie credits, including supporting roles in "Diminished Capacity" (2008) alongside Virginia Madsen and Matthew Broderick, "Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins" (2008) opposite Martin Lawrence and Mo'Nique, and "Role Models" (2008) with Paul Rudd. He played a larger part as Ricky Gervais' sidekick in the satirical alternate-universe comedy "The Invention of Lying" (2009). C.K. also began recurring on the popular sitcom "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 2009- ) as a straight-arrow police officer romancing Amy Poehler, for which he received excellent reviews. C.K. continued with his comedy, shooting a second hour-long special of all-new material with "Louis CK: Chewed Up" (2008) and taping "Louis CK: Hilarious" (2010), which he hoped to show theatrically. Fans rejoiced to hear that the comedian had earned another sitcom, "Louie" (FX, 2010- ), where he promised to continue his patented brand of sharp comedy. To the delight of these fans both in and outside the industry, the comic received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2011 and 2012. In the latter year, C.K. earned two Emmy Awards, one for Outstanding Writing on "Louie" and the other for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special with "Louie C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre." He closed out the year with a Golden Globe nod for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.