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Chris Pontius Biography

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Birth Name: Chris Pontius
Born: 07/16/1974
Birth Place: Pasadena, California, USA

Born Christopher Andrew Pontius in Pasadena, CA on July 16, 1974, he spent his formative years skateboarding at his family's ranch up north in San Luis Obispo while occasionally working as a tattoo artist. After meeting Jeff Tremaine at a party, the teenaged Pontius became a regular contributor to the skateboarding magazine Big Brother. The publication became an outlet for two of his greatest passions/obsessions: world travel and appearing naked in public. The former took the form of a series of tongue-in-cheek reports from points across the globe throughout the early '90s, while the latter began in print in the magazine's eighth issue, which printed before Pontius' 18th birthday. He remained with Big Brother until 1999, when he was fired for failing to show up for a promotional tour. A string of dead-end jobs followed before he reunited with Tremaine, who was formulating a television series based on some of the more outrageous stunts documented in the magazine.

In 2000, Pontius became a core member of the "Jackass" cast, where he exhibited an impish glee while executing some of the show's most unpleasant skits. Pontius continued to perform naked, but eventually added a variety of gender-bending personas to his repertoire, including the bikini-clad Bunny the Lifeguard, and Party Boy, a well oiled, seemingly unhinged male stripper. In keeping with his fully exposed screen persona, Pontius frequently subjected his genitalia to cringe-inducing acts of lunacy, like encasing his penis in a wooden phallus and allowing a woodpecker to chip away at it, or disguising his member as a mouse before exposing it to a snake, with the expected, horrifying results His willingness to subject himself to such moments helped to establish Pontius as the most deranged member of "Jackass" - no small feat, considering his cast mates included Dave England, whose appeared to defecate on command, and the masochistic Steve-O.

The global success of "Jackass" brought Pontius to the big screen with 2002's "Jackass: The Movie," which, to the surprise of most industry observers, topped the box office upon its release. MTV, which had scuttled the "Jackass" series through overzealous requests for censorship, began courting the individual members of the group for their own spin-off series. In 2003, Pontius was teamed with Steve-O for "Wildboyz," a sort of "Jackass" take on nature shows which featured the pair encountering dangerous animals in their natural habitats around the globe. Though each episode devoted screen time to examining the culture of the countries visited, the show's raison d'ĂȘtre was showing Pontius and Steve-O risking their lives while making buffoons of themselves with real wild animals. As a result, both were injured - sometimes severely - throughout the series; a jaguar and black bear attacked Pontius, while Steve-O deliberately punctured his own cheek with a fishing hook before hurling himself into shark-infested waters. After three seasons of relentless self-abuse, Pontius and his producers brought the show to an end, citing the accidental death of Steve Irwin while filming an episode of his legitimate nature show, "The Crocodile Hunter" (Animal Planet/Discovery Channel, 1997-2004), as a primary factor.

Pontius also made guest appearances in Steve-O's "Don't Try This at Home" (2001-02) video series, but "Wildboyz" kept him busy between "Jackass" film reunions. He contributed one of the vilest moments in the wildly successful "Jackass Number Two" (2006), which saw him drink horse semen from a recently inseminated stallion. Amazingly, Pontius began to explore acting opportunities in a variety of low-budget films. He had enjoyed a cameo appearance as a dockworker alongside most of his "Jackass" cohorts in "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" (2003), but moved into more substantial characters with 2007's "What We Do is Secret," a biopic of the ill-fated Darby Crash, lead singer of the Los Angeles punk outfit the Germs. Pontius played Black Randy, the controversial and equally doomed frontman for Black Randy and the Metrosquad. That same year, he played an openly gay Jesus in "National Lampoon's TV: The Movie" (2007), a sketch comedy parody of television foibles co-penned by "Jackass" alumnus Preston Lacy. The direct-to-video feature was largely forgotten in the wake of "Jackass 3D" (2010), the most successful of the film series, which featured Pontius tying a toy helicopter to his penis and allowing his cohorts to operate the controls. That same year, he gave a surprisingly solid performance as Sammy, a friend and drinking partner to Stephen Dorff's jaded movie star in Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" (2010). The critical and artistic success of both features was somewhat dampened the following year by news that Pontius had divorced his wife of seven years, Claire Nolan, and that his longtime "Jackass" co-star, Ryan Dunn, died on June 20 in a fiery car crash in Pennsylvania, casting a pall over the entire "Jackass" brotherhood.