Famous 20th Century Stand-up Comedians

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Robin Williams

Robin Williams
6
Famous As: American stand-up comedian
Birthdate: July 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: August 11, 2014

One of the finest comedians of all time, Robin Williams began his career as a stand-up comedian and soon moved to act in television and films. Though widely recognised for his comedic skills, the immensely talented Williams proved his versatility by taking up and successfully performing more serious roles in films like Good Will Hunting and The Fisher King.

 2 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Actor and comedian, Eddie Murphy, is one of the highest-grossing actors in the United States. Beginning his career as a comedian on the TV show Saturday Night Live, he went on to become a bankable movie actor. Also a singer, he has released many studio albums. He has been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 3 Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle
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Famous As: Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: August 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

American comedian, writer and actor, Dave Chappelle, is best known for the Chappelle’s Show, the acclaimed Comedy Central show which brought him much popularity before he decided to call it quits in its third season. He later released award winning comedy specials with Netflix. Dave has also featured in numerous films like Half Baked and A Star Is Born.

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 4 Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld
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Famous As: Actor & Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: April 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jerry Seinfeld was responsible for creating one of the most popular and acclaimed American sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld. Apart from being a comedian and actor, Jerry Seinfeld is also an automobile enthusiast and collector; he owns about 150 cars. Also a coffee and espresso machine lover, he owns several espresso machines. Jerry is also known for his charity work.

 5 Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, United States
Died: December 10, 2005

Considered one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, Richard Pryor entertained his audience and influenced generations of stand-up comedians with his pointed observations and skilful art of storytelling. He began by performing at clubs and gained immense fame with his third comedy album, That Nigger’s Crazy. He also became an acclaimed actor and an award winning writer.

 6 Tim Allen

Tim Allen
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States

Tim Allen is an actor who has had a major impact on the lives of many children because of his work on The Santa Clause and the Toy Story franchises, for which he was named a Disney Legend in 1999. He is also a respected comedian who deals with subjects, such as social awkwardness, politics, gender differences, and everyday life.

 7 Steve Martin

Steve Martin
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: August 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, United States

A man of many talents, Steve Martin is a successful comedian, actor, and musician. In 2004, he was ranked sixth in Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-up comics list. Despite achieving great fame and success as a comedian and actor, Steve decided to pursue a career in music and began appearing seldom in films to record and tour with bluegrass acts.

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 8 Chris Rock

Chris Rock
6
Famous As: Standup Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: February 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Andrews, South Carolina, United States

A high-school drop-out, Chris Rock worked at restaurants before stepping into stand-up comedy. He gained fame with SNL and earned his first role through Eddie Murphy. Known for voicing Marty in the Madagascar franchise, Chris also created the series Everybody Hates Chris and was voted Comedy Central’s fifth-greatest stand-up comedian.

 9 Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman
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Famous As: Comedian, Actress
Birthdate: December 1, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bedford, New Hampshire, United States

From hosting her comedy show The Sarah Silverman Program, to winning an Emmy and writing a best-selling autobiography, Sarah Silverman has done it all. The NYU drop-out started off as a writer for SNL. She has been an ardent Democratic supporter and often discusses controversial topics on her show.

 10 David Spade

David Spade
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, Michigan, United States

David Spade is an American comedian and actor. Also a well-known philanthropist, David Spade helped the Phoenix Police Department buy 300 firearms by making a donation of $100,000. In 2013, he donated $200,000 to rebuild Oklahoma after it was hit by a tornado. In 2018, he donated $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

 11 George Carlin

George Carlin
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 12, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: June 22, 2008

Counted amongst the most influential stand-up comedians, George Carlin was known for his dark comedy. His comedy routine, Seven Dirty Words, was hugely controversial and played a critical role in Supreme Court’s ruling to censor offensive material on broadcast media. In his career, he released many comedy albums, starred in 14 HBO special, authored books and acted in numerous films.

 12 Larry David

Larry David
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 2, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Comedian, writer, actor, director, and television producer Larry David is best known as the co-creator of the television series Seinfeld. He discovered his talent for comedy as a college student and began his career as a stand-up performer. After a few years of struggle, he achieved success and went on to become an accomplished actor, director, and producer.

 13 Bill Burr

Bill Burr
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Famous As: Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: June 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Canton, Massachusetts, United States

 14 Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: April 16, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

Martin Lawrence is a German born-American actor and comedian. Despite being traumatized after witnessing his parents' divorce at the age of eight, Lawrence went on to succeed as a comedian and later as a leading Hollywood actor. After a problematic 1990s, which included episodes of arrests, lawsuits, and health problems, he bounced back with several hit films.

 15 Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: August 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Chris Tucker is an American stand-up comedian and actor best known for playing Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour film series alongside Jackie Chan. Also a humanitarian, Tucker joined the likes of Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Kevin Spacey, and Ghislaine Maxwell on a trip to Africa in an attempt to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

 16 Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: January 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States

Best known for his role in the sitcom The King of Queens, comedian and actor, Patton Oswalt, has been active in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. From appearing in his own TV show in the 1990s to making it big as a film actor, he has had a fulfilling career. He loves dogs and has worked with PETA.

 17 Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: November 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Billy Connolly is a retired stand-up comedian, actor, and musician. Known for his observational and idiosyncratic comedy, Connolly is widely considered one of the most influential and greatest stand-up comedians of all time. He has also worked with the British charity, Comic Relief and has appeared in a documentary and a live stage show for the charity.

 18 Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 1, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wilkesboro, North Carolina, USA

 19 Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield
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Famous As: Actor, Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: November 22, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Deer Park, New York, United States
Died: October 5, 2004
Rodney Dangerfield began as a stand-up comedian in and around New York City and eventually became a regular on late-night talk shows. He was known for his catchphrase “I don't get no respect!” and his self-deprecating humor. He also appeared in movies such as Caddyshack and Natural Born Killers.

 20 Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard
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Famous As: Comedian, Voice actor, Stage actor, Film actor
Birthdate: February 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aden, Yemen

Although best known for her surreal and digressive stand-up comedies, Eddie Izzard is also a popular film and television actor. Born as Edward John Izzard, she began her career as a street performer, eventually making her first stage appearance at the age of twenty-five, quickly drawing larger and larger audience with her stream-of-consciousness delivery, achieving fame both home and abroad.

 21 Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson
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Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: January 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Consett, County Durham, England

British comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson has entertained audience globally with his brilliant performance as the eponymous character in the Mr. Bean series and its film adaptations. Earlier, he established himself as a fine comedy actor with Blackadder and then went on to work in movies like Never Say Never Again, The Witches and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

 22 Don Rickles

Don Rickles
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: May 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
Died: April 6, 2017

Don Rickles was an American actor, author, and stand-up comedian. Nicknamed The Merchant of Venom, Don Rickles specialized in insult comedy. Apart from appearing in several talk and variety shows as a guest, Rickles had his own sitcom titled The Don Rickles Show. After his death, many celebrities including Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, and Robert De Niro paid their tributes.

 23 Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce
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Famous As: Standup Comedian
Birthdate: October 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mineola, New York, United States
Died: August 3, 1966

Regarded as one of the best American stand-up comedians of all time, Lenny Bruce was renowned for his critical form of comedy. His conviction for obscenity played a major role in redefining freedom of speech in the US. He is also credited with inspiring several comedians of the counterculture era. His life and career have inspired several works of art.

 24 Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 12, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

One of America’s most popular and beloved comedians, Bill Cosby’s reputation was totally shattered when he was accused of sexual assault, sexual battery and rape by multiple women in the 2010s. Subsequently, he was found guilty of sexual assault in two cases and was sentenced in September 2018 to a total of three to ten years in a state prison.

 25 Dan Levy

Dan Levy
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Best known as David Rose from Schitt's Creek, Dan Levy, the son of actor Eugene Levy, is an Emmy-winning Canadian actor, who has also been a writer, producer, and director. He came out as gay at 18 but only made it known to the media in a 2020 interview.

 26 Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 27 Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong
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Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: July 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

From being a licensed physician, Korean-American actor Ken Jeong went on to do stand-up comedy and eventually ventured into acting. He got his breakthrough role with film Knocked Up but he garnered widespread fame with The Hangover film franchise and the acclaimed sitcom Community. His other notable films include Pineapple Express, Crazy Rich Asian and a recent Netflix stand-up special.

 28 Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedians
Birthdate: August 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

 29 Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: September 12, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Six-time Emmy-winning stand-up comedian Louis C.K. started with writing for shows such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien. His debut comedy album, Live in Houston, and his autobiographical series, Louie, were hits. He faced a temporary lull in his career in 2017 for his admittance to incidents of sexual misconduct.

 30 Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: February 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 31 Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: June 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whitley, Reading, England

Ricky Gervais is one of the best known comedians in the world. He attained fame after starring in the British television series The Office. Later, he ventured into a successful stand-up comedy career. He has performed at many shows and has also acted in several films. However, his dark comedy has often been called insensitive and offensive by several critics.

 32 Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan
3
Famous As: Stand-up comedian
Birthdate: July 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chesterton, Indiana, USA

 33 Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: September 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brantford, Canada
Died: May 28, 1998

Phil Hartman was a Canadian-American actor and comedian. He is credited with helping Paul Reubens develop his famous character, Pee-wee Herman, as part of his contribution to the popular comedy group The Groundlings. After he was murdered in 1998, Hartman was honored with several awards. In 2015, Rolling Stone named him one of the greatest Saturday Night Live cast members.

 34 Russell Brand

Russell Brand
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: June 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grays, Essex, England, United Kingdom

British comedian and actor, Russell Brand, has had a successful career working in several stand-up comic shows, television projects and movies. He is also known to be a social activist and a political commentator. However, he has generated controversies multiple times for his divergent views, offensive behaviour and outspokenness. He has also been in the news for drug use and promiscuity.

 35 Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 11, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

A Guinness record holder for the most-watched leading man on TV, three-time Golden Globe-winner and two-time SAG Award-winner Hugh Laurie has also dabbled in blues music and written a novel. From starting his career with sketch comedy, to winning the OBE and CBE, the actor/comedian has come a long way.

 36 Norm MacDonald

Norm MacDonald
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Famous As: Canadian stand-up comedian
Birthdate: October 17, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Norm Macdonald began by writing for Roseanne. He then soared to fame as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and became famous for his deadpan style of comedy. His other ventures include the podcast Norm Macdonald Live and the shows The Norm Show and Norm Macdonald Has a Show.

 37 Samuel Burl Kinison

Samuel Burl  Kinison
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yakima, Washington, United States
Died: April 10, 1992

 38 Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider
4
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: October 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

A multifaceted personality, Rob Schneider is an actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director. Beginning his career with the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, he proceeded to act in films, first appearing in supporting roles and then graduating to starring roles. He is an outspoken critic of childhood vaccinations. His daughter, Elle King, is a popular musician.

 39 Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: October 5, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 9, 2008
A well-known comedian and actor, Bernie Mac was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time list in 2017. In recognition of his contribution to arts, Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared November 14 as Bernie Mac Day in 2016. Bernie's alma mater Chicago Vocational High School renamed its CVS Auditorium as Bernie Mac Auditorium.

 40 Redd Foxx

Redd Foxx
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: October 11, 1991

 41 Mitch Hedberg

Mitch Hedberg
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: February 24, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Died: March 29, 2005
Iconic stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg is remembered for his one-liners and deadpan delivery. He gained attention with Comikaze, appeared on major comedy shows, and created the film Los Enchiladas! He released several comedy albums, one of which, Do You Believe in Gosh?, was released after his death.

 42 Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valdosta, Georgia, U.S
Died: February 26, 1994

Stand-up comedian Bill Hicks was known for his controversial themes, which included religion and politics. He was ranked fourth on Channel 4's 2010 list of the "100 Greatest Stand-Up Comics.” He had also experimented with music before his untimely death due to pancreatic cancer at age 32.

 43 Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers
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Famous As: Actress, Comedian, Writer
Birthdate: June 8, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: September 4, 2014

Famous for her controversial comedic persona, Joan Rivers was a television host and comedian. She broke stereotypes by hosting a late-night television talk show titled The Late Show with Joan Rivers, becoming the first woman to do so. Also an author, Rivers wrote 12 best-selling books. In 2017, she was posthumously inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame

 44 Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson
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Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: October 23, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Corning, Iowa, United States
Died: January 23, 2005

Six-time Emmy Award-winner Johnny Carson was known for hosting NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. After serving in World War II, Carson started hosting radio shows and then graduated to TV. He also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is said to have inspired David Letterman.

 45 Patrice O'Neal

Patrice O'Neal
3
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: December 7, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: November 29, 2011

 46 Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin
3
Famous As: Comedienne & Actress
Birthdate: September 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Lily Tomlin is an American comedian, actress, singer, and writer. Tomlin has earned several award nominations for her performance in films and TV series, such as Nashville and Grace and Frankie. An openly lesbian actress, Lily Tomlin serves as an inspiration to the LGBTQ community.

 47 Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

An important member of the popular Wayans family, Damon Wayans is a stand-up comedian and actor. Over the years, Damon Wayans has been a prominent and influential member of popular sketch comedy series, such as In Living Color and Saturday Night Live.

 48 Drew Carey

Drew Carey
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 23, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Comedian Drew Carey is best known for Whose Line is it Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show. He has also hosted The Price Is Right. The former U.S. Marine has also been a professional wrestler. He supports libraries, is an occasional sports photographer, and has written an autobiography.

 49 Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: November 29, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Willowdale, Toronto, Canada

Howie Mandel is a Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter, entrepreneur, and television personality. He is known for hosting popular TV shows, such as Deal or No Deal. In 2008, Comedy Central named him on its 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all-time list. Mandel serves as an inspiration to those suffering from ADHD and OCD as he himself suffers from these conditions.

 50 Anthony Jeselnik

Anthony Jeselnik
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 22, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.