Comedians

There is nothing like a genuinely amusing scene in a film or television program to lighten up the mood of the audience and have them rolling with laughter in their seats! That is exactly what comedians do. Comedians are professional performers who make people laugh by relating jokes, acting out funny scenes, or by behaving in a silly manner. Comedy is not an easy genre to work in—comedians need to be genuinely creative and possess a great sense of humour in order to be able to grab the audience’s attention and amuse them. Comedians need to reinvent themselves frequently and improvise their technique of performance so that the audience never gets bored of them. Successful comedy is as much about body language, facial expressions and timings and it is about the verbal content of the jokes. Comedians perform in a variety of comedic genres that range from wordplay and satire to blue or black comedy. The field of comedy is forever evolving with newer genres being developed with time. Many world famous comedians started out as street performers before moving on to the stage, radio, television or films. Most comedians however are unable to achieve the iconic statuses often accorded to leading television or film actors though they do successfully achieve devoted cult followings. What follows is a collection of the biographies, timelines, trivia and other information about the professional and personal lives of some of the world’s most famous 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
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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 Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newmarket

Canadian American actor, Jim Carrey worked as a janitor and a stand-up comedian at club and on stage before entering films and television. His big Hollywood break came with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective which catapulted him to comedy star status. His later films like The Truman Show and Bruce Almighty proved his versatility and won him critical and commercial success.

 3 Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito
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Birthdate: November 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Neptune Township, New Jersey, United States

An award-winning actor, Danny DeVito overcame a rare genetic disorder called Fairbank's disease to become an influential figure in the American film industry. Along with Michael Shamberg, he founded a production company called Jersey Films, which went on to produce films like Pulp Fiction. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.

 4 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.

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 5 Ricky Gervais

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

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.

 6 Ken Jeong

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

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.

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 7 Steve Carell

Steve Carell
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Emerson Hospital, Concord, Massachusetts, United States

Recognized as "America's Funniest Man" by Life magazine, Steve Carell is an actor, comedian, and writer. He has starred in several hit comedy films and has received numerous awards, including a Golden Globe. Also popular as a comedic TV actor, he has ventured into production and direction as well. Besides comedy, he also plays dramatic roles.

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 8 Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin
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Famous As: Actor, Producer, Comedian
Birthdate: April 3, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amityville, New York, United States

A member of the prominent Baldwin family, Alec Baldwin is an actor, comedian, and producer. Beginning his career in the 1980s, he has appeared in many TV shows, theater productions, and films. He also started hosting podcasts in the 2000s. A generous philanthropist, he has donated millions of dollars to various causes.

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 9 Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Actor, comedian, and filmmaker, Adam Sandler, is best known for his comedic roles in Hollywood movies. Despite being a popular actor he also has the ignominious distinction of having appeared in numerous widely panned movies and is the holder of three Golden Raspberry Awards! He has released a few comedy albums as well.

 10 Dean Martin

Dean Martin
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Singer
Birthdate: June 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Steubenville, Ohio
Died: December 25, 1995

An actor, singer, and comedian, Dean Martin earned the nickname The King of Cool for his effortless self-assurance and charisma. One of the most popular entertainers of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, Dean performed in nightclubs and concert stages and appeared in film and TV productions. Such is his popularity that his songs continue to be featured across popular culture.

 11 Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 24, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England, United Kingdom

One half of the famous comedy duo Fry and Laurie, Stephen Fry is an English actor and comedian. Considered a living legend by many, Stephen Fry has made major contributions to the field of entertainment and literature. An openly gay man, Fry serves as an inspiration to the LGBT community. He is also known for his charitable activities.

 12 John Cleese

John Cleese
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Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: October 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England,
Before stepping into sketch comedy with Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese wrote scripts for Broadway and West End shows. A Cambridge law graduate, John has had a species of lemurs named after him, owing to his love for the animal. His dark humor is part of his signature style.

 13 Bill Murray

Bill Murray
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Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: September 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wilmette, Illinois, U.S.

Famous American actor, Bill Murray, began as a comedic performer and gained fame with the variety show, Saturday Night Live, and movies, Caddyshack and Ghostbusters. Later, his seriocomic roles in movies like Rushmore, Lost in Translation and St. Vincent earned him rave reviews. The actor has also lent his voice to many animation movies like Garfield and The Jungle Book.

 14 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States

Actor, singer-songwriter, and comedian, Jamie Foxx became internationally famous for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray, a role that earned him an Academy Award. He is also known for hosting his own television sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show. Besides acting, he is also a Grammy Award-winning musician who has released four albums.

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 15 Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 16, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Irvine, California, United States

Will Ferrell rose to fame in the mid-1990s when he acted in a comedy show Saturday Night Live. He then went on to act in a series of comedy films such as Talladega Nights, Step Brothers and The Other Guys.  He’s considered part of the ‘Frat Pack’, essentially meaning Hollywood comic actors who emerged in the late 1990s and 2000s.

 16 Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: June 26, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois

Nick Offerman, best known for his award-winning performance as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, is also a professional wood craftsman. He has voiced characters in films such as Hotel Transylvania 2 and Ice Age: Collision Course, hosted a Netflix documentary and a reality series, and written three semi-autobiographical books.

 17 Jack Black

Jack Black
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

American Actor, Jack Black is known for his comedic performances. His notable films include High Fidelity, Shallow Hal, School of Rock and Bernie. His voice acting in animated film series Kung Fu Panda and video game Brütal Legend have also earned him accolades. Additionally, he has co-founded Grammy Award winning rock band, Tenacious D and launched his You Tube channel.

 18 Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 6, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sea Cliff, New York, United States

Kate McKinnon is a popular American actress and comedian known for her work in sketch comedy series, such as Saturday Night Live and The Big Gay Sketch Show. She is also famous for co-creating a web-series called Notary Publix and an audio series titled Heads Will Roll. An openly gay actress, McKinnon serves as an inspiration to the LGBT community.

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 19 Betty White

betty white
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States

Betty White, American actress and comedian, is considered as the pioneer of television and has had the longest television career of any entertainer, straddling more than 80 years. She’s known for her award-winning performances in shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland

 20 Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg
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Birthdate: November 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan

Accomplished American comedian, actress, singer and Broadway star, Whoopi Goldberg is amongst the select few who have won all the four awards—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Moreover, she is also a political activist, author and talk show host. Her notable work include films Ghost, Sister Act and The Color Purple; Broadway show Thoroughly Modern Millie and talk show The View.

 21 Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen
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Famous As: Stand-up Comedian, Actor, Producer, Director
Birthdate: April 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

Canadian actor Seth Rogen established himself as a bankable and popular comic actor when he starred in Hollywood films Knocked Up in 2007 and Funny People in 2009. His other notable films are Steve Jobs, The Interview, Like Father, Long Shot and An American Pickle. He is active in raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease and is an open marijuana user.

 22 Jerry Stiller

Jerry Stiller
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: June 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States

Veteran actor Jerry Stiller had an extensive six-decade-long career in the entertainment industry. He began performing comedy with his wife, Anne Meara, in the 1960s and soon started acting in films and TV shows as well. His son, Ben Stiller, is also an actor, and the two had appeared in many films together.

 23 Rick Moranis

Rick Moranis
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter & Musician
Birthdate: April 18, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Rick Moranis is one of the most popular Canadian artists to make it big in the American film industry. Best known for playing father characters in children's films like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Rick proved to be a great father off-screen as he took a long break from his career to take care of his children, after the death of his wife.

 24 Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

An actress and comedian, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won more Screen Actors Guild Awards and more Emmy Awards than any other artist in American television history. In 2016, she was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list. In 2018, she was presented with America's highest comedy honor - The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 25 Andy Samberg

Andy Samberg
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 18, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States

The actor, comedian, writer and musician, Andy Samberg, is a member of the comedy music group The Lonely Island and has also acted in several films like Hot Rod, That's My Boy and Palm Springs. Plus, he has starred in television sitcoms like the Brooklyn Nine-Nine and has been part of Saturday Night Live as a featured player.

 26 Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis
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Famous As: Comedian, Actor, Singer, Film Director
Birthdate: March 16, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newark
Died: August 20, 2017

One half of the popular American comedy duo Martin & Lewis, Jerry Lewis was nicknamed The King of Comedy for his comedic skills. Also a filmmaker, Jerry Lewis helped develop video assist and went on to popularize the system, which is widely used today. Also a humanitarian, Lewis worked closely with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising awareness about muscular dystrophy.

 27 John Candy

John Candy
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 31, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newmarket, Ontario
Died: March 4, 1994

John Candy was an important Canadian comedian and actor. In 2006, he was honored by Canada Post as he was featured on a postage stamp. Also a sports enthusiast, Candy was the co-owner of Toronto Argonauts, a football team that participates in the Canadian Football League. Under his ownership, the team won the 1991 Grey Cup.

 28 Keegan-Michael Key

Keegan-Michael Key
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 22, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Southfield, Michigan, USA

 29 Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 17, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Welch, West Virginia

Comedian, businessman and entertainer Steve Harvey has been active in the entertainment world since 1985. Born to parents who were avid movie lovers, he developed an early love for performing. He began his entertainment career as a stand-up comedian and soon started performing in TV shows and films. Also an entrepreneur, he founded Steve Harvey Global (SHG).

 30 Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 30, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

One of the most popular comedic actors of his generation, Ben Stiller is part of the famous group The Frat Pack – he has been described as the leader of the group, which involves names like Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson and Steve Carell. A popular and successful actor, his movies have grossed over $2.6 billion in the USA and Canada.

 31 Andy Kaufman

Andy Kaufman
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Famous As: Entertainer
Birthdate: January 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City
Died: May 16, 1984

Andy Kaufman was an American entertainer and wrestler. Considered an anti-comedian for his ability and willingness to provoke confused and negative reactions from audiences, Kaufman is revered for his counterintuitive approach to comedy. Apart from influencing comedians like Jim Carrey, Kaufman also inspired movies like Toni Erdmann. There are rumours that his death is believed to be a hoax and part of his prank.

 32 Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lower Manhattan, New York, United States

Chevy Chase is often credited with the overall success of Saturday Night Live as he played a major role as the show's key cast member in the show's first season, thereby setting the pace for the show's eventual success. Apart from being an actor, he is also a popular comedian, producer, and screenwriter.

 33 Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 8, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

Nicholas Cannon is a comedian, rapper and television host. The Nick Cannon Show, America's Got Talent and The Masked Singer are some of his popular TV shows. He has also acted in films like Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing and Roll Bounce. Cannon has been accused of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks. He has called White people ‘savages’.

 34 Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder
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Birthdate: June 11, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milwaukee
Died: August 29, 2016

Perhaps the most loved Willy Wonka of them all, Gene Wilder was one of the main reasons for the popularity of the iconic character, which he played in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Apart from acting and writing, Gene was also instrumental in promoting cancer awareness through his organization Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center.

 35 John Belushi

John Belushi
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Humboldt Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 5, 1982

One of the original cast members of the popular TV show Saturday Night Live, John Belushi was known for his great comic skills. Unfortunately, he struggled in his personal life with drug addiction and eventually died of combined drug intoxication at the age of 33. He posthumously received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 36 Pat Morita

Noriyuki Morita
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: June 28, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Isleton, California, United States
Died: November 24, 2005

American actor, voice actor, and comedian, Pat Morita first gained recognition with drama series Happy Days, though it was his inspiring performance as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid film series that really skyrocketed his fame. The Asian-American actor was also known for his TV movie Amos and animated movie Mulan and Mulan II where he voiced the Chinese Emperor.

 37 Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 38 Tina Fey

Tina Fey
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States
Emmy-winning comedian Tina Fey became the first female head writer of SNL. She wrote the series 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the film Mean Girls. Her impersonation of Sarah Palin on SNL won her the AP Entertainer of the Year award. She has also written a bestselling memoir.

 39 Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Antonio

Carol Burnett inspired a lot of women and set off a chain reaction by hosting her groundbreaking show The Carol Burnett Show. Regarded as one of USA's most cherished entertainers, Carol continues to enhance the lives of millions, for which she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has also won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 40 Jason Sudeikis

Jason Sudeikis
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 18, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Saturday Night Live (SNL) has been a great platform for many exceptional comedians and actors, including Jason Sudeikis. Born with anosmia, Jason Sudeikis does not have the ability to detect smells. Nevertheless, one can say that he is blessed with the ability to smell out good scripts as many of his films have been major box office hits.

 41 Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr
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Famous As: Comedian, Actor, TV Producer
Birthdate: November 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Roseanne Barr was initially a stand-up comedian in Colorado clubs. She shot to fame with her Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning sitcom Roseanne and The Roseanne Show. Roseanne was canceled in 2018, due to a racist tweet posted by her. She was earlier criticized for singing the national anthem disrespectfully.

 42 Ed O’Neill

Ed O’Neill
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, United States
Footballer-turned-actor Ed O'Neill is best known for his Golden Globe-nominated role of Al Bundy in Married... with Children and his Emmy-nominated portrayal of Jay Pritchett in Modern Family. He was seen in the Wayne's World films and did voice-work in Finding Dory. He has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

 43 Zach Galifianakis

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

 44 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.

 45 Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: June 28, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Mel Brooks is the director of iconic comedy films and spoofs like The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety and Spaceballs. He is also an actor and a writer and has written for many films. He has received many awards and accolades and won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film. The Producers, in 1969.

 46 Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen
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Birthdate: February 11, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Regina
Died: November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen was a Canadian actor who played more than 220 characters, appearing in over 150 television programs and 100 films in a career that spanned 60 years. In the latter part of his career, he gained recognition as a comedian and went on to become one of the most popular Canadian comedians of his generation.

 47 Terry Crews

Terry Crews
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Famous As: Actor, American Football Player
Birthdate: July 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Flint

Terrence Crews is an actor, comedian, activist and a body-builder. He’s also a former professional football player. He has starred in sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Plus, he has acted in many movies including the Expendables series. In 2017, Crews talked about a sexual assault on him by a Hollywood executive. He fiercely advocates for women's rights.

 48 Peter Falk

Peter Falk
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 16, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: June 23, 2011
Best known for his Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning performance in Columbo, Peter Falk was one of TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. He also held art exhibitions and loved chess. He suffered from Alzheimer's disease before death. His plight inspired the passage of the Peter Falk's Law.

 49 Kevin James

Kevin James
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Birthdate: April 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mineola

Kevin James’s performance as Doug in The King of Queens earned him an Emmy Award nomination. He was active in wrestling and football in school and is also known for delivering the 2007 Pepsi 400 NASCAR command. He has also voiced characters in films such as the Hotel Transylvania series.

 50 Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield
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Famous As: Actor, 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.
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