Born In: Michigan, United States
Dax Randall Shepard is an American film and television actor, writer, director, and podcast host. He is best known for featuring in films like Without a Paddle, Idiocracy, and Employee of the Month; in TV series like Punk'd, Parenthood, and The Ranch; and for co-hosting the podcast Armchair Expert. Dax developed interest in comedy during his childhood and wanted to pursue a career in stand up comedy. He enrolled at The Groundlings improv troupe and took classes for about five years before getting into the Sunday Company of The Groundlings. His first break came when he garnered a spot in the hidden camera–practical joke reality television series Punk'd. Moving on, he featured in many films and TV shows before gaining prominence playing Crosby Braverman in the family comedy-drama television series Parenthood. Besides acting, Dax has also contributed as producer of the TV series Bless This Mess and Spin the Wheel, and as writer and director of the films Brother's Justice, Hit and Run, and CHiPS. On the personal front, Dax is married to noted American actress, singer, producer, entrepreneur and businesswoman Kristen Anne Bell with whom he has two daughters.
Also Known As: Dax Randall Shepard
Spouse/Ex-: Kristen Bell (m. 2013)
father: Dave Robert Shepard Sr.
mother: Laura LaBo
siblings: Carly Hatter, David Shepard
children: Delta Bell Shepard, Lincoln Bell Shepard
Born Country: United States
Notable Alumni: West Los Angeles College, Santa Monica College
U.S. State: Michigan
education: University Of California, Los Angeles, Santa Monica College, West Los Angeles College
Dax Randall Shepard was born on January 2, 1975, in Highland Township, Oakland County, Michigan, US, in the family of David Robert "Dave" Shepard, Sr., and Laura LaBo, His father, a car salesman, and mother, who worked at General Motors (GM), divorced when Dax was 3 years old. His elder brother David Shepard Jr. presently resides in Oregon.
Dax’s mother, who developed a sizeable business by the time Dax was attending high school, married three more times. One of his stepfathers served as an engineer on the Corvette. Dax’s mother eventually became owner of four shops that managed publicity events for magazine journalists. During his teens, from 14 to 18, Dax worked for her on the road that would see him going from racetrack to racetrack. He has a younger half-sister called Carly Hatter. He cast her in the films CHiPs and Hit and Run.
Dax attended Walled Lake Central High School and graduated from there in 1993. Thereafter he enrolled at the improvisational and sketch comedy troupe and school called The Groundlings, located in Los Angeles, California, and attended classes there for about five years. Meanwhile, he studied at Santa Monica College and then at West Los Angeles College and later transferred to UCLA. He graduated magna cum laude from the latter with a B.A. in Anthropology while continuing his classes at The Groundlings.
Following his studies at The Groundlings, Dax became part of the Sunday Company of The Groundlings. His group there included other showbiz personalities like Tate Taylor, Melissa McCarthy, Nat Faxon and Fortune Feimster.
After unsuccessfully auditioning for ten years, Dax finally got his big break in 2003, when he became part of the American hidden camera–practical joke reality TV series Punk'd that was co-created, executive produced (2003–2012) and hosted (2003–2007) by Ashton Kutcher. According to Dax, he bonded well with Kutcher while doing the pilot and the latter arranged to get him an agent. Dax featured as one of the accomplices in the pranks of the show in 56 of its episodes till 2012. He and Kutcher also featured in the blockbuster hit 2003 American family comedy film Cheaper by the Dozen starring Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt.
Between 2004 and 2008, he contributed voice roles in a few episodes of the Fox aired animated sitcom series King of the Hill. Over the years, he played voice roles in many other animated television shows including Robot Chicken (2005–2016), The Goode Family (2009), Good Vibes (2011) and SuperMansion (2017). He is also part of voice cast of the upcoming American-Canadian computer-animated adventure comedy film PAW Patrol: The Movie that is scheduled to release in the US on August 20, 2021.
He starred with Seth Green and Matthew Lillard in the August 20, 2004, released American comedy film Without a Paddle that became a huge commercial success. This was followed by other starring roles in films like Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Employee of the Month (2006) and Idiocracy (2006). His first main character role was that of John Lyshitski in the 2006 American comedy film Let's Go to Prison.
He played one of the main roles in the critically and commercially successful 2008 American romantic comedy film Baby Mama and remained part of ensemble supporting cast of the John Travolta and Robin Williams starrer commercially successful 2009 American ensemble comedy film Old Dogs.
He wrote, co-directed and starred in the satirical mockumentary film called Brother's Justice that released in 2010 and went on to win Austin Film Festival Audience Award that year. Same year, he also starred in the romantic comedy film When in Rome with his future wife Kristen Bell, as also in the independent film called The Freebie that had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Meanwhile, he earned one of the main roles of Crosby Braverman in the American family comedy-drama television series Parenthood in March 2009. The series that premiered on NBC on March 6, 2010, and ran for six seasons till January 29, 2015, bolstered his career on television. Dax also directed one episode of the series. He later reprised the role in two episodes of the NBC single-camera sitcom series About a Boy in 2014–2015 and directed one of its episodes.
He wrote, co-directed and starred in the action comedy film Hit and Run that released on August 22, 2012, and became a box-office success. The film also starred Kristen Bell, Tom Arnold, Kristin Chenoweth and Bradley Cooper among others.
He made a cameo appearance as an overconfident club boy in the Kristen Bell (by that time his wife) starrer 2014 neo-noir mystery film Veronica Mars. The couple then starred in a commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S in September that year, which garnered more than 20 million YouTube views and became so popular that the two appeared in another commercial for the holiday season. In 2014, Dax also starred with Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, in the legal drama film The Judge; and with Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Jane Fonda among others in the comedy-drama film This Is Where I Leave You.
He wrote, directed and starred in the buddy cop action comedy film CHiPs that was released by Warner Bros. on March 24, 2017, and was based on the 1977–1983 TV series bearing same name.
His next notable television role was that of Luke Matthews in the Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson starrer streaming television comedy/drama series The Ranch. He essayed the role from 2018 to 2020. Meanwhile he starred and contributed as producer in the single-camera sitcom Bless This Mess that aired on ABC from April 16, 2019 to May 5, 2020.
He joined hands with Indian-American actor and producer Monica Padman and co-created the weekly podcast called Armchair Expert. The two co-host the podcast that premiered on February 14, 2018. It features them interviewing celebrities, academics and journalists on "the messiness of being human”. The first guest of the show was Kristen Bell. Other guests who featured on the show include Ashton Kutcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. The first Experts on Expert episode of the show was aired on June 7, 2018. Some of the experts who featured on the show are psychologist Wendy Mogel, speechwriter Jon Favreau and comedian and author David Sedaris. Episodes of the show were also filmed in front of live audiences. In 2018, Armchair Expert emerged as the most popular new podcast on iTunes and appeared on best comedy podcasts list of Vulture. It also got reviewed by The Irish Times.
It was declared on December 3, 2019, that Dax along with Rob Corddry, and Jethro Bovingdon will host the revival of the motoring television series Top Gear America, which will debut on Motor Trend in Spring 2020. The series however had a delayed start on January 29, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dax got introduced to Kristen Bell at the birthday party of a common friend and started dating her in late 2007. In January 2010, the two announced their engagement, but resolved to marry after the state of California passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional following which Kristen used her Twitter platform to ask Dax to marry her, to which Dax agreed. They married on October 17 that year at the Beverly Hills County Clerk's Office. The couple is blessed with two daughters, born in March 2013 and December 2014. Max and Kristen advocates for the California Senate Bill 606 which passed in 2013.
Dax remained candid about his drug abuse problem and mentioned that he struggled and achieved sobriety in September 2005. He later revealed during a September 25, 2020, aired special episode of Armchair Expert that he had relapsed while he was recovering from an accident, but later thrived in obtaining sobriety.
Dax, a car enthusiast, can rebuild an engine. He races off-road with his 1967 Lincoln Continental and races motorcycles at Buttonwillow Raceway. He devotes time for the youth organisation in Los Angeles called Hollenbeck Youth Center that provides opportunity to at-risk inner-city youth. He served as official Master of Ceremonies of the organisation for its Miracle on 1st Street Toy Giveaway Program and for the Inner-City Games. He also practices the Transcendental Meditation program.