Childhood & Early Life
Edward Parker "Ed" Helms was born on 24 January 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia, as the youngest child of John A. Helms, who was a navy veteran, insurance executive and lawyer, and Pamela Ann, a school administrator.
He has two siblings, an older sister named Susan Carol Helms and a brother named John Paxton Helms.
At the age of 14, he underwent a major surgery to treat a severe case of heart murmur.
While pursuing high school at the Westminster Schools, he took up theatrical arts and played the guitar. Post his graduation in 1992, he enrolled at the Oberlin College in Ohio. Though he initially chose geology, he later graduated with a B.A degree in film theory and technology in 1996.
While at college, he got the opportunity to attend the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for a semester as part of a student exchange program. During this time he also learnt improv and singing from A capella group ‘The Obertones.’
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After his graduation, Ed Helms shifted to New York City, where he began his career. He started as a writer and performed with the New York sketch comedy bands, simultaneously studying improv with the troupe ‘Upright Citizens Brigade’.
He later worked as a film editor trainee at a post production facility named ‘Crew Cuts’ in New York City. Simultaneously he used to record voice-over tracks that led him to getting work as a voice-over artist and later into acting.
He was performing standup comedy in New York when he got the opportunity to audition for the satirical news program ‘The Daily Hunt’. He got the part and was associated with the program as a correspondent between 2002 and 2006.
During this period, he contributed as host and ‘field reporter’ in various segments of the show such as ‘Mark Your Calendar’, ‘Digital Watch’ and ‘Ad Nauseam’. Though he left the show in 2006, he made occasional appearances later as well.
He made his feature film debut in 2004 with the improvisational comedy ‘Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story’. The film went on to win several awards.
He was cast in short, relatively insignificant roles in movies like ‘Evan Almighty’ (2007), ‘Meet Dave’ (2008) and ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ (2009).
In 2006, he became part of the cast of the television series ‘The Office.’ His role as Andy Bernard, a nostalgic Cornell graduate who is passionate about A capella music garnered a lot of attention. The Emmy award winning show ran successfully for nine seasons, until 2013.
In 2009, he costarred in the black comedy ‘The Hangover’ portraying the role of a dentist. The film earned much critical and commercial acclaim. He was later part of the sequels ‘The Hangover Part II’ (2011) and ‘The Hangover Part III’ (2013).
In 2011, he made his debut as executive producer with the comedy film ‘Cedar Rapids’, in which he starred as well. This led to him getting major roles in major films like ‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’ (2011), ‘We're the Millers’ (2013) and ‘Vacation’ (2015).
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As a voice over artist, he has lent his voice to characters in animated films including ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ (2009) and ‘The Lorax’ (2012).
Ed Helms has made appearances in several television series like ‘Arrested Development’, ‘Cheap Seats’, Tanner on Tanner’ and ‘Wilfred’.
Apart from acting, he is part of a bluegrass band named ‘The Lonesome Trio’ along with friends Ian Riggs and Jacob Tilove from his college. The band plays several times a year.
In 2013, he made a cameo appearance in the music video of the Mumford & Sons' song ‘Hopeless Wanderer’. In 2015, he once again did a cameo in the band’s song video ‘The Wolf’. In 2016, he did a cameo appearance in the music video of the song ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ by rock band Maroon 5.
Ed Helms founded his own production company ‘Pacific Electric Picture Company’ in 2013. The same year, he co-wrote, acted and produced a web series by Yahoo! named ‘Tiny Commando’.
His upcoming film projects include ‘What’s the point’ ((2017), ‘The Clapper’ (2017) and ‘Chappaquiddick’ (2017). He is also lending his voice in the upcoming animated movie ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’. Ed Helms is also working as part of an upcoming television series project titled ‘The One Percent’.
Awards & Achievements
Ed Helms has been nominated for several awards for his performances in feature films and television. He won the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for the television series ‘The Office.’
In 2011, he was awarded the Teen Choice Award in the “Choice Movie: Hissy Fit” category for the movie ‘The Hangover Part II’.
He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts by the Knox College, where he delivered the 2013 commencement address.