Will Ferrell Biography

Will Ferrell is a popular American actor, comedian, producer and writer. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: July 16, 1967

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Will Ferrell Saturday Night Live Cast

Age: 52 Years, 52 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Cancer

Also Known As: John William Ferrell

Born in: Irvine

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'3" (190 cm), 6'3" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Viveca Paulin

father: Roy Lee Ferrell

mother: Betty Kay Overman

siblings: Patrick Ferrell

children: Axel Paulin Ferrell, Magnus Paulin Ferrell, Mattias Paulin Ferrell

U.S. State: California

Founder/Co-Founder: Funny or Die

More Facts

education: University of Southern California, Turtle Rock Elementary School, Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, University High School

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John William Ferrell, popularly known as Will, is an American actor, comedian, producer and writer. He started performing comedy skits while in school. However, he did not want to join the show business because his father, who was a musician, never got his paychecks on time. After graduation, he tried out odd jobs; but ultimately moved to Los Angeles and joined the comedy group Groundlings on his mother’s advice. His breakthrough came when he was spotted by ‘Saturday Night Life‘ (SNL) producer Lorne Michaels. He successfully hosted the show for seven years. In a poll taken on 2014, Ferrell was voted as the Best Saturday Night Live cast member of all times. Although he appeared in number of films while doing the show his film career actually took off after he left SNL. From 2003 onwards, he began starring in many popular films that were both critically acclaimed and hit at the box office. At the same time, he started writing screenplays and opened a production company along with Adam Mackay and Gary Sanchez. He is also a good baseball player and a philanthropist. He has donated considerably to different charities involved with cancer survivors.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • John William Ferrell was born on July 16, 1967 in Irvine, California. His father, Roy Lee Ferrell Junior, was a keyboard player with The Righteous Brothers and his mother, Betty Kay nee Overman was a teacher. Will also has a younger brother named Patrick.
  • When Will was eight years old his parents divorced. However, both of them took care of the children and so Will did not have any hard feeling about it. Instead, he reveled at the thought that they would be able to celebrate Christmas twice.
  • Will started his education at Turtle Rock Elementary School in Irvine. After passing out from there he first joined Rancho San Joaquin Middle School and finally University High School. He was a member of the High School’s soccer team and mostly played the kicker.
  • Initially, he was an introvert; however, while in third grade, Will realized that he had a potential to make people laugh. Soon, he was exploring ways to be funny and making people laugh became a kind of entertainment in an otherwise monotonous life.
  • While in ninth grade, Will, along with one of his friends, began to perform comedy skits, which they themselves wrote, over the school’s intercom. He also performed such skits at school’s talent show and won the Best Personality superlatives.
  • After graduating from the High School, Will enrolled at the University of Southern California. In 1990, he graduated with a BA degree in Sports Broadcasting. He then earned an Internship at the NBC television World. Soon enough, he realized that he did not want to be a sports broadcaster and began to look for other jobs.
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  • After unsuccessfully trying his hand at some minor jobs, Will moved to Los Angeles. He tried to establish himself as a standup comedy artist, but failed. To hone his skills he enrolled at an advance comedy class. Here he learnt to improvise and also to impersonate successfully.
  • Next he auditioned for the Groundings, an improvisational and sketch comedy troupe, and got through. Here, he got the chance to hone his impersonation skill. Very soon, he began to receive small roles in different TV sitcoms like ‘Grace Under Fire’ and ‘Living Single’. In addition, he also took part in low-budget films like ‘A Bucket of Blood’
  • In 1994, he won a spot with the top professional group of The Groundlings. By that time ‘Saturday Night Live’ on NBC had started declining in popularity and producer Lorne Michaels was looking for new cast. Ferrell caught his attention.
  • Will Ferrell joined ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 1995. He left the show in 2002 after a successful seven years stint. During this period, he impersonated many well-known people including President George Bush and became quite well known for such acts. He returned to SNL as guest host three more times to host special shows
  • While working on ‘Saturday Night Live’, Ferrell appeared in many films. Some of those are ‘Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery’ (1997), ‘A Night at the Roxbury’ (1998), Superstar (1999), Dick (1999), ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me’ (1999), ‘The Ladies Man’ (2000), ‘Drowning Mona’ (2000), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), and ‘Zoolander’ (2001).
  • After leaving SNL he began to concentrate on his film career. The first starring role to come his way was ‘Old School’ (2003). The film was about three men, who wanted to relive their college days by organizing a fraternity. In this film, Ferrell appeared as Frank “the Tank” Ricard and stole the show.
  • In the same year, he starred in ‘Elf’. In this film, Ferrell appeared as Buddy Hobbs. This film was also critically appreciated and grossed $220,443,451 worldwide.
  • The next year in 2004, Ferrell starred in ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’, ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie’. Besides, he also appeared in a crime action comedy film called ‘Starsky & Hutch’ and a documentary called ‘Oh, What a Lovely Tea Party’.
  • In 2005, Will Ferrell starred in three films: ‘Bewitched’, ‘Kicking and Screaming’ and ‘The Producers’. In addition, he had cameo appearance in ‘Melinda and Melinda’, ‘Winter Passing’, ‘Wedding Crashes’ and ‘The Wendell Baker Story’.
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  • The year 2006 was another important year for Ferrell. In this year he had three films released and each of them did well at the box office. These were ‘Stranger than Fiction’ ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’ and ‘Curious George’. Sometime now Ferrell along with Adam Mackay established Gary Sanchez Productions. The company was named after Gary Sanchez, the financier.
  • In 2007 April, Ferrell launched ‘Funny or Die’, a popular comedy video website. He also starred in ‘Landlord’, a short comedy film released on this site. Since then, the video has been viewed by more than 80 million viewers.
  • ’The Landlord’ was followed by another video called ‘Good Cop Baby Cop’. In addition, he also starred in ‘Blades of Glory’. This 2007 film was well received both by the critics and at the box office.
  • The year 2008 was an eventful year in the life of Will Ferrell. Apart from starring in ‘Semi Pro’, he, along with Adam Mackay, wrote the screenplay of ‘The Step Brothers’. He was also one of the stars of this film. In September, Ferrell released another video entitled ‘Will Ferrell Answers Internet Questions’.
  • In 2009, ‘Land of the Lost’ is only film that stars Will Ferrell. He also appeared un-credited in ‘The Goods: Live Hard and Sell Hard’. In addition, he took part in ‘Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush’ which is a comedic Broadway play. Ferrell enacted the role of George Bush in this play. It was broadcast live on HBO.
  • Ferrell also started coproducing ’Eastbound & Down’, an American sports comedy television series, from February 2009. It was broadcast on HBO. It ended in November 17, 2013.
  • Next in 2010, Ferrell appeared in ‘The Other Guys’ and ‘Everything Must Go’. He also lent his voice to Megamind, a 2010 American 3D computer-animated superhero comedy film.
  • From 2011 onwards he has acted in number of films, such as ‘Casa de Mi Padre’ (2011), ‘’Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie’ (2012), ‘The Campaign’ (2012), ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ (2013), ‘Get Hard’ (2015), 'A Deadly Adoption' (2015), 'Daddy's Home' (2015) etc.
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Major Works
  • ’Saturday Night Live’ is the first major work to come in Ferrell’s way. He hosted the show for seven long years and then returned to make guest appearance on three different occasions.
  • ’Old School’, released in 2003, is another major work in his formative period. The film grossed $75,585,093 in the North America and $11,470,256 in international markets; total worldwide gross was $87,055,349. Ferrell received an MTV Movie Awards nomination for Best Comedic Performance.
  • ’Stranger Than Fiction’ was another of his comedy dramas, which was well received both by the critics and at the box office. In this Ferrell was able to show his acting talent to the fullest.
  • ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’ is another important work in his life. It was his highest grossing live-action opening at $47 million.
Philanthropic Works
  • Will Ferrell is the owner of ‘Super Sexy Hot Tan Lotion’. It is available on the Amazon at a very low price and the entire proceeds from the sale go to Cancer for College’s College Willpower Scholarship Fund. The grant provides scholarships to cancer survivors who are unable to afford college fees because of high medical bills.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 2007, Will Ferrell won four awards. They are - ESPY Awards, Best Sports Movie (for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby); Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards for Funniest Mo-fo; Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards for Most Viral Video; Teen Choice Awards in the Movie Actor - Comedy category for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Blades of Glory
  • In 2008, Ferrell received ESPY Awards, Best Sports Movie for Semi-Pro.
  • In 2011, Will Ferrell Received Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
  • In 2015, Ferrell was declared The Comedian of the Year by British Gentlemen’s Quarterly. It is a men’s fashion and cultural magazine based in New York, but is published from different countries across the world.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • In 2002, Will Ferrell married his long time girlfriend Viveca Paulin, whom he met in 1995. The couple has three sons: Magnus Paulin Ferrell, Mattias Paulin Ferrell and Axel Paulin Ferrell. The family resides in Orange County, California; but also has a home in New York.
Net Worth
  • Will Farrell has an estimated net worth of $85 million.

1. Fight for Your Right Revisited (2011)

  (Comedy, Short, Music)

2. The Landlord (2007)

  (Short, Comedy)

3. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

  (Fantasy, Romance, Drama, Comedy)

4. Booksmart (2019)


5. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)


6. Old School (2003)


7. Backseat (2018)

  (Drama, Biography)

8. Wedding Crashers (2005)

  (Romance, Comedy)


Primetime Emmy Awards
2019 Outstanding Variety Special (Live) Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' (2019)
MTV Movie & TV Awards
2007 Best Kiss Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

See the events in life of Will Ferrell in Chronological Order

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Article Title
- Will Ferrell Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- July 26, 2017
Will Ferrell

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