Childhood & Early Life
Born on November 13, 1960, in South Side, Chicago, Illinois, USA, Neil Flynn grew up in a devout Roman Catholic household. A significant part of his family can trace their lineage back to Ireland. At an early age, he relocated to Waukegan, Illinois, where he spent most of his childhood.
He attended Waukegan East High School. In 1978, he partnered up with his friend and schoolmate Mike Shklair to win an Illinois Individual Events state championship for "Humorous Duet Acting”.
After graduating from Waukegan East, Flynn enrolled at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where he was part of their competitive speech team. He left Bradley in 1982 and came back to Chicago to pursue a career as an actor.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
In Chicago, Neil Flynn was affiliated with the famous Goodman and Steppenwolf theatres. His performance in a major role in the Absolute Theatre Company’s production of ‘The Ballad of the Sad Cafe’ was praised by the critics. He was nominated for the 1986 Joseph Jefferson Award for it.
As a performer, he made appearances at the Improv Olympic and the Second City Comedy Troupe. In 1998, he set up an improv team named Beer Shark Mice with David Koechner. As of 2015, they were still performing in Chicago.
In 1982, Flynn made his first TV appearance in a season one episode of the TV show ‘Brookside’. He had to wait five more years to land another TV role. In 1987, he played an LAPD officer in an episode of ‘CBS Summer Playhouse’.
Flynn shared screen space with the likes of Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, and Corbin Bernsen in his film debut, the 1989 sports comedy ‘Major League’.
His other film credits include another sports comedy ‘Rookie of the Year’ (1993), comedy adventure ‘Baby’s Day Out’ (1994), action drama ‘The Fence’ (1994), crime comedy ‘Home Alone 3’ (1997), comedy adventure ‘Hoot’ (2006), comedy film ‘Sasq-Watch!’ (2016), and comedy-drama ‘The Resurrection of Gavin Stone’ (2016).
He and the renowned actor Harrison Ford worked in two films together: ‘The Fugitive’ (1993) and ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ (2008). In ‘Magnolia, he portrayed Stanley Berry. He also played Lindsay Lohan’s father in the 2004 teen comedy film ‘Mean Girls’.
Flynn made guest appearances in TV shows like ‘Doogie Howser, M.D.’, ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Early Edition’, ‘That ’70s Show’, ‘Family Law’, ‘Newsreaders’, and ‘Undateable’. In NBC’s (later ABC) ‘Scrubs’ (2001-09), Flynn portrayed the Janitor, the relentless tormentor of the series protagonist, Dr. John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff).
Flynn had initially wanted to play Dr. Perry Cox in ‘Scrubs,’ but John C. McGinley was eventually cast in that role. Flynn’s character was supposed to appear only in the pilot episode but was made a regular.
Flynn has lent his voice to various characters in ‘Buzz Lightyear of Star Command’ between 2000 and 2001; Julius Caesar, Moses, and other characters in ‘Clone High’ between 2002 and 2003; and Chuck McCabe in ‘Vixen’ between 2015 and 2016 and in ‘Vixen: The Movie’ in 2017.
Flynn’s latest sitcom ‘Abby’s’ premiered on NBC on March 28, 2019. The show also stars Natalie Morales in the titular role.
Neil Flynn was cast as the stoic and straightforward Michael "Mike" Heck Jr. in ABC’s sitcom ‘The Middle’ sometime during the 2008-09 development cycle. The show premiered on September 30, 2009. Patricia Heaton, who previously portrayed Debra Barone in the CBS sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ (1996-2005), played Heck’s wife Frances "Frankie" Heck. They have three children together.
‘The Middle’ dealt with the daily trials and tribulations of a lower-middle-class family from the United States. The show aired for nine seasons between 2009 and 2018 and received multiple awards.
Family & Personal Life
There are speculations about Neil Flynn’s sexuality. According to some sources, he is gay. However, he has neither confirmed nor denied such rumours.
Following the death his father, Ian, after a long battle with cancer, Flynn has become actively involved with Macmillan Cancer Support, a British charity. In 2013, he took part in a 62-mile run which was organised by the charity to raise fund for cancer research.