Johnny Knoxville Biography

(Stunt Performer & Actor Best Known as a Co-creator of the MTV Reality Stunt Show 'Jackass')

Birthday: March 11, 1971 (Pisces)

Born In: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

The daredevil who made his way into his audiences’ hearts through his reckless antics and comedic actions, Johnny Knoxville is an actor who redefined reality television entertainment with the show ‘Jackass’. Born as Philip John Clapp, the energetic entertainer was destined for the spotlight. A crazy sense of humour runs in his family and his father used to play a lot of practical jokes on him which eventually influenced him to join the entertainment industry. He was a popular student in high school due to his odd sense of humour which endeared him to his fellow students. In spite of being a bright student he was not academically inclined and had no interest in going to college even though he had won a scholarship to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He moved to California to become an actor. After struggling to find work, he ended up doing commercials and wrote article ideas to magazines. It was during the filming of one such idea that the reality series ‘Jackass’ was born. The success of the series ensured that the stuntman cum comedian got noticed and was soon invited to perform in other shows. He took his career further by appearing in a number of feature films, most notably, the Jackass franchise.

Quick Facts

Nick Name: Lance the man

Also Known As: Philip John Clapp

Age: 52 Years, 52 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Melanie Lynn Clapp, Naomi Nelson

father: Phillip John Clapp

mother: Lemoyne Clapp

children: Arlo Clapp, Madison Clapp, Rocko Akira Clapp

Born Country: United States

Actors American Men

Height: 6'1" (185 cm), 6'1" Males

U.S. State: Tennessee

Ancestry: German American

Notable Alumni: South-Doyle High School

City: Knoxville, Tennessee

Founder/Co-Founder: Jackass

More Facts

education: South-Doyle High School

Childhood & Early Life

Johnny was born on March 11, 1971, to Lemoyne and Philip Clapp. His father, a car salesman used to play practical jokes on his family which impacted little Johnny.

He went to South Young High School and graduated in 1989.
He was a good student and had earned a scholarship to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. However, he dropped out from the acting school after only two weeks.
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He struggled a lot in his early career. Good acting jobs were hard to come by and he appeared in commercials and as an extra. He also started writing article ideas to magazines in order to earn some extra money.
Once while thinking up ideas for articles he came up with the concept of testing self-defense devices on himself. This idea was well liked by Jeff Tremaine of the skateboarding publication ‘Big Brother’ who advised Johnny to videotape this idea for stories.
A video footage of Johnny being given electric shocks, doused with pepper spray and finally being shot while wearing a bullet-proof jacket was made.

Tremaine showed this video to his director friend Spike Jonze who decided to create a series based on this. Jonze, along with Tremaine and Johnny would serve as the executive producers for this show.

The trio signed a deal with MTV and ‘Jackass’ was born. The reality show which featured people performing dangerous stunts and pranks ran on the channel from 2000 till 2002.
After the conclusion of the ‘Jackass’ series, Tremaine directed a film, ‘Jackass: The Movie’ (2002) as a symbol of farewell to the show. Johnny co-produced as well as starred in the movie which went on to become a huge commercial success.
He played the role of Luke Duke in the 2005 comedy ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ which revolved around the adventures of three cousins and their uncle. The film was a commercial hit in spite of getting negative reviews from critics.
He portrayed Topper Burks in the biographical film ‘Lords of Dogtown’ (2005) based on the story of the Z-Boys, a popular group of skateboarders.

A sequel to ‘Jackass: The Movie’ titled ‘Jackass: Number Two’ was made in 2006, starring the regular cast of MTV’s ‘Jackass’. This movie too was a big commercial hit like its predecessor.

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A DVD ‘Jackass 2.5’ was released in 2007. It contained never seen before stunts, deleted scenes and photographs from the cast.
The third film in the Jackass film series, ‘Jackass 3D’ was out in 2010. The film also marked the 10th anniversary of the franchise which had started in 2000.
‘Jackass 3.5’, a sequel to ‘Jackass 3D’ was created which contained unused footage from the filming of the movie. It also had interviews with the cast members and behind-the-camera footage. It was released in 2011.
Johnny is the co-owner of the production company Dickhouse Productions. The other co-owners are his friends from the Jackass franchise, Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze.
He has also performed stunts on several television shows other than ‘Jackass’.
Major Work
His claim to fame was the reality television show ‘Jackass’ which helped to launch his career. He performed various dangerous and risky tricks and pranks on the show which made him very popular among fans.
Personal Life & Legacy

Johnny married Melanie Lynn Cates in 1995, and had a daughter, Madison. The couple later separated and divorced.

In 2010, he got married to Naomi Nelson. The couple has two children. Johnny filed for divorce from Naomi in June 2022.

The profession Johnny is involved in is hazardous and he had often been knocked unconscious while performing stunts. He has also been injured during such performances.

He was once detained at an international airport for carrying an inert grenade—a prop for one of his shows.
He has a tattoo of his daughter’s name on his chest.

Johnny Knoxville Movies

1. Jackass Number Two (2006)

  (Comedy, Documentary, Action)

2. The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009)


3. Lords of Dogtown (2005)

  (Drama, Biography, Sport)

4. Jackass 3D (2010)

  (Documentary, Action, Comedy)

5. Jackass: The Movie (2002)

  (Comedy, Documentary, Action)

6. Bad Grandpa (2013)


7. Big Trouble (2002)

  (Crime, Comedy, Thriller)

8. Elvis & Nixon (2016)

  (History, Comedy)

9. The Last Stand (2013)

  (Crime, Action, Thriller)

10. Walking Tall (2004)

  (Action, Crime)

See the events in life of Johnny Knoxville in Chronological Order

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