Who is Richard Karn?
Richard Karn Wilson is an actor and TV host who is most famous for starring in the American sitcom ‘Home Improvement’. After earning a degree in drama from the University of Washington, Karn moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. Despite landing a few commercials, he was not selected for any major roles. He played minor roles in plays, but switched to other jobs to get by. In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles in hope of getting more opportunities. This worked in his favor as he was soon invited to audition for ‘Home Improvement’ and was cast in a lead role when the show was picked up by ABC. The role of Al Borland ended up becoming his breakthrough, and he played it in all eight seasons. The next big moment came in his career when he was chosen as the host of ‘Family Feud’, an American game-show. He hosted this show for four years, and it made him a popular face. Since then, Karn has been seen in a wide array of roles in films and TV shows. His most recent projects include the 2018 film ‘Amanda and the Fox’ as well as the web series ‘PEN15’ (2019).
Richard Karn studied drama at the University of Washington and graduated in 1979. Before graduating, he decided to gain some experience as an actor by attending the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. After graduating, he moved to New York City and was immediately offered a role in a commercial. Thus began his career on screen. He decided to drop his surname ‘Wilson’ in favor of his middle-name ‘Karn’ as there was another actor called Richard Wilson at that point. Unfortunately, he was stuck with sporadic commercials and other minor roles until 1990. On his wife’s insistence, the couple moved to Los Angeles and he started auditioning for roles. Meanwhile, he earned a living by catering and managing an apartment complex.
Karn’s luck turned in L.A. when he auditioned for an upcoming television show called ‘Home Improvement’. Though the role he eventually portrayed was played by another actor in the pilot, Karn got it when the other actor decided to opt out of the show. In 1991, Karn debuted as Al Borland, a series regular, when the show was picked up by ABC. It ran for eight seasons, with over 200 episodes, and proved to be a tremendous launch pad for Karn’s acting career. Since his first appearance on ‘Home Improvement’, he branched out to films and was seen in ‘Picture Perfect’ (1995) and ‘Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy’ (1997). He also guest starred in an episode of the TV show ‘Boy Meets World’ as Victor. He then moved to hosting and was seen as the presenter and narrator of many programs, including ‘WOW! The Most Amazing Acts on Earth’ (1996), ‘Chariots of the Gods? The Mysteries Continue’ (1996), and ‘Foot Soldier’ (1998).
In the 2000s, he was seen in several movies, including ‘The Pooch and the Pauper’ (2000), ‘MVP: Most Vertical Primate’ (2001), ‘Sex and the Teenage Mind’ (2002), ‘Reality School’ (2002), ‘Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch’ (2002), ‘Air Buddies’ (2006), ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ (2006), and ‘Snow Buddies’ (2008). Meanwhile, he became an established TV host over the years and replaced Louie Anderson as the presenter of the game show ‘Family Feud’ in 2002. He continued to host it for four years and was replaced by John O’Hurley in 2006. He also appeared in guest roles on the sitcoms ‘That ‘70s Show’, ‘Recess’, and ‘Dirt’. His next big gig was as the co-host of ‘Bingo America’, a game-show, in 2008 and continued hosting until 2009.
Since then, Karn has played several guest and supporting roles in movies and TV series. In the 2011 movie ‘Poolboy: Drowning out the Fury’, he essayed the role of Bill Witherspoon and then played Perry Merrow in the 2013 release ‘Gordon Family Tree’. His other films from this decade include ‘A Daughter’s Nightmare’ (2014), ‘Horse Dancer’ (2017), and ‘F the Prom’ (2017). As far as his TV roles of this decade are concerned, he appeared in an episode of ‘True Jackson, VP’ in 2010 and later was seen in two episodes of ‘Last Man Standing’ in 2013. In 2017, he appeared as Judge Jon Oplinger in two episodes of the soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’. More recently, he was seen in the movie ‘Amanda and the Fox’ (2018) as Judge Weartherbee and he appeared as Fred Peters in two episodes of the web series ‘PEN15’ in 2019. His next release is going to be the Richard Goteri-directed drama film ‘Eastern Market’. It is scheduled to be released in 2019.
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Family & Personal Life
Richard Karn Wilson was born on February 17, 1956 in Seattle, Washington to Louise and Gene Wilson. His father was a World War II veteran. Karn is an alumnus of Roosevelt High School, and he later studied at the University of Washington. He is currently married to Tudi Roche, and they have been together since 1985. The couple has a son: Cooper Andrew Wilson. Karn loves playing golf in his spare time and hosts the Richard Karn Celebrity Golf Classic tournament annually.
Richard Karn did not quit his day job as an apartment manager until the end of the first season of ‘Home Improvement’ as he was unsure about his acting career taking off.