Rob McElhenney Biography

(Best Known for His Role on the Comedy Series 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia')

Birthday: April 14, 1977 (Aries)

Born In: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

American actor, producer, screenwriter, businessman, and podcaster Rob McElhenney is best known for his performance as Ronald "Mac" McDonald in the FX comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show that he co-created, along with Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. He began working on the sitcom after working as a waiter and acting in minor roles in movies for a few years. The show also featured Kaitlin Olson, who later became his wife. Rob is also known for his performance as Ian Grimm in the series Mythic Quest. He also played a cameo in the legendary HBO series Game of Thrones and has been seen in minor roles in series such as Law & Order, ER, Lost, and Fargo. He hosts The Always Sunny Podcast, too. Along with Ryan Reynolds, he now co-owns the Welsh soccer club Wrexham AFC. Rob is known for extracting humor out of dark characters and for undergoing unbelievable physical transformations for his roles.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Robert McElhenney III

Age: 46 Years, 46 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Kaitlin Olson (m. 2008)

father: Robert McElhenney

mother: Helena McElhenney

children: Axel Lee McElhenney, Leo Grey McElhenney

Born Country: United States

Actors American Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

U.S. State: Pennsylvania

More Facts

education: Temple University

Childhood & Early Life

Rob McElhenney was born Robert Dale McElhenney III, on April 14, 1977 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, to Irish-origin parents. He also has German, Scottish, and English roots.

Rob is also known by his nickname Mac. Olympic rower Marcus McElhenney is his cousin.

Rob’s parents divorced when his mother came out as a lesbian. Rob has two gay younger brothers, and they were all raised by his father. Rob also has a half-sister and a step-sister through his father’s second marriage.

Rob initially attended Philadelphia’s Saint Joseph's Preparatory School. He later joined Temple University and then lived on the Fordham University campus for a while, though he chose not to enroll.

Rob later moved to New York and Los Angeles, searching for a job. The first job he got was that of a waiter. During this time, he often won supporting roles in films that often did not make it to the final print. It is believed he had the waiting job even while he filmed the first season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005).

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Career in the Entertainment Industry

Rob McElhenney is mainly known for playing vain and immoral characters and can elicit humor from dark characters and situations. After living in New York and working in small acting projects for 8 years, he moved to Los Angeles.

One of his first film roles was in the 1997 Brad Pitt-starrer The Devil's Own. However, most of his roles back then were edited out in the final editions.

Back then, he also experimented with screenwriting, although his initial attempts failed. Rob was also looking for roles in show business simultaneously.

Rob then got minor roles in movies such as A Civil Action (1998), Wonder Boys (2000), Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001). He later played more important roles in films such as Latter Days (as Elder Harmon, 2003) and The Tollbooth (as Simon Stanton, 2004).

Soon, he and his friends Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day worked on a rudimentary pilot for a situation comedy show, showcasing the struggling actor's life in Los Angeles. The creators modified it a bit to make the show anti-Hollywood and set it in Rob’s hometown, Philadelphia. The show eventually premiered on FX in 2005 as It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

While Rob appeared on the show as Ronald "Mac" McDonald, he also worked on it as an executive producer and writer, and had even directed one of its episodes. He has also been part of shows such as Law & Order (as Joey Timon, 1997), ER (as Andy Fesh, 2004), Lost (as Aldo, 2007, 2020), and Fargo (as Officer Oscar Hunt, 2017). Rob has been a consulting producer of How to Be a Gentleman in 2011-2012 and has executive-produced the adult animated sitcom Unsupervised in 2012.

He appeared as Louis "Lou" Tookers in the romantic comedy series The Mindy Project (2014-2017). In 2019, he played a cameo of a soldier in the iconic HBO series Game of Thrones.

Rob McElhenney appeared as Ian Grimm in the Apple TV+ comedy series Mythic Quest (2020-present), which he also co-created with Day and Megan Ganz, executive-produced, wrote, and directed. In 2021, he began hosting his own podcast, The Always Sunny Podcast. The same year, he appeared in the music video of the track Follow You by the pop rock band Imagine Dragons, along with his wife, Kaitlin.

Career as a Businessman

In September 2020, Rob McElhenney became a co-owner of the Welsh soccer club Wrexham Association Football Club, along with Ryan Reynolds. Rob and Ryan apparently invested more than £2,000,000 into Wrexham.

Wrexham was created in 1864 and is the world’s third oldest professional football club. Rob and Ryan’s entrepreneurial journey was featured in the sports documentary series Welcome to Wrexham (2022-present). Rob was also one of the executive producers of the show.

Personal Life

It is believed, Rob McElhenney had first developed a crush on his present wife, actor Kaitlin Olson, back in 2002, when he had watched her in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. In 2005, he cast her as Dee Reynolds in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

In 2006, the two begin dating. After being in a relationship for almost 3 years, they married at a vineyard in Malibu, California, on September 27, 2008. Rob had apparently proposed to her at his co-star Danny DeVito's Malibu beach house. On her wedding day, Kaitlin wore a Les Habitudes gown.

On September 1, 2020, the couple had their first child, their son Axel Lee. On April 5, 2012, they became parents to another son, Leo Grey, who was born at their Los Angeles home.


While preparing for season 7 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rob put on 27 kg and grew his beard to add to the comic element of his character. Rob then lost 10 kg in a month as soon as he finished filming for that season and lost the rest of the weight within a year and in time to film the next season. For filming the show's 13th season, he became excessively athletic.

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