Stephen Root is an American actor, comedian and voice artist. Regarded as one of the most prolific veteran character actors in the contemporary entertainment scene, he is best known for playing Monroe Fuches in HBO’s ‘Barry’, a series that has earned multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominations till date. He has also garnered much appreciation for his performances in the films ‘Selma,’ ‘Office Space,’ ‘No Country for Old Men,’ and ‘Cedar Rapids.’ Born in Sarasota, Florida, Root received his initial acting training in the BFA program at University of Florida. After three years of touring with the National Shakespeare Company, he displayed his acting skills in several off-Broadway productions. He made his Broadway debut with ‘So Long on Lonely Street,’ and then went on to appear in numerous plays including the Tony award-winning play ‘All My Sons.’ Besides theatre, TV dramas and films, Root has also worked as a voice actor for several animated projects, the most notable one being ‘King of the Hill.’ Currently, the veteran artist resides in Los Angeles with his actress wife Romy Rosemont.
Childhood & Early Life
Stephen Root was born on November 17, 1951 in Sarasota, Florida, USA to Rolland Clair Root and Leona Estelle. His father was a site manager on civil engineering projects, due to which his family frequently relocated throughout USA.
Root attended Vero Beach High School and later received his AA from University of Florida. There, he also trained in the BFA program.
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Stephen Root initially starred in off-Broadway productions, such as ‘The Au Pair Man’ and ‘Journey's End.’ He soon made his Broadway debut with ‘So Long on Lonely Street.’ This was followed by his appearance in the Tony award-winning play ‘All My Sons,’ where he starred alongside Richard Kiley.
He made his movie debut with a small role in the 1988 Australian-American action comedy ‘Crocodile Dundee II’. Two years later, he joined the cast of the drama series ‘Jake and the Fatman’, ‘Night Court’ and ‘L.A. Law’.
From 1995 to 1999, the actor played Jimmy James in the sitcom ‘NewsRadio’. During this time, he also had a role in ‘Office Space’, a comedy that focuses on the everyday work life of employees in a software company in the mid-to-late-1990s, stressing on a handful of workers who are fed up with their jobs.
In 1997, Root began voicing the characters Bill Dauterive and Buck Strickland in the animated sitcom ‘King of the Hill.’ Two years later, he joined the cast of the CBS series ‘Ladies Man’.
In the 2000s, he appeared in several movies including ‘The Ladykillers’, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou’, ‘Jersey Girl’, ‘No Country for Old Men’ and ‘Leatherheads’. During this time, he also had voice roles in the TV series ‘Kim Possible: So the Drama’, ‘Kim Possible’, ‘Tripping the Rift’, ‘The X's’ and ‘American Dad’.
In 2010, Root was cast as Judge Mike Reardon in the crime drama ‘Justified’. That year, he also had a minor role in the mystery historical drama movie ‘The Conspirator’. A year later, he began voicing Master Junjie in ‘Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness’ and also various characters in the fantasy series ‘Adventure Time’.
Following a voice role in the series ‘Dragons: Riders of Berk’, Root made appearances in the dramas ‘Turn: Washington's Spies’, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘Idiotsitter’ and ‘The Man in the High Castle’.
In 2017, he starred as Jim Hudson in the horror movie ‘Get Out’. The following year, he contributed as a voice artist to the series ‘Dallas & Robo’.
In 2018, Stephen Root was cast as Monroe Fuches in ‘Barry,’ a dark comedy television series about a Midwestern hitman who comes to Los Angeles to take someone’s life, and ends up joining an acting class. The series garnered positive critical response and won several awards including two Primetime Emmy Awards, Writers Guild of America Awards and Critics' Choice Television Awards.
Family & Personal Life
Stephen Root married Laura Joan Hase in 1984. They had two children. They divorced in 1997. Root married actress Romy Rosemont on 14 December 2008.