Taran Hourie Killam is an American actor as well as a comedian and a writer. He rose to popularity through his appearances in shows such as 'The Amanda Show' and 'Saturday Night Live'. Born in Culver City, California, he began his career as a comedian in the comedy show 'All That'. His fame increased after his appearance in 'The Amanda Show’ following which he played an important role in the TV series 'Undressed'. The latter series revolved around the sexual and romantic lives of young people. He gained a lot of prominence after his appearance in 'Saturday Night Live'. Killam's works on the big screen include the Oscar winning drama film '12 Years a Slave'. The film was a huge success critically as well as commercially. It won several awards including three Oscars. Killam also wrote, directed, co-produced, as well as played a main role in film 'Killing Gunther'. A highly talented and dedicated professional, he recently won an award at the 'San Diego International Film Festival' for 'Special Achievement'.
Childhood & Early Life
Taran Killam was born on 1st April 1982 in Culver City, California, in the US. He did his schooling from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He later attended the University of California, Los Angeles for one year.
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Taran Killam made his film debut in 1994 with a small role in 'Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult'. Directed by Peter Segal, the film was a commercial success. He made his television debut the same year in the comedy show 'All That'. It aired from 1994 to 2002, and was an average success. Killam also worked as a writer for the series.
His next appearance on the big screen was in a minor role in 'Big Fat Liar', where he played a bully. The film was a commercial success, grossing more than three times its budget.
He then played a minor role in 'Just Married', a film which proved to be a commercial success. He appeared in several other films over the next few years, such as 'Stuck in the Suburbs' (2004), 'Dr. Miracles' (2006) and 'My Best Friend's Girl' (2008).
During the 2000s he also gained popularity for his roles in shows, such as 'The Amanda Show', 'Undressed', 'MADtv', 'Wild 'n Out' and 'Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz', in which he was also a writer. In 2010, he started appearing in the popular comedy show 'Saturday Night Live'. It is one of the longest running and most popular shows on American TV.
Killam voiced one of the main characters in the animated series 'The Awesomes'. It aired from 2013 to 2015. He also voiced the main character in the animated series 'Nature Cat', which has been airing since 2015.
He also continued his work on the big screen, appearing in films, such as 'Anderson's Cross' (2010),' 'Grown Ups 2' (2013) and 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (2014). He also appeared in the Oscar winning film '12 Years a Slave'. The film, which starred him in one of the minor roles, was appreciated by the audience and critics. It was also a commercial success.
His recent works on the big screen include 'Brother Nature' (2016) and 'All Nighter' (2017). He also wrote, directed, co-produced, and played a main role in the film 'Killing Gunther'. It released in October 2017.
The 2013 drama film ‘12 Years a Slave’ is one of the most significant works in Taran Killam’s acting career. Directed by Steve McQueen, the film starred Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Bill Pohlad. Killam played a minor supporting role. The film earned critical acclaim and was also a commercial success, grossing more than ten times its budget. It won several awards including three Oscars. The story revolved around a man in New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Killam voiced one of the main characters in the animated comedy series ‘The Awesomes’. The series aired on the Hulu network from 2013 to 2015, covering a total of three seasons. The story revolved around a group of superheroes who have to prove themselves after they replace members of a legendary superhero team which had to disband. Along with Killam, the series starred several members of the popular comedy series ‘Saturday Night Live’.
He wrote, directed, and co-produced the film ‘Killing Gunther’, where he also played a main role. The film starred well-know actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role, along with actors Hannah Simone, Cobie Smulders and Killam himself. The film tells the story of several assassins who unite to kill the guy who is known to be the world’s best hitman.
Awards & Achievements
Taran Killam earned a nomination for the ‘Gold Derby Award’ in 2012 for his performance in ‘Saturday Night Live’.
He earned another nomination for the Gold Derby Award in 2014 for his work in ’12 Years A Slave’. His work in the film also earned him a nomination for the ‘Film Critics Society Award’. The same year, he was nominated for the ‘Online Film and Television Award’ as well, for his work in ‘Saturday Night Live’.
He won the ‘Visionary Filmmaker Award’ at the San Diego International Film Festival in 2017.
Taran Killam and Canadian actress Cobie Smulders dated for several years before getting engaged in 2009. They married on September 8, 2012. The couple has two children.
Killam is an avid reader of comic books. He is also a fan of Star Wars as well as the James Bond films.