One of "Saturday Night Live's" greatest success stories, Will Ferrell followed in the footsteps of Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler and others by turning his frenetic, highly improvisatory comedy style into box-office gold, emerging as one of the new millennium's more reliable draws.
The Irvine native got his start in the early ‘90s as a member of the L.A. improv troupe the Groundlings, where he honed his comedy skills alongside Chris Kattan and Cheri Oteri, before joining the 1995-96 cast of NBC's venerable "Saturday Night Live." There, Ferrell made his mark with original characters and impersonations of such diverse notables as Al Gore, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro and "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek, earning an Emmy nomination in the process. However, it was his show-stealing impression of president George W. Bush that is his best-known role.
One of Ferrell's original "SNL" creations — as one half of the nightclubbing Butabi Brothers alongside Kattan -– led to his first feature film starring role, in 1998's "A Night at the Roxbury." The actor's other early films also included such "SNL" spinoffs as "Superstar" and "The Ladies Man," as well as the first two "Austin Powers" films.
A string of successful movie comedies followed his "SNL" fame, including "Zoolander" (2001), "Old School" (2003), "Elf" (2003) and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (2005).
Ferrell began producing his comedies starting with 2006's "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," and in 2007 launched the highly successful comedy website FunnyorDie.com, home to exclusive big name content as well as user-submitted shorts.
Around the same time, Ferrell began to branch out stylistically, appearing in Woody Allen's "Melinda and Melinda" in 2004 and the film adaptation of the Broadway musical "The Producers" in 2005.
While continuing to be known primarily for broad, high-concept comedies such as "Blades of Glory" (2007), "Semi-Pro," (2008) and "Step Brothers" (2008), Ferrell has also shown a serious side in indie dramedies such as "Stranger Than Fiction" (2006) and "Everything Must Go" (2010).
In 2009, Ferrell made his Broadway debut in the Tony-nominated "You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush."
After being heard on numerous animated TV shows, Ferrell loaned his voice to animated features such as "Curious George," "Megamind" and "The LEGO Movie."
Recent films have included a 2013 "Anchorman" sequel and the 2015 comedy "Get Hard," co-starring Kevin Hart.
Over the years, Ferrell has also continued to pop up on the small screen, including occasional appearances on "Saturday Night Live" and other late night shows, as well as guest roles on prime time comedies including "Undeclared," "30 Rock" and "The Office." Ferrell's TV productions include HBO's "Eastbound and Down" and IFC's "The Spoils of Babylon."