Family & Companions
Will Ferrell used his prodigious skills in sketch comedy to become one of the most successful comedians of his generation. A native of Irvine, California, he attended the University of Southern California with an eye towards going into sports broadcasting. After college, however, he joined the Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings. He made his screen debut on the family sitcom "On Our Own" (ABC, 1994-95), and added small parts on the hit comedies "Grace Under Fire" (ABC, 1993-98) and "Living Single" (Fox, 1993-98). Ferrell's big break came in 1995 when he was asked, along with fellow Groundlings member Chris Kattan and Cheri Oteri, to join the cast of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975-). He initially established himself with characters developed in Los Angeles, including the club-going Butabi Brothers with Kattan, and the overly-enthusiastic Spartan cheerleaders with Oteri. He soon became one of the shows breakout stars, using his impressions of everyone from Alex Trebek to President George W. Bush to tremendous comedic effect. While still on "SNL," he began adding film credits with a cameo in Mike Myers' "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" (1998) and the "SNL" sketch based "A Night at the Roxbury" (1998). His film profile took a noticeable leap in 2003 when he starred in both Jon Favreau's Christmas-themed film, "Elf" (2003) and the broad comedy "Old School" (2003), with Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Starring in the 1970s parody "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (2004), directed by his longtime writing partner Adam McKay, added another memorable character to his growing portfolio. Wanting to diversify beyond the standard comedy conventions, he added roles in Woody Allen's "Melinda and Melinda" (2004), "Stranger Than Fiction" (2005), and the musical "The Producers" (2005). Soon after, he began one of his most fruitful on-screen pairings when he starred with John C. Reilly in "Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby" (2006). The duo would reteam for "Step Brothers" (2008). Ferrell and McKay began the online comedy outlet Funny or Die in 2007, featuring a series of short films, including the pair's viral video "The Landlord" (2007). He formed yet another film partnership when he worked with Mark Wahlberg on "The Other Guys" (2010). They would costar with each other again in "Daddy's Home" (2015) and "Daddy's Home Two" (2017). While he became recognized as a film star, he didn't shun television. He joined both "The Office" (NBC, 2005-2013) and "Eastbound & Down" (HBO, 2009-13) for multi-episode appearances. Along with McKay, he produced the Emmy-nominated sketch comedy series "Drunk History" (Comedy Central, 2011-), and the mini-series "The Spoils of Babylon" (IFC, 2014). He was also a much sought after guest on television talk shows, where he would frequently appear in character. Working with fellow "SNL" alum Molly Shannon, he starred in the TV film "The Royal Wedding Live With Cord and Tish!" (HBO, 2018), and its follow-up "The 2019 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish" (HBO, 2019). Ferrell re-teamed with Reilly for the Sherlock Holmes spoof "Holmes & Watson" (2018).
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Began studying improv with The Groundlings; after six months, asked to join the troupe; first worked with fellow "Saturday Night Live" cast members Chris Kattan, Ana Gasteyer and Cheri Oteri
Moved to Los Angeles
Joined cast of NBC's "Saturday Night Live"; received 2001 Emmy nomination
Appeared in the Showtime TV-movie "A Bucket of Blood"
Feature film debut, "Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery"
Co-wrote (with Chris Kattan and others) and co-starred in the comedy "A Night at the Roxbury"; based on characters created for "SNL"
Portrayed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward in the satire "Dick"
Appeared in the "SNL" spin-off movie "The Ladies Man"
Acted in the broad comedy "Zoolander," starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson
Had supporting role in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"
Left "Saturday Night Live" to pursue movie career
Starred with Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Juliette Lewis in "Old School"
Cast as the lead Buddy in the Christmas comedy feature "Elf"
Starred as Ron Burgundy in the comedy "Anchorman"; also co-wrote with Adam McKay who directed
Cast in the film version of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical "The Producers"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor
Cast in Woody Allen's "Melinda and Melinda," a comedic storyline, one of two (one comic and one tragic) that revolved around the central character of Melinda (Radha Mitchell)
Co-starred opposite Nicole Kidman in the big-screen adaptation of "Bewitched"
Produced, co-wrote, and starred as stock car racing sensation Ricky Bobby in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"
Starred in "Stranger than Fiction" as an IRS Agent whose world is turned upside-down when he begins to hear his life being chronicled by a narrator only he can hear; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical
Co-starred with Jon Heder as rival world-class men's singles skaters in the comedy "Blades of Glory"
Cast opposite Woody Harrelson in the 1970s-era sports comedy "Semi-Pro"
Co-starred with John C. Reilly as unemployed adults living with their parents in the comedy "Step Brothers"
Made Broadway debut playing the former U.S. President in the one-man show "You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush"; also aired on HBO; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special
Co-wrote and co-produced (with Adam McKay) the HBO series "East Bound and Down," starring Danny McBride
Starred in the big-budget feature adaptation of the 1970s series "Land of the Lost"
Co-starred with Mark Wahlberg in "The Other Guys," about two mismatched New York City detectives
Played the film's main protagonist in the animated comedy "Megamind"
Cast in a four-episode arc on NBC's "The Office" as an inept branch manager from the home office
Starred in the Spanish-language American comedy "Case de Mi Padre"
Went up against Zach Galifianakis in the political comedy "The Campaign"
Reprised the role of Ron Burgundy for "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"
Appeared with Kevin Hart in the comedy "Get Hard"
Reprised the role of Jacobim Mugatu in "Zoolander 2"
Partnered with John C. Reilly for a third time in "Holmes & Watson"