A master of eliciting raucous laughter with a minimum of facial expression, Nick Offerman rose to fame as the mustachioed, government-hating bureaucrat Ron Swanson on the comedy "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 2009-15). The jaw-clenched character with the sarcastic deadpan on the critically acclaimed series was Offerman's ticket to fame, which had eluded him for many years that he had spent guest-starring on numerous hit television sitcoms including "The King of Queens" (CBS, 1998-2007) and "George Lopez" (ABC, 2002-07). Offerman often collaborated with real-life wife Megan Mullally, who had famously made her impact playing the martini-swilling, sharp-tongued Karen Walker on "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006). True to his earlier career as an actor on Chicago's thriving theater scene, Offerman continued to make unconventional choices after "Parks and Recreation" ended, preferring to work on stage, write books and appear in acclaimed indie films like "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (2015) and "The Little Hours" (2017) rather than merely headline another sitcom. And throughout his acting career, he maintained a serious second career in woodworking and boat building, owning and operating Offerman Woodshop in Los Angeles. Like his famous spouse, Offerman's sardonic sense of humor earned him a scene-stealing reputation within comedy circles and a long career playing offbeat characters that explored humor in the most unexpected of ways.
Nick Offerman was born on June 26, 1970 in the small town of Joliet, IL. As a child, acting was the farthest thing on his mind; he grew up working on his grandparents' farm, where he first nurtured an interest in woodworking. He did not pursue acting until after college, graduating with a Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. Shortly after graduation, Offerman cofounded Chicago's Defiant Theater, an eclectic troupe dedicated to productions that featured innovative stagecraft, controversial topics, and skillful stage combat. He performed and worked as a fight choreographer for the troupe until 1997 when he relocated to New York City to hone his improv skills. One troupe that welcomed him with open arms was the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, co-founded by future "Parks and Recreation" co-star Amy Poehler. In the early 2000s, Offerman started landing minor television roles on numerous top-rated series such as "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) and "Will & Grace," the comedy series that launched the careers of Eric McCormack and Debra Messing. The series also starred Mullally, whom Offerman began dating after working together in the play "The Berlin Circle" (2000). The couple married in 2003.
Television provided a steady stream of work for the comedic actor, who was mostly cast in roles that called for guys who were physically imposing, yet had a good heart. He guest starred on several hit drama series like "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004) and "24" (Fox, 2001-2010), as well as sitcoms such as "The King of Queens" as a plumber and "George Lopez," where he played a factory worker who dated Lopez' onscreen mother Benny (Belita Moreno). Offerman also appeared in films like "Murder by Numbers" (2002) as a police officer, "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous" (2005) and "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2009), playing a bewildered soldier who is trained for psychic warfare. Offerman's breakout role arrived in the form of Ron Swanson, the cantankerous mid-level bureaucrat on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" which also starred Poehler as a high-spirited local government official who works with a group of often less-than-enthused city employees. Critics and fans alike raved about Offerman's portrayal of the stoic and humorless manager who sports a bushy moustache and leads a secret life as a jazz musician. His role on the series rewarded Offerman with a nomination at the 2010 TV Critics' Association Awards for Individual Achievement in Comedy.
In 2012, Offerman played uptight authority figures in two notable movies-the highly successful big-screen action/comedy reboot of "21 Jump Street" and "Casa de mi Padre," Will Ferrell's wacky film en Español. The following year, among many projects, he turned up the comedies "In a World." (2013) and "We're the Millers" (2013). Continuing to portray Ron on "Parks and Recreation," he also took on the title role of the animated show "Axe Cop" (Fox 2013), voicing the mustachioed police officer/superhero whose absurd exploits were dreamt up by a real-life five-year-old, the younger brother of the series' creator. In a more serious vein, Offerman co-starred as conflicted fathers in coming of age indie "The Kings of Summer" (2013) and Diablo Cody's religious-awakening comedy-drama "Paradise" (2013). As "Parks and Recreation" came to an end, Offerman's output increased even further, with appearances ranging from the hit comedy "21 Jump Street" (2012) and its 2014 sequel "22 Jump Street" to teen romantic comedy "Date and Switch" (2014), indie drama "Believe Me" (2014) and Robert Redford's "A Walk in the Woods" (2015). During this period, Offerman also starred in his first one-man show "Nick Offerman: American Ham" (2014), and published the memoirs Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living (2013), Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers (2015) and Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop (2016). He also toured frequently with Mulally in an ever-shifting comedy and music duo.
Continuing his busy work ethic, Offerman co-starred in the first season of the crime anthology series "Fargo" (FX 2015- ) and appeared in the teen comedy-drama "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (2015), Terence Malick's experimental drama "Knight of Cups" (2015), Al Pacino-starring music-business comedy "Danny Collins" (2015) and indie comedy "Welcome to Happiness" (2015) in the course of a single year. Voice roles in animated hits "Hotel Transylvania 2" (2015), "Ice Age: Collision Course" (2016) and "Sing" (2016) made good use of his instantly-recognizable voice. Supporting roles as Richard McDonald in Ray Kroc biopic "The Founder" (2016), as an evil nobleman in Jeff Baena's "The Little Hours" (2017) and in the Sam Elliott drama "The Hero" (2017) followed.
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Cast in a minor role in the crime drama "Murder by Numbers," starring Sandra Bullock
Cast in a recurring role as the younger lover of Belita Moreno's character on the ABC family comedy "George Lopez"
Acted opposite Bullock again in the comedy "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous"
Starred in Comedy Central's short-lived series "American Body Shop"
Acted opposite George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Kevin Spacey in the war-themed comedy "The Men Who Stare at Goats"
Nominated for the 2010 TV Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy ("Parks and Recreation")
Nominated for the 2011 TV Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy
Appeared in the comedy "Casa de mi Padre" opposite Will Ferrell, Gael García Bernal, and Diego Luna
Featured in "We're the Millers"