10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ed O’Neill

Fans may know Ed O'Neill best from his roles in Modern Family and Married With Children, but the actor has had a long career. Find out more.

Ed O’Neill is an American actor and comedian that rose to fame through his role as Al Bundy in the popular Fox Network sitcom, Married With Children, which aired from 1987 to 1997. The second role that contributed to his fame was his role in the mockumentary family sitcom, Modern Family.

In his career of more than 40 years, he has had many interesting moments and several award nominations, including two Golden Globe nominations, as well as great achievements that are worthy to be mentioned for the fans that are genuinely interested. Check out the list below and find out more.

9 Origin

The Modern Family actor was born on April 12, 1946, in Youngstown, Ohio. His mother worked as a social worker and his father was a truck driver and a steelworker. O’Neill majored in history, as he was making history himself on a football scholarship with Ohio University.

He later transferred to Youngstown State University, where he held the position of defensive lineman. In 1969, he was chosen to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, unfortunately, this did not work out for him, as the team changed their mind.

8 First Job

As mentioned, in the beginning, he played football for both Ohio University and Youngstown State University. When his football career came to an end, he returned to school and studied acting.

In order to support himself, O’Neill worked as a substitute social studies teacher in a high school and he also was a waiter at O’Neal’s Balloon restaurant. Luckily, his acting career took off and he was able to move on from small, dead-end jobs.

O’Neill loves to argue and discuss different topics – he was even on his high school’s debate team.

As time went on, he also discovered another passion of his – Gracie Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, to which he dedicated so much time that in December 2007, he received a black belt. He trained for over 22 years under the mentoring of Rorion Gracie.

7 What If?

To become a successful actor in Holywood a person needs to have talent, persuasion, grit, and tons of luck. There are thousands of actors in Los Angeles who are trying their luck to become famous and rich, and, unfortunately, very few succeed.

If O’Neill’s plan failed and he couldn’t make it as an actor, his plan B was to become an undercover agent.

6 Life In University

Although the actor played football and trained to become a professional athlete, he always had an eye for acting.

When he was a student at the Youngstown State University, he was one of the first students to attend the school’s theater program. O’Neill is also a long-standing member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

5 Star Of The Star

It is an interesting fact that Ed O’Neill’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is placed right in front of a shoe store, which is convenient since the role that made him famous was a shoe salesman.

Those unfamiliar with this role may not know that he played Al Bundy in the TV show, Married With Children.

4 Little Interesting Facts

Ed O’Neill is very creative when it comes to his love of food and he even translated this creativity into a masterpiece by having his own sandwich at the Se-Port Deli in Setauket, located in New York.

It is unknown why he chose to name the sandwich, “The Boone.” Another small fact about O’Neill is that if he could have just one thing in the world, he would want a Super Bowl ring.

3 Love Of His Life

In 1986, O’Neill got married to actress Catherine Rusoff and they were together until 1989, when the couple decided to go their separate ways.

Four years later, in 1993, the couple gave their love another shot and this time it was for good, as they are still together after 26 consistent years.

2 Mishaps

Throughout his career, the actor has worked on many projects, including Finding Dory, where he lent his voice for the character of Hank. O’Neill was not aware that he was the main character until he saw how many lines he had. Another mishap was when he met Britney Spears and he had absolutely no idea who she was.

The third and last mishap was by the critics and tabloids, when they claimed that he made his film debut with the movie Deliverance, released in 1972. It is interesting that this gaffe happens so often, but the actor never actually appears in the movie.

1 Life After Modern Family

Sadly in life, everything has to come to an end, and when Modern Family finished, it was time for the actor to pick his next project. He quickly decided to start a new venture – podcasting as the narrator of The Undercovers. The content of the podcast covers true stories about America’s DEA agents. It remains to be seen what Ed O’Neill will do next, but fans can’t wait to see him on the screen again!

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