Brad Garrett (born Bradley Harold Gerstenfeld April 14, 1960) is an American actor, voice actor and stand-up comedian. He is best known for playing Robert Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond and Eddie Stark on 'Til Death.
Garrett was born Brad H. Gerstenfeld in Woodland Hills, California, the son of Barbara (née Colton), a homemaker, and Al Gerstenfeld, a hearing aid salesman. He has two older brothers, Jeff and Paul. He attended George Ellery Hale Middle School in Woodland Hills and graduated from El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills. He attended UCLA for less than two months before dropping out to pursue his comedy career.
In one of his earliest public appearances, Garrett can be seen on the cover of the Electric Light Orchestra album Discovery released in 1979. In this Garrett is seen dressed in middle-eastern traditional clothing akin to that of the fictional character Aladdin.
Garrett started out at various improv clubs in Los Angeles, including The Improv in Hollywood and The Ice House in Pasadena. In 1984, he became the first $100,000 grand champion winner in the comedy category of the TV show Star Search. This led to his first appearance, at age 23, on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, making him one of the youngest comedians ever to perform on the show. His appearance with Carson brought Garrett a lot of national attention, and soon he was appearing as an opening act for such headliners as Diana Ross and Liza Minnelli. He also opened in Las Vegas for Frank Sinatra, David Copperfield, Smokey Robinson, Sammy Davis, Jr., the Beach Boys, the Righteous Brothers and Julio Iglesias.
After achieving a strong measure of success with stand-up comedy, Garrett decided to change gears and try his luck with performing on TV. He was the voice of wrestling legend Hulk Hogan for the cartoon series Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling, He was featured on Family Feud during Ray Combs's tenure in a "Funny Men vs. Funny Women Week" during November sweeps. He also appeared for a week on the game show Super Password in 1987. He then appeared in the short-lived summer comedy First Impressions (CBS, 1988), in which he was a divorced father who makes a living doing impressions, in a one-time spot as a bank loan officer on Roseanne (ABC), and The Pursuit of Happiness (NBC, 1995–96), in which he was the hero's gay best friend. Though prior to these roles, Garrett had also had a minor part on Transformers, voicing the Decepticon base Trypticon in season three and as an ill-fated thug in Suicide Kings. He soon won the role of Ray Romano's brother Robert Barone on the long-running sophisticated but family-oriented comedy hit Everybody Loves Raymond. Garrett has also made an appearance on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and played a hitman who tried to kill Will Smith.
Garrett's distinctive deep voice has landed him prolific work as a voice actor, such as on the animated series the Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series, 2 Stupid Dogs, The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper, Project Geeker, Steven Spielberg Presents: Toonsylvania, A Bug's Life, Asterix and the Vikings, Superman the Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited As Lobo , Finding Nemo, Disney's One Saturday Morning and as Auguste Gusteau in Pixar's Ratatouille. His role on Everybody Loves Raymond won him five Emmy nominations, and the 2002, 2003 and 2005 Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.
In 1990, Garrett appeared as a semi-regular panelist on the revival of Match Game. On the May 2, 1996 episode of the sitcom Seinfeld, called "The Bottle Deposit", Garrett played a deranged auto mechanic who steals Jerry Seinfeld's car.
In 2003, he was also nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Gleason. With his Raymond castmates, he won the 2003 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. He won the fifth season championship of Celebrity Poker Showdown, and played in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 World Series of Poker. Garrett was hoping to do a spinoff with his character Robert Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond when the show ended its nine-year run on TV in 2005, but he withdrew in October 2005 due to inaction from CBS that led to a number of the writers from "Raymond" leaving and taking other jobs.
In 2005, Garrett appeared on Broadway playing Murray the Cop in the revival of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. He understudied Lane in the role of Oscar Madison, and substituted for him in January, 2006, during Mr. Lane's illness. In 2006, Fox network announced they would pick up a new sitcom called 'Til Death starring Brad Garrett in the lead role. The plot revolves around a long married couple whose new next door neighbors are a pair of feisty newlyweds. Joely Fisher plays Garrett's wife in the series. He also appeared onstage on American Idol Season 6 during judging on week 11, to which Ryan Seacrest said, "And the next person off American Idol is—Brad, you're out."
In the fall of 2008, Garrett starred and executive produced an online reality show called Dating Brad Garrett.
In 2009, Garrett entered the main event at the World Series of Poker, losing on the second day of the event.
Recently, Garrett has starred in commercials for 7-Up, where he portrays a more happy, cheerful version of himself because of the soda.
In June 2010, he opened Brad Garrett's Comedy Club in the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Garrett is Jewish. In 1998, he proposed to his then-girlfriend Jill Diven on the set of Everybody Loves Raymond, and they were married on May 18, 1999. Their first child Maxwell Bradley Garrett was born on October 14, 1998; their second child, daughter Hope Violet Garrett, was born in January 2000. Garrett and Diven separated in 2005, and Diven filed for divorce in July 2006.
Although he portrays a very deep, husky voice in Everybody Loves Raymond and most of his voice-acting work, he has a higher-pitched natural voice, as heard in the show Til' Death, during Everybody Loves Raymond outtakes and bloopers, and his various appearances as himself (such as on the game show Hollywood Squares).
Garrett is also known for his tall stature; he is about 6 feet 8½ inches tall (204cm).
In 2007, Garrett struck a TMZ photographer's camera, which the photographer claimed hit him in the face. The Los Angeles District Attorney declined to file assault charges against Garrett for the incident.
Garrett was the grand marshal for the Auto Club 500 on February 24, 2008.
Garrett appeared on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and played for his charity, the Maximum Hope Foundation (named after his kids). He answered every single question correctly winning $25,000 and walked away with that after being asked to play for $250,000 with the bonus subject being U.S. History.
- ↑ According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. At Ancestry.com
- ↑ Brad Garrett Biography (1960-)
- ↑ Brad Garrett Interview - Ratatouille, Music and Lyrics, and Til Death
- ↑ http://et.tv.yahoo.com/newslink/15453/
- ↑ USA Today article, "Brad Garrett seen striking man's camera"
- ↑ AP story in the Washington Post
- ↑ DA Won't Charge Garrett Over Pap Smack TMZ, December 19, 2008
- REDIRECT Template:IMDb name
- Brad Garrett at the Internet Broadway Database
- Adweek Article on Brad Garrett
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