The 40 funniest actors and actresses

In vague order
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Jason Segel
Multi-talented Jason Jordan Segel was born in Los Angeles, California, where he was raised by his parents, Jillian (Jordan), a homemaker, and Alvin Segel, a lawyer. His mother is of English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and his father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. He was educated at St. Matthew's Parish School in Pacific Palisades...
Tina Fey
Writer, Mean Girls
Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born in 1970 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia, to Xenobia "Jeanne" (Xenakes), a brokerage employee, and Donald Henry Fey, who wrote grant proposals for universities. Her mother is Greek, born in Piraeus, while her father had German, Northern Irish, and English ancestry...
Steve Carell
Actor, The Office
Steve Carell, one of America's most versatile comics, was born Steven John Carell on August 16, 1962, in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the son of Harriet T. (Koch), a psychiatric nurse, and Edwin A. Carell, an electrical engineer. His mother is of Polish descent and his father is of Italian and German ancestry (Steve's grandfather had changed the surname from "Caroselli" to "Carrell")...
Kristen Wiig
Actress, The Martian
Kristen Carroll Wiig was born on August 22, 1973 in Canandaigua, New York, to Laurie J. (Johnston), an artist, and Jon J. Wiig, a lake marina manager. She is of Norwegian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Scottish descent. The family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before settling in Rochester...
Jason Bateman
Jason Bateman is an American film and television actor best known for his role as Michael Bluth on the television sitcom Arrested Development, as well as his role on Valerie's Family: The Hogans. He was born in Rye, New York, USA. His father, Kent Bateman, from a Utah-based family, is a film and television director...
Courteney Cox
Actress, Friends
Courteney Cox was born on June 15th, 1964 in Birmingham, Alabama, into an affluent Southern family. She is the daughter of Courteney (Bass) and Richard Lewis Cox (1930-2001), a businessman. She was the baby of the family with two older sisters (Virginia and Dottie) and an older brother, Richard, Jr...
Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb & Dumber and The Mask established him as a bankable comedy actor...
Kristen Bell
Actress, Frozen
Kristen Anne Bell (born 1980) is an American actress and singer. She was born and raised in Huntington Woods, Michigan, and is the daughter of Lorelei (Frygier), a nurse, and Tom Bell, a television news director. Her ancestry is Polish (mother) and German, English, Irish, and Scottish (father). Kristen found her talent in entertainment at an early age...
Eddie Murphy
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian, a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant. His siblings are Charlie Murphy and Vernon Lynch...
Melissa McCarthy
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Melissa McCarthy was born in Plainfield, Illinois, to Sandra and Michael McCarthy, a farmer. McCarthy began her performing career as a stand-up comedian in New York where she appeared at the famous clubs, Stand Up New York and The Improv. She worked on her acting skills at The Actors Studio and appeared in many stage productions in the city before moving to Los Angeles in the late-1990s...
Rob Schneider
Robert Michael "Rob" Schneider (born October 31, 1963) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director. A stand-up comic and veteran of the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, Schneider has gone on to a successful career in feature films, including starring roles in the comedy films Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, and Grown Ups.
Jennifer Aniston
Actress, Friends
Jennifer Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, California, to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow. Her father is Greek, and her mother was of English, Irish, Scottish, and Italian descent. Jennifer spent a year of her childhood living in Greece with her family. Her family then relocated to New York City where her parents divorced when she was nine...
Paul Rudd
Actor, Ant-Man
Paul Stephen Rudd was born in Passaic, New Jersey. His parents, Michael and Gloria, both from Jewish families, were born in the U.K. He has one sister, Julie, who is three years younger than he is. Paul traveled with his family during his early years, because of his father's airline job at TWA. His family eventually settled in Overland Park...
Kate Hudson
Almost everyone who has spent time with Kate Hudson -including directors, family members, co-stars and interviewers - is quick to comment on her ability to light up a room. Through some combination of a winning smile, solid work ethic, and good old-fashioned talent, the young actress has gone from indie beginner to Vanity Fair cover girl in just three years...
Terry Crews
Terry Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, to Patricia and Terry Crews, Sr. He earned an Art Excellence Scholarship to attend Western Michigan University and also earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to play football. Crews was an All-Conference defensive end, and was a major contributor on the 1988 MAC champion WMU Broncos...
Emma Stone
Actress, The Help
Emily Jean "Emma" Stone was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, to Krista (Yeager), a homemaker, and Jeffrey Charles Stone, a contracting company founder and CEO. She is of Swedish (from her paternal grandfather), English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent. Stone began acting as a child as a member of the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix...
Adam Sandler
Adam Richard Sandler was born September 9, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York, to Judith (Levine), a teacher at a nursery school, and Stanley Alan Sandler, an electrical engineer. He is of Russian Jewish descent. At 17, he took his first step towards becoming a stand-up comedian when he spontaneously took the stage at a Boston comedy club...
Mila Kunis
Actress, Black Swan
The talented Milena "Mila" Markovna Kunis was born to a Jewish family in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, USSR (now independent Ukraine). Her mother, Elvira, is a physics teacher, her father, Mark Kunis, is a mechanical engineer, and she has an older brother named Michael. After attending one semester of college between gigs...
Jason Sudeikis
Daniel Jason Sudeikis was born on September 18, 1975 in Fairfax, Virginia, to Kathryn (Wendt), a former travel agent at Brennco and president of the American Society of Travel Agents, and Daniel Joseph Sudeikis, a vice president of business development. He is of Lithuanian and Irish descent on his father's side...
Cameron Diaz
A tall, strikingly attractive blue-eyed natural blonde, Cameron Diaz was born in 1972 in San Diego, the daughter of a Cuban-American father and an Anglo-German mother. Self described as "adventurous, independent and a tough kid," Cameron left home at 16 and for the next 5 years lived in such varied locales as Japan...
Ben Stiller
Producer, Zoolander
Benjamin Edward Meara Stiller was born on November 30, 1965, in New York City, New York, to legendary comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. His father is of Austrian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry (she converted to Judaism). It's not surprising that...
Christina Applegate
Christina Applegate was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, to record producer/executive Robert William Applegate and singer-actress Nancy Priddy. Her parents split-up shortly after her birth. She has two half-siblings from her father's re-marriage - Alisa (b. 10 October 1977) & Kyle (b. 15 July 1981)...
Simon Pegg
English actor, writer and comedian Simon Pegg was born Simon John Beckingham in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, to Gillian Rosemary (Smith), a civil servant, and John Henry Beckingham, a jazz musician. His parents divorced when Pegg was seven. He later took his stepfather's surname, "Pegg". He was educated...
Katherine Heigl
Katherine Marie Heigl was born on November 24, 1978 in Washington, D.C., to Nancy Heigl (née Engelhardt), a personnel manager, and Paul Heigl, an accountant and executive. Her father is of German/Swiss-German and Irish descent, and her mother is of German ancestry. A short time after her birth, the family moved to New Canaan...
Ryan Reynolds
Actor, Deadpool
Ryan Rodney Reynolds was born on October 23, 1976 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the youngest of four children. His father, James Chester Reynolds, was a food wholesaler, and his mother, Tammy, worked as a retail-store saleswoman. Between 1991-93, Ryan appeared in Fifteen, a Nickleodeon series taped in Florida with many other Canadian actors...
Drew Barrymore
Producer, Donnie Darko
Since melting audiences' hearts - at the age of six - in Steven Spielberg's beloved sci-fi blockbuster, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Drew Barrymore has emerged as one of the most endearing and talented actresses of her generation. Drew Blyth Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, to actors John Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore (née Ildiko Jaid Mako)...
Will Ferrell
John William Ferrell was born in Irvine, California, to Betty Kay (Overman), a teacher, and Roy Lee Ferrell, Jr., a musician. His parents were both originally from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Ferrell became interested in performing while a student at University High School in Irvine...
Sandra Bullock
Actress, Gravity
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Her mother, Helga Bullock (née Helga Mathilde Meyer), was a German opera singer. Her father, John W. Bullock, was an American voice teacher, who was born in Alabama, of Irish, English, French, and German descent. Sandra grew up on the road with her parents and younger sister...
Vince Vaughn
Vincent Anthony Vaughn was born on March 28, 1970, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and was raised in Lake Forest, Illinois. His parents are Vernon Vaughn, a salesman, and Sharon Vaughn (née Sharon Eileen DePalmo), a real-estate agent and stockbroker. They divorced in 1991. He has two older sisters...
Christa Miller
Christa Miller was introduced to the entertainment world at a very young age. As a toddler, she was photographed by the acclaimed Francesco Scavullo for an Ivory Snow ad with her mother, and, at the age of three, appeared on the cover of "Redbook". Miller was bitten by the acting bug as a child, but couldn't pursue her passion because her parents had other plans for her...
Chris Rock
Christopher Julius Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Rosalie (Tingman), a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped, and Julius Rock, a truck driver and newspaper deliveryman, whose own father was a preacher. Rock has been in stand-up comedy for several decades...
Heather Graham
Actress, The Hangover
Heather Joan Graham was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Joan (Bransfield), a schoolteacher and children's book author, and James Graham, an FBI agent. She and her sister, actress Aimee Graham, were raised by their strictly Catholic parents. They relocated often, as a result of their father's occupation...
Russell Brand
Russell Brand was born on June 4, 1975, in Grays, Essex, England, the son of Barbara Elizabeth (Nichols) and Ronald Henry Brand, a photographer. An only child, his parents divorced when he was only six months old, and he was subsequently raised by his mother. Enduring a difficult childhood that saw...
Anne Hathaway
Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Kate McCauley Hathaway, an actress, and Gerald T. Hathaway, a lawyer, both originally from Philadelphia. She is of mostly Irish descent, along with English, German, and French. Her first major role came in the short-lived television series Get Real...
David Spade
Comic brat extraordinaire David Spade was born on July 22, 1964, in Birmingham, Michigan, the youngest of three brothers. He is the son of Judith J. (Meek), a writer and editor, and Wayne M. Spade, a sales rep, and is of German, English, Irish, and Scottish descent. Raised in both Scottsdale (from age four) and Casa Grande...
Malin Akerman
Actress, Watchmen
Malin was born in Stockholm, Sweden and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her mother, Pia (Sundström), is a model and aerobics instructor, and her father, Magnus Åkerman, is an insurance broker. They moved to Toronto when she was age 2. At age 5, she began appearing in TV commercials. Her parents divorced when she was 6 and her father returned to Sweden...
Justin Long
A likable, boyish-looking actor with thick eyebrows and a friendly smile, Justin Long is a native of Connecticut. He was born and raised in Fairfield, the second of three sons. His father, R. James Long, is a Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University, and his mother, Wendy Lesniak, is a former Broadway actress...
Lisa Kudrow
Hardly the dumb blonde of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Lisa was born in Encino, California on July 30, 1963. Her mother, Nedra S. (Stern), was a travel agent, and her father, Lee N. Kudrow, was a physician. Her parents are both from Jewish immigrant families (from Belarus, Russia, and Hungary). Lisa was raised in Tarzana and played varsity-level tennis in high school and college...
Nick Frost
Nick Frost is an English actor, screenwriter and comedian. He is known for his work in the series of British comedic genre films The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013). He also co-starred in Paul (2011), with frequent collaborator and friend Simon Pegg...
Reese Witherspoon
Actress, Walk the Line
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born on March 22, 1976 at Southern Baptist Hospital (now Memorial Medical Center) in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the second child of Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Reese) and Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, Sr. Her father was a military surgeon specializing in ear, nose and throat...