30 Excellent Facts About Ed O’Neill You Probably Didn’t Know Before

Ed O’Neill
(Photo : iDominick)

Ed O’Neill, famous for his role as Al Bundy, has several laudable performances in theatres, movies and TV to his credit. With his incredible performances, he has earned multiple awards, nominations and great achievements, in his four-decade long career. However, he considers getting black belt in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu to be "the greatest achievement” of his life, “apart from his children." Here are some really interesting facts about the actor that will make you love him more:

    Ed O'Neill plays Jay Pritchett on ABC's 'Modern Family'"Ed O'Neill plays Jay Pritchett on ABC's 'Modern Family'" by djtomdog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  1.  He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd. on August 30, 2011, which is ironically located in front of a shoe store.
  2.  During the audition for the pilot of “Married… with Children,” he was simply required to walk through the front door into the Bundy home. Right before he opened the door, he let out a deep breath and slumped his shoulders, as if going home was a defeat.
  3.  One of the show’s creators claimed that it was this posture that actually earned O’Neill his role in the show, as the producers felt he understood the show better to give such a posture.
  4.  Initially the producers were not sure about Ed O’Neill being cast as Al Bundy, as they were not sure if he would be able to do comedy effectively. However, after the audition, they changed their minds.
  5.  His role as Al Bundy in “Married… with Children,” became so famous that, he was constantly identified as the character, and found it extremely difficult to find dramatic roles after the show.
  6.  He was introduced to Brazilian jiu-jitsu by his friend John Milius. He had been training under the mentoring of Rorion Gracie from the famous Gracie family, for 22 years. He received his black belt in December 2007.
  7.  Edward Leonard O’Neill was born on April 12, 1946 to Edward Phillip O’Neill and Ruth Ann, in Youngstown, Ohio, in an Irish-American Catholic family.
  8.  His father was a steel mill worker and truck driver, while his mother was a homemaker and social worker. He has two younger sisters and two younger brothers.
  9.  He attended Ursuline High School where he played football. He enrolled at Ohio University with a football scholarship, and majored in history.
  10.  He joined the Mu chapter of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, during his time in Ohio University. However, after his sophomore year, he transferred to Youngstown State University.
  11. 138073_0254"138073_0254" by Walt Disney Television is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

  12.  Ed claimed that in his time at Ohio University, he used to play sports and party a lot, than study. He also admitted to have had a feud with his coach.
  13.  In Youngstown State University, as an undergraduate, he pledged Delta Sigma Phi and was initiated into the Delta Sigma chapter there. Still, he was also an avid partier.
  14.  He was a defensive lineman, and signed as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 under rookie head coach Chuck Noll.
  15.  O’Neill was cut in training camp, were he competed with fellow rookie defensive lineman "Mean Joe" Greene and L. C. Greenwood for a roster spot.
  16.  In his series “Married… with Children,” he played a former high school football star, who failed to make it big and constantly reminisced about his glory days.
  17.  Before making it big as an actor in the entertainment industry, O'Neill worked as a substitute social studies teacher at his alma mater Ursuline High School.
  18.  He was one of the first students to enroll for the new theater program, after re-enrolling at Youngstown State, after being cut by the Steelers.
  19.  He was working construction at the age of 14. He worked in the steel mills in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, as an apprentice boilermaker, during his college days.
  20.  In the year 1979, he played the role of a boxer in the Broadway play “Knockout.” His performance impressed director William Friedkin, who gave him his first movie role as a police detective in “Cruising.”
  21.  He was cast as NYPD detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle for the planned television series “Popeye Doyle.” His performance received good reviews and the pilot received positive ratings. However, the series was not picked up for production.
  22. File:Eric Stonestreet, Horace Newcomb and Ed O'Neill, May 2010 (2).jpg"File:Eric Stonestreet, Horace Newcomb and Ed O'Neill, May 2010 (2).jpg" by Peabody Awards is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  23.  Ed played the role of Lennie in the stage production of John Steinbeck's “Of Mice and Men” at the Hartford Theater in Hartford, Connecticut, in the year 1986.
  24.  Seeing this performance, he was seen by a casting agent from the Fox television network, who suggested that he audition for the role of Al Bundy in “Married… with Children.”
  25.  When he first read the script of “Modern Family” TV series, he immediately knew that the script was a winner and that the show would last for at least a period of 10 years.
  26.  He married actress Catherin Rusoff in the year 1986. The couple lived separately for a period of time from 1990 to 1995. However, they soon reconciled and have two daughters together – Claire O’Neill and Sophia O’Neill. The family currently resides in Los Angeles.
  27.  During the “Married… with Children’s” heyday Ed O'Neill would fulfill requests to make birthday and holiday telephone calls to fans as Al Bundy on the condition that he could call them collect (in character with Al's cheapskate nature).
  28.  Once, he was set to board a flight to Hawaii, when a fan came up to him and asked him for a picture with him politely. He reluctantly agreed and took a picture, without realizing that the fan was actually Britney Spears.
  29.  He lent his voice to the character of Hank the Octopus in the 2016 animated movie “Finding Dory.” He had accepted to do the voiceover, without realizing that he had starring role.
  30.  It was when the recording sessions continued for days together, and most of his interactions being with Dory, he suspected Hank to be a major character in the movie.
  31.  He often claimed in interviews that he based the character of Al Bundy from “Married… with Children,” on one of his uncles, because his uncle shared so many personality traits with Bundy character.
  32.  O’Neill invented the popular sandwich called the "Boone" at the famous Se-port Deli at 301 Main Street, East Setauket, New York 11733.
  33.  Ed O’Neill Net Worth: $65 Million

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