Date of Birth: May 12, 1937
When George Carlin was just two months old, his mother escaped her abusive husband by climbing out a window and down a fire escape with George in her arms and holding his five-year-old brother by the hand. The three took refuge on a farm in the Catskills for four years. George's parents legally separated in December 1937 and in 1941, George, his brother and mother moved back to New York City. George never got to know his father, who died in 1945.
At the age of nineteen, George began working as a disc jockey. Over the next four years he worked at various radio stations before forming a comedy team with his friend, Jack Burns. While on tour in Dayton, Ohio in 1960, Carlin met Brenda Hosbrook and they were married the following year. Burns & Carlin made their television debut on The Tonight Show, but by March 1962, they decided to part ways. Carlin's first solo network appearance was on The Tonight Show in June of that year.
Brenda gave birth to a daughter, Kelly Carlin on June 15, 1963. Carlin continued to tour the country doing standup, and July 20, 1965, made the first of 29 appearances on The Merv Griffin Show. In 1966, the family moved to Los Angeles, where Carlin began work as a featured comic and writer on the summer replacement show, Kraft Summer Music Hall. In June, he made his acting debut on the sitcom That Girl, starring Marlo Thomas. His feature film debut came two years later in With Six You Get Eggroll (1966), starring Brian Keith and Doris Day.
Carlin hosted the very first broadcast of Saturday Night Live on October 11, 1975, then made his second film appearance as a taxi driver searching for a "tall, black, blonde chick" in the comedy Car Wash (1976). He received his first lead role playing the title character, a private detective, in the NBC TV movie Justin Case (1988). Over the next few years he worked in several films, including Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter; The Prince of Tides (1991) with Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand, and the TV movie Working Trash (1990) with Ben Stiller.
Despite having been arrested numerous times for his colorful language during his standup comedy routines, Carlin was hired by PBS to play Mister Conductor on the children's program Shining Time Station, for which he received two daytime Emmy nominations. In January 1994 he executive-produced and starred in his own TV sitcom, The George Carlin Show, playing an eccentric New York cab driver. The series lasted for 27 episodes before being cancelled in December 1995.
His first book, Braindroppings, released on May 1, 1997, was on the NY Times bestseller list for 18 weeks. But May 1997 also brought profound sadness into Carlin's life when Brenda died on Mother's Day after 34 years of marriage. Carlin was deeply grieved, and took time off from his career to mourn his loss. He didn't appear in another film until 1999's Dogma, with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. He would work again with Affleck in Jersey Girl (2004), playing his father in what would be Carlin's largest role to date.
Besides being inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame in 1994, Carlin has received numerous awards over the years including three Grammys for his comedy albums, two Cable Ace Awards for his TV specials in 1993 and 1997, two American Comedy Awards for his comedy specials in 1997 and 1998, a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th Annual American Comedy Awards on Comedy Central in 2001, and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at the corner of Vine and Selma.
Happily N'Ever After (2007) (voice)
The Aristocrats (2005)
Jersey Girl (2004)
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
The Prince of Tides (1991)
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
Outrageous Fortune (1987)
Car Wash (1976)
With Six You Get Eggroll (1968)