Date of Birth: June 25, 1961
Born in Reading, England, Ricky Gervais was the youngest of four children growing up in a poor family. Although times were tough, Gervais admired his mother's ability to put aside the family's financial difficulties and create a happy upbringing for the children.
At 18, Gervais left home to attend London University, graduating with a degree in philosophy. While in London, he became involved in the city's music scene. Aspiring to be a musician, he joined the ill-fated band Seona Dancing as a singer, eventually moving on to band management and promotion. After working for a few local bands, he found a steady job working as an entertainment manager for a student union.
In 1996, Gervais received his big break, when he landed a job at London radio station XFM. It wasn't long before he was able to showcase his comedic talents on air with his own show. It was while working on this program that Gervais first met Stephen Merchant. The duo would go on to be long-time collaborators, ultimately leading to Gervais' star-making turn in the hit British sitcom The Office.
Gervais began contributing to sketch comedy program Radio 1, and made his television debut by writing and starring in an episode of The Comedy Lab. His appearance on the show led directly to a role on the satirical news show The 11 O'clock News.
He then landed his own television show, Meet Ricky Gervais. The show aired for one year before Gervais decided to leave and develop The Office, a fake documentary-style sitcom that he and Merchant had conceived.
The Office debuted on BBC July 9, 2001, and was an immediate success. Gervais wrote, directed and starred in the comedy. The show produced only 14 episodes, but was hailed as a critical and commercial hit.
Gervais has won three consecutive BAFTA awards for his role as David Brent in The Office, and is the first British actor to win a Golden Globe.
After The Office, Gervais did voice-over work for commercials and animated movies, as well as a few movie cameos. He has appeared in Night at the Museum (2006), For Your Consideration (2006), Stardust (2007) and starred in the hit television show Extras. He went on to star as the romantic lead opposite Jennifer Garner in The Invention of Lying, which he also directed, and currently provides his own voice in the animated The Ricky Gervais Show.
In 2011, when Ricky hosted the Golden Globes for the second time, some were offended by the personal jabs he made about celebrities such as Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. and it was rumored that he would not be asked to return. However, he did return in 2012 for his third time hosting the Golden Globes and once again, zinged Hollywood's elite while at the same time, earning high ratings for NBC (which he also zinged). Most recently, he starred in the film Muppets Most Wanted (2014).
Gervais is also the author of Flanimals, a series of children's books. The first book is currently being developed into a movie.
Filmography (actor):Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Filmography (director):Cemetery Junction (2010)