Hank Azaria
American actor
Hank Azaria
Henry Albert "Hank" Azaria is an American film, television and stage actor, director, voice actor, and comedian. He is noted for being one of the principal voice actors on the animated television series The Simpsons, on which he performs the voices of Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Carl Carlson and numerous others.
Hank Azaria's personal information overview.
News abour Hank Azaria from around the web
Robert De Niro Is Haunted By Bernie Madoff's Bad Decisions In 'Wizard Of Lies' Teaser
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Robert De Niro has inhabited the psyches of some pretty damaged individuals over his career ― Anne Hathaway’s intern still ranks at number one obviously―  but Wall Street con man Bernie Madoff might be his most twisted role yet.  The first trailer for HBO’s “The Wizard of Lies” arrived Saturday and it looks like the television movie will be taking a surrealist approach to the life of the man responsible for one of the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. Based on Diana B. Henriques’ book of the same name, “The Wizard of Lies” follows the rise and fall of the patriarch of the Madoff family, who profited an estimated $65 billion from duping thousands of investors to trust him with their money.  “What he did is beyond my comprehension, so there’s a disconnect somehow in him,” De Niro told reporters at the Television Critics Association event on Saturday. “And I still would like to understand. I did the best I could, but I don’t understand.” The film also stars Michelle Pfeiffe ...
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Huffington Post article
21 Times That Celebrity Dads Shared The Messy Side Of Parenting
Huffington Post - 8 months
When you're dealing with diaper blowouts, baby vomit and utter exhaustion, any reluctance to talk about the messy parts of parenting tends to fly out the window.  Even famous parents know this to be true. In honor of Father's Day, here are 21 spot-on quotes from celebrity dads who are more than happy to discuss the down and dirty of fatherhood.  1. On newborn bodily fluids: "I've never had more poop on my person." -- Justin Timberlake 2. On kid germs: "Kids are like buckets of disease. Last week I got a flu that I caught because my daughter coughed into my mouth." -- Louis C.K. 3. On dad style:  "Every dad should own cargo pants because they have a lot of pockets. Pacifiers and bottles and diapers and wet wipes and crackers and little toy dinosaurs and candy for treats for any child that has behaved or when you’re trying to bribe them. Yeah, cargo pants." -- Taye Diggs 4. On frightening bodily fluids: "They vomit a lot. For a second, I thought I needed ...
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Huffington Post article
Tufts University Grads Hear From Several Commencement Speakers
NPR - 9 months
The graduates heard from actor Hank Azaria and some of the characters he voices on The Simpsons. Chief Wiggum, Apu and the Comic Book Guy were just a few of the voices Azaria did for the crowd.
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NPR article
Are The Simpsons​ from Illinois? Absolutely. Here Are 22 MORE Reasons to Prove It
Huffington Post - about 1 year
After sharing my previous article, I received some flack from Twitter users and Facebook commenters, who are still in denial that The Simpsons are from Illinois. One of the main arguments from these dissenters is that the show's creator, Matt Groening, said in an interview with the Smithsonian that The Simpsons is set in Oregon. Those people failed to note what Matt Groening actually said in his interview with the Smithsonian, which was: "Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon." And despite my attempts to clarify this in my last article, they completely wrote it off and all of its totally convincing points. So, to reiterate my previous point: Groening went on to clarify his quote in the Smithsonian interview and said that his statements were misrepresented in a later interview with TV Guide: "I never said Springfield was in Oregon." There you have it, folks. Now, not all of the responses to my article were negative; in fact, here's one of my favorites: I was skeptic ...
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Huffington Post article
Here's What The Supporting Cast Of 'Friends' Looks Like Now
Huffington Post - over 1 year
"Friends" may have wrapped over 11 years ago, but you don't need to be a diehard fan to know what Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courteney Cox), Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and the rest of the gang has been up to since. They're all still huge stars! The supporting cast ... well, that varies. Quite recently, the Internet threw a collective gushing party after seeing Baby Emma Geller-Green all grown up. In honor of Emma and all those who've been in less than 236 episodes, we present the following ... Gunther (James Michael Tyler), Then: Tap here to see what James Michael Tyler looks like now! Jack Geller (Elliott Gould), Then: Tap here to see what Elliott Gould looks like now! Judy Geller (Christina Pickles), Then: Tap here to see what Christina Pickles looks like now! Janice Litman Goralnik (Maggie Wheeler), Then: Tap here to see what Maggie Wheeler looks like now! ...
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Huffington Post article
The Simpsons' Hank Azaria Lands Major Arc on Ray Donovan
Seattle Pi - about 3 years
The actor - who most notably lends his voice to several characters on The Simpsons - will play James Cochran, the ambitious head honcho of the Los Angeles FBI who becomes a thorn in Ray's (Liev Schreiber) side. Azaria's other television credits include Friends and the short-lived NBC comedy Free Agents.
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Seattle Pi article
Hank Azaria Once Thought He Would Be A Funnier Joey On 'Friends'
Huffington Post - about 3 years
We came to know Hank Azaria through his iconic character voices on "The Simpsons" and various film roles. Back in the early '90s, however, Azaria had his sights set on one particular role he never got -- Joey Tribbiani from "Friends." "That's the only job I ever auditioned for twice," Azaria told HuffPost Live on Wednesday (Jan. 22). "I thought it was so good -- they had rejected me once -- I said, 'I'm going back, I'm gonna do it again, I'm gonna try it again.'" Too bad Azaria was turned down just as quick the second time. However, the rejection didn't convince Azaria that he wasn't perfect for the part Matt LeBlanc brought to fame. "At first, in my opinion, in the first few episodes of 'Friends' he hadn't really found it. And all that first season I was like, 'I could've been funnier than him!'" Don't attack yet, "Friends" fans. Azaria eventually came around to love LeBlanc's portrayal of Joey and finding him hilarious. "He really found himself in that role." Azaria finally h ...
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Huffington Post article
Around the Web…
Celebrity Babies - People - about 3 years
Hop over the weekly hump with Wednesday’s riveting reads: Daphne Oz shares tips on eating right while expecting — Fit Pregnancy Johnson & Johnson removes formaldehyde from baby shampoo — The New York Times 10 most memorable celeb maternity style statements — POPSUGAR Moms New blood test would give parents baby’s risk of mental disability — The Bump Hank Azaria talks to fellow celeb fathers about being a “good enough” parent  — mom.me
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Celebrity Babies - People article
12 Shows That Should Have Never Been Canceled
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Everybody has a favorite show that went the way of the dinosaurs, but we think these 12 shows never should have been canceled when they received the axe. We're talking about shows featuring a teenaged private eye, a group of ah-mah-zing friends and one critically-acclaimed show featuring an angsty teen whose chin-acting is unparallelled. Without further ado ... "Veronica Mars" Canceled After Three Seasons In 2007 Why It Shouldn't Have Been Canceled: The adventures of "Veronica Mars" were just beginning! Sure, she solved her best friend's murder, but imagine what the show could have been like had: 1. The CW let it go more noir and/or 2. It had jumped into the future with VM as an FBI agent. Gone too soon, VMars. But hey, now we have the movie ... [GIF via] "Happy Endings" Canceled After Three Seasons In 2013 webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> Why It Shouldn't Have Been Canceled: We were just getting to know these six ah-mah-zing friends, with their ...
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Huffington Post article
Is It Time To Retire Apu?
Huffington Post - over 3 years
If it’s been a big year for Indian Americans, it’s been a really big 25 years. Yet one man has stayed the same for nearly a quarter-century: Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Here in the real world, Miss America speaks Telugu, and Mindy Kaling is poised to be the next Tina Fey. As of 2012, Asian Americans were so affluent and numerous that one Nielsen report claimed they would form the 18th richest economy in the world were they to split off into their own nation. Meanwhile, in fictional Springfield, Apu is still selling hot dogs with a funny accent. Endearing and occasionally wise he may be, but his legacy is one that continues to thwart Indian actors looking to play three-dimensional characters. "He's an example of a character who would never have been written if the show started today," says comedian Hari Kondabolu, an inspired ranter who's become the de facto voice of the anti-Apu movement. Hank Azaria, the actor who has voiced Apu since the beginning, says the new visibility of Ind ...
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Huffington Post article
Marshall Fine: Movie Review: Afternoon Delight - All Hail Kathryn Hahn!
Huffington Post - over 3 years
I'll admit it. I have a critic's crush on Kathryn Hahn. Jill Soloway's witty, surprising Afternoon Delight only confirms it. I've been a Hahn fan for a number of years; I celebrated when she landed the lead (opposite Hank Azaria) of a sit-com called Free Agents (and mourned when this smart, funny show was quickly canceled). I thought she stole every scene she was in of My Idiot Brother and this summer's We're the Millers. Indeed, I saw Hahn in a line at Sundance in January where Afternoon Delight premiered - one of those Disneyland-like snakes of people where, when you start moving, you keep passing the same people as you wend your way back and forth. So I took the opportunity to say, "Hey - Kathryn Hahn! Big fan!" Yes, I know how pathetic that sounds. She certainly looked surprised - I couldn't tell whether it was about being accosted or at being recognized. Anyway, I watched Afternoon Delight and was convinced all over again that, given the right opportunity, Hah ...
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Huffington Post article
John Pavley: Sneak Peek: HuffPost Brings Real Time Collaboration to the Newsroom
Huffington Post - over 3 years
6 minute read + video Trigger warnings: computer jargon, monster movie references If you're a regular reader of the Huffington Post you might not have given much thought to the technology behind the news articles that you read, share, and comment upon on our site. Since 2005 the tech team at HuffPost has been working hand-in-glove with our editors to create the ultimate digital content delivery system. We call this system "MT" because it was originally based on Movable Type. Over the last eight years we have enhanced MT and its features to the point that they have morphed into a tool that puts every feature a modern tech-savvy journalist needs at her finger tips. MT won't write a great story for you, but it levels the playing field in an increasingly competitive, crowded, and careening Internet. MT is like those giant robots in the movie Pacific Rim: Tremendous monster fighting firepower with a human team at its heart. Eight years is a long time for an Internet applic ...
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Huffington Post article
Video: "Lovelace" actor Hank Azaria talks animated success, new film about porn star
CBS News - over 3 years
The actor, famous for his voice portrayals on "The Simpsons," discussed on "CBS This Morning" his role in the new film "Lovelace."
Article Link:
CBS News article
Amanda Seyfried Shines In 'Lovelace'
Huffington Post - over 3 years
LOS ANGELES — The lurid celebrity and sordid aftermath of the brief career of the world's first porn star is vividly, if not explicitly, etched in "Lovelace." Given all the ways a project like this could have gone wrong, the result is surprisingly good on several fronts, beginning with a shrewd structure that fosters an intelligent dual perspective on the public and private aspects of the "Deep Throat" phenomenon. Leaving behind the overly academic approach they brought to an earlier cultural and censorship landmark in "Howl" three years ago, directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman have made a real movie here. Linda Lovelace was the nom de porn bestowed upon Florida girl Linda Boreman when she starred in her one and only hardcore feature, the 1972 film that became the adult film industry's first crossover smash, launched "porno chic" and went on to gross anywhere from $100 million to $600 million on an initial expenditure of less than $50,000. Lovelace only ever collecte ...
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Huffington Post article
'The Smurfs 2' in Theaters Today (SPONSORED)
Moviefone Blog - over 3 years
by Kathleen Miller "The Smurfs 2," in theaters now, marks the return of beloved characters from our childhoods and introduces us to a few new ones. Part live-action, part animation, this sequel to the 2011 hit brings back the Smurfs for another battle with the evil wizard Gargamel -- this time, in Paris. "The Smurfs 2," features the voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays and Katy Perry. In this sequel to the family blockbuster comedy "The Smurfs," evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties. Gargamel hopes the Naughties will allow him to acquire the Smurf's magical essence but then discovers that only Smurfette knows the secret spell that will turn his Naughties into real Smurfs. Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, where he is adored as the world's greatest sorcerer. Then it's up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity to return to our time, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Wins ...
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Moviefone Blog article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Hank Azaria
  • 2016
    Age 51
    In 2016, he starred in the world premiere of Dry Powder opposite Claire Danes, John Krasinski, and Sanjit De Silva, directed by Thomas Kail, at The Public Theater in New York City.
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    He also voices the lead character, Texan border agent Bud Buckwald, in Bordertown, which started in 2016.
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    In 2016, he is set to voice Cletus in Storks.
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  • 2014
    Age 49
    The case was ruled in Azaria's favour in 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Both actors had been using a baseball announcer voice before and since meeting at a party in 1990, but US district judge Gary Allen Feess ruled that only Azaria's voice was, as Brockmire, a defined, "tangible" character and thus subject to copyright. Azaria's friends refer to him as "the freakish mimic" due to his ability to copy almost anyone's voice, instantly after he has heard it. As a child he believed that everyone could do this, but later realized that it was not a common talent. Azaria can "remember every voice I hear, famous or otherwise they kind of remain in the memory banks, so I'm ready to trot them out." Azaria was glad to have found the "ultimate outlet" for this skill, in The Simpsons. He "didn't realize it he joined the show, but it became like a lab for a character actor. I had to do so many voices." In the early 2000s, Azaria felt he had reached the maximum number of voices he was capable of: "For the first 10 years of The Simpsons, I would develop a bunch of voices. And then I hit a point when I was tapped out. Every noise I can make, I have made. Even characters like Gargamel, I've done. Even if it was only two or three lines, at some point I've done something similar on The Simpsons, at least somewhere along the line."
    In 2014, Azaria had a recurring role in the second season of Showtime's Ray Donovan, playing FBI agent Ed Cochran.
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  • 2013
    Age 48
    Azaria reprised his role in the 2013 sequel The Smurfs 2.
    More Details Hide Details Azaria is set to star in Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer with Richard Gere.
  • 2012
    Age 47
    In November 2012, Azaria sued actor Craig Bierko over the ownership of the Brockmire voice.
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    However, in 2012 he voiced several insects in a commercial for the Chevrolet Sonic.
    More Details Hide Details Azaria wrote and directed the 2004 short film Nobody's Perfect, which won the Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Short at the US Comedy Arts Festival. In January 2007, he was confirmed to be directing Outsourced, a film about two American workers who journey to get their jobs back, after their factory is moved to Mexico. In 2009, Azaria told Empire he was instead focusing on making a documentary about fatherhood. Two years later he told the Los Angeles Times that this project was "half-complete" and was "forever looking for financing to finish it." It eventually began in 2014, airing on AOL as an online series titled Fatherhood. According to AOL, the series of short episodes documents Azaria's "touching, humorous, and often enlightening journey from a man who is not even sure he wants to have kids, to a father going through the joys, trials and tribulations of being a dad."
    He was nominated again in 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Azaria, with the rest of the principal cast, reprised all of his voice roles from The Simpsons, for the 2007 film The Simpsons Movie. Azaria notes that he spends "an embarrassingly small amount of time working on The Simpsons". He works for "an hour on Thursdays when we read through the script, then four hours on Monday when we record it, and I'll pop in again once or twice." He concludes it is "the best job in the world, as far as I'm concerned." Up until 1998, Azaria was paid $30,000 per episode. Azaria and the five other main The Simpsons voice actors were then involved in a pay dispute in which Fox threatened to replace them with new actors, and went as far as preparing for casting of new voices. However, the issue was soon resolved and from 1998 to 2004, they received $125,000 per episode. In 2004, the voice actors intentionally skipped several script read-throughs, demanding they be paid $360,000 per episode. The strike was resolved a month later, with Azaria's pay increasing to something between $250,000 and $360,000 per episode. In 2008, production for the twentieth season was put on hold due to new contract negotiations with the voice actors, who wanted a "healthy bump" in salary. The dispute was later resolved and Azaria and the rest of the cast received their requested pay raise, approximately $400,000 per episode.
  • 2011
    Age 46
    They previously lived in a four-bedroom house in Pacific Palisades, which Azaria bought from his The Simpsons co-star Dan Castellaneta and his wife Deb Lacusta in 2011.
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    For the 2011 film Hop, Azaria voiced Carlos and Phil.
    More Details Hide Details The response to the film was mostly negative, but many reviewers praised Azaria's performance. For example, Sandie Chen of The Washington Post said "Azaria has been honing his over-the-top Spanish accent since The Birdcage, so anything he says grabs some laughs", while Emma Simmonds of Time Out called him an "unflappable presence, voicing two characters with style". Later in the year he voiced The Mighty Sven in Happy Feet Two. Azaria voices Shelfish Sheldon in Mack & Moxy.
    Returning to live-action television in 2011, Azaria starred in the NBC sitcom Free Agents, a remake of the British series of the same name.
    More Details Hide Details He played Alex Taylor, a recently divorced public relations executive "who is missing his kids and trying to keep himself together", and ends up sleeping with a co-worker (Kathryn Hahn). Azaria also served as a producer on the show. He was apprehensive about the project, disliking the lengthy schedule required of a lead actor in a single-camera series, and favoring the "sensibility" of cable shows. However, he liked the script and executive producer John Enbom's previous series Party Down and decided to accept the part. Despite Azaria mounting a campaign on Twitter to save it, the series was canceled after four episodes due to low ratings.
  • 2010
    Age 45
    Azaria is the godfather of Oliver Platt's son, George. He is also a regular poker player, appearing twice on Celebrity Poker Showdown and competing at other events, finishing a few places short of the bubble in the main event of the 2010 World Series of Poker.
    More Details Hide Details Politically, Azaria has made contributions that support the Democratic Party. He enjoys the music of Elvis Costello, and has stated that he would have been a therapist if he were not an actor. He considers The Godfather Trilogy to be what inspired him to become an actor, and counts Peter Sellers and Walt Frazier as his heroes. Azaria co-founded the educational support charity, "Determined to Succeed".
    He appeared as Abraham in Year One (2009), Dr. Knight in 2010's Love and Other Drugs, and played Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano in Lovelace (2013).
    More Details Hide Details Azaria played Gargamel in the computer-animated/live-action adaptation of The Smurfs (2011). Azaria wore a prosthetic nose, ears, buck teeth, eyebrows and a wig, as well as shaving his head. He spent approximately 130 hours in the make-up chair over the course of the production. Azaria considered Gargamel's voice to be the most important part of his performance. The producers wanted an "old, failed, Shakespearean actor" voice, but Azaria felt this would lack energy and wanted something more Eastern European. He eventually selected a voice similar to that of Paul Winchell's from the cartoon. Azaria disliked the cartoon when it first aired, and considered Gargamel too one-dimensional a character and "just this straight villain"; he opted to make Gargamel "more sarcastic" than in the cartoon, but "discovered that there's no way to play Gargamel without screaming your head off at certain points – ramping him up and getting him very upset over Smurfs". He interpreted him as "very lonely", adding that "he hates the Smurfs because they're such a happy family. He wants in really badly. I think he wants to be embraced as a Smurf". Azaria worked with the writers to "infuse" the script with some of his ideas about the character, "particularly with the 'married' relationship between Gargamel and cat Azreal " which Azaria conceived.
  • 2007
    Age 42
    Azaria began dating former actress Katie Wright in 2007, and the two later married.
    More Details Hide Details They have a son together, Hal, who was born in 2009. In 2013, the family moved to New York, renting a home on 80th Street, with plans to make a final decision on where to live in two years.
  • 2005
    Age 40
    Azaria previously owned the fifth-floor co-op loft at 84 Mercer Street in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood, which he bought in 2005 from photographer Cindy Sherman, before selling it in 2013.
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    Playwright Jenelle Riley wrote in 2005 that Azaria was "by far" her favorite actor, praising his "versatility" and "tendency to take small roles that would normally fade into the background and to consistently create characters people care about", noting his roles in Shattered Glass, Mystery, Alaska and especially DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.
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    He took a break from the show in June 2005, with Alan Tudyk filling in for him, to work on Huff, but returned in December 2005.
    More Details Hide Details In late 2007 he starred in Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention, playing RCA head David Sarnoff.
    The show met with critical acclaim, receiving fourteen Tony Award nominations in 2005, with Azaria being nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
    More Details Hide Details Reuniting with The Birdcage director Mike Nichols, and being a huge Monty Python fan, he saw it as an opportunity he could not pass up, describing it as "so much fun that I haven't realized how tiring it is", and "the most fun that I've ever had in my entire life".
  • 2004
    Age 39
    Azaria made his first appearance as Sir Lancelot, the French Taunter, and four other characters in Spamalot, the musical version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which opened in Chicago in December 2004, before moving to the Shubert Theatre on Broadway.
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  • 2003
    Age 38
    He has periodically returned to theatrical work, appearing in several productions. In 2003, he appeared as Bernard in a run of David Mamet's play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, along with Matthew Perry and Minnie Driver, in London's West End.
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  • 2001
    Age 36
    He also voiced Eric in the American dub of the series Stressed Eric, Harold Zoid in the 2001 Futurama episode "That's Lobstertainment!
    More Details Hide Details ", and Abbie Hoffman and Allen Ginsberg in Chicago 10 (2007).
    But I never went, 'OK, now it's time to get a dramatic role.'" His next dramatic part was in the television film Uprising in 2001.
    More Details Hide Details The film was based on the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Azaria played Mordechaj Anielewicz, one of the revolt's leaders. Azaria was confused by his casting in Uprising and frequently asked the film's producer and director Jon Avnet why he was selected. "I know Avnet liked the fact I was Jewish, and he knew I could do accents well. He cast me and David Schwimmer in Uprising, and we were both sort of mystified. He had some instinct that he wanted people who were more known for being funny. He never explained it satisfactorily to me; I don't understand why." His parts in Tuesdays With Morrie and Uprising affected him, causing a depressive state which he countered with DVDs of the comedy series Monty Python. Azaria found Uprising to be "very difficult very depressing very emotionally challenging" material. In 2003, Azaria played journalist Michael Kelly, the former editor of The New Republic, in the drama film Shattered Glass. Kelly died a few months before the film was released and Azaria said the film "has become a weird kind of eulogy to him."
  • 2000
    Age 35
    The divorce was finalized on December 18, 2000.
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  • 1999
    Age 34
    Azaria played composer Marc Blitzstein in Tim Robbins' film Cradle Will Rock in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details Paul Clinton wrote that Azaria was "brilliant as the tortured (is there any other kind) artist Blitzstein." The same year he appeared as author and journalist Mitch Albom alongside Jack Lemmon in the television film Tuesdays with Morrie, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for the role. Azaria described the latter as the "best work has done." These were two of the first dramatic roles Azaria had taken; throughout his career Azaria has primarily worked in comedy, but tries to balance the two. Azaria commented: "all the roles I got were in comedy at first, and I was certainly happy to get those, so I never felt the lack of being considered a dramatic actor because I was so happy to get what I got. And then I became surprised later on when I got dramatic roles.
    In 1999, he starred in the drama Mystery, Alaska as Charles Danner, and the comedy superhero film Mystery Men, as the faux-British silverware throwing expert The Blue Raja.
    More Details Hide Details Other film roles included Hector Gorgonzolas in America's Sweethearts (2001), Claude in Along Came Polly (2004), and the young Patches O'Houlihan in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004), the latter two with Ben Stiller. For his role of Claude, a French scuba instructor, in Along Came Polly, Azaria donned a wig and worked out extensively to get into the physical shape the part required.
    Azaria was married to actress Helen Hunt from 1999 to 2000 and has been married to actress Katie Wright since 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Azaria was born in Queens, New York City, the son of Sephardic Jewish parents, Ruth (Altcheck) and Albert Azaria. His grandparents on both sides hailed from Thessaloniki, Greece, and his family spoke Ladino. Azaria's father ran several dress-manufacturing businesses, while his mother raised him and his two older sisters, Stephanie and Elise. Before marrying his father, Azaria's mother had been a publicist for Columbia Pictures, promoting films in Latin American countries, as she was fluent in both English and Spanish. During his childhood, Azaria would often "memorize and mimic" the scripts of the films, shows and stand-up comedy routines that he enjoyed. Azaria attended The Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills. He decided to become an actor after performing in a school play at the age of 16, becoming, at the expense of his academic studies, "obsessed with acting." Both of his parents loved all forms of show business, which further spurred him to become an actor. He studied drama at Tufts University from 1981 to 1985, where he met and befriended actor Oliver Platt and noted that "Oliver was a better actor than I was in college, and he really inspired me." Together they both starred in various college stage productions, including The Merchant of Venice, before Azaria trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Although he did not expect the endeavor to be successful, Azaria decided to become a professional actor, so that later in his life, he would not regret not having tried.
  • 1998
    Age 33
    He appeared in numerous other films in the late 1990s, including Heat (1995), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Celebrity (1998) and worked opposite Gwyneth Paltrow, as Walter Plane, in the 1998 adaptation of Great Expectations.
    More Details Hide Details He played photographer Victor "Animal" Palotti in Godzilla (1998). Godzilla was one of Azaria's first starring roles in a blockbuster film. Its five-month shoot was the longest of his career to date, but he considered it a good chance to boost his profile. He noted, "I'm so used to melding into every character I play. Even people in the business think the guy who did Birdcage, Quiz Show and Great Expectations are three different actors—which in a way makes me proud, but in another way is very frustrating. It's the curse and blessing of the character actor". The shoot's physical challenges, and the film's critical failure, led Azaria to later describe it as "tough to make, and very disappointing when it came out. It was one you definitely chalk up and say, 'That was part of paying your dues, better luck next time'."
  • 1996
    Age 31
    In 1996, Azaria played gay Guatemalan housekeeper Agador Spartacus in the film The Birdcage.
    More Details Hide Details For the role, which Azaria considers to be his "big break", he was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, and critically branded "the most hilarious performance in the film," by Alison Macor of The Austin Chronicle, while Empire wrote that he "stole the show." For the role he used a Guatemalan accent, and made himself sound as effeminate as possible. He had chosen two possible voices, an effeminate one and a tougher one. After advice from a drag queen, he chose the effeminate voice. Three weeks into production, he realized he sounded exactly like his grandmother, which aided his performance. Agador was originally going to be a single scene part, with the larger role of the housekeeper being played by David Alan Grier. With the producers fearing the racial connotations of a black actor in such a part, Azaria inherited the full role.
  • 1995
    Age 30
    Azaria had the lead role in the short-lived sitcom If Not For You in 1995, playing record producer Craig Schaeffer.
    More Details Hide Details Azaria produced and starred in the sitcom Imagine That in 2002, replacing Emeril mid-season in the NBC lineup. He played Josh Miller, a comedy writer, who "transformed" each episode into a character Miller has imagined, "providing a humorous outlet for his frustrations at home and work". Production closed after five episodes and it was canceled after just two aired, due to poor critical reaction and ratings. Azaria later commented on the show "I wanted to do something really truthful and interesting and impactful. We had a bunch of executives sitting in the room, all agreeing that The Larry Sanders Show was our favorite thing on television, but we couldn't do it on NBC, and nor would we want to from a business standpoint; it simply wouldn't make enough money. By the time it aired, the writing was sort of on the wall, and I don't blame them at all. It was apparent it wasn't working."
    From 1995 to 1999, Azaria had a recurring role in the sitcom Mad About You as Nat Ostertag, the dog walker.
    More Details Hide Details Azaria was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his roles in both Mad About You (in 1998) and Friends (in 2003).
  • 1994
    Age 29
    His relationship with actress Helen Hunt began in 1994; they married in a traditional Jewish ceremony at the couple's home in Southern California on July 17, 1999.
    More Details Hide Details The two had appeared together in Mad About You and "Dumbbell Indemnity", an episode of The Simpsons. After a year of marriage, Azaria moved out of the couple's home, and after a six-month separation, Hunt filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences".
  • 1988
    Age 23
    He played Joe in an episode of the sitcom Family Ties in 1988, in which he had one line and the following year he played Steve Stevenson in an episode of Growing Pains.
    More Details Hide Details Azaria has described his career progression as being gradual; he did not achieve overnight recognition or fame. In Los Angeles, Azaria was trained by acting coach Roy London. Between acting jobs he performed as a stand-up comedian, and worked as a bartender for a catering firm. Azaria became famous for his voice work in the ongoing animated television series The Simpsons. He joined the show having previously performed only one voice over: as the titular animated dog in the failed Fox pilot Hollywood Dog, a show he described as "sort of Roger Rabbit-esque, where the dog was animated but everybody else was real." The first voice he performed on The Simpsons was that of town bartender Moe Szyslak, replacing Christopher Collins who had initially recorded the character's voice. Having known him from Hollywood Dog, casting director Bonita Pietila called Azaria and asked him to audition for the voice of Moe. At the time he was performing the role of a drug dealer in a play, utilizing a voice based on actor Al Pacino's performance in the film Dog Day Afternoon. He used the voice in his audition for The Simpsons and, at the request of the show's executive producers Matt Groening and Sam Simon, made the voice more "gravelly". Groening and Simon thought the resultant voice was ideal for Moe and took Azaria over to the Fox recording studio. Before he had even seen a script, he recorded several lines of dialogue as Moe for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening", dubbing Collins' voice.
  • 1986
    Age 21
    He made his television debut with a role in the pilot episode of the 1986 ABC comedy-drama series Joe Bash, with Peter Boyle.
    More Details Hide Details His part – a one-line role as the police officer Maldonado – was edited out before the show was broadcast, although the role secured him admission to the Screen Actors Guild. Azaria appeared in the TV film Nitti: The Enforcer, about the gangster Frank Nitti, and appeared in the failed pilot Morning Maggie, alongside Matthew Perry, with whom he became good friends.
  • 1964
    Born on April 25, 1964.
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