David Schwimmer's Biography

It's a job—someone's gotta do it. The reality is, Jennifer and I can do our job well because we truly are friends. But when the day's over, she goes home to her boyfriend and I go home to a magazine.
-David Schwimmer, on what it's like kissing Jennifer Aniston

Critical Facts:
Date of birth- November 12, 1966
Place- New York, NY
Relations- companion Mili Avital
c/o The Gersh Agency
P.O Box 5617
Beverly hills, CA 90210
WHEN the producers of Friends were trolling Hollywood's talent pool for attractive twentysomething actors, David Schwimmer was already in their net. The soon-to-be hit sitcom's creators designed the role of nebbishy, nerdy, neurotic Ross Geller with Schwimmer in mind, and they cast the endearingly dorky actor without an audition. Such faith was not misguided: Friends rocketed up the ratings; audiences loved Ross; and Schwimmer assumed star status.

Ironically, Schwimmer accepted Friends' casting invitation with reluctance, for he had promised himself no more sitcoms after a miserable experience on Henry Winkler's stillborn 1994 series Monty. Besides, ever since his days as a student at Beverly Hills High, David Schwimmer has fancied himself a man of the theatuh. He and classmate Jonathan Silverman, sometime star of The Single Guy, both acted in several productions at the academic/celebrity-training institution. Upon graduation, Schwimmer headed to Chicago's Northwestern University, where he toyed with pursuing medical or legal studies, in deference to his lawyer parents. (Schwimmer's mother handled Roseanne's first divorce.)

But the lure of the stage superseded that of the courtroom, and Schwimmer went on to earn a degree in theatre and speech. Once out of school, Schwimmer co-founded Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company, and the troupe has been his passion ever since. Schwimmer made a brief foray into television in 1989, when he was cast as a murderous boyfriend in a TV movie, A Deadly Silence (1989), but this first Hollywood experience was so dreadful that Schwimmer returned to Chicago and immersed himself in Lookingglass productions and plenty of Friends-style loafing.

But Los Angeles still beckoned, and Schwimmer continued to dabble in television. Between plays, he found recurring roles on several series, including The Wonder Years, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue. These roles ranged from lovin' hippie to hatin' vigilante, and represented a diversity of characters that Schwimmer hasn't enjoyed since Friends debuted in 1994. Audiences crowned his stuffy-nosed, looking-for-love, and eminently huggable paleontologist Ross an unlikely sex symbol, and they eagerly follow his caffeinated escapades, notably his on-screen relationships with simian co-star Marcel and non-simian love interest Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston. By the time the first Friends hiatus rolled around, Schwimmer had thirty scripts to choose from for his starring cinematic debut. He and his agents chose a Ross-like role in The Pallbearer, a dark comedy co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow. He followed up the somewhat disappointing outing with a starring role in the witty, if routine, romantic comedy Kissing a Fool, and with a supporting turn as a counselor in the Stephen King adaptation Apt Pupil.

As Friends' overexposure threatens to make him the next Don Knotts—to cement him into the role of the same gangly fool for the rest of his acting life—Schwimmer has become vigilant about exploring other avenues. For hiatus number two, he declined a film role opposite Tommy Lee Jones for the chance to direct a low-key ensemble comedy from Miramax, titled Since You've Been Gone (he also appears in the film, as a smarmy master of ceremonies). The production's cast includes a handful of Lookingglass members, many of whom Schwimmer has previously directed on-stage. Miramax has faith in Schwimmer's future in Hollywood, and is wagering a seven-digit, multi-picture deal that there is more to the Friends breakout star than just a lovable hangdog expression. (Mr. Showbiz)

1.All the Rage (1999)
2.Picking up the Pieces (1999) .... Father Leo Jerome
3.Six Days Seven Nights (1998) .... Frank Martin
4.Kissing a Fool (1998) .... Max Abbitt
5.Apt Pupil (1998) .... Edward French
... aka Golden Boy (1999) (Japan: English title)
6.Since You've Been Gone (1998) (TV) .... Robert J. Levitt
7.Breast Men (1997) (TV) .... Dr. Christopher Saunders
8.Happy Birthday Elizabeth: A Celebration of Life (1997) (TV) .... Himself
9.Pallbearer, The (1996) .... Tom Thompson
10."Friends" (1994/I) TV Series .... Ross Geller
11.Wolf (1994) .... Cop #2
12."Monty" (1994) TV Series .... Greg Richardson
13.Twenty Bucks (1993) .... Neil Campbell
14.Vaiter, The (1993)
15.Crossing the Bridge (1992) .... John Anderson
16."Wonder Years, The" (1988) TV Series .... Michael (1991-1992)
17.Flight of the Intruder (1990) .... Duty Officer
18.Deadly Silence, A (1989) (TV)