Brian Baumgartner is a man with multiple films and TV credits but with only a few renowned works. At the top of that shortlist is The Office, the iconic sitcom from NBC that has provided a ton of laughs from generation to generation.
In it, Brian plays the accountant with large body size and limited communication skills, Kevin Malone. In his role, he gave life to popular pop culture lines like ‘why waste time say much word when few do trick.’ The show remains the highest point of his 19+ years career, which has continued in various capacities since he and the rest of The Office said goodbye to the show.
Brian Baumgartner Started His Entertainment Career in Theatre
Brian Bruce Baumgartner was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 29, 1972. Regarding his education, he previously schooled at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School before transferring to The Westminster Schools, where he graduated in 1991. His decision to pursue acting came after suffering a leg injury at the age of 13, ending his dream of becoming a baseball player.
He had attended a summer camp at National High School Institute at Northwestern University and developed a passion for acting. Brian took that passion back to his high school, where he became a member of the school’s theatre team. Post-high school, Baumgartner attended Southern Methodist University and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, graduating in 1995.
With his education done, Brian began developing his professional acting skills at various regional theatres. He worked at Guthrie Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Children’s Theater Company, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune.
While polishing his acting skills across various regional theatres, he also took up a job as an artistic director. He served in the role at Hidden Theatre in Minneapolis, to multiple award recognition for his excellence as a director. In 2001, Brian Baumgartner made his first appearance in a film as Roger in the comedy, Herman U.S.A.
To pay the bills while he worked in the theatre, Brian worked as a paralegal, and he did so for years before moving permanently to Los Angeles in 2003.
He Found The Office Within the First Two Years of Joining Hollywood
Many acts, even the biggest names in the American film industry, spend years before finding the role that makes them a household name. Not Brian Baumgartner, however. Following his decision to relocate to L.A, he made his TV debut in 2003 in an episode of the show, The Lyon’s Den, as A Grissom.
He made another unnamed character appearance in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in the same year. His lone appearance in 2004 came via LAX, as Wes in the Credible Threat episode. By 2005, a rocket lit under Brian’s acting career in the form of a role as Kevin Malone in The Office. Before the role, he appeared in a minor role in one episode of the shows, Arrested Development, Everwood, and Jake in Progress.
With The Office, Brian became a household name, and he rode the coattails of the NBC situational comedy for years, between 2005 and 2013, starring in 188 of the show’s 201 episodes. As Kevin Malone, Brian Baumgartner was not a main character in the ensemble series.
His character, however, proved popular with fans, leading to spin-off appearances in webisodes like The Office: The Outburst, The Office: The 3rd Floor, The Office: The Girl Next Door. Others are The Office: The Accountants, The Office: Kevin’s Loan and The Office: The Mentor.
In between his eight-year stint on the show, Brian brought his supporting character charm to works like License to Wed, Four Christmases, Into Temptation, and Astronaut: The Last Push. He made additional appearances in four short films, and his only TV role was a guest spot as a nameless orderly in an episode of Wilfried, Progress.
Post-The Office: A Lot of Guest Roles and a Podcast
The downside to starring in a long-running role like Kevin Malone in The Office is the afterlife. The character became his identity offscreen, making it hard to reinvent and sell different onscreen characters. The result has been a lot of guest appearances in modest roles for Brian Baumgartner.
Since The Office ended in 2013, he has appeared in 22 other projects, with his longest recurring role being his Dr. Olonari character in Hand of God. In the TV drama, he starred in four episodes. Most of the others have been one-off episodes, playing named or unnamed characters.
His film portfolio also did not receive major growth. His limited subsequent film roles came in Ordinary World, Diagnosis Delicious, One Last Night, and My Boyfriend’s Meds. In all, the actor continues to appear in films and TV shows to date, albeit in small and less impactful roles.
Also in this week’s episode of an #oralhistoryoftheoffice “Mom, We Made It” we examine many of the moments that the cast couldn’t get through… including… well, this one. Only on @spotifypodcasts Link in Bio. pic.twitter.com/uLsMv1fsVR
— Brian Baumgartner (@BBBaumgartner) August 6, 2020
Brian is also the host of a popular podcast, An Oral History of the Office. Having accepted his Kevin Malone identity is never going away, the actor has leaned into leveraging the character. He began hosting the show in July 2020.
He Has Amassed $6 Million in Net Worth from Acting
With The Office has the leading source, Brian Baumgartner has accrued a net worth of $6 million throughout his acting career. He is one of several cast members whose careers have struggled to move on from the show but have managed to maintain the wealth earned on the sitcom with smaller gigs here and there.
In addition to putting him in the rich bracket, the celebrity status gained off The Office also helped him live his dream of being an athlete, albeit in a temporary capacity. He featured alongside celebrated stars like Justin Bieber, JB Smoove, Wale, Bow Wow, Chamillionaire, Sean Kingston, Meek Mill, Vinny, Pauly D, Jersey Shore, and Mac Miller in the NBA 2K13 – The Celebrity All-Stars game.
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Today in episode 6 of #oralhistoryoftheoffice – we look back at our Emmy win for Best Comedy Series, how @angelakinsey and I almost missed it, and take a look at the history of Comedy and some key early influencers of The Office. “Mom, We Made It” available now on @spotifypodcasts @propagatecontent
Lastly, aside from his monetary achievements, Brian also has thirteen award nominations from the show. All of them are ensemble awards, and they include nominations from the Daytime Emmys, Gold Derby Awards, and Screen Actors Guild. He and the rest of the cast have won six of them.
Brian Has Been Married For Over Six Years
When it comes to Brian Baumgartner, it is his role in the NBC comedy that primarily puts him in the news. However, in almost two decades in the spotlight, we have learned a few things about his personal life too. Since April 2014, Brian has been married to Celeste Ackleson, a graduate of Communications from Florida International University.
Celeste was born in 1982 and is the second wife of the comedian, following a divorce from his first wife, Julia Fisher, there is little information about the comedic actor’s spouse. They got engaged after a presumably substantial period of dating at a Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf event.
They held their wedding on April 28, 2014, at the backyard of their home in Del Mar, California, and a reception at the Wilshire Country Club. In attendance were family and friends, including Brian’s cast members from The Office.
Since they got married, the couple has had zero tiffs in the media and have welcomed a daughter, Brylee Bea Baumgartner. The couple gave birth to her on February 19, 2015, and announced her birth the following month on Instagram.