Will Ferrell’s rise to stardom is fraught with stories that are as funny as the roles he plays. As an American actor, comedian, producer, and writer, Ferrell has earned himself a sacred spot in US cinematography and in the hearts of Americans. Beyond his acting career, however, Will has a life that is as interesting as the character he plays on the screen. Here, you will learn all there is to know about his background, family life, and finance.
Born in Irvine, California, on July 16, 1967, John William “Will” Ferrell’s ancestry includes English, German and Irish. He is the older of two siblings, their parents went separate ways and later got divorced when he was just 8 years old. Although the divorce was amicable and both parents were committed to their kids’ welfare, Ferrell never forgets the financial struggle his Dad had to grapple with to fulfill his side of the deal. His paychecks were as unsteady as show business of the time and he could spend months away from his family at times. These informed Ferrell’s decision to pursue a steadier source of income later in his adult years; a decision fate wouldn’t allow him to keep.
Will Ferrell’s funny demeanor and fondness for comedy (while in High School) were the earliest signs that apples don’t fall far from the family tree after all. Ferrell would go on to follow in his father’s footsteps, albeit in a more successful fashion.
While attending High School, Ferrell secured a job at an auction house through the help of his friend turned wife, Viveca Paulin. The job allowed him some level of freedom; going for auditions and rehearsals while working on the side. He at one time served as Santa Clause for a shopping mall.
Following graduation from High School, Ferrell enrolled in the University of Southern California (USC), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Information in 1990. In spite of being the right guy for the industry, Ferrell remained reluctant about pursuing a career in the show biz choosing instead to clinch a steady 9-5 job. However, he soon gave in to fate when his several attempts at securing a steady paying job proved abortive.
In 1991, he finally moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in show business. He began to perform stand-up comedy skits which didn’t turn out successful at the time. Ferrell soon extended his attempts into other genres of comedy; settling for improvisation later on. He also excelled in comedy roles that involved impersonation. His favorite character being Harry Caray, the Hall of Fame baseball announcer. Soon, Ferrell began to create original characters with fellow team member Chris Kattan. In 1994, he successfully auditioned and won a spot on the popular Los Angeles comedy group “The Groundlings.”
At the turn of 1995, New York-based comedy show, Saturday Night Live (SNL) began to suffer a steady decline in popularity. Desperate to salvage the show, its main producer, Lorne Michaels held an audition for Ferrell and two other colleagues; Chris Kattan, and Cheri Oteri. Following a remarkable performance in the audition, Will Ferrell joined SNL and served for the next seven years; eventually leaving in 2002. Ferrell has since returned to play guest host to SNL in May 2005; May 2009; May 2012; and January of 2018.
As a cast member for SNL, Ferrell excelled so well with notable impersonations including, former US President George W. Bush, Vice President Al Gore, US Senator Ted Kennedy, singers Robert Goulet and Neil Diamond, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and Cuban President Fidel Castro among others. In a 2014 poll, Ferrell was voted the best SNL cast member of all time.
Although Ferrell has appeared in various movies, his first starring role after leaving SNL was as Frank “The Tank” Richard in the 2003 movie Old School. Old School became an overnight sensation and Ferrell went on to receive an MTV Movie Awards nomination for Best Comedic Performance. The New York Times described how Ferrell’s hilarious, anxious zealotry sold Old School to millions of viewers. Some of his other film works include Zoolander (2001), Elf (2003), Anchorman (2004), Blades of Glory (2007), Step Brothers (2008), Get Hard (2015) and Zoolander II (2016).
Salary and Net Worth
A successful career In SNL saw Will Ferrell emerge the highest-paid cast member in 2001, with a salary of over $350,000. Following his move from SNL, his movie success continued with top box office releases like Elf (2003), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Melinda and Melinda (2004), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and others. In 2005, Ferrell’s total earnings was estimated at $40 million.
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Things reached a tipping point for the Irvine-born actor after carting away over $7 million for his role in the 2004 movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Soon after that, Ferrell’s movie career began to churn in paychecks as high as $20 million per role. And in 2009 he became a frequent name on the Forbes list of Hollywood’s Overpaid Actors. This list chronicles high profile actors and actresses who failed to make the movies (they starred in) a combined box office hit despite being paid handsomely for their roles. As of recent, Will Ferrell’s net worth stands at $100 million.
Will Ferrell’s Family – Wife, Kids, Step Brothers
While the world only knows a funny and hilarious actor, there’s more to Will Ferrell than we see on screen. He runs a close-knit family with his lovely wife, Viveca Paulin, and three adorable boys—Magnus, Mattias, and Axel. All three of which appeared in Anchorman 2. Asides his stepbrother, Dale, in the movie, Step Brothers, Will Ferrell has no stepbrother in real life.
Will Ferrell stands at 6 feet 3 inches or 1.95m in height and weighs 90kg or 198lbs. He has blue-green eyes and a hair whose color has been described as being salt and pepper.