Ed O’Neill – Story Of An Iconic Career

Edward Leonard O’Neill is commonly known by as Ed O’Neill. He’s a television veteran who portrayed iconic roles as Ed Bundy in “Married… with Children.’ Glen in ‘Wayne’s World’ and more recently Jay Prichett in ‘Modern Family.’

Ed also featured in animation hit ‘Finding Dory’ as Hank, the Octopus with a caffeine

Early Life

Actor Edward Leonard “Ed” O’Neill was born on 12th of April, 1946, in Ohio, United States. He was born to father Edward Phillip O’Neill, a truck driver and steel worker and mother Ruth Ann a social worker.


O’Neill went to Ursuline High School. On graduation, he attended Ohio University with a scholarship in football.

However, later he transferred to YSU ( Youngstown State University) because he spent more time playing football and partying instead of focusing on his degree. He also got into a beef with his coach which caused a lot of heat!

Early Career

Before becoming an actor, O’Neill worked as a Social Studies teacher at his high school, Ursuline High School. However, he was also involved in the theater program and was among the first few students to get enrolled in it.


As an actor

Initially, Ed worked with the theatrical arts and performed in plays such as ‘Of Mice and Men and Knockout.’
Later he started featuring in Red Lobster commercials.  At the same time, Ed made his breakthrough with an appearance in ‘The Equalizer.’
Later in 1986, O’Neill was cast in TV show Popeye Doyle. In the show, he played the role of Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, a police detective. The show aired a lot of positive reviews for the plot and Ed’s performances as well. Unfortunately, the show failed to pick up.

Despite all that, Ed landed the role of the central character in Al Bundy’s hit 1987 TV show ‘Married… with Children.’ His popularity soared sky high as Al Bundy which earned him two award nominations for Golden Globes.

The show about a dysfunctional family in Chicago aired for eleven straight seasons between 1987 to 1997. The show was rated 8.1 by IMDb and is still received well by audiences today. It reviewed as a show where “Families can talk about their flaws and strengths” by commonsensemedia.org.

This success followed many other opportunities for Ed as he featured in movies like ‘Little Giants’ and ‘Dutch.’ He also made an appearance in ‘The 10th Kingdom’ as Relish, the ‘Troll King’ and also has minor roles in Wayne’s World 1 and 2.

In the mid-90’s Ed began featuring in 1-800-COLLECT’s commercial and starred as Sgt. Joe Friday on the crime show ‘Dragnet.’ However, the show shut during its 2nd season by ABC.

Even so, that did not stop Ed. He made frequent appearances in ‘The West Wing’ as Eric Baker.

Meanwhile, in 2008, he appeared in the presidential candidate advertisement for Barak Obama.

Modern Family and Animation

Ed’s more prominent role was when the comedy show ‘Modern Family‘ came calling. He plays Jay Pritchett, a strong father figure with a soft and lovable side. The role landed him further recognition, and several nominations followed!

Ed as Jay Pritchett in Modern Family

The most recent works done by O’Neill are voice role in animated movie ‘Finding Dory‘ in 2016, lending his iconic voice to an ill-tempered octopus with a serious caffeine addiction named Hank.

He also made an appearance in 2015’s episode of Family Guy as Bud Swanson.

Awards and Nominations

In the year 2009, he won a TV Land Award for his role in ‘Married with Children.’
Furthermore, he won a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2011 for Modern Family followed by another one in years 2012 and 2013.

Ed finally received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 30, 2011.

Personal Information

Ed is a caucasian of Irish Descent. He has a perfect height of 6ft 1in and weighs 245 pounds (111 kg). The distnctive feature about the actor are his blue eyes, and his star sign is Aries.

Ed is left handed.

Achievement in Jiu-Jitsu

Ed is familiar with Brazilian Ji-Jitsu and has trained for 22 years in martial art. He earned his black belt in December of 2012. He even quoted that being his biggest achievement.

Marriage and Children

In the year 1986, Ed got married to Catherine Rusoff. The duo separated in 1986 however, got back together in 1993.

The duo has two daughters Sophia and Claire born in 1999 and 1996. The family is currently living in LA.

Social Reach

Despite being loved as a social icon for his works, Ed seems to lay off public reach as there are no verified accounts under the name of Ed O’Neill.

Net Worth

The estimated net worth of Ed is $ 45 million mostly through his career as an actor. He gets paid $105 thousand for each episode of Modern Family.


Recently in 2017, he was rumored to have separated with his wife again. However, the news is yet not confirmed.

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