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Stephen Root

Root in 2009
Born November 17, 1951 (1951-11-17) (age 58)
Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A.

Stephen Root (born November 17, 1951) is an American actor. He is principally known for his comedic work, but has won acclaim for his occasional dramatic roles.

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Early life

Root was born in Sarasota, Florida, the son of Leona Estelle and Rolland Clair Root, a construction supervisor.[1] He is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he majored in acting and broadcasting.

Career

Among his most recognized television roles are eccentric billionaire Jimmy James on the sitcom NewsRadio and as the voice of depressed Army barber Bill Dauterive and Hank Hill's skirt-chasing boss Buck Strickland (of Strickland Propane) on the animated television series King of the Hill (Root originally auditioned for the role of Dale). He had a recurring role on the final two seasons of The West Wing as Republican campaign consultant Bob Mayer. His most recognizable film roles to date are as the mumbling, quirky Milton Waddams in Office Space, as the mild-mannered gymrat Gordon Pibb in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as Suds, a drunk sports writer, in Leatherheads, and as the dimwitted principal in the 2008 Judd Apatow produced comedy Drillbit Taylor.

Root is a favorite of the Coen Brothers; He has appeared in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Ladykillers, and No Country For Old Men. Kevin Smith wrote a role in Jersey Girl specifically for Root.

Root reunited with Mike Judge in Idiocracy and has also portrayed NASA flight director Chris Kraft in the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. He has also had many guest appearances in television programs across several genres. He was Klingon Captain K'Vada in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification". He took on the biographical role of Richard A. Clarke in The Path to 9/11. In 1992 Root appeared on the TV series Night Court as Mr Willard. In the 1993-1994 television season, Root appeared as "R.O." ,as a series regular, on the Beau Bridges/Lloyd Bridges comedy/western series, Harts of the West on CBS.

Root guest starred in various television series such as Seinfeld, playing the role of a bank manager in the episode "The Invitations", handling Kramer's hello greeting issue. He also had another role in Frasier in the episode "Detour" as the father of the family helping Frasier when his car broke down. He had another guest appearance role in the CSI episode "Homebodies" as the father of a rape victim. In addition, Root had another series regular role on the short-lived CBS series Ladies Man, which starred Sharon Lawrence, soon after she left NYPD Blue. He played Raymond, a hunting store owner involved in illegal gun trading, in the In the Heat of the Night episode "A Love Lost" (1993).

Root also has an active career as a voice artist. Aside from his roles in King of the Hill, he has played various characters in animated films, such as Ice Age, Finding Nemo, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. In other animated television, series regular roles include: Commander Chode in Tripping the Rift and Homebase in The X's. Additionally, he has provided guest-starring vocal talent in animated television series, like Chowder and Teen Titans. He recently lent his voice to Batman: The Brave and the Bold as Woozy Winks and The Penguin.

Appeared as Johnny Forreals, inventer of the word "boo-yah" on an episode of Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program entitled "Cangamangus".

Recently, Root has appeared in HBO's series True Blood as a vampire named Eddie. He also had a multi-episode arc in the second season of Pushing Daisies on ABC, playing the mysterious Dwight Dixon. In 2009 he was in the comedy film The Men Who Stare at Goats. On March 8th, 2010, he also made his debut on the Fox television series 24 as a probation officer named Ben Prady.

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