Bill Hader: Everything to Know About the ‘SNL’ & ‘Barry’ Actor

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Bill Hader: Everything to Know About the ‘SNL’ & ‘Barry’ Actor

Actor, comedian, and filmmaker Bill Hader is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable names and faces in film and television. Popularly known for his career on Saturday Night Live (SNL), Hader has since recorded success as an actor and filmmaker. Whether he’s appearing in television, movies, music videos, or voicing characters in a video game, and as a voice actor, Bill Hader brings his A-game to every project.

As the co-creator, actor, and former director of HBO’s black comedy crime drama Barry, the series’ success has long proved Bill Hader is far more than a sketch comedy actor. Over the years, Hader’s comedy influences have been Monty Python, Eddie Murphy, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Alan Alda, and several British comedies. Here are 9 things you probably didn’t know about Barry’s actor, Bill Hader.

He Has A Varied European Ancestry

Bill Hader in Curb Your Enthusiasm

Bill Hader has an ancestry spread across Europe. Bill Hader has English, Irish, Danish, and German ancestry. The American actor and comedian William Thomas Hader Jr. was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 7, 1978. Hader’s father, William Thomas Hader, although he performed stand-up comedy occasionally, owns an air cargo company. Hader’s mother, Sherri Renee, is a dance teacher. Bill Hader is the oldest child, having two younger sisters, Katie and Kara. In 2012, Bill Hader appeared on the PBS genealogy show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. On the show, Hader discovered he is directly descended from King Edward I of England and Charlemagne, King of the Franks and first Holy Roman Emperor, who united most of Western Europe during the early Middle Ages.

Bill Hader’s First Job Was Selling Christmas Trees

Bill Hader in Noelle (2019)

Bill Hader struggled through school and often enjoyed watching movies or reading. Unsurprisingly, he had poor grades. Although he hadn’t planned a career in comedy from the onset, he had always wanted to be a filmmaker. When his poor grades didn’t qualify him for top film schools, Hader attended The Art Institute of Phoenix and Scottsdale Community College. To support himself, Bill Hader became a Christmas tree salesman, which was the first job he ever worked. Although he later got a job as an usher at a Tempe cinema, he was fired after he annoyingly revealed the ending of Titanic (1997) to unruly cinema audiences. With his sights set on being a filmmaker, Bill Hader quit college and moved to Los Angeles with the support of his parents.

Bill Hader Worked As A Production Assistant On Several Popular Movies

Bill Hader directing

Bill Hader quickly learned that becoming a Hollywood star wasn’t an easy feat. While reading through the back pages of The Hollywood Reporter, Hader saw and applied for the job of a Production Assistant. He was excited about the position after he was hired because he believed it would take him a step closer to becoming an assistant director and then a filmmaker. With an 18-hour workday, Hader soon realized he had no time to work on his own projects. Some of his notable works behind the scenes included James Dean (2001), Collateral Damage (2002), Spider-Man (2002), and The Scorpion King (2002).

Megan Mullally Recommended Him For Saturday Night Live

Bill Hader on SNL

With his career not working out the way he had imagined, Bill Hader decided to take comedy classes at The Second City in early 2003. At The Second City, he met actor Nick Offerman’s brother, Matt Offerman, and two other friends, Mel Cowan and Eric Filipkowski. All four formed a new sketch comedy group, Animals from the Future. Nick Offerman married actress Megan Mullally in September 2003. Offerman spoke about the sketch group to his wife, Mullally, who decided to attend one of their backyard shows in Van Nuys. Impressed by his performance, Megan Mullally recommended Bill Hader to SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels.

Lorne Michaels almost immediately invited Hader to audition in New York. An unprepared Hader spontaneously chose to do an impression of an Italian man. Although nervous at first, Hader admits that Tina Fey’s laughter at his impression helped calm his nerves to complete his performance. Hader’s Italian man impression would later become the Vinny Vedecci character he was known to portray on SNL. Thanks to Megan Mullally’s recommendation, SNL became Hader’s career-defining role.

Bill Hader Broke A 28-Year SNL Record With His First Emmy Nomination

Actor Bill Hader on SNL

Although Bill Hader joined SNL in 2005, his first Primetime Emmy Awards nomination came in 2012. Hader was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Until his nomination, the last time a male SNL cast member was nominated was in 1984. Bill Hader became the first male cast member to receive a Primetime Emmy Awards nomination since Eddie Murphy in 1984. Hader was also nominated in the same category the following year. Bill Hader officially left Saturday Night Live in 2013.

He Has From Several Health Conditions

Bill Hader in Saturday Night Live

Despite being a remarkable actor on SNL and in movies, Bill Hader suffers from anxiety disorder. As a result, he had problems sleeping on Fridays before his SNL presentations. Hader once had a panic attack on SNL in 2010 and did his best to play things cool. Besides his anxiety and sleep problems, Hader also suffers migraines. One time, his co-star, Jason Sudeikis, had to escort him offstage because of the severity of the migraine. Despite replacing Robert Downey Jr. as the voice of Planter’s Nuts commercial mascot, Mr. Peanut, Bill Hader is severely allergic to peanuts.

Which Actresses Has Bill Hader Has Dated?

Bill Hader: Everything to Know About the ‘SNL’ & ‘Barry’ Actor

Bill Hader dated and married filmmaker and actress Maggie Carey on May 28, 2006. The couple met when Carey attended one of the Animals from the Future backyard performances. Carey reportedly Sat in front and was later introduced to Hader by a mutual friend. Their marriage produced three children: daughters Hannah Kathryn Hader, Harper Hader, and Hayley Clementine Hader. Bill Hader and Maggie Carey finalized their divorce on June 23, 2018.

Hader later began dating actress Rachel Bilson briefly in 2019. Interestingly, Hader and Bilson co-starred in The To Do List (2013), a movie written and directed by Hader’s ex-wife Maggie Carey. Bill Hader also dated actress Anna Kendrick sometime between late 2020 and early 2021. The couple broke up in June 2022. Although there were reports that Bill Hader began dating actress Ali Wong in late 2022, it was confirmed in 2023. Ali Wong separated from Justin Hakuta, whom she had been married to for eight years, in April 2022. By December 2022, Wong had filed for divorce. Bill Hader and Ali Wong were spotted together at the 75th Emmy Awards on January 15, 2024.

Bill Hader’s Works As A Voice Actor

Bill Hader top voice roles

Besides being an amazingly gifted actor and comedian, Bill Hader has raked in credits as a voice actor. Hader made his film debut in 2006 in the Russo brothers romantic comedy You, Me and Dupree. That same year, he landed his first voice role as Sam the Soldier in the poorly received Doogal animated film. Some of Hader’s notable voice roles include Gazelle in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009), Flint Lockwood in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), The Voice in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), and Hansel in Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (2011).

Hader’s other voice roles in movies include Monsters University (2013), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Inside Out (2015), The Angry Birds Movie (2016), Finding Dory (2016), Power Rangers (2017), Toy Story 4 (2019), The Addams Family 2 (2021), and Lightyear (2022). On television, Bill Hader has voiced characters in Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2009-2010), Bob’s Burgers (2012-2020), The Awesomes (2013-2015), The Simpsons (2013, 2018), and Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. (2021).

Bill Hader Became A Member Of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2023

Bill Hader in Barry

Bill Hader was invited to join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in June 2023. Hader’s invitation saw the actor, comedian, and filmmaker join the Actors’ branch of the Academy. As a member of the Academy, Hader joins the prestigious list of entertainers and industry giants invited to the Academy to nominate and vote in categories under their branch. If you enjoyed reading about Bill Hader, check out his partner, Ali Wong’s Roles In Movies And TV Shows.

Watch Bill Hader on Barry on HBO

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