Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 31, 1969, actor and playwright Mike O'Malley moved to New York in 1990 and landed a job as the host for Nickelodeon's gameshow Guts. His success continued when he moved to California and began landing roles on television sitcoms, including Yes, Dear and Glee. O'Malley continues to act today, as well as write and produce plays.
Mike O'Malley was born Michael Donald O'Malley on October 31, 1966, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Tony, was a defense industry executive and his mother, Marianne, a career counselor. O'Malley grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire, with three siblings. Growing up, O'Malley was surrounded by family who encouraged creativity and outgoing behavior. He played little league and basketball as a boy and was an avid sports fan. He showed some interest in theater in his early life, participating in a few community productions.
In 1984, O'Malley attended the University of New Hampshire and joined the fraternity Kappa Sigma. Between classes and parties, O'Malley eventually found his way to the theatre department and was cast in a number of comedic roles. His love for the theatre grew and eventually O'Malley desperately wanted to be cast in more serious roles in order to grow as an actor. Professor Gil Davenport gave O'Malley the opportunity his senior year and cast him as Mephistopheles in Dr. Faustus. His success in the role, even on the small scale of University theatre, gave O'Malley the confidence to pursue acting as a career.
Growing up, O'Malley's Aunt, Regina O'Malley, was a professional working actress. Having a positive role model in the entertainment industry made O'Malley's acting dreams seem plausible. He moved to New York City to pursue his career. In 1990, O'Malley was chosen to host the Nickelodeon network game show Get The Picture. A few years later, he hosted the widely popular Nickelodeon game show Guts (also known as Nickelodeon Guts and Global Guts), starring alongside actress Moira Quirk, the series' referee. Landing the job for Nickelodeon gave O'Malley the opportunity to meet many industry professionals that would propel his career.
He quickly began booking gigs, including performing as ESPN's sports fanatic "The Rick" in a series of commercials for the network. In 1998, O'Malley moved to California and landed roles on a number of shows. In 1999, O'Malley had the opportunity to write and star on his own show, The Mike O'Malley Show. Unfortunately, critics ripped the show apart and the network canceled it after only two episodes.
Like many Hollywood actors, O'Malley picked himself up and was cast as Jimmy Hughes on the hit show Yes, Dear in 2000. He has written a number of plays, including the off-Broadway productions Three Years From Thirty and Diverting Devotion. He is currently a writer/producer for HBO's hit show Shameless, and stars as Burt Hummel on the hit show Glee.
O'Malley has kept quite busy in recent years after becoming a father of three and marrying his wife, Lisa, in 2000. He remains humble in the light of his success and is often seen wearing a Boston sports cap—a symbol of his connection to his roots.
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